Catalogue No. 11 (E-List) - Recent Acquisitions (August 2020)

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An Elston Press example from the library of Helen Marguerite O'Kane

1) Milton, John. Samson Agonistes. [New Rochelle, NY] Elston Press, 1904. One of 120 unnumbered copies. Two page headings, opening initial, and woodcut border on opening page of text by Helen Marguerite O'Kane. From the library of O'Kane, featuring her Japan vellum bookplate on the front pastedown. Entirely uncut. Linen spine with paper-covered boards. Measures approx. 6" x 9". Darkening and spots to covers, corners worn, spine label missing.

“But the later books, beginning with Herrick’s Hesperides, show O'Kane at her best. By then the Elston Press had successfully worked its way beyond its initial Kelmscott Press influence, past a bow or two to the Ashendene and Doves Presses, toward fully developing a unique style of its own. O'Kane’s illustrations and decorations now infused with a new artistic maturity, display a confident knowledge of renaissance bookmaking. The other books are The Cenci, L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, Cupid and Psyches, Samson Agonistes, and Daphnis & Chloe” (Johnson).


A highlight of H.M. O'Kane’s work with the Elston Press

2) Herrick, Robert. Poems Selected from the Hesperides. [New Rochelle, NY] Elston Press, 1903. One of 260 unnumbered copies. Printed in red & black. Woodcut illustration to the first page of text, initials in red throughout, and illustration within roundel on colophon by Helen Marguerite O'Kane. Linen spine with paper-covered boards. Measures approx. 6.75" x 9". Darkening and spots to covers, corners worn.


Scarce & well-executed example of Midwestern Arts & Crafts bookmaking

3) Addison, Joseph. The Vision of Mirza. [Racine, WI] Gothic Press, 1902. Four copies held institutionally (WorldCat). Limited to 30 copies, of which this #12. Printed on Van Gelder paper in Frederic Goudy’s Village type. Printed by Edward Larrabee Baker, with the woodcut at colophon designed by Frances Baker. Buckram spine with grey paper-covered boards and gilt title to front cover. Measures approx. 5.75" x 8.5". Slight rubbing to spine tips and some light browning to edges of boards.

Edward Larrabee Baker and the Gothic Press issued 3 titles from 1902 to 1914, each with a limitation under 50 copies. 


A very scarce private press Rubaiyat, with a record of the first meeting of the Omar Khayyam Club of America

4) Fitzgerald, Edward (Translator). Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam: Being a reprint of Edward FitzGerald’s first edition (1859). Everett, MA: Osborne Press, 1902. Limited to 50 copies, of which this is #26. Signed by S.A. Osborne. Includes a “concise and interesting account of the first session of the Omar Khayyam Club of America”. (Mosher). Green cloth with white lettering to front cover. Five copies held institutionally (WorldCat). Measures approx. 5.25" x 7". Slight wear to edges.

“Printed by [two] women at the Osborne Press; type set up, printed 4 pages at a time and distributed owing to shortage of type” (Potter).


A near-pristine Mosher Press title with Aubrey Beardsley binding design

5) Macleod, Fiona [William Sharp]. Runes of Woman. Mosher Press, 1905. Limited to 450 copies on Van Gelder paper. Bound in Japan vellum, with Aubrey Beardsley design from Dowson’s Poems (1896) reproduced in gilt on the front cover. Both the cupid “Amoris Speculum” ornament at the start of the book and the Mosher’s festina lente ornament on the title page have been hand-colored. Most of the book is uncut. Measures approx. 5.75" x 7.75". The original glassine wrapper with title printed in red is present, albeit with some chipping. The book is nearly pristine.


Rarely seen example of Walter Crane’s work, hand-colored

6) Harrison, Elizabeth. The Vision of Dante: A Story for Little Children and a Talk to Their Mothers. Chicago, IL: Chicago Kindergarten College, 1894. Printed at The Lakeside Press of R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Textured gilt-accented paper wraps with white linen spine and gilt titling to front cover. Three illustrations by Walter Crane, which have been beautifully hand-colored. Measures approx. 9.25" x 11.5". Some rubbing and light edgewear to covers, staining to rear cover. Gift inscription.


A classic BR title, with the title page illuminated in watercolor and gilt

7) Liely, Wilhelm. The History of Oliver and Arthur. Written in French in 1511, Translated into German by Wilhelm Liely in 1521, and now Done into English by William Leighton and Eliza Barrett. [Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1903]. First edition. Limited to 330 numbered copies, of which this is # 143. Designed by Bruce Rogers at the Riverside Press. Printed in red and black on Unbleached Arnold. Illustrated with woodcuts throughout. Title page woodcut has been illuminated in watercolors and gilt. BR thistle device on colophon has also been colored. Tan buckram spine with dark blue paper covered boards with white buckram corner tips. Additional printed label tipped into rear endpaper. Riverside Press catalogue (4pp) from 1913 loosely inserted. Measures approx. 7.75" x 10.5". Some light fading to upper portion of front cover and browning to the spine label. Warde 39. 


