Richmond, VA: Mona Lisa Bagby, 2019. Hardcover. Number 6 of 10 copies. In this inventive and interesting work, book artist Lisa Bagby describes the importance of the color red in nature for animal, insect, and plant species. She writes that living creatures rely on color for protection, concealment, and sexual selection. The color red is one of the most distinctive. She offers many examples, from tree frogs to cardinals to red faced monkeys to various plants and fungi. She provides information on such phenomena as aposematism - the use of color by reptiles, amphibians, and fish to warn predators that they are toxic, dangerous, painful to attack, and difficult to eat. Red is not the only color used to display toxicity, but it is one of the more effective ones. The artist states: "The natural world as a companion marks my earliest memories and that status has never wavered. With maturity I came to appreciate the physical, psychological and emotional dynamics of the natural world. As a creative person, I can’t help but notice details of texture, scale and, of course, color in the environment. Color is a significant part of the equation that brings the natural world into our focus and may even persuade us to care. Color sharpens our senses and enjoyment of the environment, whether it is a spectacular sunset or the sight of a cherry tree laden with its fruit. It is part of Nature’s strategy for engaging us. My interest in eco-systems lead me to wanting to better understand how color is used in Nature so I began researching the purpose of red in the environment. The result is my handmade book, The Art of Red in Nature. I learned that Red was not dumped from a paint can over the globe and spread indiscriminately. It has been judiciously allocated across nature and each assignment is useful, if not essential, in the Plant and Animal worlds. Everything in nature, including color, is purposeful and this book explores the story of red in Nature. Not only is color, such as red, designed to support life in eco-systems, but red is also available for human beings to discover, in insects or in minerals, to advance our own creative efforts. The art of red in nature is a wonder indeed." Bagby has creatively illustrated her concertina book with cancelled postage stamps of different species, pen and ink drawings with watercolor applied, linoleum block prints, and cartoons. Additional stamps and descriptions are on the reverse pages. Bound in grey cloth with title label affixed to the front cover. With decorated endpapers and a red and white string closure. In fine condition. Measures 6 x 8 inches. ARTISTSB/121219. Fine.
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Mission, BC: Barbarian Press, 2019. Hardcover. An edition of 130, of which this is one of 50 copies in the regular edition. According to the printer: "Our fascination with [Wagener's] work is a response to the meticulous attention to detail which imbues all his engravings, combined with a ‘democracy of aesthetic’ which allows both realism and abstraction equal weight. In a Parenthesis review of Wagener’s early book with Peter Koch, Zebra Noise with a Flatted Seventh, Simon Brett said ‘No one else I know of is making such avant-garde grand opera in wood-engraved prints.’" Richard Wagener (1944 - ) is a Californian wood engraver known best for his depictions of nature and animals, often juxtaposed against abstract imagery. A specially commissioned frontispiece, new press device, and patterned papers have been created for this edition. Folio. Bound black and red checkered patterned paper with black cloth spine and red and white title label pasted down to spine. Includes over 100 engravings printed from the original wood plates on Zerkall White Smooth paper. Unpaginated. PRI/122719. Fine.
New Directions/Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1937. Hardcover. Early edition. Scarce in dust jacket. 8vo. Near fine in dark blue cloth covered boards with gilt title to spine. Slight yellowing to pages. Else is clean and bright. Very good purple, black, and white illustrated dust jacket with white title to front and spine panels. Minor edgewear to dust jacket includes a few small chips and creases. Minor rubbing to front panel and slight soiling to rear panel. 211 pages. LIT/121619. Near Fine / Very Good.
Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1946. First Edition. Hardcover. FIRST EDITION. An Atlantic Monthly Book. 8vo. Grey cloth covered boards with blue title and blue and red decorations to front board and to spine. Minor fading to spine and bumping to spine ends. Light rubbing to boards. Minor browning to end papers. Else is clean and bright with illustrations throughout. Index, 473 pages. SCI/121619. Very Good+.
