Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2016 Issue

John Windle Antiquarian Books Opens William Blake Gallery In San Francisco

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The Virgin Hushing the Young John the Baptist, 1799.

Though in his own day William Blake (1757-1827) was little known and often ridiculed as "mad," he is today widely considered to be one of England’s most important creative figures. A self-styled mystic, visionary, religious rebel, free thinker, and person who thought himself to be in direct communication with God, Blake’s popularity continues to grow with the passage of time. Since his death his work has been discovered and rediscovered by succeeding generations who have admired his poetry, engravings, drawings and painting.

 

Blake is the subject of countless biographies, historical papers, publications and scholarly works. During his lifetime he created hundreds of artworks -- including engraved illustrations, illuminated books, original writings and watercolors. The lifelong Londoner remains one of the only important figures of the Romantic movement whose work is still occasionally available to collectors.

 

This month noted antiquarian bookseller John Windle opens a William Blake exhibition space in San Francisco dedicated to the the works of the celebrated British artist, poet and print maker. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 14 from 5-8 p.m., at 49 Geary St., Suite #205 (2nd floor).



The new 500 square-foot gallery devoted to Blake's art is the brainchild of John Windle, 71, a San Francisco rare book dealer who has long been an important Blake specialist. He believes it is the first physical space exclusively dedicated to Blake's work in over two hundred years. It will house hundreds of original Blake pieces alongside thousands of reproductions. Works by Blake will be exhibited on a rotating basis. Among the pieces included in the display for the October opening are:



  • Illustrations to Dante’s Inferno, Earliest known proof set, seven plates and oblong folio, printed on laid paper

  • The Complaint of Job, 1785, monochrome wash drawing

  • Songs of Innocence: “Holy Thursday”, 1789, Single sheet, printed in black, matted

  • Plates from the final lifetime printing of The Gates of Paradise

  • The Virgin Hushing, 1799, Tempera on paper



Prices run from over $1,000,000 for original work to under $100 for numerous reproductions. (See the captioned photos for a selection of images and asking prices.)



The new gallery is an addition to Windle’s long established bookshop at the same address. The location also includes an annex, across the hall, that houses the firm’s collection of Blake's original works, reproductions or facsimile editions, scholarly and reference works. “We're referring to it as the William Blake Library, although of course all books are for sale,” said Annika Green, a Windle staffer.



John has worked in the antiquarian book trade for most of his life,” Green continued, “and his passion and expertise in Blake has grown over the years. This venture was a matter of perfect timing. Blake seems to resonate more and more with people young and old, and he saw an opportunity to promote Blake in a time that might finally appreciate him.



I myself, coming from an arts background, find Blake endlessly fascinating and inspiring. I originally came to John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller to photograph stock for their online inventory. I was so fascinated by the book trade that I've stayed, and now I'm the photographer and the graphic designer for our catalogues and lists (both printed and online), as well as helping customers, packing and shipping, and other tasks around the shop. When John mentioned his dream of a gallery devoted to Blake's artwork, I was thrilled. I enjoy his poetry as well, but I find his imagery most haunting, and I'm excited to share it with as many people as possible.”



According to Windle's website, “We handle all the multifaceted work of William Blake – books, prints, paintings, and manuscripts – assisting collectors and libraries in building and augmenting their collections. We have the largest collection in the world of books by and about William Blake and his circle for sale, comprising approximately 500 items and currently including: a unique color-printed image from the Songs of Innocence printed and hand-colored by Blake; an original pencil study of Paolo and Francesca for the unfinished Dante Divine Comedy; a complete suite of the seven engravings for the Divine Comedy; Illustrations of the Book of Job in the original boards; Young's Night Thoughts entirely untrimmed; and an almost complete run of the Trianon Press Blake Trust facsimiles of the illuminated books.”



One unique service offered by the firm “is access to our database of full collations of books by William Blake, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and Thomas Frognall Dibdin. If you are wondering how many versions of Blake’s Book of Job were issued, or how many plates the large-paper edition of Dibdin’s Bibliographical Decameron should have, just contact us and we'll send you the full entry from our bibliographies. There is no charge for this service.”



In addition to his longtime specialty in Blake, Windle also offers a selection of rare books and manuscripts from medieval times through the twentieth century. The shop specializes in medieval illuminated and text manuscripts, illustrated books and fine bindings from the 15th through the 20th century, and children's books from 1750 to 1950. The company has served an international clientele of private collectors, libraries, and institutions for over 40 years.

