Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2013 Issue

Fine and Unusual Bindings from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller

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Fine and unusual bindings.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has issued Occasional List Four: Fine and Unusual Bindings. For those who believe the old adage you can't judge a book by its cover, these are the exceptions. Some of these books really shouldn't be judged by any other criteria. They are meant to be works of art, appreciated for the visual rather than textual appeal. The text may be interesting, but that is hardly the point. They were not meant to be reading copies, not even in the beginning. For those who collect surface beauty, here are 35 books that will catch your eye.

 

Here is a binding that is both fine and unusual, wrapped around a book that is also unusual. Item 3 is the Arion Press 1980 edition of Flatland. A Romance of Many Directions, by Edwin Abbott, first published in 1886. This edition includes an introduction by science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, who has also signed the book, as has Arion publisher Andrew Hoyem. It is one of a limited edition of 275 copies. The book itself is an odd story about different dimensional worlds. Flatland is a two dimensional world (hence its being flat). Males in Flatland are polygons, while women are limited to being straight lines. This can be dangerous, as when a woman approaches a male, she comes straight on as a point, and can impale and kill the male. Hence, they must enter their homes through separate doors. Some of these two-dimensional creatures come to meet up with inhabitants of a one-dimensional world, and then a three-dimensional one such as ours. They cannot cope with the differences and so speaking of these other worlds becomes a crime. Abbott uses the book to speculate about worlds with more than three dimensions, which some see as something of a precursor to Einstein. He also uses the book for social satire about relationships. This Arion edition plays up the flat world by presenting the book as 56 accordion-style folded panels, which when opened lay out flat, 33 feet long. It is bound in an aluminum cover with an aluminum frame, hinged and clasped. Priced at $3,000.

 

This was already a notable edition even before being bound in white vellum stamped in gilt with silk ties. It is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the 1915 edition illustrated by Arthur Rackham. It is one of only two Dickens books Rackham illustrated. It contains 11 color and 20 black and white illustrations. This is the Deluxe limited edition (500 copies) signed by Rackham. “Surely the best of all illustrated versions,” notes Windle. Item 11. $6,500.

 

There is something unusual, or perhaps ironic about the fine bindings on this 1940 Limited Editions Club book. It is half green morocco with decorated boards and a gilt backstrip with floral decorations using red morocco inlays. The book features lithographs by the artist Thomas Hart Benton. What is perhaps ironic is the title chosen for this treatment – John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. It is the story of dirt poor Oklahoma farmers driven to California during the height of the Dust Bowl and Depression, barely making enough money to survive, an odd choice for such a rich presentation. Item 31. $795.

 

For those who would like to do a lot of reading, or to have a lot of attractive books on the shelf, item 33 is a set of the complete Delphin Varirum Classics. These are works from antiquity edited and put in a set of 166 volumes by A.J. Volpy, published from 1819-1830. Each volume is in matching vellum bindings with gilt borders and backstrips. You will unquestionably impress your friends with a set like this on your shelves, especially if you can quote from them. $17,500.

 

From 166 books we turn to the other extreme. Item 24 is a single book, and a miniature at that. It is the London Almanack for the year of Christ 1790. Published in 1789, it contains 24 pages, and measures a demure 2.25” x 1.25”. It features full red morocco covers with blue and white morocco inlays with wavy gilt lines. And, it all fits on the cover. Item 24. $1,750.

 

We conclude with one odder piece for a fine binding. Item 1 is a bound edition of the full run of Horseshit. The Offensive Review. It was published from 1965-1970, but four issues comprises the entire run. It was an anti-war, anti-establishment sort of publication as one might expect from this era, with a touch of what was, at least at the time, considered pornography. It is an odd choice for a fine binding, but obviously the owner of these masterpieces published by brothers Bob and Tom Dunker had a sense of humor (along with money). They had it bound by Arthur Johnson, who would have enjoyed the task, having a sense of humor himself. The binding has an American flag motif, an erotic image with wavy red and pale stripes and white stars on a blue background. The binding is signed “AJ” in 1973. Item 1. $7,500.

 

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller may be reached at 415-986-5826. The website is www.johnwindle.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Gideon Welles, <i>Extensive archive of personal and family papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy,</i> 1791-1914. Sold September 29 — $281,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Rock Climbers,</i> cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> watercolor, ink and gouache, 1954. Sold December 15 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Brontë, <i>Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell,</i> three volumes, first edition, 1847. Sold June 16, 2022 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, <i>The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed,</i> London, 1542. Sold October 13 — $106,250.
    <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32),</i> silver print, 1936. Sold October 20 — $305,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> George Washington, Autograph Document Signed, with two manuscript plat maps in holograph, 1751. Sold October 27 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Winfred Rembert, <i>Winfred Rembert and Class of 1959,</i> dye on carved & tooled leather, 1999. Sold October 6 — $233,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> M.C. Escher, <i>Relativity,</i> lithograph, 1953. Sold November 3 — $81,250.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Original Film Posters<br>27 January - 10 February 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Vertigo (1958), poster, US. The ultimate poster on this classic Hitchcock title, one of three known examples. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Lawrence of Arabia (1962), roadshow poster, US. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Star Wars (1977), style C poster, printer's proof, US. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> The Navigator/ La Croisiere du Navigator (1924), re-release poster (1931), French. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Bullitt (1968), special test poster, US. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 817. Bellin's complete five-volume maritime atlas with 581 maps & plates (1764). $24,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 325. An early and important map of the Republic of Texas (1837). $11,000 to $14,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 45. De Bry's early map of North Pole depicting Willem Barentsz' expedition (1601). $3,500 to $4,250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 154. Poignant map of the United States documenting lynchings (1931). $250 to $325.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 457. Extremely rare matching set of pro-German propaganda from WWI (1914). $2,000 to $2,400.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 815. Homann's world atlas featuring 110 maps in contemporary color (1751). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 60. Miniature pocket globe based on Herman Moll (1785). $3,500 to $4,500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 8. Visscher's rare carte-a-figures world map (1652). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 158. Matching satirical maps of the US by McCandlish: "Ration Map" & "Bootlegger's Map" (1944). $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 820. One of the finest English atlases of the early 19th century (1808). $4,750 to $6,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 59. Important milestone in preparation for 1969 moon landing (1963). $750 to $900.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 805. Superb bible leaf with image of crucifixion of Jesus with gilt highlights (1518). $800 to $950.
  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>including Americana<br>February 16, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works…now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [EINSTEIN, Albert (1879–1955)]. –– ORLIK, Emil (1870–1932), artist. Lithograph signed (“Albert Einstein”). N.p., 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. <i>[The Lord of the Rings trilogy:] The Fellowship of the Ring.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Two Towers.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Return of the King.</i> 1955. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") and Charles Dudley WARNER. <i>The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.</i> Hartford and Chicago, 1873. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> LOVECRAFT, Howard Phillips. <i>Beyond the Wall of Sleep.</i> Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1943. $2,000 to $3,000.

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