Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2018 Issue

Illustrated Books from John Windle Bookseller

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Illustrated Books.

John Windle Bookseller has issued his Short List 12, 25 Illustrated Books. Lots of books are illustrated, but these contain particularly notable artwork. However, the subject matter of these illustrations varies widely. There are kings and the desperately poor, real grapes and fake rabbits (talking about you, Peter). Lots of images can be squeezed into 25 items. Here are a few.

 

We begin with a unique item from perhaps the most notable of all wood engravers. Thomas Bewick was active in the late 18th and early 19th century. His engravings adorn many books, his work being in high demand, including a few books of his own. Late in his life, he planned to publish a book titled History of British Fishes. Due to ill health, the work was never completed. However, he did cut numerous blocks in anticipation of its publication, some of which were used in later books. Item 5 is an album containing eight proof prints of engravings intended for this never published book. Among the titles are "elderly gentleman angler on horseback," "angler disturbed while fishing when his dog barks at a bull," "heron catches an eel," "cows in the water," and a sow yoked with sticks watches as nine of her piglets run through an open gate." I'm not sure how that last one fits in. On the first plate is a handwritten inscription, "Thomas Bewick to Mr. Arkwright, 7 Aug. 1824".The recipient was Richard Arkwright. I imagine this must be Richard Arkwright, Jr., son of a British inventor who became a very wealthy businessman and later an investor. Priced at $9,750.

 

The next group of illustrations are far less light-hearted than those of Bewick's anglers. They are found in London. A Pilgrimage. This book combined the writing of English journalist Blanchard Jerrold and the drawings of French artist Gustave Doré. Item 10 is a copy of the 1872 first English edition, published four years prior to the first French. It is dark. Jerrold asked Doré to join him in this massive project, to scour the streets of London, including the places where the upper classes did not go. At times they had plainclothes policemen accompany them. Doré's illustrations in particular displayed the grinding poverty of some and the enormous differences between those who were wealthy and those who were poor. David Bland, in his History of Book Illustration, says, "If one book depicts Dickens' London in all its glory and especially misery, this is it; and it is hard to cite another book of any period which so perfectly defines a time and place in history as this book does." $3,250.

 

This is L. Frank Baum's first book, though not his first published book. There are no wizards from Oz, but it is filled with similar fantasy. The title is A New Wonderland, an obvious play on the popular Alice books written in a similar vein by Lewis Carroll. This appears in a catalogue of illustrated books because it features the fantastical drawings of Frank Ver Beck. Baum made up tales to tell his children, which his family encouraged him to write down. That he did, completing this work in 1896. However, a variety of issues kept it from being published until 1900. Meanwhile, his later written Mother Goose in Prose did make it to the press in 1898, thereby becoming his first published book. To be thoroughly accurate, Baum actually produced an earlier book, but it was about raising poultry, not exactly the sort of thing we remember him for. Item 3. $5,950.

 

Item 7 is a plate from Grapes and Grape Vines of California published under the auspices of the California State Vinicultural Association... published in 1877. It was published by Edouard Bosqui, but the artwork from the original watercolors was by Miss Hannah Millard. Windle describes this book which contains ten drawings of grapes as "the masterpiece of California color printing which is perhaps the rarest and one of the most expensive American color plate books ever published." Fewer than 15 copies are known to exist, only six of them complete. Despite its beauty, it was not a best-seller in its day. This plate apparently came from overstock purchased a few years later by California winemaker Italian Swiss Colony (perhaps by the "little old winemaker - me" in his youth). The plate was overprinted with "Italian Swiss Colony Asti Cal." and the grape, the Black Hamburgh, labeled "California Burgundy." The image was used as a promotional item. Italian Swiss Colony, which bought grapes from Italian (some Swiss Italian) immigrants to California, was formed in the late 19th century. By the middle of the 20th century, it was one of America's best-selling wine brands, a mass market, inexpensive variety. The brand has since disappeared with changing tastes. $9,500.

 

Here is the true first edition of the Beatrix Potter classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit, published in 1901. The first trade edition by Frederick Warne would come the following year, but when Potter first presented her creation to publishers, they turned her down. Part of the issue was Ms. Potter's demanding standards of how it was to look. Unable to find a publisher, she had it printed herself. The print run was 250 copies (she also printed a second run before Warne realized she had a winner on her hands). Unlike the trade edition with color illustrations, the privately printed edition has only a colored frontispiece, the remaining 41 images being in black and white. This copy is inscribed "For Miss Hutton with love from Beatrix Potter Christmas 1901." Caroline Hutton was Beatrix's cousin, with whose family she stayed during the summer of 1893. Caroline was a more mischievous, independent sort than the more conservative Beatrix, who found her fascinating. There is a bit of Caroline in the mischievous Peter Rabbit. Item 18. $125,000.

 

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller may be reached at 415-986-5826 or john@johnwindle.com. Their website is www.johnwindle.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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