Roycroft vanity printing, fully illuminated and very scarce

8) Whealen, Clara Kinne (compiled by). The Lord’s Prayer: An Ever Present Help in Time of Trouble. East Aurora, NY: Roycroft Shop, 1904. 11 unnumbered leaves. 12mo. Full green suede binding with gilt lettering to front, silk doublures. Roycroft watermarked paper, beautifully hand illuminated title page and initials. Bookplate of Margaret Barbrick Purcell bookplate on front free endpaper. Presumably a very small print run, with just two institutional holdings on WorldCat (link). Measures approx. 4.75" x 6.25". Fading to suede, primarily on the front cover and edges of the rear cover.


Signed Roycroft binding by Frederick Kranz

9) Fitzgerald, Edward (Translator). Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. East Aurora, NY: The Roycrofters, 1904. Limited to 100 copies on Japan vellum, of which this is #29. Signed in Elbert Hubbard’s name. Title page illuminated in watercolors. xl pages of Introduction by Calarence S. Darrow, followed by 51 four line stanzas of the poem. Bound in full hand-tooled dark brown modeled calf by Frederick Kranz (signed “FK” in the lower left corner of the front cover) with two-toned effect provided by light green “patina”. Silk doublures and endpapers, with grey, white, and brown marbled flyleaves. Top edge gilt. Owner inscription. Measures approx. 7" x 5.25". Rubbing and wear to covers and spine, with light wear to silk endpapers. 


Roycroft limited edition in ¾ morocco and original box

10) Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Compensation. East Aurora, NY: The Roycrofters, 1904. Limited to 100 copies on Japan vellum, of which this # 41. Signed in Elbert Hubbard’s name. Frontispiece photogravure of the “Old Manse” Title page, elaborate border & initial at beginning of text, and large colophon, all illuminated in watercolors by hand. Bound in three-quarter dark mint green crushed morocco leather, with elaborately gilt decorated spine, marbled boards and matching endpapers. In original publishers dark green and felt-lined paper covered box with printed label. Measures approx. 5.75" x 7.75". A beautiful copy.


A stunning example of bookbinding from Louis Herman Kinder 

11) Thoreau, Henry David. The Essay on Friendship. The Roycrofters, 1903. Limited to 50 copies on Japan vellum, of which this is #18. Illuminated in color and gilt (burnished over time) by Harriet Robarge. Ornaments by Samuel Warner, typography by Newell White, and presswork by George Parker. Full dark blue morocco by the Louis Herman Kinder for the Roycroft Shop, with inlaid flowers & leaves in yellow and green within a frame of curvilinear gilt rules surrounded by an inlaid border in dark brown. The rear cover a simpler variation without floral onlays, with the spine in six compartments and the Roycroft monogram at the foot of the spine. Moire silk endpapers. Top edge gilt. Measures approx. 8 x 11.75”. A few spots of light rubbing and small scratches.


Essay on Walt Whitman, published by the Roycrofters, in a binding by Jan Sobota

12) Stevenson, Robert Louis [and] Hubbard, Elbert. The Essay on Walt Whitman, with a Little Journey to the Home of Whitman. East Aurora, NY: The Roycroft Shop, 1900. Frontispiece is a photogravure of the bas relief of Whitman by St. Gerome, and title page designed by Louis Rhead. Initials lightly hand-colored. Bound in full caramel calf leather by Jan Sobota with gilt & black “WW” initials to front cover, and gilt & black “starburst” tooling to spine and the “yapped edge” on the front cover that covers all of the deckle-edge pages when the volume is closed. Marbled endpapers. Encased in a handsome clamshell box of marbled boards over brown cloth with a printed paper label to spine and caramel velvet-lined interior. A few light scratches to the rear cover.

“Born in Czechoslovakia in 1939, Jan studied binding in Pilzen and Prague until 1957, and by 1977 he had earned international recognition as a “Master of Bookbinding.” Defecting to Switzerland in 1982, he brought his family to the United States in 1984, working as a conservator at Case Western Reserve University before coming to Bridwell Library, where he served as Director of Conservation from 1990 until 1997. Jan’s contributions to contemporary bookbinding ranged from creative artistic productions to conservation and restoration work based on his fundamental theoretical knowledge and more than fifty years of experience. Between 1969 and 2012, he participated in thirty-five individual shows and 160 group exhibitions, receiving some two-dozen awards for his work. Shortly before he and his family returned to the Czech Republic in 1997, Jan played an essential role in the conception and planning of Bridwell Library’s first Helen Warren DeGolyer Triennial Exhibition and Competition for American Bookbinding, held in 1997. As a participant in the 2003 DeGolyer competition, he won the “Judges’ Distinction for Interpretation” award” (SMU).