 

 

To view a few selections from the Blake Gallery, click here now

 

 

Links to information about John Windle, his specialty in Blake, and other areas of expertise follow.



LINKS:

(Video) John Windle interviewed by Taylor Bowie in 2008. YouTube. This is a very informative biographical video that runs from his start as a lowly assistant at Quaritch’s in London to owner of his well known long running shop in San Francisco. www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2ri21eUvlQ



(Article) "Born (Again) in the USA," long interview in with John Windle by Sheila Markham in Bookdealer, Aug. 2010. Touches on his life in the book trade and expands on his own interest in things mystical. PDF format.

www.johnwindle.com/windle/images/pdfs/born-again-in-the-usa.pdf



(Home page) John Windle, Bookseller San Francisco. www.johnwindle.com/shop/windle/index.html



(Windle’s Blake Gallery) - (was not yet fully operational when this story was written).

www.johnwindle.com/shop/windle/WilliamBlakeGallery.html



(Current Blake inventory) Blake books and publications listed on line by Windle. 

www.johnwindle.com/shop/windle/results.html?is_utf=1&search=1&allwords=William%20Blake

 



(Catalog) PICTORIAL BLAKE  2011 illustrated catalog issued by Windle-80 page pdf, a spectacular set of black and white images along with detailed bibliography, also available in hard copy. www.johnwindle.com/windle/images/pdfs/Windle_Blake_FINAL.pdf



(Catalog Review) RBH’s Mike Stillman reviews Windle Catalog 64 featuring a number of Blake items from their forthcoming Blake gallery. www.rarebookhub.com/reviews/1854/print?page_id=3362



(Catalog Review) John Windle Catalog Review by Michael Stillman for June 2013. www.rarebookhub.com/reviews/1497?id=1497



(Catalog links) Current John Windle e-catalogs 2016 www.johnwindle.com/shop/windle/catalogs.html



