Catalogue Review: Reese, Oak Knoll, & Shapero
There’s even one here for collectors of American presidents. The illustrious General William Henry Harrison, better known to most of us as “Tippecanoe,” served as ambassador to Colombia a decade before his rise to the presidency. As you may recall, Harrison was the president who didn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. He rambled on for hours at his inauguration in the cold rain of Washington, became deathly ill, and passed away a month later. His administration is remembered only for being the shortest one in American history. You would never have heard of John Tyler were it not for Harrison’s long-windedness. Evidently he had the same problem a decade earlier. Harrison had a few too many unwelcome comments about Simon Bolivar, offending the Colombian leader, and forcing President Jackson to remove him from his position. Item 93 is a pamphlet containing Harrison’s defense of his conduct, published in Washington in 1830. $600.
The William Reese Company can be reached online at www.reeseco.com or by phone at 203-789-8081.
Oak Knoll Books fills a specific niche, and their Catalogue 248 fits the bill perfectly. Oak Knoll carries books about books, which cover bibliographies, books about selling or collecting books, books about printing, design, or binding, books about famous collectors or booksellers, and the like. Catalogue 248 carries 913 items, and it is a must for anyone interested in the field of “books about books.”
The early focus of this catalogue is Giambattista Bodoni. While Mr. Bodoni may not be familiar to a great many people, anyone at all involved in typefaces and printing has heard of his Bodoni type. This gentleman was its creator.
Giambattista Bodoni was an Italian printer in the late 18th century. He’s best remembered for creating typefaces that were elegant, yet simpler than most of those available in his day. Some of those types, or versions of them, are still in use today.
The Bodoni items are by far the most expensive pieces in the Oak Knoll catalogue. While most are priced under $100, Item 2B, a first edition type specimen book containing the alphabets of twenty-five exotic languages, will set you back $30,000. Bodoni’s first specimen book, goes for $20,000, but his last one is priced at $38,000. There are several other Bodoni items priced in the $1,000-$2,000 range for serious but not quite so wealthy Bodoni collectors, along with many inexpensive items about the famed type designer.