Artistic and Fine Books from Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books
Item 69 is a testament to the fact that tastes change. This book ran to nearly 50 editions around the turn of the century, and its author was extremely popular. Today, few people have ever heard of Hall Caine, and fewer yet have read The Deemster. A Romance. Offered is a scarce 1887 first edition of this once very popular book, a long (three-volume) novel concerning the law on the Isle of Man (a "deemster" is a judge on that isle). $500.
For those interested in American art, here is a masterpiece: William Gerdts' Art Across America: Two Centuries of Regional Painting. This is also a three-volume work, a thorough exploration of American painting from 1710-1920. It covers 800 artists and contains almost 1,000 illustrations. What is remarkable about this state-by-state look is that it covers many artists from the back-country whose locations left them virtually unknown. It also describes many women whose gender made it difficult to achieve any recognition. Item 48, published in 1990. $500.
Item 49 is a rare original sketch by an artist known more for his writing than his drawing. It is a sketch by Robert Louis Stevenson of his wife, Fanny, and her two children. Stevenson had met Fanny Osbourne, then married, in France in 1876, and later pursued her as she moved to California. Though ten years older than he, Stevenson was persistent in his love, which paid off after she became divorced. Stevenson was close to death by the time he reached San Francisco, but Fanny nursed him back to health. Though Stevenson was never very healthy, and died at the age of 44, Fanny's care kept him around long enough to write his great and lasting works. $4,000.
Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books may be reached at 410-235-6810 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.kelmscottbookshop.com.