Kingston, NY: Maureen Cummins, 2019. Number 8 of 15 copies signed and numbered by the book artist Maureen Cummins. This powerful production was initially realized as a unique object in the spring of 2019, the book was later editioned in the fall of 2019. Throughout the piece, Cummins uses simple typographic means to explore issues of anti-Semitism, denial, and the erasure of cultural memory. Unpublished Manuscript, 1946 came out of the research phase of the Friends, Peace and Sanctuary Project, in which artists were asked to spend two weeks in the Special Collection archives at Swarthmore College. Cummins was immediately drawn to a collection of materials relating to the life of Hans Bergas, a survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Cummins writes: "Following the war he and his family relocated to the United States, to the town of Chester, Pennsylvania. It was there that he met Gertrude Weaver, a German language high school teacher. In response to her request, Bergas began corresponding with Weaver’s students, a process that led to his writing a full-length memoir. Hoping to see the manuscript published, Weaver sent the manuscript to Grace Naismith, a senior editor at Reader’s Digest magazine. In a brief, typewritten response, Naismith thanked Weaver for her submission while unequivocally rejecting it as unsuitable for publication: “…the day has passed,” she wrote, “when people will read any more about Buchenwald or German atrocities…we have been so surfeited with Fascist horror stories, movies, and Nuremberg trial testimonies, that I’m afraid a present sale is most difficult.” In this artist's book, Cummins painstakingly surprints Naismith’s letter, using no more than a few words at a time, over copies of Bergas’s manuscript. In this way, Naismith’s decision to reject the manuscript is given the full weight and consequence it deserves. Reading the texts side by side also highlights the contrast between the editor’s polite, patrician language and the horrific events and experiences described in the memoir: “Death by starvation. Death by illness or execution.”" Both visually and emotionally, the reader/viewer is invited to witness the collision of worlds. Printed on a variety of translucent papers, including vintage onionskin. The memoir was digitally reproduced, while Naismith’s letter was printed letterpress using photoengraved plates. Also included are two documents contained in Bergas’s original manuscript: a map of Buchenwald that he drew for the Chester high school students, and a page of family photographs. Each book is held by a vintage clip board. The book measures 8.5 x 11 inches. In fine condition. 79 pages. ARTISTSB/011620. Fine.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1890. Hardcover. A detailed account of the construction of Johns Hopkins Hospital illustrated with 56 plates. The plates include photographic illustrations of interiors and exteriors (including pipes and boiler rooms), floor plans of each building, and sectional views. The text reprints the addresses given at the opening of the hospital and includes a discussion of the grounds, building arrangement, and plan preparation, as well as a statement about each building and its systems: heating, water, sewage, lighting, telephones, clocks, administration building, kitchen building, nurses' home, amphitheater, bath house, isolating ward, octagon ward, dispensary, etc. Bound in three quarter black leather over marbled paper covered boards with gilt title to spine. While a beautiful production, this book is unfortunately dampstained along the edge of the text-block, which affects about a quarter of each page. Some pages have visible dampstaining and some are just rippled. Luckily, the margins are quite wide and the staining remains in the margins of most pages. The edges of the boards are dampstained as well and the marbled paper is chipped along the edges. The leather covering the spine is heavily worn and chipped. The front hinge is cracked and the front cover is nearly detached. The covers are rubbed and worn. Full marbled edges and marbled endpapers. A scarce title, this is still a good reading / reference copy despite the noted damage. Size: Folio. 116 pages of text plus 56 plates. MED/111419. Good.
Toronto: Biting Dog Press, 2019. Hardcover. Number 18 of 35 copies. An examination of the "Necronomicon" - "a scientific diary of the putatively insane doctor known as Abdullah Alhazred. He was a scientist and an alchemist who believed cannibalistic funerary rites could both appease the spirits of the dead and access the divine" (page 13). It includes a fascinating discussion of previous translations, historical contextualization, medical and philosophical explanations behind Alhazred's practices, biographical facts about the doctor, and new translations of the five extracts. According to Alhazred, if performed using the correct rituals, ingestion of the dead could transfer their energy or life force, thus extending the life of the consumer. If true, perhaps he is still alive, wandering in the desert (or so this book suggests)! Digitally printed on laid paper with an original woodcut made by George A. Walker, signed and numbered 7 of 42, tipped into the front. The book is bound in grey cloth boards with a black dust jacket titled in white on the spine and front panel. A pattern of grey skulls decorates the jacket. Includes color photographic illustrations that depict fragments from the original Necronomicon, a page from the Book of the Dead, and other historical sources. 37 pages. PRI/011020. Fine.
Toronto: Biting Dog Press, 2019. Hardcover. Number 16 of 35 copies. An examination of the "Necronomicon" - "a scientific diary of the putatively insane doctor known as Abdullah Alhazred. He was a scientist and an alchemist who believed cannibalistic funerary rites could both appease the spirits of the dead and access the divine" (page 13). It includes a fascinating discussion of previous translations, historical contextualization, medical and philosophical explanations behind Alhazred's practices, biographical facts about the doctor, and new translations of the five extracts. According to Alhazred, if performed using the correct rituals, ingestion of the dead could transfer their energy or life force, thus extending the life of the consumer. If true, perhaps he is still alive, wandering in the desert (or so this book suggests)! Digitally printed on laid paper with an original woodcut made by George A. Walker, signed and numbered 5 of 42, tipped into the front. The book is bound in grey cloth boards with a black dust jacket titled in white on the spine and front panel. A pattern of grey skulls decorates the jacket. Includes color photographic illustrations that depict fragments from the original Necronomicon, a page from the Book of the Dead, and other historical sources. 37 pages. PRI/011020. Fine.
