Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2008 Issue

Illustrated Books and Book Illustration from Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books

Knuf215

Illustrated books and book illustrations from Fritz Knuf.


By Michael Stillman


Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books has issued a new catalogue of The Illustrated Book and Book Illustration. This is truly a catalogue for those who believe a picture is worth a thousand words. It includes some antiquarian and rare illustrated books, titles about old illustrated books, and catalogues of such collections, including numerous auction catalogues of important collections. Offered are nearly 400 items in the field, of which these are just a few.

Item 120 is Inleydingh Tot De Practijk Der Al-Gemeene Schilder-kost... a 17th century Dutch instructional on painting by Willem Goeree. This is a rare first edition published in 1670. Of course, this was the time of the Dutch Masters, including such well-known names as Rembrandt. A Dutch treatise on painting at this time would be important, and it is likely some of the noted painters of the era would have consulted Goeree's book. However, Goeree was not himself a notable painter, his primary occupations being printer, writer and bookseller. Nevertheless, he was able to provide this manual on painting, which also includes a history of painting and advice on making one's name known to the public. Priced at €1,200 (Euros, or roughly $1,622 in U.S. dollars).

Item 119 is an unusual book of decorative art: Vignettes Decoratives Dans Le Gout Du Jour by Henri Gillet. This a collection of beautiful designs in the "taste of the day," which in this case was 1922. There are 30 hand-colored plates of these colorful art-nouveau designs. They feature either vividly contrasting colors, or nuanced shades of one color. €600 ($811).

Item 60 offers an unusual privately created album, compiled by an unknown person. It consists of 142 decorative letters cut from titles and other pages of 17th and 18th century books. Ouch! Those books were probably not that valuable when Mr. Scissorhands did his work. It provides an interesting survey, although Knuf notes, "one can question the method he used by cutting up books." €750 ($1,014).

Here is another book composed of earlier books, though this one consists of much larger pieces, and was published as a catalogue in this form. It is a specimen book of titles published by Edmond Biendiné et Cie of Paris, probably published in or shortly after 1852. This printer published reprints of books popular at the time under the Biendiné and other names (A. Courcier, J. Poulain). There are 21 samples, and the typical one includes original samples of the wraps, half-title, title, three plates, and four to eight pages of text. Item 320. €1,200 ($1,622).

For those who collect illustrations of animals, item 30 is the Bodleian Picture Book No. 4 from the Bodleian Library in 1951. It is titled Zoological Illustration. €15 ($20). Item 181 is The Animal Illustrated 1550-1900. From the Collections of the New York Public Library. This collection of 100 descriptions and illustrations of animals was published in 1991. €30 ($40).

Item 37 is a guide on perspective in painting and architecture by Abraham Bossé: Le peintre converty aux precises et universelles regles de son art. It is presented in the form of a dialogue between the author and various others. Bossé was a popular illustrator of the 17th century with over a thousand engravings to his name. Bossé was forced from his job at the Royal Academy in France as a result of some disagreements, and he includes his side of this story in his book. Published in 1667. €2,500 ($3,380).

Frits Knuf Antiquarian Books may be reached at 0033 (0) 254 722 656 (France) or info@fritsknuf.com. Their website is www.fritsknuf.com.

Rare Book Monthly

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    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
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    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>

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