Jul 092018
 

“What is Rare Book School? Is that Hogwart’s for librarians?”

Normally confused by ‘library school’, most people don’t realize there is an additional resource for rare book professionals, librarians, and bibliophiles located at the University of Virginia. Yes, there is a school to learn about books, book history, and many other aspects about information management not necessarily available on the job or higher education routes. It is not a given.  I would say there a great privilege being able to attend RBS.  Many library staff, students, and trade / working professionals have limited budgets that does not allow for supplemental professional development, like myself.  There is a real desire for the specific training. I feel very indebted to the individuals who either donate money or are part of the development administration, so that I may attend, which is what I did, on scholarship.

As a continuation of my foundational training, I chose to take Rare Book Cataloging with Deborah J. Leslie, after mostly hearing positive things about the course, but I actually will *use* this material on a daily basis. I also want to mention that even though the course was geared toward DCRM-B (which for the non library catalogers or book trade) is a descriptive standard designed specifically for more in-depth and rigorous transcription and authoritative work for cataloging. Could this apply in the book trade? Of course! I have often found that while the level of cataloging in the book trade is generally subjective, I find it annoying when certain authorities are not supplied, especially for personal names, corporate names, and certain extent descriptions. I suppose as along as you are consistent, however, how impressive would your records look to a library cataloger if they adhered to DCRM-B/RDA?! With library quality transcription of early printed materials!

Same exercise goes for collation. I came back with an enlightened understanding of creating signature statements and the art of collation counting with a Buddhist methodology. It is very Zen counting pages. You hear the crinkle of 18th century chain lined paper, as you gingerly turn the pages. When I returned I wanted to dive right now. So I did! I’m currently working on an unnamed book on witchcraft and demonology from the 17th century. My working signature statement is looking something like this:

A4 B8-R8 chi1 Aa8-Ss8 [+Ss4.2, +Ss6.2] Tt8-Zz8 [-Zz8] Aaaa8 Note: (Ss4-7 blank)(Aaaa4-8 blank)

This is proving both challenging and exciting for the book, finding all sorts of opportunities for deeper notes and observations.  On the same level, I’ve discovered the copy is actually missing pages replaced with blanks, so geeky cataloging stuff, someone down the road would find interesting. In addition to, as a bibliographer and a bookseller these are critical and active nuances of printed materials that are hyper-important for collectors and undoubtedly, inventory illuminations.

The real veggie casserole dish (as opposed to meat and potatoes) for me was in addition to collegial nature of RBS was the opportunity to take some personal time out for independent research. Generally even on “vacation” [because you really never take a vacation as a bookseller], I tend to visit libraries, if just for the building sometimes. However, with purpose and a looming deadline for a presentation, I decided to spend some time in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVA.  I’m currently doing research for a paper I’m presenting in September on occult book plates, I’m affectionately calling “Hexlibris,” as opposed to “Sexlibris” which is another talk I could do on Satan and phalluses. #hexlibris #sexlibris [don’t steal, muggles] Anyway, I’m on the hunt for bookplates. Witchy, occulty, masonic, magical ones. I do know that UVA has a large collection of Cotton Mather books, rather “pamphlets” originally gathered by industrialist William Gwinn Mather and donated by Tracy W. McGregor. The books stayed in the family.

Cotton Mather’s bookplate is rather simple, a small white letterpress label with a simple decorative border, almost perfect for a Puritan. William G. Mather’s bookplate is illustrated with a drawing of the elder Richard Mather (Cotton Mather’s grandfather) engraved within a book looking rather John Dee-like. Above that image, an illustration of the Gwinn Mather estate.  The majority of the book contained the ex libris of William G. Mather or Tracy McGregor. Nothing especially metaphysical for my research, so I only looked at a few. There was one book, though, that piqued my interest more than the other I was familiar with titled: “Warnings From the Dead. Or Solemn Admonitions Unto All People; But Especially Unto Young Persons to Beware of Such Evils as Would Bring Them to the Dead” by Cotton Mather. ; In two discourses, occasioned by a sentence of death, executed on some unhappy malefactors. ; Together with the last confession, made by a young woman, who dyed on June 8. 1693. One of these malefactors …  I almost did not look at this book. 

The book was trimmed to fit the binding and was missing part of the title page, however there was enough information, including the publisher and subsequently the bookseller, to identify the correct copy.  So, as I started to leaf through the volume, (mind you the binding is glaringly tight, I propped the book gently with another foam the book cradle). I started with the flyleaves, endpapers, etc. I noticed on the front flyleaf an inscription: “Abigaill Faxson Her book” written in what appeared to be contemporary hand. This was noted in the record. When I turned the leaf, an autograph jumped out at me and I could not believe my eyes. Written in the same period handwriting was the name of “Abigaill Williams,” above that an inscription: “James Bradford is Read it out.” [see images] I returned to the print out of the record and did not see a note for the second set of inscriptions and autograph which baffled me.

Why this might not mean much to most people, it sure as heck meant *a lot* to me. Partially as a cataloger, if I was doing DCRMB/RDA, I would certainly include the autographs and the inscription in the record, but more so as a researcher of early American witchcraft, c. 17th-18th century, this is huge.  Depending on your level of cataloging parameters, I think in this case, it might have been worth recording that information.

Basically, what this opens up for me is a research project on provenance. The questions I immediately want to know why the specific provenance and secondly, it is contemporary to the publication?  There is every indication that Cotton Mather given the subject matter of the sermon was adamant about saving the souls of damned youth guilty of crimes of lust and aberration. We know Mather had contact with Elizabeth Emerson, the young woman who murdered her newborn children in 1693 and was found guilty, executed, but we know Mather had an influence on her original non-guilty plea. He proselytized heavily on the salvation of young people’s souls.  Could Mather or “James Bradford” have read this sermon out to Abigaill?

Additionally, the front flyleaf provenance is also puzzling. “Faxson” is shown in a several genealogical records as a surname for the early part of the 18th century, but without further research, I’m not sure how far back. It is certainly not as common in the Boston/New England area as say, Bradford, Williams, Smith, etc. One clue would be to figure out who is this other Abigaill.

Note on spelling of Abigaill: I have seen so far colonial name spelling conventions for Abigaill spelled with two lls, however uncommon.

After 1693, Abigaill Williams was, for the most part, wiped from the obvious record of history. There are unsubstantiated claims she travelled to Boston and became a prostitute and died a few years later at the age of 17. While there is very little to go on about her life, at this point, this autograph in Mather’s sermon perhaps sheds light on a little more. Then again, the notations could prove very little and rather than piecing together something outlandish and speculated, I would let it rest. Yet, theory is what motivates research. Given my background and combined interests, this is an exciting springboard for me to continue searching for an explanation.  As a cataloger, I would hope that one day, notes will be added to the record reflecting a substantiated provenance. As a researcher, I would like to find Abigaill.

Best advice: Don’t be afraid to look on the “wrong” side of history.

-Kim Schwenk, Rare Book School 2018

Jun 302018
 

One of the very best things about what I do is finding things that are truly wonderful and finding them the *perfect* home. While in Oxford a few months ago, Ben Maggs of Maggs Bros. told me about a remarkable set of Doves Press books they were in the midst of cataloguing. Purchased by a father for his daughter, the set was complete and included every receipt and in extraordinary condition. I knew just the person to pick up the mantle of stewardship for this collection…this remarkable set of books will be treasured and cared for anew, as they so clearly were by their first owner. It is moments like this that make everything I do make sense. I have included below Maggs’ wonderful research and description for your pleasure:

William Lang Lang (1852–1937) was a senior ophthalmologist, and enthusiast for and collector of Arts and Crafts furniture, silverware and books. He lived in Chiswick as a young adult, and ministered professionally to members of the West London socialist set. He was on dining terms with William Morris, although their intimacy was probably overstated by his family’s belief that Morris stood god-child to his daughter Lyndon. Halliday Sparling (The Kelmscott Press, p. 17) reports Lang as a participant in a discussion between Morris and the typefounder Talbot Baines Reed on the relationship between “ocular health” and typography. In his introduction to Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant George Bernard Shaw enjoyed the paradox of Lang’s diagnosis of his vision as “normal”: Lang had ex- plained that only about 10% of people have this, which Shaw jumped on as proof that it was the others who were wrong “My mind’s eye, like my body’s was “normal” it saw things differently from other people’s eyes, and saw them better.1” W.B. Yeats also consulted Lang professionally. Norman Kelvin in the Collected Letters of William Morris describes Lang as a friend of Emery Walker, and it is conceivable that the early blindness of Walker’s father was an initial point of contact.
Lang, who had private means in addition to his professional income, had a complete set of Kelmscotts, including a pigskin Chaucer, and not one, but two complete sets of Doves Press books – one for his son and one for his daughter. The Kelmscotts and one of the Doves sets were sold at auction in 19462, nearly a decade after Lang’s death, and although both sets were offered subject to the auctioneer’s option to sell them as a single item, they were in fact broken up. The current set of Doves Press books, as well as some of his furniture and silver, was inherited by his daughter Marie Lyndon Lang, who was an enthusiastic bookbinder herself (several of her bindings are included in this collection for context), and was in turn inherited on her death in 1977 by George Chapman, a spirit healer, or “psychic surgeon” who had a successful career channelling the spirit of her late father.

The Doves Press

The Doves Press was founded in 1901, nine years after William Lang moved away from Chiswick, as a partnership between the typographer and printer Emery Walker, and Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson, who had already established himself as the leading bookbinder of his generation. Both Walker and Cobden-Sanderson were intimate collaborators with Morris in the Kelmscott Press, Cobden-Sanderson binding many Kelmscott books (including the great pigskin Chaucer) at his Doves Bindery, and Emery Walker acting as principal printing adviser, Morris writing later that “I was not much of a typographer before Mr. Walker took me in hand. …” The Kelmscott Press ended with Morris’s death in 1896, and it is possible to see the Doves Press as a continuation of its work, although it is difficult to exaggerate just how different the products were.
Most histories of the Doves Press focus on Cobden-Sanderson, emphasizing his role in founding the Press, and it is not hard to understand why: he was a romantic and eccentric visionary figure (he described him- self as “a Visionary and Fanatic”3) who “combined in one person one of the most rational and one of the most irrational of beings”4, driven by a vaguely aligned but deeply held religious passion yet with an unshakeable faith in the ability of man through science and engineering to con- struct “the House Beautiful, the Inhabitable Earth.” Books were the chosen syncretic object through which to achieve his goal of advancing the “Workmanship of Life in Life itself”5, initially through their binding, and later through their printing.

 

The run of vellum bound Doves books. They are in remarkably fresh condition, unthumbed and unworn. The apparent discolouration in this picture is caused by the natural variations in tone with the vellum.

The Doves Press was almost literally built on the foundations of the Kelmscott Press – their pressman Harry Gage-Cole had been apprenticed at Kelmscott, they used paper from the same mill, and were based just a few doors from Kelmscott House – but it expressed a fundamentally different ethos, one which has arguably had rather more direct influence on modern aesthetics. The Doves Press output had the same coherence as Kelmscott’s, but a great deal more clarity, exchanging a more modern spiritual view of the role of art and labour for Morris’s rich medievalism. As Colin Franklin wrote “Morris and decoration and Gothic … showed great panache in a street marked clearly ‘No Thoroughfare’. Walker and Cobden-Sanderson started upon the broad way to our own taste”6. Of Morris’s taste for ornament Cobden-Sanderson himself was scathing, writing in his extraordinary Journals. “I am not greatly interested in the decoration of books, although I decorate them; it is in the ideal of which the binding and decoration of books are illustrations that I am interested, and therefore secondarily in the decoration and binding of books”, of Morris’s life he wrote “Morris’s life was something of a tragedy …


Above left: the three morocco bound books issued by the press, and the printed Cobden-Sanderson letters to the Press. Above right: all the original invoices are present.

He should have become an architect, a master builder; he became instead – an upholsterer”, and … of the Kelmscotts he wrote “I cannot get beyond the Typography. The thing intended to be conveyed will ever be ‘intended to be conveyed’, and will never be conveyed! I have not read all or any portion of any one of the Books printed by him and I think I never shall, but I have said and say that as to the Books themselves I should like to make a bath of them; they are so delightful to the eyes and inviting to the sense of touch. This upon the side of their excess of Beauty.” Most importantly, he was not concerned with re-enacting the work of the great printers of the past “We are the men of the middle and of all other ages, but our setting, actual and acquired, is different, and consequently our ‘creations’ take other forms. To force ourselves into the forms of other times is to be affected, and to be useless for our time … men of today, who affect the forms of other times, have their eyes wholly or partially closed.”
The overwhelming ambition of the Press, as expressed by Cobden- Sanderson in his remarkable manifesto-like text The Ideal Book or Book Beautiful, printed as the second publication of the Press, would come across as hubristic nonsense were not the books themselves so perfect; equally his vision of the book as “a symbol of the infinitely beautiful in which all things of Beauty rest and unto which all things of Beauty rest and unto which all things of Beauty do ultimately merge” would be eminently mockable, if he hadn’t actually delivered on these dreams. As it was, this desire to express cosmic harmony through the making of books led to some of the most perfect objects the world has ever seen, simultaneously austere and luxurious.

The Protagonists

Cobden-Sanderson (who took the first part of his surname from his wife, Annie, daughter of Richard Cobden, liberal businessman and anti corn- law campaigner) tested several different careers, including engineering, the Church, mathematics and law (which he practiced for over a decade) before the patronage of Annie allowed him to settle on his life’s work. His mysticism was at times incomprehensible, his prose was perfectly formed but complex, and his personal style florid, with his berets, tunics and cravats, but he was a great deal more than a theorist. He had astonished the bookbinder Roger de Coverley at the speed with which he learnt the skills of bookbinding, and the 145 books that he bound with his own hand before establishing the Doves Bindery are among the greatest bookbindings ever made: his practice established the model (still dominant in the Anglo-Saxon world) for the artist-binder. With the encouragement of Annie, Cobden-Sanderson had long harbored ambitions to print as well as bind, but founding the Doves Press would have been impossible without the aid of a skilled and experienced partner, who Cobden-Sanderson found in Emery Walker.
Unlike Cobden-Sanderson, Walker’s name was not widely known by the general public; he was ‘a shy, practical man’ (p.492, John R. Nash.) who ‘carried everywhere with him an atmosphere of genial friendliness’ (J.H. Mason), with a ‘fine appearance but quite in contrast to that of Cobden- Sanderson’ (Ibid.) Walker had ‘raised himself from a poor background [and] educated himself into the foremost authority in England on print- ing and its history’ (p.492, John R. Nash.) In contrast to Cobden-Sanderson’s proud amateurism, Walker was an experienced typographer with a background of almost an entire working life spent in the printing and photoengraving trade, and who had founded a successful process-en- graving business with Walter Boutall in 1883. Walker was a pivotal figure in the Private Press movement and it was a lecture given by him to the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1888 on the history of typography which inspired Morris to found the Kelmscott Press. It was during this lecture that Walker illustrated his design principles by projecting images of fifteenth century typefaces using a magic lantern and slides of photo- graphically enlarged type; the technique appealed to Morris, despite his disavowal of industrial technology, and he worked with Walker to create photographic enlargements of the type of the Venetian printer Nicholas Jenson, upon which he based the design for his Golden type in 1891. As Morris later admitted, ‘I was not much a typographer before Mr Walker took me in hand.’
And this is one of the things that is unique about the Doves Press – un- like Morris’s Kelmscott, St. John Hornby’s Ashendene, Mardersteig’s Bodoni, or Kessler’s Cranach, this combination of the mystic and the technician was a genuine partnership: “Each was complementary to the other, and it was their union that gave us the Doves Press and a new out- look in typography” (J.H. Mason).

The Doves Type

Every private press worthy of the name needs its own type, and for theirs Cobden-Sanderson and Walker turned initially to the same source that Morris had used for his Roman face, the “Golden” type, after Walker (who attended the auction) & Cobden-Sanderson (who paid the bill) bought Morris’s own copy of the Jenson Pliny at Morris’s library sale in 1898. This provided the model for the upper case letters, while the lower case were modelled on the very similar type used in Rubeus’ edition of Aretinus, also printed in Venice in 1476. The letters were drawn by Percy Tiffin of Walker’s firm, working closely with Cobden-Sanderson and Walker, and the punches for it were cut by Edward Prince.

Above: The celebrated opening page of the Bible.

