Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2010 Issue

Leaf Books from Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller

Karmioleleaf4-10

A collection of leaf books from Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller.


By Michael Stillman

We have received our first catalogue from Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, Inc., of Santa Monica, California. However, Karmiole is hardly a newcomer to the book trade. He has been selling rare and antiquarian books in Southern California for over three decades, and he is a major benefactor of research and education in the field. While he has handled numerous types of antiquarian books over the years, this latest catalogue is devoted to a very specific niche: A Collection of Leaf Books. Leaf books are books which feature a leaf or two from some other notably important book or leaves from some fine printer's body of work. They provide collectors with an opportunity to own a piece of some very important and very old books, many of which are either virtually unobtainable, or otherwise obtainable only to those of great wealth. Here are some of the leaf books Kenneth Karmiole is offering.

Item 13 is Stephen Booth's book about, and containing a leaf from, the greatest resource used by Shakespeare in creating his plays: The Book Called Holinshed's Chronicles. The leaf is from the 1587 second edition and is about Queen Elizabeth. Holinshed's Chronicles was the most thorough compilation of British and Irish history at the time it was first published, 1577. This second edition added to the first and this is the edition Shakespeare used for the historic events described in his plays. Booth's account of this work was published by the Book Club of California in 1968. Priced at $175.

Recorded history in California does not go back quite so far as in Britain, but here is a book and collection of material from its early days: Seventy-Five Years in California, by William Heath Davis, with a forward from the Editor, Douglas S. Watson. Published by legendary bookseller John Howell in 1929, this is an account of the state's days under Mexican rule, its quasi-military and territorial governments, and finally its early years as a state. Along with text and numerous illustrations, this edition, limited to 22 copies, comes with 22 pieces of California ephemera. Among them is a large 1853 topographic map of San Francisco, an 1857 mining journal, and the Mayor's proclamation after the San Francisco earthquake. This copy is signed by Howell and Watson. Item 20. $1,500.

Jacob Bigelow's book on American botany was notable for its information on American medicinal plants, but for book collectors it is even more important for its status as a first. It was America's first color plate book. Item 113 is American Medical Botany 1817-1821 by Richard J. Wolfe, published by Bird and Bull Press in 1979. This not only provides details on the printing and distribution of this American first, but includes two engraved plates, including one colored by hand. These plates were never used in a bound copy. Bigelow printed up a lifetime supply of them, which he bound together over the years as demand came in for his book. However, once he developed a means of printing in color, he abandoned the remainder of those plates which had been colored by hand. $300.

Here are some more pages that never saw a bindery: Ashendene Press, Original Unbound Sheets, 1923-1935. The Ashendene Press of Charles Hornby operated from 1895-1935, publishing a collection of fine press books along the way. When Hornby retired and closed the press, there were leftover sheets from various books which Glen Dawson of Dawson's Book Shop purchased from Hornby's daughter. In 1961, Dawson released this collection of sheets from six Ashendene works along with a leaf of notes in a very limited edition of 17 numbered sets. Item 21. $1,250.

Item 26 is a leaf book of biblical proportions: Original Leaves from Famous Bibles: Nine Centuries 1121-1935 A.D. It contains leaves from 60 Bibles, 4 manuscript, 56 printed. Despite the title, the first leaf is from a circa 1150 Bible, not 1135, as compiler Otto Ege misdated that one after confusing the Armenian and Gregorian calendars. This deluxe edition was published by Ege around 1950 in an edition of 100 copies. $10,000.

Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, Inc., may be reached at 310-451-4342 or Karmbooks@aol.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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.

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