Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2005 Issue

Illustrated Books From John Windle, Antiquarian Bookseller

R1206

Illustrated Books from John Windle, Antiquarian Bookseller


By Michael Stillman

John Windle, Antiquarian Bookseller
, has issued his 39th catalogue, "Illustrated Books and Fine Bindings." If the typical book is purchased based on its text, these books are designed to appeal to other motivations. Their appeal is primarily in their beauty, be it the illustrations within or the bindings which hold them. They are physical as well as intellectual works of art.

John Tenniel was perhaps the most notable cartoonist illustrator of the 19th century. In 1850, he was selected to be one of two cartoonists for Punch, the top humor magazine of the era. He went on to draw over 2,000 such cartoons for the magazine, as well as illustrating many books. The most famous of those illustrations are the ones he provided for Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," and "Through the Looking Glass." His work would earn Tenniel the honor of being knighted by the Queen of England, and with it the title "Sir John Tenniel." The book which garnered the attention of Punch Magazine and set off his great career was Aesop's Fables: A New Version...With More than One Hundred Illustrations Designed by John Tenniel. Item 5 is a first edition from 1848 of Aesop, Tenniel's first major work. Priced at $525.

Speaking of Tenniel's most famous illustrations, here they are in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Item 60 is a later edition of this classic, but comes with an inscription from Charles Dodgson, the real name of "Lewis Carroll." Dodgson/Carroll obscures the name issue by simply signing it "from the author." It is a presentation copy to Florence Darley, who may have been the British actress of the time. $8,500.

One of the best known of illustrated children's books is Helen Bannerman's The Story of Little Black Sambo. It is unlikely that Bannerman imagined the popularity this book would achieve among children, or the controversy it would go on to spawn. The story, set in India where the British author lived at the time, is a wonderful tale of how a little boy appeases a group of hungry tigers by offering them his fine new clothes. The greedy tigers fight each other for them, spinning around in circles so fast they churn themselves into butter, just right for the pancakes his mother is making. If that's all there was to the book, the appealing storyline and illustrations would probably have kept this a beloved classic still today. Unfortunately, the specificity of the boy's race, and his name, generally considered derogatory by the Black community, have made it a controversial piece. It is unlikely Ms. Bannerman ever meant to hurt anyone. Any prejudices she may have harbored were probably part of the assumptions of her time, and unconscious on her part. Given hindsight, she likely would have picked another name for her character, but history cannot be changed, and so this otherwise delightful book will always have its ugly side as well. Item 29 is a fourth edition from 1900. $1,250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.

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