Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2023 Issue

Book Arts and Artifacts from the Veatchs Arts of the Book

Catalogue 100B from the Veatchs Arts of the Book.

The Veatchs Arts of the Book has released their Catalogue 100B Book Arts & Artifacts. They provide an introductory description so we will let them explain – “Catalogue 100B has something for everyone - collectors, libraries, printers, students of book arts programs. Rare ephemera, printers' necessities & type foundry specimens are some highlights.” We will look inside for a few examples.

We begin with the first American printers' guide by an American. As such, it is the first printers' manual with an American focus. The title is The Printers' Guide, Or, an Introduction to the Art of Printing including an Essay on Punctuation, and remarks on Orthography. It was printed in 1818 by C. S. Van Winkle, Printer to the University of New York. It contains prices and specimens of printing types from the foundries of E White and D & G Bruce. It includes the prices agreed upon for various types of printing by the Master Printers of New York (which sounds suspiciously like price fixing) and wages for different types of work, worker experience, etc. And, of course, what could be more exciting than an essay on punctuation? The Veatchs notes that the guide gives “a good picture of the printing trade in the U. S. during the hand press era.” This is a very rare item with the only copy sold at auction in the last century being a later reprint. Item 60. Priced at $22,500.


This was the first specimen book from American Type Founders, a combination of 23 type foundries, though that name does not appear. Published in 1892, its title is Point Specimen Book. Specimens of Printing Types, Rules, Cuts, Printing Material. The growth of type foundries led to serious price cutting in the 1880s, bringing about this consolidation that could control pricing. In this catalogue, type from seven foundries are offered. It could be purchased from one of its members, Dickinson of Boston, a leader in bringing about the consolidation. ATF came to control about 85% of the American market. This catalogue contains the reduced price list that was removed from later copies. Item 1. $3,000.


Next we will proceed through their early history and then all the way to their final downfall, a century later. Item 6 is a collection of material from the American Type Founders. It includes nine annual reports between 1895-1904 and one from 1915. There are two accounts published in 1902 celebrating their tenth anniversary. At the other end of the spectrum is The Auction of the Century from 1996, describing the auction of the now defunct ATF's assets. There are photographic views of their central plant and an inscribed copy of The Fall of ATF, A Serio-Comedic Tragedy by Theo Rehak, published in 2004. The Veaches notes that ATF went under almost 100 years to the day after its founding. It barely survived the Depression, and excellence of management was never a notable feature of this business throughout its lifetime, as it entered and exited various businesses along the way, including manufacturing presses. Item 6. $1,500.


This is a collection of 22 woodblocks from Harper's Weekly by political caricaturist Thomas Nast, the “father of political cartoons.” Nast is best known for his crusade against Boss Tweed and New York's Tammany Hall Democrats. Tammany Hall ran the Democratic Party in New York and with it effectively the city. It controlled government through its patronage. Corruption was not unknown to its leaders. In fact, it was its primary business. Nast constantly attacked Tweed and Tammany through his cartoons, and was a major fact in bringing about the downfall and imprisonment of Tweed. Tammany survived Nast's onslaught even if Tweed did not, and regained much of its power before finally being defeated by the Democratic reform movement in the 1960s. Nast was sympathetic to and sought to assist beaten down minorities, Blacks, Chinese, and Indians. He portrayed them favorably but abused by others. However, one group to which he was not sympathetic was the Irish immigrants. They played a major role in Tammany Hall and were not always kind to their black neighbors. Additionally, Nast had converted from Catholicism to Protestantism and the Irish were mostly Catholics. Nast was vehemently against religious involvement in the schools. These cartoons were mostly anti-Irish Catholic in sentiment, depicting the Irish as symbols of mobs and machine politics. Item 40. $4,000.


Next we have a game designed to remind us who invented the first printing press with movable type. No, it was not Gutenberg. It was Laurens Koster (or Coster), of Haarlem, the Netherlands, who died in 1440. He invented printing around 1423. One day, he was cutting letters in tree bark to entertain his grandchildren and noticed that when placed in the sand they left impressions. Ah hah! He invented a non-running ink, and then found he could create better letters in lead or tin. Now he had movable type. Koster had an assistant named Johann Fust. Fust stole Koster's invention as Koster was dying and later went into partnership with Gutenberg. And the rest, as they say, is history. Or fiction. The claim was not made until a century after Gutenberg and there is no evidence found of Koster's printing either contemporaneously to his time or any other time. Maybe Koster did invent printing, maybe someone else wrote Shakespeare's plays, and maybe Elvis is alive. Who can say? There are squares and circles on this game sheet engraved by Jacob Coldewijn in 1823. For Koster, they have attributes like honesty, love and humanity, and virtue. For Gutenberg and Fust there are disgrace, ingratitude, theft and crime. Other images include a printing press, Koster's garden and residence, and a book. Item 15. $1,500.