All the Doves books were printed in this one type, with variation added by wood-engraved or hand-flourished initials, and the type came to be something of a “consecrated instrument”7 for Cobden-Sanderson, leading to the celebrated row over the type itself, culminating in its destruction. Much has been written about this episode: the short version is that as the partnership between the two men was breaking down (C-S complaining that Walker played too little a role in the day-to-day running of the press, just dropping in on his way to other appointments) the focal point became the ownership of the type, and its future use. So determined was Cobden-Sanderson that the type would not be used for any less sacred productions than those of the Doves Press, that during the dissolution of the partnership with Walker he covertly began its destruction. As he wrote in his Journals “To the bed of the River Thames I bequeath the Doves Press Fount of Type – the punches, the matrices, and the type in use at the time of my death, and may the river in its tides and flow pass over them to and from the great sea for ever and for ever, or until its tides and flow for ever cease; then may they share the fate of all the world, and pass from change to change for ever upon the Tides of Time, untouched of other use and all else.” He began with the matrices and punches, dropping them from Hammersmith Bridge, and bit by bit, night after night, carried the whole half ton or so of type to the bridge and covertly let them fall. This pagan sacrificial rite, giving back to the River God what Cobden-Sanderson saw as his own sacred type, was incomprehensible to Walker, a much plainer man.

Conclusion

The partnership between Cobden-Sanderson and Walker, and its dissolution with the destruction of the type has been much analyzed. There is a tendency of commentators to take one side of the argument and to minimize the contribution of the other partner
Towards the end of writing this note, the cataloguer has turned to reread Colin Franklin’s essay on the Doves Press, published in his The Private Presses. It is a commentary that makes all other contributions seem rather clumsy. It begins:
“It is a kind of paradox that the Doves Press, simplest and purest of them all in style, was the creation of more passion and complexity of thought than the rest of them put together. Doves Press books have to be seen from more than one level, and the fascination grows upon acquaintance.” After observing that “the visual merits of Doves Press books are from Emery Walker” and that “the taste and knowledge of Emery Walker guided and presided” in the operation of the press, he makes a rather unexpected observation (well, unexpected for a printing historian): “The design was an engineering job, the books a bridge across to mystic realms of cloud and God. And this is where Cobden-Sanderson takes over from Emery Walker. His vision of the ideal book is difficult to express and he quickly became woolly in attempting it; but Cobden-Sanderson had an astonishing gift of mystic communion, practicing the techniques of yoga in his own life and with no effort realizing the wonder and mystery of a moment in the day – or hours at a stretch – when he chose to pause, to think and listen … and when he turned to printing at the age of sixty, the book became for him a symbol of those moments within the day, which contained eternity. Books could reduce God to a page of visible type, as sunlight on a still morning showed the river in His form; and that was the reason for making a book with immense care, and making it beautiful.”

The Rarity of Complete Sets

The Lang collection includes all the published books of the Doves Press, in fine condition, with their original invoices, and an unbroken provenance. Although there are relatively many complete sets in institutions, and at least one in private collection, after fairly extensive research we have not been able to find any records of a set having been sold in one tranche, either at auction or in the trade. Forgive us the indulgence of quoting the California printer John Henry Nash’s account of showing Annie Cobden-Sanderson the William Andrews Clark collection:
‘Mrs. Cobden-Sanderson looked at the collection for a few moments and burst into tears. On recovering her composure she told Mr. Clark that she had never before seen all of her husband’s work assembled in one place.’

Checklist

All references are to Marianne Tidcombe’s invaluable The Doves Press. London, 2002.
Condition is exemplary throughout, and all the books are fresh and unworn. All minor details are noted in the individual descriptions, natural variation in the colours of the vellum is considered an asset not a defect. A complete file of invoices from their original purchase is included, in each case for two copies. As noted above, William Lang assembled two complete sets, one for his son and one for his daughter.
Tacitus (Publius Cornelius). Agricola.
One of 225 copies on paper, with an additional 5 on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[4] i–[xxxiii] [3]. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. January 1901. Tidcombe DP1
Cobden-Sanderson (Thomas James).
The Ideal Book or Book Beautiful.
One of 300 copies on paper, with an additional 10 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[4] 1–[10] [2]. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. February 1901. Tidcombe DP2
Mackail (John William). William Morris.
One of 300 copies on paper, with an additional 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[4] 1–27 [1]. Title page printed in red and black, with additional red text on p.1, p.2 and p.18. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. June 1901. Tidcombe DP3
Tennyson (Alfred Lord). [Classical Poems].
One of 325 copies on paper, with an additional 25 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp. [1–4] 5–[56]. First and last poems printed in red, each poem also preceded by a page with title in red. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. July 1902. Tidcombe DP4
Milton (John). Paradise Lost.
One of 300 copies on paper, with an additional 22 copies on vellum and 3 copies on vellum with gold initials. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp. [1–2] 3– [388] [12]. Title in red on p.15, heading and initial on p.16 and book numbers throughout. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, with some slight foxing to the fore-edges of pp.14– 16, 34–37, 273–275 and 346–348, most likely as a result of flaws in the paper. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1902. Tidcombe DP5
The English Bible.
One of 500 copies on paper, with an additional 2 on vellum. 5 Vols., large 4to., 24x34cm. pp. [1–3] 4–[395] [5], pp. [1–2] 3–[529] [1], pp.[1–14] 15– [392], pp.[1–14] 15–[302] [2], pp.[1–2] 3–[308] [12]. Initials printed in red throughout, along with heading on p.27 of Vol. I, and the following in Vol 2: last three lines of Psalm 41 p.333, last five lines of Psalm 72 p.362, last two lines of Psalm 89 p.382, and the last three lines of Psalm 106 p.400. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, with moderate foxing to the first gathering of vol.1 due to a flaw in the paper which is present in most, if not all, sets. Hammersmith, Doves Press. June 1903 – June 1905. Tidcombe DP6
Milton (John). Paradise Regained, etc.
One of 300 copies on paper, with an additional 22 copies on vellum and 3 copies on vellum with gold initials. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–4] 5– [344]. Heading on p.12 printed in red, along with initials and titles in the margins throughout, also characters and stage directions in ‘Arcades’ and ‘A Mask,’ and characters in ‘Samson Agonistes’; additionally, p.157 one line, p.167 two lines, p.171 one line, p.175 one line, p.177 four lines, p.178 three lines, p.181 three lines, p.218 four lines, p.219 six lines, p.220 two lines, p.224 six lines, p.291 five lines, p.340 three lines. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1905. Tidcombe DP7.
Emerson (Ralph Waldo). Essays, with a preface by
Thomas Carlyle.
One of 300 copies on paper, with an additional 25 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–5] 6–[312]. Initials printed in red throughout, along with names of characters p.212–214. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, slight foxing to pp.101–103. Hammersmith, Doves Press. June 1906. Tidcombe DP8.
Cobden-Sanderson (Thomas James). London.
One of what Tidcombe calls ‘probably 300 copies on paper,’ with an additional 5 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1] 2–[8]. 7 Lines printed in red on p.8. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1906. Tidcombe DP9.
Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von). Faust.
One of 300 copies on paper, with an additional 22 copies on vellum and a further 3 on vellum with gold initials. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–6] 7–[261] [3]. Characters names and stage directions printed in red throughout, along with titles, acts and scenes in the margins and three lines on p.23. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, slight spotting to fore-edge. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1906. Tidcombe DP10.
Ruskin (John). Unto this Last.
One of 300 copies on paper with an additional 12 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[i–iv] v–[xiv] 1–[122] [1]. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. March 1907. Tidcombe DP11.
Milton (John). Areopagitica.
One of 300 copies on paper with an additional 22 copies on vellum, three of which have title pages in red and black. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1– 7] 8–[75] [5]. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, slight foxing pp.34–35, 56–57 and rear pastedown slightly cockled due to poor application of glue during binding. Hammersmith, Doves Press. June 1907. Tidcombe DP12.
Carlyle (Thomas). Sartor Resartus.
One of 300 copies, with an additional 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–4] 5–[342] [2]. Initials and titles printed in red throughout, title page with a quote from Goethe in red, along with book and chapter numbers in the margins and two short passages on p.18 and p.251. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, some glue-staining to the spine edge of the covers from binding, rear pastedown slightly cockled in places from an uneven application of glue, internally pristine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1907. Tidcombe DP13.
Cobden-Sanderson (Thomas James). Catalogue Raisonné.
One of 300 copies on paper. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1] 2–[8]. Titles and paragraph marks printed in red throughout. Original quarter linen with blue paper boards by the Doves Bindery. Fine, very slight bump to lower edge of upper board, a trace of fading along the outward edge of the boards, with a line of foxing to the fore-edge of the front-free endpaper. Hammersmith, Doves Press. May 1908. Tidcombe DP14
Browning (Robert). Men & Women. 2 vols.
One of 250 copies on paper with an additional 12 on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, Vol. 1 pp.[1–6] 7–[201] [7], Vol. 2, pp. [1–6] 7–[194] [2]. Initials and titles printed in red throughout, along with poem titles in the margins, character names in vol. II p.43–73, along with some isolated words and phrases throughout. Contents page with pen flourishes in green and blue before each poem title, along with the following half title, and at the start of each poem throughout; Tidcombe notes that ‘probably only 200 of the paper copies were flourished’. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spines lettered in gilt. Fine, with the faintest of foxing to fore-edges. Hammersmith, Doves Press. June 1908 – December 1908. Tidcombe DP15
Cobden-Sanderson (Thomas James). Credo.
One of 250 copies on paper, with an additional 12 on vellum. Small 8vo., 11.5×16.5cm, pp. [1–8]. Original full navy-blue Morocco, spine and upper cover lettered in gilt, a.e.g. Fine, with a small dent towards the fore-edge of the upper cover. Hammersmith, Doves Press. April 1909. Tidcombe DP16.
Shakespeare (William). Hamlet.
One of 250 copies on paper, along with 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp. [1–6] 7–[160] [1]–[24]. Hand-drawn initial ‘W’ on p.7 in green. Two lines, including authors name, printed in red on title page, along with the following half-title, also printed in red are character’s names and stage directions throughout, along with titles, acts and scenes in the margins. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. June 1909. Tidcombe DP17.
Shakespeare (William) Sonnets.
One of 250 copies on paper, along with 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp. [1–5] 6–[86] [2]. Two full page initials on p.6 and p.82, a half-page initial on p.70 and another smaller initial on p.84; all printed in black, designed by Edward Johnston and cut by Noel Rooke and Eric Gill. Three lines of title page printed in red, along with titles and numbers of sonnets throughout, the entirety of sonnet 126 on p.69 and the list on sonnets on p.[86]. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1909. Tidcombe DP18.
Winship (George Parker). William Caxton.
One of 300 paper copies, with an additional 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp. [1–4] 5–[27] [5]. Four lines on the title page printed in red, along with initials throughout and colophon. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, the faintest signs of foxing between p.12–14. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1909. Tidcombe DP19.
Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von). Faust. Zweiter Theil.
One of 250 copies on paper, with an additional 22 copies on vellum and a further 3 copies on vellum with initials in gold. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1]10] 11–[374] [2]. One line on the title page printed in red, along with character names and stage directions throughout, titles, acts and scene numbers in red in margins, title on p.186 along with references on pages 275, 276, 286, 335, 370. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, slightest of spotting to top and fore- edge, with very minor spotting to the covers along the same edges. Hammersmith, Doves Press. June 1910. Tidcombe DP20.
Mackail (J.W.) [edits] Pervigilium Veneris.

