Element, 2004. Paper Wrappers. 8vo. "From his hugely popular and personal readings to his hit televised explorations, Derek has dealt with some of Britain's most notorious spirits and conducted countless hauting investigations. The sceptics are being silenced. Believers are being blinded by the light. What will YOU find when you enter the psychic adventures of Derek Acorah?" (jacket). Includes descriptions of encouters with Ghosts (including Jack the Ripper's victims, King Charles I, Mary Queen of Scots, and more). Black paper wrappers gilt title to front panel and blue/white title to spine. Photographic portait of Acorah to front and spine panels. Minor scuffing to panels and very minor wear to edges, else fine. Pristine interior with tight binding. 253 pages. MYTH/042205. Near Fine.
Occult, Myth, & Magic
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Minneapolis: Angel Bomb Press, 2020. Limited to 125 copies signed and numbered by the book artist, Todd Thyberg. He writes in the colophon that the book took over two years to write, create, and print. He states: "This experiential read was conceived as an ode to H.P. Lovecraft, whose books I had discovered and read profusely as a teenager growing up in a small town in rural North Dakota....I knew I wanted to be a writer, to breathe life into stories that transported the reader to realms unknown. H.P. Lovecraft gifted the world with a style of cosmic horror and weird fiction that was previously unknown. In homage, Todd created a mythical and mystical expedition to the steppes of Siberia to find the temple and artifacts of a mysterious people that supposedly once inhabited this barren and forbidding land. He says, "In the winter of ‘18, I rented a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin and sequestered myself for a week, sketching, researching and writing down plot points. I took an historic event that fascinates me and turned it on its head, spinning it into the world of old gods and monsters that thrilled me as a kid. I wanted to celebrate and honor the creepy cosmic horror that made Lovecraft’s work so unique. One of the men on the expedition is required to document their findings. Odd diagrams and even odder structures are found and recorded for the archives at Miskatonic University. What is it that they find? What happens to the expedition when they find it?" It’s all hidden within. But be forewarned! Many who have seen the contents of The Miskatonic Papers have died horrible deaths or gone completely insane! The valiant quest for knowledge may lead you down a path that branches into dark corners of the night, filled with arcane shadows. Never travel there alone and be cautious where you step. If you hear a wet, rustling noise behind you, you had best run screaming. After exploring Todd's remarkable and complex production, the reader will indeed understand Todd's warning! The work comes in a foil-stamped grey clothbound clamshell box with three sealed folders inside.Todd urges the reader to break the seals and pore through the contents of the folders. One includes a broadside for the expedition, drawings, two letters, a rubbing, telegrams from the field, and an amazing handwritten expedition journal. All of them letterpress printed, aged, and weathered. The Expedition Broadside appears stained with ale and smudges from the hands of inquisitive sailors. It states that Professor Tyler Freeborn seeks able-bodied men to risk life and limb for the advancement of science. Do you have a thirst for adventure? Perhaps you should apply. Each piece of the book was made to look as if it was created 100 years ago. Stains, creases, and even burned edges will provide the reader with a rich experience when delving through the ephemera and piecing the story together. Printed on a selection of stocks as well as vintage business cards and journal pages, with too many typefaces to name and lots of handwriting as well. Letterpress printed at the Angel Bomb studio. In fine condition. ARTSB/071320. Fine.
