Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2022 Issue

Artists' Books, Bindings, Calligraphy, and Typography from the Veatchs Arts of the Book

Artists' books and more from the Veatchs.

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has published their Catalogue 98 New Acquisitions, including Artists' Books, Bindings, Calligraphy, and Typography. That makes describing what's in this selection easy, especially since their name points out the focus is on the book arts. So, we will move right ahead to a few specific examples of items to be found herein.


We will begin with some deep philosophy, though the philosophy is secondary in this edition to the production. The book is Also Sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen (Thus spoke Zarathustra. A book for all and none). Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, was the ancient Persian teacher whose followers once dominated that part of the world. His teachings were focused on how to live a good life. This book was written by Friedrich Nietzsche and it illuminates his teachings, particularly his concept of the perfect being or ubermensch (superman). It was published in the 1880s, but this edition is from 1908 and the focus is on its production. Quoting the Princeton University Library Chronicle, the Veatchs notes, “In scale, sumptuousness, and significance, this book brings to mind the other two masterpieces of the early private-press movement, the Kelmcott Chaucer and the Doves Bible.” Considering that those are the two most highly praised private press books, that is quite a compliment. The book was commissioned by Harry (Count) Kessler, a German involved in the arts and follower of Nietzsche who later opened his own private press. He worked with Georges Lemmen to develop the type for this book. However, the primary force in its creation was Henry van de Velde. Van de Welde was a Belgian artist and designer, one of the founders of Art Nouveau and an admirer of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. It is a spectacular book, this being copy 521 of 530 on handmade paper. Item 46. $6,800.


Item 4 is the first Bible/New Testament in Greek published in America. That is significant as Greek was the language in which the New Testament was written. The Veatchs ascribed the printing to Isaiah Thomas Jr., son of the legendary American printer, newspaper publisher and patriot. Thomas moved his press from Boston to Worcester just before the Battle of Concord, in which he participated, sparing it from confiscation by the British. He continued printing until his death in 1831 and was then succeeded by his son. Thomas, Sr., was one of the founders of the American Antiquarian Society. $900.


The Veatchs introduces this book by saying, “A garden is a living collaboration of nature and art.” That is a collaboration that marks the work of this artist, Nancy Leavitt. Item 36 is her The Inner Garden, published in 2007. It is a one-of-a-kind hand-lettered and painted artist's book. Leavitt's background is a degree in biology along with a love of gardening combined with being a talented artist. With this book, along with the text are five double page nature prints. Nature printing was popular in the 1850s but there hasn't been much of it since. It is where some natural object, perhaps a leaf but it can be anything, is used to create a plate for printing. What Leavitt has done is not quite the same. She has laid plants on paper coated with inks, then covered them with glass and baked them in the sun. When the glass is removed, the ghost-like images are left in place. $3,800.


Here is an unusual item. You might call it a message in a bottle. The title is Any Number of Things, text and art by Rebecca Harvey. The story is that of the events which led up to the death of explorer Captain James Cook in 1779. On the way back from his third voyage, Cook stopped in Hawaii for some R&R (or perhaps a little more exploring) but ran into a misunderstanding with the natives. They took it too seriously. They killed him. In her text, Harvey concludes any number of things could have contributed to Cook's demise. The format is most unusual, though appropriate for a seagoing man. The text and art is on a scroll that opens to 10 ½ x 113 inches. It is housed in a glass bottle, 17 inches tall. There is a stopper in the top, but even open you would have a heck of a time getting this scroll into the bottle, and probably no chance of getting it back out. To make up for this, the bottle has no bottom. It has been placed on a saucer with micro-calligraphy by Ann Alaia Woods. The work was created in 2013. Item 25. $1,350.


This is a Livres d'Heures (Book of Hours) from Paris in 1889. It was used for a special ceremony on September 19, 1892, the wedding of Charles Lattemand and Charlotte Capitain. I have not been able to find anything more about the happy couple but hopefully they had a wonderful life since they certainly aren't with us anymore. The miniatures were designed by Madame L. Rousseau. The Veatchs notes this is “an exceptional copy, apparently unused since the happy couple's wedding day.” Item 53. $3,500.


The Veatchs Arts of the Book can be reached at 716-648-0361 or veatchs@veatchs.com. Their website is www.veatchs.com.