Chicago, IL: The Black Cat Press, (1967). Paperback. Blue side stapled paper wrappers with black title to front cover. Printed in black and red. Lists names, authors, sizes, brief descriptions of bindings/ typfaces, and prices of books. [8 pages.] About 4.25 inches tall by about 3 inches wide. PRI/010920. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2019. Pat Sweet describes herself as creating illuminated miniature books of curiosity, humor, and delight. She creates both miniature (under 3 inches) and macro-miniature (under 1 inch) books. She also makes miniature pocket globes, astronomical instruments, orreries, tellurions, and occasional oddities. A miniature replica of a tabletop press. Every dollhouse (or miniature book collector) needs a miniature book press. This is a tabletop model, built of wood, with antiqued brass accents. A blank book bound in dark blue leather over white paper covered boards with raised bands is included. And yes, the press really works! Size: 3 x 3 x 2.5 inches. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2019. Number 4 of 20. At his height, Henry Irving (1838 - 1905) was the greatest actor in the world (and the first to be knighted). He was much more than an actor, he was an actor-producer, which in those days meant that he was responsible for everything, what we would call the artistic director, the director, the production manager, the production designer, and also the lead actor. And the scale of his productions at the Lyceum Theater in London were gorgeous and spectacular, using the latest technology in staging and special effects. Irving led the English theater for over thirty years, and died as he would no doubt have wished, still acting. I came upon his obituary in the Times, and it was a wonderful piece of writing, but also a very good valuation of his art and his place in theatrical history, which isn't so easy to do so near an actor's own time. The old joke used to run that he was an actor who would never play Faust when he could play Mephistopheles. He changed the status of the theater forever, bringing it from the shady demimonde of the 18th century to the height of a recognized and respected form of art. Everyone at the Lyceum called him the Guv'nor, a term of both affection and a well-founded wariness of his perfectionism. If in a former life I had worked as a costumer in his company, I would have been proud to do the same. This miniature book is bound in a gray paper with horizontal slubbed gold lines, and a black and gold marbled paper that wraps around the back to form a small pocket inside filled with theater memoribelia: programs, autographs, advertising posters, and other souvenirs. 2 7/8" x 2", 64 pages. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books. Limited edition. A little newspaper pastiche, using the racing world in miniature to describe a rather hilarious bookworm race using cutouts and pop-ups to represent the competitors, the silverfish, the caterpillar beetle, and the book louse. Pat writes on her "editorial page": "What is a bookworm? This race will determine the answer: 'Fans have griped for centuries about the eligibility question in the Bookworm Racing Division. Ever since Aristotle described "bookworm" in his History of Animals, sports lore has insisted that there is such a thing. These days, the only bookworms around this newsroom are the readers, not the mythical bugs. So if there's no such thing as a bookworm, who's running in today's race? Not the also-rans, would-bes, hopefuls, bush-leaguers and dark horses who made this race such a non-event in the past. For the first time the field is being restricted to the three competitors who really have a chance to decide the question once and for all." A historic race, jam-packed with thrills and danger. The path of each contestant is marked with a yellow, magenta, or cyan ribbon, and when the race starts, anything can happen!" Bound in white paper covered boards with title shown as a bundled newspaper on front cover. With a white belly band with the words "Extra! Extra." In fine condition. Measures 7/8 x 1 5/8 inches. Unpaginated [34 pages].