Toronto: Biting Dog Press, 2003. Hardcover. Number 225 of 250 numbered copies, signed by the author, writer of the foreword, and designer and illustrator. It is a humorous and rather irreverent retelling by Jack Ketchum of "an ancient, yet always timely tale." The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in Sanskrit verse and prose. The surviving work is dated to about 200 BC, but the fables are likely much more ancient [Wikipedia]. In this tale, a little mouse unexpectedly falls into the hands of a magician, who transforms the mouse into a young girl who becomes a daughter to him and his wife. It recounts their attempts to find a suitable god for her to marry before they realize that she should be transformed back into a mouse and marry the King of the Mice. With original wood engravings by George Walker that were impressed directly onto handmade Japanese gampi paper from the original wood blocks. The text is printed with Linotype Granjon type on Zephyr Laid paper. Bound in a gray cloth portfolio with a brown leather tie that evokes a mouse's tail. Housed in a gray cloth clamshell box with light blue edges. A charming book in fine condition. Measures 6.25 x 9 inches. Unpaginated [about 18 pages plus illustrations]. PRI/050922. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2014. This is a welcome reissue of one of Pat Sweet's most inventive miniature works. "Welcome to Hell" comprises twelve pieces of Hellish ephemera that play with some of the images and ideas of the infernal regions from popular culture. The result is a surprisingly humorous and engaging production. Pat described it as one of her most fun projects ever. She writes: "Most religions have discarded the idea of a retributive afterlife, but the idea remains in the popular consciousness as folk belief. Images of old-time Hell are much more common than those of Heaven: Dante invented a whole complex gradation of torments for an exactly sorted list of sins. But grinning devils with pitchforks continue to poke burning sinners, and Satan continues to offer shady your-soul-for-your heart's desire deals in folk tales and legends." The items are stored inside a shopping bag labeled "Welcome to Hell." Your goody bag from Hell includes: Welcome To Hell! (with FAQs! - for example, "Am I really here for all of eternity?" "Yes") A Gallery of Hell (Hell in famous paintings) Visitor's Book (Yes, some people get to leave) Hellhounds of the Underworld (Hell has a surprising number of dogs) Go To Hell (a board game for sinners of all ages) Devil Cards (collect 'em all!) Seven Deadly Sins Post Cards ( by Bruegel) Hotel Grand Pandemonium dinner menu (Annual Famous Last Meals Banquet),an extra gameboard, Hellmouth Pop-up Cards (three thrilling maws) Maps of Hell (maps of Dante's Hell). Also included is a complimentary fan - Hot Enough For Ya? - with picture of devil's head - not that it would do much good. The bag is 3 x 2 3/8 x 1 3/8 inches. The items in the bag vary in size but are all miniature. In fine condition. PRI/060121. Fine.
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, (1986). Hardcover. Presentation copy SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. 8vo. Blue paper backed yellow cloth covered boards with gilt title to spine. Inscription on front free end page reads " To George, Hope you like this book. I look forward to meeting you. Jerome Charyn." Else is clean and bright. White illustrated dust jacket with blue title to front and spine panels. One small closed teat to bottom edge of front panel of dust jacket. Index, 304 pages. NY/061611. Near Fine in Near Fine Dust Jacket.
New York: Béatrice Coron, 2022. One of 99 copies. An inventive set of cyber related tarot cards from artist Coron and writer Stern. There are 22 cards plus a card with the user manual that describes how the set can be used. The instructions state: "For MEDITATION, you can study the vanities and follies of humans nature. Please see the 1440 AD OS. For DIVINATION, you must be certified to read the hidden meanings of fate. Please contact a magus, shaman or warlock for instruction and apprenticeship. For all other purposes, such as paradigm shifting, game changing, inventing the future, and causing disruptions of all kinds, we make no guarantees. You AGREE not to hold this tarot deck liable for any surprises." The cards are boldly printed in black, orange, and yellow. Each card has a black skeletal figure that illustrates the term on that card, e.g., online wanderer, hacker, influencer, gamer joystick, cyber security, troll. Each card is 3.3 x 2.16 inches. The deck is housed in a white box that is signed and numbered by Coron. Drawn in Illustrator and printed by Moo. In fine condition. PRI/051622. Fine.
New York: Wyndham Books, 1981. FIRST EDITION. Hardcover. 8vo. In red cloth backed brown paper covered boards with gilt title stamp to spine. Slight fading to top edge of boards. In illustrated black DJ with tow tiny chips to top edge of DJ. Small brown stain to top edge of textblock. Interior pristine. 286pp. OCC/072606. Very Good in Very Good dj.
Sebastopol, CA: Deeply Game Publications, 2020. Hardcover. Number 4 of 20 copies. Signed by the book artist. From the preface: In the 19th and early 20th centuries a great many people were fooled into believing that "spirit photographers" were able to pierce death's veil to document the ghosts of lost loved ones. "These photographers, also known as mediums, used double exposures and other tricks to manufacture the supernatural encounters. Their popularity attests to the power of love and loss in people's lives then and now. The hauntings were real, even if the ghosts were not. We are haunted still, and not just by love and loss. This book makes visible some of what bedevils us - psychological demons; social & factual distortions; the force & folly of the culture around us." For this compelling book, the artist produced plates using paint, camera, and ink to create specters - haunting figures - immaterial subjects that comprise both fact and fiction, encompassing both the rational and absurd. The apparent spectral images in the plates are able to be identified using a fold-out guide that provides keys to the bedevilments that haunt each image. Key words (or "bedevilments") include: fake news, extinction, lonliness, police murder, rage, social distance, xenophobia, climate change, demise of democracy, etc.). The relevant key abbreviations are printed on the white page across from each of the images. The painted images in the plates were based on spirit photographs by Ada Deane, William Hope, Edward Wyllie, and others. Bound in dark blue cloth with silver titling to front cover. Letterpress printed using News Gothic and Century Schoolbook fonts designed by Morris Fuller Benton. In fine condition. Measures 8 x 11 inches. [38 pages] ARTISTSB/120321. Fine.
