Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2008 Issue

Fine Examples of the Book Arts from the Veatchs

Veatchs

Books concerning the book arts from the Veatchs.


By Michael Stillman

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has released Catalogue 60: Recent Acquisitions. While the title of the catalogue might not leave much hint as to what is inside, the bookseller's name explains it well. Offered is a collection of works from fine presses, books about the book arts such as papermaking, printing, and marbling, specimens, leaf books, and more. There are 151 items in all for your consideration. Here are some.

Item 17 is an unusual copy of America's first color plate book, American Medical Botany, by Jacob Bigelow. Bigelow was both a doctor and a botanist, explaining this book combining the fields. He had intended it, like other books of the day, to be colored by hand, but when this proved impractical, he devised a system for color printing. This was a six-part, three-volume set, published from 1817-1820. However, this copy, with all volumes bound in one, is unusual in that the first part is done in a contemporary manuscript facsimile with ten hand colored plates. It is accompanied by a letter from Richard J. Wolfe, author of a book about Bigelow's first American color plate book. He explains that Bigelow continued to put together copies of the book for many years, and when he ran out of sheets for the first part, he made books by using the facsimiles plus the old hand colored plates he had earlier produced but never used. Wolfe estimates this copy was assembled in the 1840s or 1850s. Priced at $6,750.

I don't ever recall seeing a book about fleurons before, but here is one: Fleurons, Their Place in History and in Print. Fleurons are those little flowery ornaments printers use to dress up a page. Mark Arman published his book on these designs in 1988, this being one of 170 signed and numbered copies, hand printed on goatskin parchment paper. Item 7. $150.

For those fascinated by dictionaries, here is a chance to own a piece of two of the most important ones ever printed. Item 70 is Dr. Johnson and Noah Webster. Two Men and Their Dictionaries. Samuel Johnson produced the first truly comprehensive dictionary, while Webster created what is still the greatest American one. This account of these two men and their dictionaries was written by David Littlejohn and published in 1971. Tipped in are leaves from the letter "A" from each of these men's dictionaries - Johnson's 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language, and Webster's 1828 An American Dictionary of the English Language. $300.

Here is a book that makes very fast reading. It is actually a joke from Henry Morris of Bird and Bull Press, entitled Forty Years of Bird and Bull, 1958-1998. Comprising the Accumulated Knowledge Gained from Four Decades of Practical Experience in Running One of America's Successful Private Presses. It consists of a title, half title, colophon, and about 80 blank leaves. Only 14 copies were made, inscribed by Morris and given away. Item 25. $600.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
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  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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