Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2008 Issue

Artistic and Fine Books from Kelmscott Bookshop Rare Books

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

  • Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] DAVID BURLIUK WITH ORIGINAL DRAWING and Signed twice. David Burliuk Rare ACA Gallery exhibition catalogue, undated. CA$400 – 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS. Text by Margaret Atwood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2019. $CA400 - 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: SIGNED. LAWRENCE WEINER: POSTERS. Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada,1987. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: WILBUR SMITH: THE DARK OF THE SUN. Heinemann, UK, 1965. Signed First edition. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: ROBERTSON DAVIES: LEAVEN OF MALICE. SIGNED Clark, Irwin, & Co., Canada. 1954. 1st edition. CA$400 – 600
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [THE NOTABLE TRAILS LIBRARY]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: THE TRIAL OF DR. X; ROE V. WADE; THE GALILEO AFFAIR; THE TRIAL OF BERNHARD GOETZ… CA$300 – 500
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [MILITARY FICTION]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: Canada's Royal Military College. REVIEW, THE STONE FRIGATE, A HISTORY OF THE RMC… CA$300 – 400
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [WW1] CANADIAN (C.S.E.F.) SIBERIA 1918-1919 PHOTO ALBUM. With approximately 303 original official war photographs, photo-postcards, and personal photographs. CA$8,000 – 10,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: HANS BELLMER: THE DOLL. 1995, 1st Ed. CA$150 – 300.
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: FAN HO; HONG KONG YESTERDAY. ModernBooks edition, 2006. First edition. 4to. CA$300 – 600.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: TARYN SIMON: AN AMERICAN INDEX OF THE HIDDEN AND UNFAMILIAR. Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2012. Third edition. CA$600 – 1,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: BARBARA KRUGER PICTURE/READINGS. [Self-Published], 1978 First edition. CA$800 – 1,200.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.

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