Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2009 Issue

A Trip to the Fair with the Kelmscott Bookshop

Kelmscottcafair09

The Kelmscott Bookshop at the California Fair.


By Michael Stillman

The Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books produced a catalogue for the California International Book Fair 2009. The Kelmscott Bookshop focuses on fine press and other artistic works and early editions. Naturally, you can expect to find something from William Morris and his Kelmscott Press. The bookshop brought an interesting selection from their inventory along to the fair, and here are some samples of these books.

Item 25 is a copy of the 1929 first edition of The Autobiography of Lord Alfred Douglas, by...no need to say. This book contains a printed dedication to William Sorley Brown, plus a handwritten inscription to "W. Sorley Brown from his friend Alfred Douglas." It's not surprising that Douglas would like Brown, as the latter had written The Genius of Alfred Douglas in 1913. Brown was a journalist and one of the few who appreciated the poetical genius of Douglas. Most people knew Douglas better for his scandalous affair with Oscar Wilde. It was as a result of a libel suit by Wilde against Douglas' father that Wilde ended up being convicted of sodomy and spent two years in jail. Douglas' father, the Marquis of Queensberry, noted for his rules of boxing, despised Wilde and his own son as well. These were all a bunch of dysfunctional people, and their story is more entertaining than Douglas' poetry. Priced at $4,500.

Max Beerbohm has been cleverly described by Joseph Epstein as "the world's greatest minor writer." He is no longer a household name - not that he ever was - though his name is one of those we know we have heard of before. He wrote humorous essays and drew caricatures, and his largest following, perhaps, was among the literati. George Bernard Shaw was a particular fan of his work. Item 6 is The Works of Max Beerbohm, a first English edition of his first book. It is a collection of his essays, previously seen in periodicals, that was published in 1896. It includes a 16-page bibliography of his work, which is remarkable since Beerbohm was only 24 at the time. Offered is a presentation copy of Beerbohm's book to his godmother. $1,250.

Annie Brassey was a popular author in the days before Beerbohm appeared on stage. She wrote escapist literature, quite literally. Lady Brassey was married to a wealthy, influential man, which afforded her the opportunity to travel. She and her family (five children) would take off in the family yacht, the "Sunbeam," and sail around the world. She wrote several accounts of her trips. Item 13 is one of these adventures, though this is a sad one. The title is The Last Voyage to India and Australia, in the 'Sunbeam' 1886-1887. This was a voyage of some 50 people, including family, friends, and staff. Sadly, Annie came down with malaria off the coast of Australia and died at sea. So was she buried, as bringing her body home was not practical at that time. It was left to Lord Brassey to provide the book's conclusion. $525.

Item 79 is the very scarce first book by Booker T. Washington. The title is Daily Resolves, published in 1896, and contains affirmations on living positively. Washington was the notable black educator, born into slavery, who believed education was the means by which African-Americans could raise their position in society. $3,000.

Item 9 is a first edition by a woman of noted firsts: Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women, by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. Dr. Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the U.S., and was the first woman to practice medicine in both the U.S. and the U.K. She was, naturally, a supporter of women's rights, but also was an abolitionist. Her two sisters-in-law, Lucy Stone and Rev. Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, were also active supporters of women's rights and other causes. This copy is inscribed by Rev. Brown Blackwell, who was the first woman to be ordained a minister in the U.S. $700.

Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books may be reached at 410-235-6810 or info@kelmscottbookshop.com. Their website is www.kelmscottbookshop.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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…
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
  • <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>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>

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