Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2021 Issue

Chelsea Bindery Bound Books from Peter Harrington

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20th anniversary of the Chelsea Bindery.

Peter Harrington has published a catalogue celebrating The Chelsea Bindery 20th Anniversary. The Chelsea Bindery is sort of a relic of the past. It specializes in traditional leather bindings fashioned by skilled bookbinders, as was done before everything was automated. There is much work by hand, centered around equipment once used by the Zaehnsdorf Bindery. Zaehnsdorf was a legendary British bindery in business a century and a half from the early 19th to the late 20th century. Several of the people now operating the equipment trained at the Zaehnsdorf Bindery. They brought with them skills as rare as the equipment itself.

 

It should be pointed out that the books bound at Chelsea are not just notable for their fine bindings. They are books of importance worthy of their bindings. It is not uncommon today to see books bound with beautiful covers that are otherwise quite ordinary. The focus is on something of physical beauty for display only. The books offered by the Chelsea Bindery would be highly collectible in any binding, Chelsea's aim being to make them as attractive on the outside as they are significant on the inside. Here are a few samples of what they created.

 

We start with an item that has a striking cover. The title is Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote's classic novella from 1958. This is a first edition, first printing. Better known than the book is the film adaptation, in which Audrey Hepburn played the role of Holly Golightly. The Chelsea Bindery has bound this book in pink morocco, with a silhouette in black morocco onlay on the cover. The silhouette is unmistakable to anyone who has seen the movie. It is that of Hepburn in her Golighly role, wearing a black Givenchy dress and holding her iconic foot-long cigarette holder. Diamond embellishments on her jewelry add luxury and a sparkle. Item 5. Priced at £2,750 (British pounds or approximately $3,670 in U.S. currency).

 

This next one is also a classic, though not nearly as well known as the previous book. No one ever made a movie of it. How could they? It's a photo book. The photographs were taken by Swiss photographer Robert Frank, but the title is The Americans. Frank came to America in 1955 and spent the next two years roaming around the country. He snapped some 28,000 photos, of which he selected 83 for the book. What he created was a look at America in the 1950s, from the rich to the poor, in candid pictures. His most famous one was taken in New Orleans, a shot of a passing trolley, windows open, passengers looking out. In the front are the white riders, in the back the black ones. It captured segregation in the South just a few weeks before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Frank first published the book in France in 1958, his having found it difficult to interest an American publisher. Item 29 is the U. S. edition from 1959. It was not very well received, reality at times being hard for Americans to accept. The book was able to gather more attention as Frank convinced a noted American writer and traveler himself, Jack Kerouac, to write the introduction. Chelsea has created a dramatic cover for this book as well. The cover is one large American flag. £4,500 (US $6,012).

 

This is the story of a boy who didn't listen to his parents when they told him to “grow up.” Item 55 is Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, a 1906 limited edition, #381 of 500, signed by illustrator Arthur Rackham. If there's a more famous illustrator than Rackham, his/her name does not come to mind. However, author J. M. Barrie asked Rackham to do more than just illustrate the book. Barrie had introduced the Pan character four years earlier in The Little White Bird. He asked Rackham to create a new book from the chapters in the earlier one related to Peter Pan. This edition was signed by Rackham. The binding uses red morocco with an onlay inset illustration by Rackham, with the caption “The Lady with the Balloons who sits just outside.” £6,000 (US $8,010)

 

This next book also features a character who could fly, and is also a first. However, he was no young boy. This was the Man of Steel, Superman! Superman was the creation of high school friends Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Siegel wrote the stories, Shuster provided the illustrations. They created several stories and strips in their early years, with at best marginal success. Then, in 1938, Superman made his debut on Earth in Action Comics, a conglomeration of strips. Superman clicked. The character and the comic were a great success. Four years later, Superman for the first time appeared in book form. Item 43 is The Adventures of Superman, with the busy Jerry Siegel turning over writing duty to George Lawther. Shuster still provided the illustrations. This is a first edition, first printing, in a Chelsea binding. The book is in crimson morocco with a gilt title and two raised bands on the spine. The cover features an image of mild-mannered newspaper reporter Clark Kent in his superhero outfit with the familiar SUPERMAN logo. £2,750 (US $3,670).

 

Ian Fleming is well known for his James Bond novels, but if you are a skilled writer, there is no reason those talents can't be applied to different genres. Certainly, children's stories are very different from spy thrillers. Item 25 is the three volumes, bound in one, of Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, published 1964-1965. They are first edition, first impressions. Fleming used to tell his son bedtime stories. This one was about a family and its magical car. Similar to his Bond novels, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was turned into a very successful film, though it appealed to a different audience. This Chelsea binding features green full morocco with gilt and two raised bands on the spine. In the lower corner of the cover is an onlay color image of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car. They probably could have used this image on the cover of The Grapes of Wrath as well to depict the Jodes' car. £2,750 (US $3,670).

