Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2018 Issue

Beautiful Books and Their Creation from The Veatchs Arts of the Book

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Book arts from the Veatchs.

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has published their Catalogue 88. It is filled with material related to the book arts. There are fine press offerings, type specimen books, proof copies, various types of printed images, fine bindings, and other features related to the physical beauty of the book. Some are the beautiful books themselves, others the instructions and products needed to create those beautiful books. Here, now, are a few selections from this recent Veatchs catalogue.

 

William Morris' Kelmscott Press remains today a symbol of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the finest of the fine, private presses. We begin with a work that was printed by the Kelmscott press, though not by the Kelmscott Press. There is a subtle difference here. It's in the capitalization. After Morris died in 1897, the Kelmscott Press wound down its business and closed the doors. C. R. (Charles Robert) Ashbee was was also a product of the Arts and Ctafts Movement, influenced both by Morris' artistic tastes and his socialism. For years, he operated the Guild and School of Handicraft. It taught poor children how to produce fine handwork. Ashbee wasn't teaching them the book arts so much as making products like furniture and metalwork. However, he also came from a family of bibliophiles and determined to set up a private press. He wanted to create books similar to those of Morris. To achieve those aims, he purchased the press that had been used by Kelmscott, hence his books were printed on Kelmscott's press, but not by the printer Kelmscott Press. Ashbee called his press Essex House Press. Item 15 is The Psalter, or Psalms of David from the Bible of Archbishop Cranmer, published in 1902. The large pictorial initials were created by Ashbee. Type is in red and black. The archaic spelling of Cranmer's time was retained. Priced at $1,100.

 

Robert Hoe was in the business of producing printing presses, though I doubt he built one for Kelmscott. His customers would have been larger, including those of America's newspapers. R. Hoe & Co. was the largest producer of printing presses in America, likely the world, in the 19th century. Item 26 is R. Hoe & Co's Catalogue of Printing Presses and Printers' Materials from 1881. This is a "profusely illustrated" catalogue of Hoe's large presses. The catalogue was created by Francis Hart, partner of Theodore DeVinne, whose press became the DeVinne Press after Hart died in 1883. While Hoe is noted for his very successful press business, he used much of his money to create a magnificent book collection, for which he is most known in the collecting field. When it sold in 1912, it brought in by far the most money of any book auction sale in America up to its time. Item 26. $1,200.

 

Here is a book that makes lemonade out of lemons, or more specifically, beauty out of bugs. Item 4 is Diptera: A Book of Flies & Other Insects. Published in 1983 by the Gehenna Press, it features the etchings of Leonard Baskin. Baskin was an extraordinary artist, illustrator, and sculptor, as well as the proprietor of the Gehenna Press. Along with five pages of text there are 36 illustrations in color and black and white. Each has been signed and numbered by Baskin. Baskin wrote that his aim was "to lift these brushed-away small insects to special and particular beauty." $12,200.

 

This book was intended to be of practical rather than artistic value, but it is quite attractive anyway. Item 49 is The American Bond Detector And Complete History of all United States Securities Treasury Department, by Nehemiah George Ordway. It was published in 1869. It covers all bonds issued by Congress from July 17, 1861 - March 3, 1868. They were printed in the original colors from the original dies. They come with a full description along with rules for detecting counterfeits. There is even a counterfeit bond printed from its plate that was captured by government agents. Also displayed are some railroad bonds and revenue stamps for whiskey and cigars. This is followed by images of coins, embossed to provide a more life-like appearance. They are printed in metallic inks of copper, bronze, silver and gold. The Veatchs notes that there has been some oxidation of the silver ink, "but the gold ones are amazing." This is a first and only edition. $4,700.

 

Next we have an extensive collection from one of the more unusual private presses. It was known by the not very artistic or clever sounding name of the Laboratory Press. No Heavenly Monkeys here. The Laboratory Press was the creation of Porter Garnett, its purpose to instruct students at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in the details of operating a fine press. It operated from 1924-1933, when Garnett retired (it reappeared in a later incarnation in the 1950s). It focused on design, typography, composition, and printing. This archive contains 92 student projects. They used the best foundry types, handmade paper, and were printed by hand. Each project names the designer, compositor, and printer, along with the typefaces and paper used. Print runs ranged from 60-160 copies and were sent to people who would be helpful to the students. Item 38. $1,500.

 

The Veatchs Arts of the Book can be reached at 716-648-0361 or veatchs@veatchs.com. Their website is www.veatchs.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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