One of 150 copies on paper, with an additional 12 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[8] [1]–7 [1]. Initials printed in red throughout, along with half title and the refrain line following each verse throughout. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. January 1911. Tidcombe DP21.
Browning (Robert). Dramatis Personae.
One of 250 copies on paper, with an additional 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–9] 10–[203] [5]. Title page initial printed in red, along with half title, titles of poems in margins, passages on p. 74, 102–105, 116, 191–192, title on p.193, last two lines of p.202. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, the faintest foxing from p.52–57. Hammersmith, Doves Press. January 1911. Tidcombe DP22.
Saint Francis [Beradoni] Of Assisi. Laudes Creaturarum.
One of 250 copies on paper, along with 12 copies on vellum. Small 8vo., 11.5×16.5cm, pp.[1–10]. Title page printed in red, along with the English text throughout and explicit. Full brick-red Morocco by the Doves Bindery, spine and upper board lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. January 1911. Tidcombe DP23.
Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von). Die Leiden.
One of 200 copies on paper, along with 20 copies on vellum and an additional five copies on vellum with gold initials. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–9] 10–[188] [8]. Initials on p.10 and p.90 printed in red, along with second line of half title, the dates heading each entry throughout, book numbers in the margins and portions of text on p.21, p.33, p.34, p.49, p.99, p.100. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. May 1911. Tidcombe DP24.
Wordsworth (William). A Decade of Years.

One of 200 copies on paper, with an additional 12 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–9] 10–[231] [1]. Half title printed in red, along with initials, part titles and divisional titles throughout, with part numbers in red in the margins throughout and character names between p.56–70, the final word on p.224 and the first line of pp.226–230. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, with spine lettered in gilt. Fine, with very faint spotting to top, bottom and fore edges. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1911. Tidcombe DP25.
In Principio. [from Genesis].
One of 200 copies on paper, with an additional 12 copies on vellum. Small 8vo., 11.5×16.5, pp. [1–10]. Half title printed in red and a repeated half title before the colophon, along with every appearance of the text
‘And God Said’ and the preceding paragraph mark. Original full brick-red Morocco, spine and upper board lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1911. Tidcombe DP26.
Cobden-Sanderson (Thomas James). Catalogue 
Raisonné.
One of 250 copies on paper. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[2] [1]–12 [2]. Fourth line of title page printed in red, along with paragraph marks, section headings and numerals throughout. Original quarter linen over blue paper boards by the Doves Bindery, lettered in black on the upper cover. Fine, with a notice of publication from the Doves Press dated November 1911 loosely tipped in. Hammersmith, Doves Press. November 1911. Tidcombe DP27.
Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von). Iphigenie auf Tauris.
One of 200 copies, along with 20 copies on vellum and an additional 12 copies on vellum with gold initials. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–9] 10– [111] [1]. pp. 5–9 printed in red, including half title, along section titles and character names throughout, with titles, acts and scenes in the margins throughout. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. May 1912. Tidcombe DP28.
Shakespeare (William). Anthony and Cleopatra.
One of 200 copies, along with 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–6] 7–[142]. Two lines, including the authors name, printed in red on the title page, along with the following half-title, also characters and stage directions throughout, with titles, acts and scenes in the margins. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. October 1912. Tidcombe DP29.
Shakespeare (William). Venus and Adonis.
One of 200 copies on paper, along with 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–7] 8–[59] [1]. Half title with two lines printed in red, along with the entire dedication page, title page initials, opening initial on p.8 and entire colophon. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, with the faintest signs of spotting to the fore-edge. Hammersmith, Doves Press. October 1912. Tidcombe DP30.
Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von). Torquato Tasso.
One of 200 copies on paper, along with 15 copies on vellum and an additional 12 copies on vellum with gold initials. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–9] 10–[164] [4]. Fly-title printed in red along with entirety of ‘personen’ on p.[7], divisional titles and character names and stage directions throughout, with titles, acts and scenes in the margins. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, very faint spotting to fore-edge. Hammersmith, Doves Press. March 1913. Tidcombe DP31.
Shakespeare (William). Julius Caesar.
One of 200 copies on paper, along with 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm, pp.[1–6] 7–[116] [4]. Half-title and initials printed in red, along with two lines of title page, divisional titles, characters and stage directions throughout, the explicit, and title, act and scene numbers in margins. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. July 1913. Tidcombe DP32.
Cobden-Sanderson (Thomas James) [Edits]. Amantium Irae.
One of 150 copies on paper, along with 3 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm. pp.[1–11] 12–[143] [1]. Two lines printed in red on title page, entirety of p.10–11, p.42, p.84, p.134 and p.138–139, letter numbers, dates, divisional titles, and commentary in parenthesis throughout, along with titles, letter numbers and dates repeated in margins. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. January 1914. Tidcombe DP33.
Shakespeare (William). Coriolanus.
One of 200 copies on paper, along with 15 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm. pp.[1–6] 7–[165] [3]. Two lines of title page printed in red, along with fly-title including two initials, part titles, characters and stage directions throughout, headings and section titles in the Errata, with titles, acts and scene numbers in margins throughout. Original limp vel- lum by the Doves Bindery. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. March 1914. Tidcombe DP34.
Shelley (Percy Bysshe). Shelley.
One of 200 copies on paper, along with 12 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm. pp.[1–6] 7–181 [3]. Title on p.13 printed in red, along with eleven initials throughout, section titles throughout, two lines of Greek on [p.86], titles and part numbers in margins, Arabic and Roman numerals in parts IV and V, the word ‘EXPLICIT’ on p.176, and the first line of each page in the ‘Table of Years’. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. July 1914. Tidcombe DP35.
Keats (John). Keats.