Contact information

John Windle, Antiquarian Bookseller

49 Geary Street, Suite 233, San Francisco, CA 94108 USA

Tel: (415) 986-5826 Cell: (415) 244-8256

Contact email: annika@johnwindle.com or sales@johnwindle.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Chinese School. Album of Chinese rice paper paintings of St Helena and Napoleon, circa 1830s/1840s. £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Speed (John).<i> The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine...,</i> 1676. £3,000 to £5,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Laroon (Marcellus). <i>The Cryes of the City of London drawne after the Life,</i> 1st edition, 1688. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Thomas Sedgley binding. <i>The Holy Bible,</i> London, 1701, large folio. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Kipling (Rudyard). The Sussex Edition of the <i>Complete Works in Prose and Verse,</i> 1937-1939. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Dodgson (Charles). <i>Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,</i> 1886, presentation copy. £500 to £800.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> German tarot cards. Napoleon tarock, Leipzig: Johann Gottfried Herbert, circa 1808. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Milne (A.A.). <i>The House at Pooh Corner,</i> 1928, inscribed limited deluxe edition of 20. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Peter Pan. A unique 13.5m (44ft) long needlework nursery frieze, by Helen Stebbing M.R.S.T., 1936. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Peak (Bob, 1928-1992). <i>U.S.A,</i> a mural produced for Trans World Airlines (TWA), 1971. £200 to £400.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Austen (Jane). <i>Pride and Prejudice: a novel,</i> 3 volumes, 2nd edition, London: T. Egerton, 1813. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Hughes (Ted). Crow, 1st edition, London: Faber and Faber, 1970, signed presentation copy. £400 to £600.
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Fine Books, Autographs & Illustration Art:<br>At Auction June 15, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> J.R.R. Tolkien, <i>The Lord of the Rings</i> trilogy, first American editions, finely bound by The Chelsea Bindery, Boston, 1954-56. $9,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> John Carleton Atherton, <i>Fall Bounty,</i> oil on board, cover design for The Saturday Evening Post, 1943. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> George Washington, Endorsement Signed, “G:Washington,’ as President of the Potomac Company, 1787.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> complete with 50 collotype plates, one of 300 copies, Vienna, 1918. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> Pancho Villa, Autograph Letter Signed, to the governor of Chihuahua soliciting help in persuading authorities to release him from prison, Mexico City, 1912. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> Charles Monroe Schulz, <i>The Peanuts gang,</i> Complete set of 13 drawings, 1971. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ON SMALLPOX. <i>Some Account of the Success of Inoculation...</i> 1759. $10,000-$15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> GAUTIER D'AGOTY. <i>Myologie complette en couleur et grandeur naturelle...</i> 1745-6. 20 hand-colored plates. $8000-$12000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> ILLUMINATED SCIENTIFIC MISCELLANY, manuscript on vellum, 14th century. $4000-$6000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN AUTOGRAPH MEDICAL MANUSCRIPT OF JOHN MORGAN, 1760-1. $30,000-$50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> RARE CIVIL WAR CHROMOLITHOGRAPHS BY WINSLOW HOMER. Life in Camp. 1864. $8000-$12000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> AMELIA EARHART'S SUBSTANTIALLY ANNOTATED COPY OF <i>THE PRACTICAL NAVIGATOR. 1927. $8000-$12,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> DAVID BEN-GURION ON ISRAEL'S DESIRE FOR PEACE BUT NEED FOR STRENGTH. 1956. $2000-$3000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> CONTEMPORARY AUTOGRAPH MUSICAL MANUSCRIPT AND LYRICS FOR "JERUSALEM OF GOLD." $60,000-$80,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> FIRST EDITION OF HEMINGWAY'S FIRST BOOK IN UNRESTORED JACKET. $20,000-$30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> TOLKIEN LETTER DESCRIBING HIS OWN HOBBITNESS AND THE CREATION OF LORD OF THE RINGS. $10,000-$15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> NAPOLEON LETTER SIGNED PROCLAIMING HIS ASCENSION AS EMPEROR. $40,000-$60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> MAN RAY. Facile. 1935. First edition, 12 photographic plates. $2000-$3000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> WIENER WERKSTÄTTE TOYS. 17 linocut plates of toys from the workshop of Jossef Hoffman. $4000-$6000
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Hobbes (Thomas). <i>Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme & Power of a Common-Wealth,</i> first edition, first issue, 1651. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> [Burton (Robert)] "Democritus Junior". <i>The Anatomy of Melancholy,</i> first edition, Oxford, Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, 1621. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Fletcher (Giles). <i>Of the Russe Common Wealth,</i> first edition, Printed by T[homas] D[awson] for Thomas Charde, 1591. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Shakespeare source book.- Fraunce (Abraham). <i>The Lawiers Logike, exemplifying the praecepts of Logike by the practise of the common Lawe,</i> first edition, 1588. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Fireworks.- Babington (John.) <i>Pyrotechnia or, A discourse of artificiall fire-works…,</i> 2 parts in 1 vol., first edition, Thomas Harper for Ralph Mab, 1635. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Gardening.- [Bonnefons (Nicolas de)]. <i>The French Gardiner instructing how to cultivate all sorts of Fruit-Trees and Herbs for the Garden, translated by John Evelyn,</i> third edition, 1675. £3,500 to £4,500.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Witchcraft.- F. (H.) <i>A true and exact Relation Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches…,</i> first edition, 1645. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Science.- Boyle (Robert). <i>The Origine of Formes and Qualities (According to the Corpuscular Philosophy),</i> first edition, Oxford, H. Hall for Ric: Davis, 1666. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Massinger (Philip). <i>The Unnaturall Combat. A Tragedie,</i> first edition, Printed by E.G. for John Waterson, 1639. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Plastic Surgery.- Read (Alexander). <i>Chirurgorum Comes: or the Whole Practice of Chirurgery,</i> first edition, Printed by Edw. Jones, for Christopher Wilkinson, 1687. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Hall (Edward). <i>The Union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancaster & Yorke…,</i> [by Richard Grafton], 1550. £2,200 to £2,500.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Cosmetics.- Jeamson (Thomas). <i>Artificiall Embellishments. Or Arts Best Directions How to Preserve Beauty or Procure it,</i> first edition, Oxford, Printed by William Hall, 1665. £1,000 to £1,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby's<br>The Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman Collection<br>26 May - 12 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "Cool Hand Luke" | Paul Newman Academy Award® Nomination Plaque. USD$2500 - $3500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "Hud" | Bound presentation script incorporating photographic stills. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "The Long, Hot Summer" | Movie Poster. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> Joseph Heller | "Catch-22," inscribed to Woodward & Newman by author. USD$500 - $800
    <b><center>Sotheby's<br>The Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman Collection<br>26 May - 12 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> George H. W. Bush | Typed Letter Signed, Issuing a "Pardon" to Paul Newman. USD$1500 - $2000
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> William Jefferson Clinton | Inscribed Color Photograph. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> Ken Kesey | Typed letter to “Paulnewman,” asking for further compensation for "Sometimes a Great Notion". USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "They Might Be Giants" | Costume sketches by Edith Head. USD$1000 - $2000

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