Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2008 Issue

Illustrated Books and Book Illustration from Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books

Knuf215

Illustrated books and book illustrations from Fritz Knuf.


By Michael Stillman


Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books has issued a new catalogue of The Illustrated Book and Book Illustration. This is truly a catalogue for those who believe a picture is worth a thousand words. It includes some antiquarian and rare illustrated books, titles about old illustrated books, and catalogues of such collections, including numerous auction catalogues of important collections. Offered are nearly 400 items in the field, of which these are just a few.

Item 120 is Inleydingh Tot De Practijk Der Al-Gemeene Schilder-kost... a 17th century Dutch instructional on painting by Willem Goeree. This is a rare first edition published in 1670. Of course, this was the time of the Dutch Masters, including such well-known names as Rembrandt. A Dutch treatise on painting at this time would be important, and it is likely some of the noted painters of the era would have consulted Goeree's book. However, Goeree was not himself a notable painter, his primary occupations being printer, writer and bookseller. Nevertheless, he was able to provide this manual on painting, which also includes a history of painting and advice on making one's name known to the public. Priced at €1,200 (Euros, or roughly $1,622 in U.S. dollars).

Item 119 is an unusual book of decorative art: Vignettes Decoratives Dans Le Gout Du Jour by Henri Gillet. This a collection of beautiful designs in the "taste of the day," which in this case was 1922. There are 30 hand-colored plates of these colorful art-nouveau designs. They feature either vividly contrasting colors, or nuanced shades of one color. €600 ($811).

Item 60 offers an unusual privately created album, compiled by an unknown person. It consists of 142 decorative letters cut from titles and other pages of 17th and 18th century books. Ouch! Those books were probably not that valuable when Mr. Scissorhands did his work. It provides an interesting survey, although Knuf notes, "one can question the method he used by cutting up books." €750 ($1,014).

Here is another book composed of earlier books, though this one consists of much larger pieces, and was published as a catalogue in this form. It is a specimen book of titles published by Edmond Biendiné et Cie of Paris, probably published in or shortly after 1852. This printer published reprints of books popular at the time under the Biendiné and other names (A. Courcier, J. Poulain). There are 21 samples, and the typical one includes original samples of the wraps, half-title, title, three plates, and four to eight pages of text. Item 320. €1,200 ($1,622).

For those who collect illustrations of animals, item 30 is the Bodleian Picture Book No. 4 from the Bodleian Library in 1951. It is titled Zoological Illustration. €15 ($20). Item 181 is The Animal Illustrated 1550-1900. From the Collections of the New York Public Library. This collection of 100 descriptions and illustrations of animals was published in 1991. €30 ($40).

Item 37 is a guide on perspective in painting and architecture by Abraham Bossé: Le peintre converty aux precises et universelles regles de son art. It is presented in the form of a dialogue between the author and various others. Bossé was a popular illustrator of the 17th century with over a thousand engravings to his name. Bossé was forced from his job at the Royal Academy in France as a result of some disagreements, and he includes his side of this story in his book. Published in 1667. €2,500 ($3,380).

Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books may be reached at 0033 (0) 254 722 656 (France) or info@fritsknuf.com. Their website is www.fritsknuf.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

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