 

Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 (USA 011 44 20 7591 0220) or mail@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Mariette (Pierre-Jean). <i>Traité des pierres gravées / Recueil des pierres gravées...,</i> 2 vols., 1750. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> [Bryant, Jacob & William Cole]. <i>Gemmarum Antiquarum Delectus, [Marlborough Gems],</i> 2 volumes, [privately printed, 1780-83], £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Caylus (Anne Claude Philippe, Comte de). <i>Recueil d'Antiquités Egyptiennes, Estrusques, Grecques et Romaines,</i> 7 volumes, Paris, 1756-67, £700 to £1,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Devonshire Gems. <i>Duke of Devonshire's Collection of Gems,</i> privately printed, c. 1790, [one of 8 copies], £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Goltz (Hubert). <i>Le Vive Imagini di tutti quasi gl'Imperatori,</i> Antwerp, 1557, £500 to £800.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Manuscript. <i>An Explanation of Dassier's Medals, by Charlotte Hanbury,</i> c. 1795-1800, £700 to £1,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Paoletti (Bartolomeo and Pietro). A collection of 300 plaster cameos presented in 7 leather-bound double-sided faux book boxes, Rome, c. 1820, £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Mayer (Luigi). <i>Views in Egypt, from the Original Drawings, in the Possession of Sir Robert Ainslie,</i> London: Thomas Bensley for R. Bowyer, 1805, £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Blaeu (Willem Janszoon & Johannes). <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Atlas novus, pars quarta</i> [England and Wales], Amsterdam: Johannem Blaeu, 1648, £6,000 to £8,000.
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>12/13 May<br>Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Numismatic Books from the Milne-Henderson Collection</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Reuter (O.M. & Mela, A.J.). <i>Finlands Fiskar. The Fishes of Finland,</i> 12 parts (complete), Helsingfors: G.W. Edlund, 1883-93, £500 to £800.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> Lunardi (Vincenzo). <i>An Account of the First Aerial Voyage in England,</i> 2nd edition, London: Printed for the Author, 1784, £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, 12/13 May:</b> North America. Jansson (Jan). <i>Virginiae partis Australis et Floridae partis Orientalis,</i> circa 1641. £400 to £600.
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. The Rocky Mountains. Emigrants Crossing the Plains, 1866. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in English]. <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English.</i> Rheims, 1582. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in Latin]. <i>Biblia latina.</i> Venice: Franz Renner of Hailbrun [Heilbrunn], 1483. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822). Autograph letter signed ("P. B. S."), to Charles Ollier. Florence, Italy, 15 December 1819. “MY PROMETHEUS IS THE BEST THING I EVER WROTE.” $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> RAMSAY, David (1749-1815). <i>The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina…</i> Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1785. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BINDINGS]. MUIR, John (1838-1914). <i>The Writings of John Muir.</i> Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916-1924. 10 vols. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [CHICAGO] -- <i>Park & Guide Map of Chicago.</i> Chicago: Jas. Van Vechten, 1873. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [ALLEN PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). <i>Romeo and Juliet.</i> Greenbrae: Allen Press, 1988. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BEMELMANS, Ludwig (1898-1962). Pencil drawing on paper. 247 x 198 mm, sight, matted and framed. Showing a child shooting at a baby's balloon. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [LOGAN ELM PRESS]. HARVEY, Rebecca. <i>Any Number of Things.</i> Ohio State University, 2013. Single sheet paper scroll. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BINYON, Laurence (1869-1943). A small archive of letters and pamphlets. $200 to $300.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Bibliothèque littéraire<br>Hubert Heilbronn<br>11 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s May 11:</b> Breton, André. <i>Nadja.</i> Paris, N.R.F., Gallimard, 1928. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s May 11:</b> [Stendhal, Henri Beyle dit]. <i>Le Rouge et le Noir,</i> chronique du XIXe siècle. Paris, Levavasseur, 1831. €20,000 to €30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s May 11:</b> Dumas, Alexandre. <i>Les Trois mousquetaires.</i> 1844. 8 vols. In 4. Paris, Baudry, 1844. €30,000 to €50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s May 11:</b> Mallarmé, Stéphane -- Edgar Allan Poe. <i>Les Poèmes d’Edgar Poe.</i> Bruxelles, Edmond Deman, 1888. €18,000 to €25,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s May 11:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Le côté de Guermantes II. Sodome et Gomorrhe I. [and] Sodome et Gomorrhe II.</i> Paris, N.R.F., 1921 et 1922. €20,000 to €30,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.

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