Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2004 Issue

Charles Wood Offers Books <br>On Conserving Works of Art

Woodcover[1]

Conservation and Restoriation of Works of Art from Charles Wood.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from Charles Wood is an absolute must for anyone who collects 18th and 19th century works pertaining to the field of art. It is a well-described collection of 386 books, and they cover just about everything imaginable in the preparation, preservation, and restoration of art. The official title is “Conservation & Restoration of Works of Art” and it is Wood’s 119th catalogue.

Among the subjects covered by the volumes in this catalogue are painting with oil (or “oyl” in the really old volumes), watercolors, color shades and charts, preservation, painting on glass, metal, and ceramics, sketching, cleaning works of art, many titles on dyeing, varnish, weaving, engravings, concrete, coppersmithing, even paperhanging. The list goes on. We can only mention a few volumes, and these may not completely reflect the works in this catalogue as we have selected some of the more unusual titles, rather than those which are most obviously related to art.

Here’s one that covers art and more: Johann Beckmann’s A History of Inventions and Discoveries. This is an 1814 second English edition of a book originally published in German in 1777, but it includes an additional fourth volume. It offers sections on dyeing, weaving, papermaking, sugar refining, shoemaking, watchmaking, glass cutting and more. All of 1777’s latest technology. Item 24. Priced at $550.

Then there are those dealing with some borderline forms of art. Item 277 is Alexander Paul’s The Practical Ostrich Feather Dyer. Dyed ostrich feathers don’t have a lot of practical use today (unless you are an unattractive ostrich), but once upon a time they were desired for ladies’ hats. And, if you can prove that these recipes don’t work, the author will pay you $1,000, enough to both cover the cost of the book and yield a tidy profit. Of course, it may not be easy to track down the author as this revised edition was printed in 1888. $550.

Item 3 is J. W. Alston’s 1820 Hints to Young Practitioners in the Study of Landscape Painting, Illustrated by Five Engravings Intended to Show the Different Stages of Neutral Tint, to which are added Instructions on the Art of Painting on Velvet. Painting on velvet? Does this mean that before there were velvet Elvises, there were velvet Beethovens? $300.

Item 62 will intrigue collectors of both the visual arts and contemporary music. It is Louis Castel’s L’Optique des Couleurs… from 1740. This includes a description of a musical instrument which would combine the projection of colors with the playing of individual keys. It was a forerunner of the early electronic color organs of the 1890s. Move ahead another century and it leads to the psychedelic light shows of modern musical concerts. $1,000.

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>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <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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