One of 200 copies on paper, along with 12 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm. pp.[1–11] 12–203 [5]. Title on [p.11] printed in red, six initials throughout, with part titles and part numbers in the margins throughout, Roman and Arabic numerals in sections II and IV, and the word ‘EXPLICIT’ on p.198. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, with a small mark (1cm) on the lower covers. Hammersmith, Doves Press. January 1915. Tidcombe DP36.
Shakespeare (William). The Rape of Lucrece.
One of 175 paper copies, along with 10 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm. pp.[1–7] 8–[78] [2]. Initials printed in red throughout, along with dedication page, initials on title [p.7], and colophon. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. April 1915. Tidcombe DP37
Wordsworth (William). The Prelude.
One of 155 copies on paper, along with 10 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm. pp.[1–8] 9–[302] [2]. Fourteen initials printed in red, along with title on [p.7], along with section titles throughout, book numbers and titles in the margins throughout. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine. Hammersmith, Doves Press. December 1915. Tidcombe DP38.
Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von). Goethe.
One of 175 copies on paper, along with 10 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm. pp.[1–4] 5–226 [10]. Fifteen initials in red, along with title on p.17, part titles, titles in the margins throughout, and the names of characters pp.168–181. Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Fine, faint spotting to endpapers and fore-edge. Hammersmith, Doves Press. September 1916. Tidcombe DP38.
Cobden-Sanderson (Thomas James). Catalogue Raisonné.
One of 150 copies on paper, along with 10 copies on vellum. Small 4to., 17x24cm. pp.[1–3] 4–96. Engraved frontispiece. Section titles printed in red throughout with initials, along with page number on p.15, and section titles and numbers in the margins. Original quarter vellum over blue paper boards by the Doves Bindery, spine lettered in gilt. Very good, bottom of spine slightly bumped, sporadic spotting especially noticeable on pp.40–45 and pp.58–60. Hammersmith, Doves Press. March 1917. Tidcombe DP39.

Ephemera

The collection also includes five of the nine printed versions of correspondence between Cobden-Sanderson and three journals, The Times, The Westminster Gazette, and The Athenaeum. They were sent gratis to subscribers, and are all in their original plain brown printed wrappers
Shakespeare Punctuation.
A Letter addressed to the Editor of “The Times”. 1911. Tidcombe DPL3.
On a Passage in Julius Caesar.
A Letter addressed to the Editor of “The Times”. 1913. Tidcombe DPL4
The new Science Museum.
A Letter, with additions, addressed to the Editor of “The Times”.
 1913. Tidcombe DPL 6.
Notes on a Passage in Shelley’s Ode to Liberty. 1914. Tidcombe DPL 7.
Wordsworth’s Cosmic Poetry. 1914. [N.B. This contains One of the very few misprints in the oeuvre of the Press. Sadly it is not the word “comic” for “cosmic”, which would have amused this cataloguer, but the printing of the date 1914 as 1814. Tidombe DPL 8.

Books bound by Lyndon Lang, daughter of William Lang
Tennyson (Alfred Lord). The Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson.

8vo., 13×19.5cm. Full red goatskin, upper and lower covers with floral gilt dentelle border of curved rules, roses and three leaf patterns, upper cover with title lettered in gilt, spine with five raised bands, double gilt ruled panels filled with gilt dots, curved rules, rose and three leaf patterns, date lettered in gilt at tail, double gilt ruled turn-ins, lower turn-in signed
‘L.L.’ and dated 1903. London, Macmillan and Co. 1902.
Stevenson (R. A. M.) Velasquez.
8vo., 13×19.5cm. Full brown goatskin, upper and lower covers with single gilt rule border and a panel formed of straight gilt rules with circles at each corner of leaf-like shapes of green onlay outlined in gilt, spine with five raised bands and double gilt ruled panels with similar leaf patterns in green onlay at each corner, title and date lettered in gilt, turn-ins with double gilt rules and leaf patterns in green onlay at each corner, upper turn-in lettered ‘W.L’ in gilt at tail, lower turn in lettered ‘L.L’ in gilt and dated 1903. London, George Bell & Sons. 1902.
The ‘W.L’ lettering at the tail of the upper turn-in suggests this binding was made by Lyndon Lang for her father, William.
Kipling (Rudyard). The Seven Seas.
8vo., 12x16cm. Later binding by Lyndon Lang in full black goatskin, upper and lower covers with single gilt rule surrounded repeating hexagonal grid of gilt rules forming a honeycomb pattern with gilt dots at each corner, each hexagon filled with a gold tool of either three leaf clover or rose, spine with five raised bands and gilt panels in the style of the hexagonal cover pattern, titled and dated in gilt, turn-ins with double gilt rules, upper turn-in lettered ‘W.M’ in gilt at tail, lower turn in signed ‘L.L.’ in gilt and dated 1903. Leipzig, Tauchnitz. 1897.
The ‘W.M’ lettering on the upper turn-in suggests that this book was bound by Lyndon Lang for her father, William.
Fitzgerald (Edward). Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.
8vo., 13.5x20cm. Full red goatskin, upper and lower boards with single gilt rule border, spine with gilt panels, title lettered in gilt and two raised bands, double gilt rules on turn-ins and signed ‘L.L.’ in gilt on lower turn-in, undated. London, De La More Press. 1920.

1 In Shaw’s introduction to Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant, in which he refers to an evening with his friend an eye doctor. Lang is identified as that doctor, in Shaw’s inscription in Lang’s copy, sold at auction.
2 Hodgsons, Feb 28
3 Letter to S.C. Cockerell. Published in Friends of a Lifetime London, 1940.
4 Letter from S.C. Cockerell. Published in Friends of a Lifetime London, 1940.
5 T.J. Cobden-Sanderson, Note on the Doves Press as printed in the first Doves Press Catalogue Raisonné, 1908.
6 Franklin, The Private Presses.2nd edition, Scolar Press 1991.
7 J.H. Mason. J.H. Mason. R.D.I. A selection form the Notebooks of a scholar-printer.

Apr 172018
 

Here at Lux Mentis we like etymology. So here’s a quick lesson from Word School. The first definition Merriam-Webster lists for the word “occult” is: to shut off from view or exposurecovereclipse

  • the light of a star that was about to be occulted … by Uranus itself —Jonathan Eberhart

The list goes on to describe this notion of concealing, secretive, non-manifesting things, in terms of medical conditions. The word is Latin based and very much attached to esoteric modes of practices.

Currently, it seems the Western world seems to buzz with the occult, and historically it goes in waves of popularity with greater masses, as it did in the 1970s and 1980s, the rise of occult interests seems to follow a wave of conservative politics. Essential, people react when there’s a threat on many levels. The reality is that occult interest and everything that falls under its wings have always had a devout and steady scholarship and curiosities that extends to everything classified as “things that go bump in the night” to “Aeonic Transcendential Chaos Magick.” We like it all and like to find things that fit all shelves of the brain.

We’ve compiled a new list that reflects the nature of the occult and our continuing interest in supporting the proliferation of the esoterica.  Please visit our catalogs tab here for all our lists or you can just download Occult/Esoteric Miscellany.

 

Uwe Bremer etching

Mar 182018
 

Several years ago, it occurred to me that while bringing along the next generation of collectors was important, supporting and encouraging the next generation of fine press printers, book artists, and design binders was every bit as important. In many ways, the design bindings are the most challenging. Almost by definition, they are one off objects…few institutions collect bindings and private collectors who do collect bindings tend, generally, to focus on the major, established binders. I’ve been pleased to place, somewhat steadily, the work of a number of emerging binders over the past several years…several of whom got their start at the North Bennet St. School.

I have, however, been striving to get a handful of people to really consider the work of these emerging binders as *important* in time and place. That is, there is remarkably strong work being created *today* that, in a decade or two down the line, will be recognized as being the tipping point of a what it shaping up to be a major shift/evolution in the trade. It appears at least one or two institutions have begun to agree…but the breakthrough has been at last two big shows (CA and NYC) where two important private collectors and another new one embraced what is happening in the trade. The two have major bindings in their respective collections, but both really ‘got’ that not only is there amazing work being created, and that it is cost effective…but that these young binders need to be supported and encouraged in their work. Between the two fairs, I sold a total of nine (9!) bindings…six of the during the NYC fair. As a bonus, the work of both Gabby Cooksey and Jackie Scott was featured in NYC ABAA fair coverage (inArchitectural Digest and BlouinArtInfo, the later also profiling Jamie Murphy’s wonderful A Modest Proposal).

