Recent Acquisitions at The Veatchs Arts of the Book
By Michael Stillman
Now available is Catalogue 57 from The Veatchs Arts of the Book. This issue is titled Recent acquisitions including association copies & unique books, The Officia Bodoni & other fines presses, William Morris' Roots of the Mountains, two wood blocks by Gustave Dore & three watercolors & a pastel by Bruce Rogers of Carl Rollins' Dyke Mill. Wow! That sounds like one of those 19th century titles that went on for so long there was no need to read the book once you finished the title. Everything was already covered. Well, long as this title is, it really doesn't describe everything that is available within the pages. There is much more, so we will describe a few of items not described in the title. But first, we have a reminder for those unfamiliar with the Veatchs' catalogues. As their bookselling name implies, they specialize in books that are works of art as much as information, as appealing to the eye as to the mind. Now for a few samples.
Here is a work that is self-explanatory: Thomas Bewick Portfolio. Containing twenty-four impressions printed directly from the original wood blocks engraved by the English master, Thomas Bewick at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Bewick was perhaps the greatest wood engraver, notable for his birds and other animals. His work was produced in the late 18th to early 19th century. This reprinting of his engravings is much more recent, though it too is becoming old, having been printed by the Cherryburn Press in 1945. Included are twenty-four prints, among them birds, quadrupeds and vignettes, printed on Japanese paper. There is also a four-page discussion of Bewick's blocks in the portfolio. Item 12. $750.
All of you typophiles out there will surely be intrigued by this item: Spinach From Many Gardens. Gathered by the Typophiles and Fed to Frederic Goudy on his Seventieth Birthday 1935. Goudy was a master type designer, developing over one hundred fonts through his career. Indeed, some of his most notable came after his 70th birthday celebrated herein. Seven of the contributors to this work, including Bruce Rogers, have signed their names. So did Goudy, who inscribed this copy to Charles Pont, an artist who wrote a book about Goudy. Item 134 is one of just sixty copies of this tribute that were published. $1,800.