Baltimore: Flying Fox Press, 2017. Paperback. 1 of 25 copies, initialed and numbered by the artist. Linocut of an imaginary serpent-bird printed archivally in dark green ink on tan paper. Printed at PaperBase with Sarah Robbins. Thirty-seven additional copies were printed for the Guild of Book Workers "Bird in Hand" annual collaborative project. Ten percent of each sale will be donated to Bat Conservation International. Size: 8 x 8 inches. PRI/090117. Fine.
Towson, MD: Susannah Horrom, 2014. Paperback. Limited to 25 copies. Initialed and numbered by the artist. First trade edition. A detailed drawing of a creature that is filled with "lost things" such as keys, phones, pets, money, flashlights, time, weight, and even Atlantis. This drawing was created as part of a collaborative project sponsored by the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Bookworkers. The first printing of this map was issued exclusively for other participants in the Atlas Project 2014 in an edition of 40. From the artist's statement: "I lose things all the time. I put down a pen, sewing needle, phone, etc. - turn my head for a second - and BAM - gone. Sometimes these mysterious disappearances are due to my clepto cats, but are largely inexplicable. What is taking my eyeglasses, spare change, flashlights, postage stamps, and half of my socks? My husband? Aliens? or more likely - a giant worm-dragon-monster that lives underground and sends up tentacles to steal my stuff..." This trade edition is inkjet printed on archival paper from the original pen and ink drawing. Includes card with artist's statement and brief biography. 8.5 inches x 21 inches. PRI/123114. Fine.
London: George Routledge & Sons Ltd, (circa 1910). Hardcover. Early edition, no date. French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin (1805 - 1871) is considered by many to be the father of modern conjuring. One of his most famous tricks was the Marvelous Orange Tree, of which a more complex version was featured in the 2009 film The Illusionist. Harry Houdini grew up idolizing Robert-Houdin and adopted a version of his name for his stage name after learning that in French, adding an "i" to "Houdin" would translate to "like Robert-Houdin." After reading Robert-Houdin's autobiography and studying the history of magic, he became disillusioned with his namesake as he discovered he had taken credit for inventing many tricks that had actually been developed by predecessors. In this new heavily researched biography, Harry Houdini attempts to set the record straight and to give credit to the magicians from decades, sometimes centuries past. Illustrated. Bound in the original orange cloth boards with black title to spine and front board. Illustrations to both spine and front board. Browning to spine, light soil to boards, and minor rubbing. Wear to spine ends and corners including chipping to bookcloth on spine ends. Slight toning to margins and small dampstain to top of title page, but clean interior overall. Front hinge is cracked and there are a few internal splits to binding, but binding remains secure. 333 pages. Very Good.
Seattle: Marquand Editions, 2013. One of 20 copies plus 5 artists proofs. This complicated and fascinating artist's book was described and exclaimed over by a number of reviewers and critics at its publication. Most simply, it is a magician's case of graphic story books, but in reality it is much more than that. Chris Byrne's obsessional graphic novel took a decade to realize and another two years to produce. He and designer Scott Newton worked with Paper Hammer Studios in Seattle to construct an audaciously ambitious bit of publishing magic. The Magician is an epic graphic novel, a bookmaking tour de force, a mesmerizing art object, and the completion of over a decade-long obsession of author Chris Byrne. This enigmatic box of wonders houses a dozen separate publications, printed and hand bound using a variety of techniques. Although individual works, they are considered parts of the whole. The twelve books include Theogony, Handmade, Down the Head, Mountain Man/She-Wolf, Letterpress Flipbook, 4-Ply Toilet Paper, Moleskine, The Magician Manual, M'Phase, Unfinished Versions, Colophon, and Curtains [From Marquand Editions website]. The magician's large case measuring a foot long and foot wide is custom-built with plywood and metal and sits atop casters. It is painted black and decorated by a white rope pattern that crisscrosses its width. Wrote art curator and critic Dan Nadel in 2013 about this production: "There is no single apt reference point for Chris Byrne's ingenious The Magician. It is a wunderkammer, a Cornell-ian box, a visual novel, a conjurer's tool kit. Above all it's a moving, multi-faceted graphic narrative. There's never been anything quite like it." From writer and editor Christina Geyer's review in FDLuxe in 2014: " [Chris Byrne] is indeed the author. In this case, though, author is a loaded word - and means much more than one who writes a story. For The Magician, which Byrne began working on as an undergrad student in 1987, it refers to conceptualizing, illustrating, designing and storytelling. The novel - actually 12 stylistically different books in one box - sprang from Byrne's longtime fascination with semiotics and the language of signs. Thus began the idea of creating an alternative comic strip of sorts. It is, in short, a story about a hermaphroditic magician who was conceived in a public bathroom and who eventually creates the universe. 'It's an exploration of the realms of the unreal,; Byrne says. 'It may even be a goof on the creation myth.' The books and their many visuals, illustration and symbols are meant to be read. interacted with and interpreted deeply by the reader....The result is a high-design book and a collectible art object." In fine condition. Extra shipping costs will apply. ARTB/120821. Fine.