Riverdale, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2019. One of only two copies. A beautiful production from award winning miniature book artist Pat Sweet. She writes: "Around 1870, two large boxes, containing 450 watercolor drawings of fish native to East Asia, were given to the Universality of Groninggen by Senn van Basel, the former Dutch consul in Canton. The drawings were mostly accurate, but some were charmingly stylized and near anthropomorphic. I've taken a choice selection of these mysterious creatures and put them in two sides of a little clamshell box, interleaved with Japanese tissue, which in turn slides into a slip box. Both boxes are bound in an ocean-like hand-marbled paper by Jemma Lewis. The slip-box has a oak-framed illustration seen behind vellum." In fine condition. The clamshell box is 2 5/8 x 2 1/4 x 1 inch, and the slip-box is 2 7/8 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches. The prints are 2 1/2 x 1 1/2. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2018. Hardcover. An interesting miniature book from Pat Sweet's Bo Press. She says: "Our alphabet used to be a lot bigger. It used to include letters like ampersand (and), eng ( the sound at the end of words like 'sing'), and the famous long s , which still puzzles readers of old books when it appears in the middle of words looking like 'f' but sounding like 's'. I've taken eleven of these once well-known letters and given each of them a tiny spotlight: illustrating it against a background of medieval tracery, telling a little of its history, and giving some examples in modern fonts (yes, these old letters still turn up in modern typography. You never know when you'll need a conjoined ae.) The book is printed in Kelmscott and Thryomenes on Monarch superfine paper, and bound in a diagonal pattern of cream colored paper and a gold on red medieval-ish print." With a tiny Bo Press bookmark laid in. In fine condition. It measures 2 5/8 x 2i inches. Unpaginated [56 pages]. MINI/120319. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2019. Open edition. Étienne Léopold Trouvelot, a French-American artist, produced drawings of celestial subjects as pastels in the early 1870s. Trouvelot was a scientist without formal training whose primary occupations were artist, nature illustrator, and printmaker. He published more than fifty scientific papers in his lifetime, but remains best known for his exquisite astronomical illustrations.They combine scrupulous accuracy with great awe and beauty (book artist). Pat Sweet has boxed copies of thirteen of Trouvelot's best pastels in a box lined with a peach and gold dotted paper and bound it with a paper printed with the night sky. The box is decorated on it's long sides with antiqued brass triangles.A paper title label is affixed to the top of the box. The plates, each protected by a tissue guard, are 2 5/8 x 2 1/16 inches, and the box is 2 7/8 x 2 1/2 inches. In fine condition. MINI/120219. Fine.
Berlin: Egon Fleischel, circa 1900. Hardcover. Viertes bis sechstes Tausand. A book of poetry about Judas in German. E.M. Lilien (1874 - 1925) was an artist that studied in Poland. He worked in the Art Nouveau style typically with Jewish themes. Good in black and green cloth boards with white title "Juda" to front cover. Lacks spine panel. Boards are present but nearly detached. Beautifully illustrated in black and white with Art Noveau style borders on every page. Clean interior. A good reading copy. Unpaginated. GER/011320. Good.
New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1890. Hardcover. Small octavo. First Edition. Red cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Minor wear to edges of boards, corners, and spine ends. Spots of discoloration to front cover and minor sunning to spine. Frontispiece illustration. Clean interior overall with minor foxing to early and late pages. Browning to margins. 181 pages. BALT/122719. Very Good.
n.p. 1858. Admiral George Anson Byron, 7th Baron Byron (1789 – 1868) was a British nobleman, naval officer, peer, politician, and the seventh Baron Byron, in 1824 succeeding his cousin the poet George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron in that peerage. As a career naval officer, he was notable for being his predecessor's opposite in temperament and lifestyle [Wikipedia] A Free Frank was a mark applied by means of a hand-stamp to parliamentary mail in Britain to indicate that the mailed item did not require postage. This free frank dated April 19, 1838 was for his corresondence to a gentleman in Liverpool. A 3 x 5 inch piece of paper affixed to a larger piece of paper, which is torn on one end. EPHEM/112619. Very Good.
Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, (1996). Paperback. 4to. Near fine in black illustrated glossy paper wrappers with orange title to front wrapper and to spine. Minor fading to spine. Pristine interior with full color photographic illustrations throughout. 124 pages. African Art. AFRART/112019. Fine.
Rome: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1926. Hardcover. Scarce edition of this work in Latin on the biblical texts of Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus. Bound in three quarter cream leather with blue paper boards. Spines have gilt ornamentation and red and black title labels. Some soiling to the leather. The binding to Volume II is damaged on the upper right front cover and also has ink ownership initiials covered over with a black letter K to title page. Interior pages have light aging but very good. Small quarto. Volume I: 427 pages; Volume II: 485 pages. REL/112719. Very Good -.
New York: Rizzoli, 1991. Paperback. Documentaion of a collection of dolls created in 1945 in Europe "to present the haute coture collections of Spring 1945 on miniature figurines in theater decors signed by artists such as Cocteau, Berard, Kochno, Malcles ..." Presumed destroyed, they were re-discovered around 1985 at an art museum in the US. Quarto. Binding is coming a little loose along hinges, else clean and bright. Light wear to edges of jacket and wrappers. Bound in black paper wrapperes with an illustrated photographic dust jacket titled in white on the spine and front panels. Filled with photographic illustrations. Includes relevant laid in postcards and news article. 191 pages. FASH/122719. Very Good / Very Good.