Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2008 Issue

Artistic and Fine Books from Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books

Kelmscott3

An odd beast graces the cover of Kelmscott Bookshop's Catalog 3.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books of Baltimore. This is their Catalog 3: Artists' Books, Private Press, the Pre-Raphaelites, William Morris, Fine Literature, Travel and More. Certainly we should not be surprised to see items relating to Morris in this catalogue, as he lived in Kelmscott Manor in Kelmscott, UK, and founded the Kelmscott Press. However, you will find many other fine and limited editions, artistic works, and more of notable interest to those fascinated by the book arts. Here are a few of the items waiting within the pages of this Kelmscott catalogue.

That terrifying creature on the cover (click the thumbnail image to view) comes from An Odd Bestiary, or, a Compendium of Instructive and Entertaining Descriptions of Animals, Culled from Five Centuries of Travelers' Accounts, Natural Histories, Zoologies, &c. By Authors Famous and Obscure, Arranged as an Abecedary. I must admit, I was not familiar with the term "abecedary," so if you share my ignorance, it's an alphabet or "ABC" book. This is a very special alphabet book, created by artist and printer Alan James Robinson of the Cheloniidae Press (later the Press of the Sea Turtle). The letters of the alphabet are accompanied by wood engravings of various members of the animal kingdom, ranging from aardvarks to zebras. Amusing text, taken from fact and fiction, to go with the images has been provided by Laurie Block. Initial letters have been hand-colored in red. Item 6 is one of 50 deluxe numbered copies of this 1982 book. Additionally, there are loose copies of the 26 engravings included, each signed and numbered by Robinson. Priced at $2,500.

From an alphabet book we go to an "alpha-bat" one. Item 4 is JoAnna Poehlmann's Alpha-Bats, published in 2005. This is an alphabet book which features images of bats, taken from paintings, postage stamps, woodcuts and more. Among the artists featured are Beatrix Potter, Max Ernst, Hans Holbein, and Leonard Baskin. Dates range from a 1522 Albrecht Durer scientific illustration to a 2004 hand-sewn toaster cover. This is number 4 of 25 copies signed and numbered by the artist. $875.

Item 38 is one of those books from Morris' Kelmscott Press. Published for Bernard Quaritch in 1892, the original was much, much older. It was taken from the 1481 Caxton edition of Reynard the Fox, though the story itself goes back well before even that. This work features ornate woodcut ornamental borders and initials throughout the text. $3,200.

Item 79 is the February 1892 issue of The Novel Review with which is incorporated Tinsley's Magazine. The Review/Tinsley's was published in London from 1867-1892, providing reviews of new fiction. This issue contains a review by a young George Bernard Shaw of his first books. He explains he is reviewing his own books because of "the extreme difficulty of finding anyone else who has read them." $225.

Item 22 is Ye Minutes of Ye CLXXVIIth Meeting of Ye Sette of Odd Volumes, Extracted from Ye Diary of Samuel Pepys... Ye! This is a privately printed piece from the Ashendene Press in 1896 for Ye Sette of Odd Volumes, a book lovers dining club founded by Bernard Quaritch two decades earlier. $700.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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