New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., . Hardcover. First Edition. Elliott O'Donnell (1872-1965) was a well-known writer about the super-natural, and primarily known for his works about ghosts. Ex-library from the Washington Club with the club's bookplate to the front pastedown, embossed stamp to title page, and removed libary pocket to rear endpapers. Bound in black cloth with title and author to spine. Title on spine is faded and rubbed. Heavy wear to corners and spine ends with board exposed. Short closed tear to bookcloth along rear joint. Light rubbing to boards. Aside from library markings and a pencil notation to the front endpaper, the interior is clean. Very good condition. 280 pages including index. OCC/062122. Very Good.
New York: Rider and Company. Hardcover. First Edition, third impression. With seven photographic plates produced in half tone. This exploration of the British Isles includes "ghostly phenomena of every variety - elementals, vampires, phantom motor lorries and coaches, phantom heads, headless ghosts, evil and dangerous ghosts, ghosts of various colours, frightful and frightening ghosts, benign and lovely ghosts, a formidable array of denizens of the other worlds ... [with] a touch of O'Donnell's inimitable sardonic humour" (jacket). Black cloth boards with white title to spine. Slight bumping to corners and minor wear to edges and hinges. Minor rubbing to book cloth. Even browning to interior pages. In illustrated blue, black, and red jacket with white title to spine and front panels. Browning to spine panel of jacket. Minor wear to edges of jacket including a few short closed tears. 192 pages. Horror. OCC/062022. Very Good / Very Good.
New York: Frederick A Stokes Company. Hardcover. No date. Elliott O'Donnell (1872-1965) was a well-known writer about the super-natural, and primarily known for his works about ghosts. He even claimed to have seen one when he was five years old. This book includes stories about mysterious rooms in the UK and America - rooms of portraits, garages, school rooms, cellars, torture rooms, haunted rooms, rooms with monstrous people, and more. Light green cloth covered boards with dark green title to spine. Browning to spine, wear to edges of boards and corners, and minor rubbing to boards. Even toning to interior pages. 282 pages. OCC/062122. Very Good.
Sutton Mandeville, England: Perdix Press, 1978. Softcover. One of 100 copies printed. Seventy were for the fourth exchange of the Society of Private Printers and thirty for private circulation. A charming small collection of 16 verses that were taken from the Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book of 1955, compiled by the nursery rhyme scholars Iona and Peter Opie. The pages are sewn into light cream wrappers with the title and decoration in blue on front cover. Hand set in 10 point Bembo and printed on a Columbian press by Walter Pattridge. In fine condition. 2.5 x 4.5 inches. Unpaginated. PRI/112717. Fine.
London: Hutchinson and Co, (1936). Hardcover. A somewhat scholarly examination of the existence of ghosts intermingled with ghost stories and personal experiences. The author cites evidence drawn from other cultures and relevant popular authors such as Lafcadio Hearn and Arthur Machen. Bound in the original green cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Minor rubbing to spine and minor wear to corners. Sllight bow to boards. Foxing to fore-edge and to interior pages with text. Includes 16 illustrations issued on a white glossy paper stock. 288 pages plus 20 pages of publisher's ads. OCC/062122. Very Good.