I’m very hopeful that this bodes well for things to come for this new generation of design binders…and for the growth/evolution of modern design bindings are a collecting area. As I am packing books to ship, I thought I would post images of the various bindings, representing the work of six different binders. The images are quick and dirty, but I did my best to capture these wonderful bindings. Congratulations to all these young/emerging binders…I can’t wait to see what they create next.

Mar 052018
 

“There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you

Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York…”

Among other things, we are debuting a new work by Richard Minsky, It Can’t Happen Here, as well as some new books to our occult catalog.

Additionally, we will bring our normal catalog of eccentric publications, wild ephemera, and curious esoterica including a few recent acquisitions. Among other things, we will have fine press and fine bindings, artists’ books from Latin America to New York to England, occult and witchcraft books, and sex and sexuality materials…

You can access our show list under the tab for the 2018 ABAA New York International Book Fair.

And last, but not least, if you would like a pass, let us know, email Ian or Kim

Happy biblio-hunting! See you in New York!

Jan 302018
 

This year at the ABAA California Book Fair 2018 we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus with a special exhibit spotlighting holdings from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Occidental College Library’s Ned Guymon Mystery and Detective Fiction Collection, University of California Riverside Library’s Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Sara Karloff, the daughter of Boris Karloff.

We will have our own selection of eccentric publications, wild ephemera, and curious esoterica including a few recent acquisitions. From our weird and strange vault, we are featuring Book of Were-wolves by Sabine Baring-Gould [London, 1865]; Lives of the Necromancers by William Godwin [London, 1876], father of Mary Shelley; The Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [Boston, 1901] inscribed to another female gothic horror author; and debuting a new deluxe edition of A Modest Proposal. Among other things, we will have fine press and fine bindings, artists’ books from Latin America to New York to England, occult and witchcraft books, and sex and sexuality materials…

We know that many people may be attending the ALA Midwinter meeting in Denver, if that is the case, and there is an item in our show list you’d like to see, please let us know in advance. You can access our show list under the tab for the 2018 California Book Fair.

And last, but not least, if you would like a pass, let us know, email Ian or Kim

Happy biblio-hunting! See you in Pasadena!

Jan 202018
 

Consider this a teaser, as the images do not capture just how stunning these volumes are. We are pleased to have 3 of the 5 deluxe editions (one stayed in Ireland and the other at Yale). Each of the 5 is uniquely bound in a binding reflecting issues embodied in the 1729 text, modern Ireland, and the world as a whole. We are pleased to have and to offer Abortion, Homelessness, and Religion.

If you have not seen it, the Irish Times article offers a great overview. A description of the standard and deluxe editions follows the images. I’ve also reposted some images of the standard edition and content at the very end. It is a remarkable work.

Swift, Jonathan; O’Kane, David [illus]; Carpenter, Andrew [intro]; Traynor, Jessica [poetry]. A Modest Proposal. Dublin, Ireland: The Salvage Press, 1729 [2017]. Limited Edition. Tight, bright, and unmarred. Halfbound, black leather spine and foredge, red leather spine label, gilt lettering, marbled paper boards, printed in red and black ink; matching drop-spine archival box with inlaid Irish porcelain. Imperial folio. 64pp. Illus. (b/w plates). Lettered limited edition, this being IJK. [N.B. there are 4 additional copies, i-iv, hors de commerse. Deluxe copies, 1-5, are each in a unique binding reflecting an issue confronting modern Ireland (homelessness, abortion rights, direct provision, religious persecution, and affordable housing) in “hand dyed alum tawed goatskin with reverse offset printed inlays and red calfskin borders, 22c gold hand lettered title, red handmade paper doublures with blind tooling, distressed silver endpapers with 23.5c gold leaf highlights, graphite top edge, red calfskin headbands” by Kate Holland and including an additional portfolio containing a full suite of the lithographs and a full suite of the poems. Fine in Fine Archival Box. Hardcover.

“This publishing of A Modest Proposal was produced to mark the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift in 1667. First printed in 1729 by Sarah Harding ‘on the Blind Key‘, Dublin.

Designed, typeset and letterpress printed by Jamie Murphy with much grateful assistance from Niamh McNally, Sarah O’Neill and Phelim McGovern. The type employed is 22 point Monotype Caslon, an interesting cut quite close in character to William Caslon’s ‘Roman and Italick’ types of the late 1720s. The type was originally cast into founts by Neil Winter at The Whittington Press from matrices acquired from the Oxford University Press. The book was printed on a Western style Double Crown proofing press at Distillers Press, NCAD, Dublin. Andrew Carpenter has introduced the edition. Jessica Traynor has supplied nine new poems in response to the original text. David O’Kane has scratched the ten illustrations which have been editioned from lithographic stones by Michael Timmins at his workshop in Stoneybatter. The book has been printed on 250gsm mouldmade paper from the Zerkall Mill, Hürtgenwald, Germany, supplied by John Purcell, London. Based in Wiltshire, UK, Jemma Lewis has designed and produced the marbled papers based on marble patterns found at St. Patrick’s Cathederal where Swift was once Dean. Eleanor Swan has produced the porcelain inserts for the standard copies at her studio on the grounds of Russborough House, Co. Wicklow.” (Publisher statement)

Nov 292017
 

Famed photographer Cindy Sherman said of photography: “I’m really just using the mirror to summon something I don’t even know until I see it.” Photography is a kind of magic, capturing easily forgotten moments and transforming situations into impossible spectacles. Or perhaps photography acts as an archive, as some events are forever at the mercy of history and the only evidence we have is the picture. It is a form of accountability, and art is accountable to life. So enjoy our various selections of photography in our latest catalog: A Mirror to Summon. Please let us know, if anything teases your interest.

Nov 082017
 

It is that time of year! The 41st Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, starts this Friday, November 10-12, 2017. Passes are available for the Friday preview night, please let us know if you would like a pass or two.

We have a show list on our website with most, but not all, of what we will have in Boston. We will be debuting a few very special things that must remain a secret for now. Please let us know if there is anything that catches your eye. Find your pleasure in our Boston show list.

With a few new surprises!

Oct 132017
 

To continue with our short list series, here are a few strange and unusual items bound to be loved by someone.

We will have more to come, including a vernacular photography catalog before the Boston ABAA fair and of course, the Boston show list.  Featuring new and exciting things!

With that in mind, our next fair is the 41st Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, November 10-12, 2017. We’ll keep you posted for passes for the Friday night opener!

***********************

Countess of Caithness, Duchesse de Pomar [Marie (Mariategui) Sinclair]. A Midnight Visit to Holyrood. London: C.L.H. Wallace, Philanthropic Reform Publishers, Oxford Mansion, 1887. Limited Edition. Originally printed for private circulation, but published on the three hundredth anniversary of the execution of Mary Stuart, February 8th, 1887. Slight foxing on the frontispiece and portrait of Mary Stuart, and a strange series of period puncture wounds to front cover penetrating text to stab portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots on page 45. Else, tight, bright, and a scarce and odd book. Original dark green cloth, lettering and pictorial device on front and back covers, edge, in gilt, black coated endpapers. Frontispiece with tissue guard and one portrait. 103 pages, 2 unnumbered leaves of plates, illustrations, Very Good+. Hardcover.

Recollection of the communication between Marie Countess of Caithness and the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots from Holyrood House in Edinburgh.  Marie used to visit Holyrood House near midnight and claimed to listen to the dead queen’s spirit voice. The work was originally published for private circulation only, and it is likely that the Countess gave copies to her friend exclusively. This edition, printed by C.H.L. Wallace appears to be limited.

The Countess was increasing influenced by theosophy and universial In 1876, and joined the Theosophical Society founded by known occultists Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in New York. In 1884, during their stay in Paris with Lady Caithness, Blavatsky approved the creation of the “Theosophical Society of the East and West,” the French branch of the Theosophical Society. Lady Caithness’s theosophy was marked by esoteric Christianity influenced by Jakob Boehme and Swedenborg. She held a spiritualist salon in her Parisian mansion, every Wednesday from spring to autumn in the early 1890s. As to the damage inflicted on the book itself, a few theories arise: it is possible it is just book vandalism. A more compelling and fascinating theory is the book was part of hysteria or ritual to evoke the spirit of Mary Queen of Scots. The book is inscribed to “Miss Blackwell” of which there are two well-known spiritualists in London and Paris; Anna Blackwell and Elizabeth Blackwell. Anna was a prolific writer and participated in the spirit communities during the late 19th century in London and Paris. It is also recorded she was a medium and was said, at times, to be tormented by the ghosts and spirits that threatened her. (#9384) $350.00

 

Fleischauer, Louis ; Aesthetic Meat Foundation. Flesh Art Book. Berlin: Aesthetic Meat Front/AMF, 2014. Limited Edition. Tight, bright, and unmarred. Cased in leather ‘corset’ (see below). 44pp. Illus. (color and b/w plates). Fine in Fine Case. Hardcover.