For those of you who still believe the Gutenberg story, here is a way of showing your support for the man from Mainz. Item 27 is a seven-inch tall bronze statue of Johannes Gutenberg by Gustav Gurschner of Vienna, from the early twentieth century. The marble base adds another 4 ½ inches to the overall height. It is questionable how accurate the portrayal is as there were no portraits of Gutenberg made while he was alive. $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

    Valuable Books and Manuscripts
    London auction
    13 December
    Find out more
    Christie’s, Explore now
    TREW, Christoph Jacob (1695–1769). Plantae Selectae quarum imagines ad exemplaria naturalia Londini in hortus curiosorum. [Nuremberg: 1750–1773]. £30,000–40,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    VERBIEST, Ferdinand (1623–88). Liber Organicus Astronomiae Europaeae apud Sinas restituate. [Beijing: Board of Astronomy, 1674]. £250,000–350,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ALICE & NIKOLAUS HARNONCOURT. Master of Jean Rolin (active 1445–65). Book of Hours, use of Paris, in Latin and French, [Paris, c.1450–1460]. £120,000–180,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    A SILVER MICROSCOPE. Probably by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723), c.1700. £150,000–250,000
    Christie’s, Explore now
    C.1311. £100,000–150,000
  • Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Roberts (David) & Croly (George). The Holy Land, Syria, Idumae, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia. Lond. 1842 - 1843 [-49]. First Edn. €10,000 to €15,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Incunabula: O'Fihily (Maurice). Duns Scotus Joannes: O'Fihely, Maurice Abp… Venice, 20th November 1497. €8,000 to €12,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: An important file of documents with provenance to G.A. Newsom, manager of the Jacob’s Factory in Dublin, occupied by insurgents during Easter Week 1916. €6,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: WILDE (Oscar), 1854-1900, playwright, aesthete and wit. A lock of Wilde’s Hair, presented by his son to the distinguished Irish actor Mícheál MacLiammóir. €6,000 to €8,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Heaney (Seamus). Bog Poems, London, 1975. Special Limited Edition, No. 33 of 150 Copies, Signed by Author. Illus. by Barrie Cooke. €4,000 to €6,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Binding: Burke, Thomas O.P. (de Burgo). Hibernia Dominicana, Sive Historia Provinciae Hiberniae Ordinis Praedicatorum, ... 1762. First Edition. €4,000 to €6,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: COLLINS, Michael. An important TL, 29 July 1922, addressed to GOVERNMENT on ‘suggested Proclamation warning all concerned that troops have orders to shoot prisoners found sniping, ambushing etc.’. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Scott Fitzgerald (F.) The Great Gatsby, New York (Charles Scribner's Sons) 1925, First Edn. €2,000 to €3,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Yeats (W.B.) The Poems of W.B. Yeats, 2 vols. Lond. (MacMillan & Co.) 1949. Limited Edition, No. 46 of 375 Copies Only, Signed by W.B. Yeats. €1,500 to €2,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Miller (William) Publisher. The Costume of the Russian Empire, Description in English and French, Lg. folio London (S. Gosnell) 1803. First Edn. €1,000 to €1,500.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Miller (William) Publisher. The Costume of Turkey, Illustrated by a Series of Engravings. Lg. folio Lond.(T. Bensley) 1802. First Edn. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, Dec. 12-13: Mason (Geo. Henry). The Costume of China, Illustrated with Sixty Engravings. Lg. folio London (for W. Miller) 1800. First Edn. €1,400 to €1,800
  • Sotheby’s
    Fine Books and Manuscripts
    8 December 2023
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: [Austen, Jane] — Isaac D'Israeli. Jane Austen's copy of Curiosities of Literature. 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: [Austen, Jane]. A handsome first edition in boards of the author's debut novel. 70,000 - 100,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Brontë, Charlotte. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me..." 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Eliot, George. The author's magnum opus. 25,000 - 35,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Whitman, Walt. Manuscript written upon the Death of Lincoln, 1865. 60,000 - 80,000 USD
  • Sotheby’s
    Important Modern Literature from the Library of an American Filmmaker
    8 December 2023
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Kerouac, Jack. Typescript scroll of The Dharma Bums. Typed by Kerouac in Orlando, Florida, 1957, published by Viking in 1958. 300,000 - 500,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Hemingway, Ernest. The autograph manuscript of "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." [Key West, finished April 1936]. 300,000 - 500,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Miller, Henry. Typescript of The Last Book, a working title for Tropic of Cancer, written circa 1931–1932. 100,000 - 150,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Ruscha, Ed. Twentysix Gasoline Stations, with a lengthy inscription to Joe Goode. 40,000 - 60,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Dec. 8: Hemingway, Ernest. in our time, first edition of Hemingway’s second book. 30,000 - 50,000 USD
  • Swann
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: Samuel Augustus Mitchell, A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with the Regions Adjoining, Philadelphia, 1846. $3,500 to $5,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: 17th–19th-century case maps of various locations. $1,500 to $2,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Andreas Cellarius, Haemisphaerium Stellatum Boreale Cum Subiecto Haemisphaerio Terrestri, celestial chart, Amsterdam, 1708. $2,500 to $3,500.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: Vincenzo Coronelli, Set of engraved gores for Coronelli’s monumental 42-inch terrestrial globe, Venice, circa 1688–97. $18,000 to $22,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, group of four navigational charts, Antwerp, 1580s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Thomas Bros, Block Book of Berkeley, Oakland, 1920s. $800 to $1,200.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Nieuhoff & John Ogilby, An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, map of China, plan of Canton, London, 1673. $1,200 to $1,800.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Frederick Sander, Reichenbachia, St. Albans, 1888-1894. $5,000 to $7,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Two early illustrated works on horsemanship and breeding, Nuremberg, early 18th century. $700 to $800.
    Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books
    December 7, 2023
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Gould, A Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Family of Toucans. Supplement to the First Edition, London, 1834; 1855. $40,000 to $60,000.
    Swann, Dec. 7: John Pinkerton, A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World, London, 1808–14. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Swann, Dec. 7: Oakley Hoopes Bailey, Hackensack, New Jersey, Boston, 1896. $800 to $1,200.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions