New York: Nicholas L. Brown, 1929. Hardcover. One of 1410 copies printed from type on French Navarre paper. This was the author's own copy, with his bookplate affixed to the front pastedown along with a small oval pink and gilt decorative sticker showing two Greek figures. Tipped in is a charming original watercolor portrait of a young woman done by Franz Felix. He has inscribed it: "To Mitchell S. Buck, Esq in high esteem and friendship Franz Felix, NY 1929." The book is handsomely bound in quarter brown leather with black cloth covers. Raised bands to spine and gilt titling. Binding is near fine with the slightest wear to the corners. Interior pages are clean and bright. There are six stylized green illustrations with white background. A previous owner or bookseller has written in pencil of the free front endpaper that the book was the author's copy and includes an original watercolor. The rear pastedown has evidence that a bookseller ticket was removed. In about fine condition. Measures 6.5 x 8.5 inches. LIT/090523. Fine.
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New York: Garden City Publishing Co., Inc, 1938. Hardcover. Features an introduction by Lionel Barrymore, who played Scrooge in a radio broadcast a few years prior to publication. Bound in dark red cloth boards with white box including gilt title to spine and front board. Browning to spine, wear to edges of boards, and water stains (in shape of a glass) to front board. (Don't use books as coasters!!) Occasional spots of foxing to interior, but clean overall. With many full page color plates as well as small line drawn vignettes. Size: Quarto. 131 pages. LIT/082423. Very Good.
New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1890. Hardcover. A quite scarce Victorian children's book illustrated by Maud Humphrey and with verse by Helen Gray Cone. Maud Humphrey (1868 – 1940) was a commercial illustrator, watercolorist, and suffragette from the United States. She was the mother of the actor Humphrey Bogart and frequently used her young son as a model. She won a Louis Prang and Company competition for Christmas card design and then began working for the New York publisher Frederick A. Stokes as an illustrator. From the 1890s through the 1920s, her work included child portraits, "illustrating calendars, greeting cards, postcards, fashion magazines, and more than 20 story books." Her artwork featuring children garnered the moniker the "Humphrey Baby." [Wikipedia] Helen Gray Cone (1859 – 1934) was a poet and professor of English literature. She spent her entire career at Hunter College in New York City. This delightful book features six charming chromolithograph illustrations of the tiny toddlers along with seven pages of line drawings to accompany the poems. Printed on recto only. Some light offsetting of chromolithographs to the blank pages and title page. Bound in color pictorial boards with a red cloth spine. Some light bumping and rubbing to corners and of boards and spine edges. Offsetting to front pastedown and free endpaper from a piece of paper. Very good plus condition and probably never touched by a child. Measures 11 x 14 inches. CHILD/091123. Very Good+.
Garden City, NY: Blue Ribbon Books, 1941. Hardcover. Reprint. Includes over 25 short stories from Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, Lafcadio Hearn, the Arabian Nights, Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce - and many more. With haunting illustrations by Lynd Ward. Each story opens with a brief introduction from the editor. Bound in green cloth boards with yellow title to spine. Rubbing and minor soiling to boards. Wear to spine ends, corners, and edges of boards. Browning to spine. Occasional spots of soiling to interior and toning to the margins. Penned ownership signature to the front free endpaper. A few minor splits to interior binding. 486 pages. OCC/072123. Very Good.
Oakland, CA: Prototype Press, 2017. Hardcover. Number 21 of 52 copies. A finely printed edition of Bukowski's semi-autobiographical work about coming of age in Los Angeles during the Great Depression. Huge fans of Bukowski's work, printers David Johnston and Mark Sarigianis, aspired to print this modern classic in their early days of working together at the Arion Press. Years later, after forming The Prototype Press in 2014, they began the process of acquiring the printing rights, and Johnston digitally keyboarded the novel in preparation to begin typecasting. Unfortunately, he tragically passed on within a week of completing it. Over the next few years his partner Sarigianis completed the book, which necessitated a two-part casting of type and printing - with the first half of type melted down in order to cast the second. Illustrated by Sean StarWars, a woodcut artist living in Laurel, Mississippi with his wife and five children. He is also a proud member of the Outlaw Printmakers. Following is a note about this project from the artist: "Nobody really gets a Charles Bukowski quote right, so I’m just gonna paraphrase him: 'You’re only a writer when you’re writing’. I have taken that to heart as an artist, specifically as a printmaker. 'You’re only an artist when you’re making art, not when you’re talking about it…' With that in mind I have spent the last 25 years with my nose to the grindstone blasting out print after print after print. Being invited to illustrate Ham on Rye has been one of the most personally gratifying projects I have ever worked on. It has also been one of the most challenging. This project has forced me to do a number of things I don’t do well or easily, such as working small and working detailed. But there’s one other thing I learned from my years of devouring Bukowski and that’s to trust your gut, and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at doing that. I hope you see my woodcuts as Inspirations by Bukowski and not simply illustrations of his words.’’ Bound in handmade black paper from St. Armand over white pigskin with black title to spine. Light rubbing to boards, else fine. Letterpress printed in Goudy Powell with heads in Headline Bold. The chapter numbers and title page are printed with Condensed Gothic Bold woodtype. Printed on custom handmade paper from St. Armand with the watermarks of "CB" (the author's initials) and "HC" (the author's alter-ego, Henry Chinaski). The illustrations are printed from the original hand carved wood blocks over tinted blocks of cyan, magenta, and yellow. The type was cast and the book was printed and bound by the Prototype Press. Housed in a black paper covered slipcase titled in gilt to spine panel. 364 pages. PRI/051923. Fine.
Tokyo: Doi Hangaten Co., Ltd, circa 1950. Hardcover. No date - may have been printed 1938 - 1960 based on other books in this series by the same printer. An accordion book printed to show the process of how a color wood-cut is printed. According to the last panel (the only panel with text) this is a "Ukiyoe" which is a "genre picture developed in close connection with wood-cut printing. They were very popular among the common people in the Tokugawa era (1618 - 1863). They are worked out through the joint efforts of a painter, an engraver and a printer. This album represents the process of printing." The print shown (in different stages of color) throughout the book is by Koitsu Tsuchiya (1870 - 1949) from 1936. He was the "best" pupil of Kiyochika Kobayashi (1846 - 1915), called Hiroshige (1796 - 1858) in Meiji era. The boards are covered in Japanese paper with a floral design. When compared to other copies, it is apparent that there was once a paper title label on the front board. This is no longer present. The woodcuts are tipped in - 19 in total. The paper on which the woodcuts are mounted is a fairly brittle and two hinges have been repaired along the back side using Japanese tissue. Offsetting to first and last pages and minor browning to interior, but clean and bright overall. An interesting documentation of this involved printing process. This example shows 10 print runs for a single color woodcut. Housed in an orange patterned paper covered box with title label to front cover. Splits to edges of both box lids. [22 pages.] ART/061023. Very Good.