Limited first edition of 36, this edition is 1/36, with the trade edition cased in a custom leather ‘corset’ cover binding, secured by metal grommets and two leather strap loops. Leather still bears a hide scent and features a painted patina, a fire burnt treated, manipulated, and animal-like with elements cut into tails. The AMF logo is carved into the leather at the top of the cover, as well as the edition number: 1/36 on the back. Text printed on high quality matte clay coated medium weight paper. Signed by Louis Fleischauer, “Pure Kaos Against Total Control” 2016, on the opposite end papers. Includes a small archive of performance fliers for AMF [2002-2015], AMF Korsets / Fleischauer Creations marketing cards and a DVD-R of live performances, signed with a fingerprint impression and numbered 1/36. Edition is divided into several sections: Flesh Art Manifesto, Sculpted Skin (Wearable Art/AMF Korset), Rituals of Transformation, Human Instruments, Aesthetic Meat Front (Rituals + Actionism), Transformed Flesh, Interviews + Random Thoughts. Scarce copy, most editions are with private collectors, this is the last acquired copy from AMF with the leather casing and performance inclusions and also is the first numbered and sculpted edition, as well.

This book is a retrospective of Aesthetic Meat Foundation, (Aesthetic Meat Front is the performance collective of the entire art and creative project of Aesthetic Meat Foundation), featuring a mix of ritual, sculpture, and wearable art. AMF performances in the United States are generally rare, but emulate the same power as Ron Athey and Einstürzende Neubauten fused with an anti-industrial complex manifesto. “Louis Fleischauer, is a sculptor, and body-artist using organic materials such as animal hides, bones, flowers, blood and his own skin. In his public rituals he turns humans into living sculptures and instruments, including his own body. Through a mix of agony and euphoria Louis falls into a state of trance. His sculptures are a reflection of this experience.” – from the AMF biography. (#9084) $550.00

 

Sprinkle, Annie. Annie Sprinkle Self-portrait [MSS Notations]. [No Place], 1981. Unique. Signed by Sprinkle with numerous notations all over the image, notation at rear, else bright and clean. 16x24cm. b/w photograph. Signed by the artist. Fine. Photograph.

“Original self-portrait photograph of sexologist Annie Sprinkle. Sprinkle is known as the “prostitute and porn star turned sex educator and artist.” Annie Sprinkle began working at the ticket booth at Tucson’s Plaza Cinema at 18, when Deep Throat was playing. The film was busted, and when Sprinkle had to appear in court as a witness, she met and fell in love with Deep Throat’s director, Gerard Damiano, and became his mistress, following him to New York City where she lived for twenty years. Annie’s first porn movie was Teenage Deviate, which was released in 1975. Perhaps her best known mainstream porn featured role was in ‘Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle’ (co-directed by Sprinkle and sexploitation veteran Joseph W. Sarno) which was the #2 grossing porn film of 1981.

She is considered a role model for a new generation of feminists, she challenges old conceptions and established role models of sexuality and was a pivotal player in the 80’s “sex positive feminist movement” and has long championed sex worker rights and health care. The photograph is heavily annotated with a detailed analysis of the image.The verso contains the anotation p.4 102% suggesting that the image was published although we have been unable to trace the publication. A fantastic image of a true sex goddess.”

Together with Annie’s “Post-Porn Modernist: My 25 Years as a Multimedia Whore”, which includes a ‘clean’ version of the image with the caption, “It was this latex ensemble, which I had brought back from Europe, that started America’s latex trend (or so it seemed to me). It made quite a splash at the HFC [Hell Fire Club]. Or should I say quite a splash was made on it.” (#8115) $1,250.00

 

Pell, Sara C. In Dillafluff Land. New Jersey: Standard Publishing Concern, Publishers, 1910. First Edition. Light shelf/edge wear, front boards loose with light toning, few page tears, one leaf loose but present, American Red Cross stamp, else bright and unmarred. Oblong 8vo. Approx. 58pp. Illus. (b/w plates). Good+ in Wraps. Hardcover.

“Esther from Aunt Ann, Xmas 1910”. The black and white Illustrations are by A.G. Learned. Extremely scarce, no known copies. Odd, children’s nonsense nursery rhymes with accompanying anthropomorphic figures very similar to Dr. Seuss’ characters created much later, and similarly, the rhyming is reminiscent of Edward Lear. The book was marketed and reviewed in major publications, but little is known about the author or other published books. The characters were affectionately described as “freakish” and “queer” in reviews. (#9118) $150.00

Woven paper undergarments, Diane Jacobs

Jacobs, Diane. Woven Paper Undergarments [Bra and Panties]. Portland, OR: Scantron Press, 2010. Limited Edition. Bright and unmarred. Woven paper strips, letterpress printed, sculptural. 11x23x3″ np. Fine.

“In this body of work I intend to expose the tenacious, white, patriarchal power structure by using language as my witness. Over a three-year period I collected slang and derogatory words that exploit women. The exhaustive list came from friends, family, and several dictionaries on slang. Strangers also contributed by writing on anonymous pink and blue cards their answer to the question what are the worst names you have ever been called? In my first projects, I sculpted hats, bras, and underwear made of letterpress-printed woven paper. This series of work makes feminist references to craft, the body, and a misogynist culture.” (#8766) $2,000.00

Greer, John Michael. The Weird of Hali: Innsmouth. Oregon: Arcane Wisdom Press, 2016. Limited Edition. Tigh, bright, and unmarred. Custom bound in green faux alligator laminate cloth boards with gold foil inlay embossed Lovecraft image, smythe sewn, and signed, hand-numbered by author with hand-printed ink stamp image of H.P. Lovecraft. Colored endpapers with image of Old Ones and include high gloss print insert of Lovecraft inspired artwork. 9.5×6.25”. 276pp. Limited edition of 500 copies. Fine. No DJ, as Issued. Hardcover.

Cover art by Caniglia and book design by Larry Roberts. “Like every other grad student at Miskatonic University, Owen Merrill knows about the Great Old Ones, the nightmare beings out of ancient legend that H.P. Lovecraft unearthed from archaic texts and turned into icons of modern fantasy fiction. Then a chance discovery—a lost letter written by Lovecraft to fellow Weird Tales author Robert Blake—offers a glimpse into the frightful reality behind the legends, and sends Owen on a desperate quest for answers that shatters his familiar world forever.

As he flees across the witch-haunted Massachusetts landscape toward the mysterious seaside town of Innsmouth, Owen finds himself caught up in a secret war between the servants of the Great Old Ones and their ancient enemies, a war in which yesterday’s friend may be tomorrow’s foe and nothing is as it seems. The history of the world is not what he has been taught—and the tentacles reaching out for him from the shadows of a forbidden past may hold not only his one chance of escape from the terrifying forces closing around him, but the last hope of life on Earth…”(publisher’s note) (#9096) $75.00

Greer, Michael. Weird Hali of Innsmouth

Bizarre Female Domination [Personal Scrapbook]. unknown, nd [circa 1970s]. Unique. Light shelf/edge wear, two leaf loose, very slightly musty, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Brown paper wrappers, mounted images/text at front and read. 4to. np. Illus. (color and b/w plates). Very Good. Original Wraps.

A very thorough and engaging collection of imagery and text involved, as the name implies, around the area of the BDSM scene from a Domme female/submissive male perspective. Neatly tape mounted images on lined white paper, the color and b/w images range from relatively small (approx. 2′ square) to full page (cut from magazines and original photographs). There are also some short text elements around the subject matter, too. Most interestingly, interspersed throughout are full page collections of ‘want ads’ from around the country and Canada…the shared qualities of most reflect either specific interest or, perhaps, that he ‘knew’ them. Overall, an eccentric stimulating collage of pre-internet collection of bondage erotica. (#8389) $450.00

Anon. Sumatran Batak divination book [pustaha]. Indonesia, Early 20th century. Unique. Twelve (two-sided) panel concertina fold; fastened on handcarved alim (or agarwood) tree-bark original boards; inscribed and drawn on smoothed and pressed alim tree-bark; 4.75 x 39″ (unfolded); illus. Handwritten in red and black ink pigments. Boards stained with natural pigments, in remarkable condition, less one split in bark panel. An exceptional and critical book for Indonesia history and culture. Very Good. Hardcover.