Rare Book Monthly

    Valuable Books and Manuscripts
    London auction
    13 December
    Find out more
    Christie’s, Explore now
    TREW, Christoph Jacob (1695–1769). Plantae Selectae quarum imagines ad exemplaria naturalia Londini in hortus curiosorum. [Nuremberg: 1750–1773]. £30,000–40,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    VERBIEST, Ferdinand (1623–88). Liber Organicus Astronomiae Europaeae apud Sinas restituate. [Beijing: Board of Astronomy, 1674]. £250,000–350,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ALICE & NIKOLAUS HARNONCOURT. Master of Jean Rolin (active 1445–65). Book of Hours, use of Paris, in Latin and French, [Paris, c.1450–1460]. £120,000–180,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    A SILVER MICROSCOPE. Probably by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723), c.1700. £150,000–250,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    C.1311. £100,000–150,000
  • Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Roberts (David) & Croly (George). The Holy Land, Syria, Idumae, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia. Lond. 1842 - 1843 [-49]. First Edn. €10,000 to €15,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Incunabula: O'Fihily (Maurice). Duns Scotus Joannes: O'Fihely, Maurice Abp… Venice, 20th November 1497. €8,000 to €12,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: An important file of documents with provenance to G.A. Newsom, manager of the Jacob’s Factory in Dublin, occupied by insurgents during Easter Week 1916. €6,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: WILDE (Oscar), 1854-1900, playwright, aesthete and wit. A lock of Wilde’s Hair, presented by his son to the distinguished Irish actor Mícheál MacLiammóir. €6,000 to €8,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Heaney (Seamus). Bog Poems, London, 1975. Special Limited Edition, No. 33 of 150 Copies, Signed by Author. Illus. by Barrie Cooke. €4,000 to €6,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Binding: Burke, Thomas O.P. (de Burgo). Hibernia Dominicana, Sive Historia Provinciae Hiberniae Ordinis Praedicatorum, ... 1762. First Edition. €4,000 to €6,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: COLLINS, Michael. An important TL, 29 July 1922, addressed to GOVERNMENT on ‘suggested Proclamation warning all concerned that troops have orders to shoot prisoners found sniping, ambushing etc.’. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Scott Fitzgerald (F.) The Great Gatsby, New York (Charles Scribner's Sons) 1925, First Edn. €2,000 to €3,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Yeats (W.B.) The Poems of W.B. Yeats, 2 vols. Lond. (MacMillan & Co.) 1949. Limited Edition, No. 46 of 375 Copies Only, Signed by W.B. Yeats. €1,500 to €2,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Miller (William) Publisher. The Costume of the Russian Empire, Description in English and French, Lg. folio London (S. Gosnell) 1803. First Edn. €1,000 to €1,500.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Miller (William) Publisher. The Costume of Turkey, Illustrated by a Series of Engravings. Lg. folio Lond.(T. Bensley) 1802. First Edn. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Mason (Geo. Henry). The Costume of China, Illustrated with Sixty Engravings. Lg. folio London (for W. Miller) 1800. First Edn. €1,400 to €1,800
  • Sotheby’s
    Fine Books and Manuscripts
    8 December 2023
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: [Austen, Jane] — Isaac D'Israeli. Jane Austen's copy of Curiosities of Literature. 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: [Austen, Jane]. A handsome first edition in boards of the author's debut novel. 70,000 - 100,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Brontë, Charlotte. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me..." 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Eliot, George. The author's magnum opus. 25,000 - 35,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Whitman, Walt. Manuscript written upon the Death of Lincoln, 1865. 60,000 - 80,000 USD
  • Sotheby’s
    Important Modern Literature from the Library of an American Filmmaker
    8 December 2023
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Kerouac, Jack. Typescript scroll of The Dharma Bums. Typed by Kerouac in Orlando, Florida, 1957, published by Viking in 1958. 300,000 - 500,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Hemingway, Ernest. The autograph manuscript of "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." [Key West, finished April 1936]. 300,000 - 500,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Miller, Henry. Typescript of The Last Book, a working title for Tropic of Cancer, written circa 1931–1932. 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Ruscha, Ed. Twentysix Gasoline Stations, with a lengthy inscription to Joe Goode. 40,000 - 60,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Hemingway, Ernest. in our time, first edition of Hemingway’s second book. 30,000 - 50,000 USD
  • Swann
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: Samuel Augustus Mitchell, A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with the Regions Adjoining, Philadelphia, 1846. $3,500 to $5,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: 17th–19th-century case maps of various locations. $1,500 to $2,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Andreas Cellarius, Haemisphaerium Stellatum Boreale Cum Subiecto Haemisphaerio Terrestri, celestial chart, Amsterdam, 1708. $2,500 to $3,500.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: Vincenzo Coronelli, Set of engraved gores for Coronelli’s monumental 42-inch terrestrial globe, Venice, circa 1688–97. $18,000 to $22,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, group of four navigational charts, Antwerp, 1580s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Thomas Bros, Block Book of Berkeley, Oakland, 1920s. $800 to $1,200.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Nieuhoff & John Ogilby, An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, map of China, plan of Canton, London, 1673. $1,200 to $1,800.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Frederick Sander, Reichenbachia, St. Albans, 1888-1894. $5,000 to $7,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Two early illustrated works on horsemanship and breeding, Nuremberg, early 18th century. $700 to $800.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Gould, A Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Family of Toucans. Supplement to the First Edition, London, 1834; 1855. $40,000 to $60,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Pinkerton, A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World, London, 1808–14. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Oakley Hoopes Bailey, Hackensack, New Jersey, Boston, 1896. $800 to $1,200.

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