London: R. Hindmarsh, 1787. Hardcover. First English Language Edition, translated from the original Latin. Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 - 1772) was a Swedish author, inventor, philosopher, theologist, mystic, and scientist. Swedenborg regularly had visions or dreams in which he believed he could converse with angels, spirits, and demons. In this work he describes "encounters" with spirits from other planets and from beyond the Solar System. Full brown leather boards with maroon leather title label to spine and green label with the initials "J.H." beneath it. Both hinges are cracked, but boards remain attached. Losses to leather on spine, wear to spine, boards, and edges. Antiquated penned notation to margins of a few pages and to rear free endpaper. Ownership signature in pencil to front free endpaper. Front free endpapers are present but loose and chipped along the edges. Occasional spots of soiling (mostly to margins) and some foxing. 212 pages. SCI/062822. Very Good.
London: Harold Shaylor, 1930. Hardcover. Illustrated. First Edition. C.J.S. Thompson (1862 - 1943) was an English author and physician who wrote books on alchemy, poison, magic, folklore, and more. He also wrote a novel under the pseudonym "Creswick J. Thompson. Bound in the original tan striped cloth covered boards with dark brown title to spine and front board. Browning to spine and spots of foxing to boards. Even toning to interior pages with occasional small spots of soiling (mostly to margins). Scattered foxing to early and late pages. 331 pages. OCC/062122. Very Good.
Luminice Press, 2019-2020. One of 10 copies. This fascinating and intricate work by highly regarded book artist Williams is about two forms of transformation: alchemy, a physical process, and written scripture, a codification of religious beliefs. Alchemists believed that a method could be found to transmute base metals into gold. After centuries of trying, they never discovered such a method. The beliefs of some early societies were transformed from pantheistic to a concept of a single god figure, whose stories were collected in written form and used to codify new faiths. This book looks at the failure of alchemy and also how early faiths were corrupted and then used by dominant groups to subjugate and harm those who differed. The front cover is a pentagram with five triangles. The pentagram symbolized both good and evil and had many interpretations. For example, the single point up indicated the five wounds of Christ; both points up had an occult meaning. The triangles represent the base metals of alchemy. From top left in a clockwise rotation they are: silver, lead, tin, iron and copper with the sixth metal, mercury, represented by the silver dust surrounding the pentagram. Gold, the primary objective of alchemy, is at the center. The rear cover represents the four elements identified in antiquity: air, fire, earth and water. Each base metal has been associated with a planet in our solar system. Lead with Saturn, tin with Jupiter, iron with Mars, copper with Venus, silver with the moon, and mercury with its namesake planet. As the book progresses, each etching is aligned with one of the metals. The symbol for each metal, or planet associated with it, is found on the text page. Wit 11 original etchings from zinc plates on Twinrocker hand-made paper, 12 letterpress printed pages from polymer plates with alcohol based stains on Mohawk text weight paper, marbled endpapers. Covers are bound with paper over binders board. Front cover has onlays of thin steel and copper with metal pigment coatings and patina as well as silver leaf and gold leaf. Rear cover has an onlay of embossed aluminium foil from an engraved polycarbonate plate. closed, with three flaps and magnet closure bound with book cloth over binders board with Tyvek hinges. ad, tin, iron and copper with the sixth metal, mercury, represented by the silver dust surrounding the pentagram. Gold, the primary objective of alchemy, is at the center. The rear cover represents the four elements identified in antiquity: air, fire, earth and water. Each base metal has been associated with a planet in our solar system. Lead with Saturn, tin with Jupiter, iron with Mars, copper with Venus, silver with the moon, and mercury with its namesake planet. Custom case measures 9.5 x 8.75 x 1.5 inches. In fine condition. ARTISTSB/052720.
London: William Rider & Son, 1924. Hardcover. Second edition, greatly enlarged and revised. Described by publishers as the only comprehensive collection of vampire stories of all ages and nations that illustrate the perennial hold this subject holds upon the human imagination. Chapters on vampires in various regions and countries, and on living vampires and the vampire in literature. Bound in red cloth boards with faded title in gilt to spine and black title to cover. A few spots of soiling to boards and spine with browning to spine. A few light markings to front endpapers, else clean and bright inside. 220 pages plus four pages of publisher advertisements. OCC/062122. Very Good.
Philadelphia, London: Courage Books, (1991). Hardcover. Thin 4to. Unearthly tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Washington Irving, M.R. James, Edith Nesbit, Ambrose Bierce, and others. Very good black illustrated glossy paper covered boards with white title to spine. Offsetting from jacket to endpages, else clean interior. Color illustrations on every page. Very good illustrated dust jacket with white title to spine. Minor wear to edges of jacket and a few scuff marks to rear panel. 56 pages. CHILD/102209. Very good in very good jacket.