The ‘pustaha’ [named by the Batak people of interior province of northern Sumatra, Indonesia] are manuscript books constructed and composed by their “datu” or magicians and healers. Origins of the pustaha remain somewhat clouded to non-indigenious research, although, records of provenance date to the 18th century. The Batak people settled mainly in the Lake Toba region of North Sumatra, and included three dominant dialects: Toba, Angkola, and Mandailing.

The books themselves are frequently made with alim tree-bark; written and illustrated with other natural ink pigments. The pustaha is significant for the Batak, as the texts are idiosyncratic to the datu, meaning they are didactic tools for apprentices, but also for members of the community to interpret important decisions and advise on community issues, as reconciled by the datu. The books are often written in note-like script. The script is almost illegible for most members of the community, and indecipherable to Western scholars, however the syllabe script is thought to be derived from East Indian Sanskrit or to some scholars, Indian Palava script. Many contemporary pustaha were made and sold to tourists of the region, as well. The content of the books vary, but generally are divination books, including diagnosis of illness, protective/destructive magic, and acts of cult. Many of the books are also astrological in nature and contain solar and lunar charts and tables, and in the case of this particular pustaha, which contains animistic figures. This book features four carved lizards in low relief on one of the boards, which is associated with fertility and fertility rites. The verso has a carved image of star or a floral symbol. Many of the figurative llustrations in the book [a child] [a goddess figure with serpents] [star], also allude to creation myth, as the ‘tendi’ manifestation of ‘life’ and ‘death’ represented these symbols. The text is inscribed and illustrated on both sides of the bark. Although colonized by the Dutch government in the 19th century, many Batak people retain indigenious treligious beliefs, although increasingly marginalized.

Voorhoeve, P. “Batak Bark Books,” Conservator, University of Leiden, John Rylands Library and the Manchester University Press, 1951.

Teygeler, Rene. “Pustaha. A Study into the Production Process of the Batak Book,” 1993. (#9148) $1,200.00

 

Sumatran pustaha

 

[Count of Saint Germain (attributed)]; Koss, Nick [ed.]. Triangular Book of St. Germain. Seattle, WA: Ouroboros Press, 2015. Limited Edition. Triangular hand-bound and stitched in red and black letterpress wraps; 48 pp.; full color interior printing in English and French text; illus.; limited to 444 copies. As New. Original Wraps.

The edition of the ‘Triangular Book’ was deciphered, transcribed and translated by Nick Koss, who also executed the research and editing of the text. An excellent essay by Koss about the provenance of the manuscript is featured in “Clavis 3: Cipher & Stone.” The edition is limited to 500 copies in three editions. 26 special copies bound in full leather accompanied by a hand-wrought silver Longevity Talisman featured in the original manuscript. 26 copies in full leather and 444 copies bound in letterpress wraps. Design and typesetting by Joseph Uccello. – from the colophon. (#9180) $65.00

[Garcia, Fernando Aguayo; Queer Nation]. Proper Conduct / On October 6, 1989, Police Rioted in the Castro… [Rally Poster]. [San Francisco]: [Queer Nation], 1991. First Printing. Bright and clean. Cyanotype poster. 12×35.5″ Illus. (mono plate). Near Fine.

Poster for a protest organized by Queer Nation in San Francisco to demand justice for victims of the 1989 Castro Sweep Police Riot, when more than 200 San Francisco police officers reacted to an ACT UP march by invading the gay Castro District, declaring the entire neighborhood an unlawful assembly and violently clearing the streets. The Queer Nation protest took place at the San Francisco Hall of Justice following a Police Commission finding that the police sweep of the Castro had constituted “proper conduct.” The poster was designed by gay Latino artist and activist Fernando Aguayo-Garcia and was produced in an extremely limited number of copies using the cyanotype process. (#9272) $350.00

Heart In Your Business: 14th National Motorcycle / Bicycle Show. New York, 1928. Unique. Excellent condition, bright and unmarred, heart shaped advertisement for the 14th Annual National Motorcycle and Bicycle show in New York City, Madison Square Garden. Very Good+.

The first National Auto Show was held in 1900. Apparently, as early as 1915, the two-wheel industry was expanding so the national show split from the automotive industry to have their own independent show. The newly built Madison Square Garden accommodated track racing as well. Rare piece of motorcycling and bicycle ephemera. (#9315) $45.00

 

 

Brown, Frederic. ETAOIN SHRDLU. Portland, ME: Ivy Derderian/Wolfe Editions, 2009. Limited Edition. Tight, bright and unmarred. Unprinted tan cardstock wrappers; green textured heavy stock DJ, lettering and pictorial elements in black ink, advert endpages. 8vo. 13pp plus ads. Illus. (b/w plates). Numbered limited edition this being 6 of 40 copies. Fine in Wraps. Original Wraps.

The first solo project from Ivy Derderian, working at Wolfe Editions. Printed in Linotype Bonodi Book, created on an Intertype (the Linotype’s successor). From the prospectus:

“Frederic Brown’s entertaining short story about a sentient Linotype, titled Etaoin Shrdlu, was originally published in 1942 in the magazine Unknown Worlds. While Mr. Brown was well known for his science fiction short stories and novels as well as his award-winning detective fiction, it is clear that he knew his way around a Linotype and a print shop.

Ivy Derderian, with the help of Wolfe Editions, announces a new publication of Etaoin Shrdlu, designed in the manner of pulp magazines of the 1940s. The text type is Linotype Bodoni Book, titles were set in Ludlow Ultra Modern. Text is printed on acid free Dur-o-tone Aged Newsprint, cover is acid free St. Armand Colours. The two engravings used are from a 1923 issue of The Linotype Bulletin.”

Designed and printed to reflect its pulp heritage using Dur-o-tone Aged Newsprint (acid free) and cover wraps on St. Armand Colours. Illustrations from a 1923 issue of The Linotype Bulletin. A wonderful blending of content and design. (#7080) $225.00

 

Harwood-Jones, Markus/Star . Confessions of A Teenage Transexual Whore [Complete in Ten Parts]. Toronto: Self, nd [circa 2010-2012]. First Thus. Tight, bright, and unmarred. Taped bindings over printed paper wraps, color inkjet reproductions. 8vo. Var. pag. Illus. Near Fine in Wraps. Original Wraps.

“A 10-part zine series telling Star’s short stories of survival sex work over the course of two years.” [From the author] (#9294) $145.00

 

Eckels, Howard Samuel. Post Mortem Stains and Putty Color. Philadelphia: Press of H.S. Eckels & Co., 1922. First Edition. Minor shelf/edge wear, joint starting at staples, light/even toning to textblock, ownership signature and notation at front, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Navy cloth boards, printed label, fold-out map (in red) of circulatory system. 12mo. 53pp plus adverts. Illus. (color print). Very Good+. Hardcover.

Includes ‘modern’ book curse, “‘Notice’ / This book is the property of G. L. Dodds. / Read if you care to but do not mark, destroy, or carry out of back room. / G.L. Dodds / P.S. I weigh 157lb. Let this be a warning to you. / G.L.D. (#8966) $245.00

 

Dwight, Thomas. Frozen Sections of a Child. New York: William Wood & Co, 1881. First Edition. Light even toning, tips through, wear at head and tail, ownership signature at first blank, moderate shelf/edge wear, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Black cloth boards. 8vo. Illus. (b/w plates). Good+ [Textblock Very Good]. Hardcover.
Includes fifteen full-page drawings from nature by H.P. Quincy. A century or so before CAT scans and MRIs, this work offered detailed tomogrpahic images. Remarkably important (and one of the great titles in publishing). First edition of a classical work of great importance in pediatrics, and the first American group of serial sections. This work provided tomographic images a century before the CAT and MRI. Dwight was a Harvard medical school and, later in life, succeeded Oliver Wendell Holmes as the Parkman Professor of Anatomy. ”A classical work of great importance in pediatrics, and the first American group of serial sections” (Choulant-Frank, p. 409). (#8962) $225.00

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