Axel Sahlin’s hand-printed book on Roycroft typography, limited to 66 copies

13) Sahlin, Axel Edw. Typographic Expressions: Something of Roycroft Principles and Methods [together with] six Christmas greetings booklets printed by Sahlin, 1940-1960. Privately printed by Axel Sahlin, 1926. Limited to 66 copies, of which this is #50. Signed by Sahlin. Colophon: “So here then endeth Typographic expressions by Axel Edw. Sahlin, decorations and typography was done by myself also the presswork which was done on my private little handpress … Type used is Goudy’s Kennerly. The paper is Etruria Italian handmade, dampened before printed. The edition is limited to 66 numbered copies on handmade & 16 numbered copies on Japanese vellum.” Inscribed by Sahlin to “old chum and schoolmate from Lund, Tore Franzen”. 48pp. Paper covered boards with buckram spine and black lettering and decoration to front cover. Title page and colophon page decorated by wide border, printed in red, of Sahlin’s design. Two chapter heading and opening initials also printed in red. “Dedicated to the Memory of Elbert Hubbard whose personality, work, and institution were–and are–an inspiration to me.” Photograph of Sahlin and Elbert Hubbard tipped in. Some spotting and light rubbing to covers.

The Christmas keepsake booklets were all privately printed by “Axel Sahlin Typographic Service”. Bound in variously illustrated card covers, most with woodcuts (one hand-colored) or ornaments by Sahlin. The keepsakes are from the years 1940, 1946, 1948, 1952, 1956 (Sahlin, in memoriam), and 1960.


A striking large format Vale Press title, featuring some of Ricketts’ most impressive woodcuts

14) Apulei, Lucii; (Apuleius, Lucius); Holmes, C.I. (Ed). De Cupidinis et Psyches Amoribus Fabula Anilis. London: Hacon & Ricketts & John Lane, [Vale Press], 1901. One of 310 unnumbered copies on handmade paper. Full page floral border, one large initials and 5 woodcut illustrations by Charles Ricketts. Printed in Vale type on heavy paper with a watermark of engraving tools and wreaths. Original linen backed blue paper covered boards with printed paper label on upper cover. Almost entirely uncut. Bookplates of Robert H. Brannan and Howard L. Spohn. Measures approx. 8" x 11.75". Wear to spine tips and corners, and offsetting to endpapers.


The smallest limitation of all Vale Press titles, in a Bayntun Riviere binding

15) Guerin, Maurice de (Translated by T.S. Moore). The Centaur. The Bacchante. London: Hacon & Ricketts [Vale Press], 1899. One of 150 unnumbered copies. Printed on handmade paper using the Vale type, with five wood-engravings by T. Sturge Moore and engraved press device facing colophon. Bound in full dark brown morocco by Bayntun Riviere with multiple gilt rule design to both covers and spine. Brightly marbled endpapers. Top edge gilt. Measures approx. 5.75" x 9.25". Fading to spine and rear cover.


Essex House Press in a full pigskin binding 

16) Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress From This World to That Which is to Come. Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream. Wherein is Discovered the Manner of his Setting Out; His Dangerous Journey and Safe Arrival at the Desired Country. London: Essex House Press, 1899. Limited to 750 copies, of which this is #530. Printed in red and black, with a tissue-guarded frontispiece by Reginald Savage. Both the frontispiece and colophon illustration have been hand-colored. Bound by Bickers and Son in brown crushed pigskin with five bands and blind embossed title on spine, blind rule on covers, top edge gilt, and lightly marbled endpapers. Measures approx. 4.5" x 6". Some spots to covers, light foxing to page edges.


Full vellum art nouveau binding on a classic illustrated title of the period

17) Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Poems. London: George Bell, 1902. First edition thus. With numerous decorations and in-text, full-page and double-page illustrations by Robert Anning Bell. Bound in full vellum with a beautiful gilt leaves and flowing vines motif, accented with onlaid red roses to both front cover and spine. Brown morocco label featuring title and author to spine. Grey and light green mottled endpapers. The binding is unsigned, but based on the forwarding and finishing, likely done at the bindery of Cedric Chivers. Measures approx. 5.75" x 8". Some light fading to gilt on front cover and repaired crack on lower spine. Foxing to pages. 


A superlative binding by Edith de Rheims with the Guild of Women Binders

18) Maxwell, William. With the “Ophir” Round the Empire: An Account of the Tour of the Prince and Princess of Wales, 1901. Cassell and Co., 1902. First edition. B&W plates. Most pages unopened. Signed presentation from the author “To Her Majesty the Queen with respectable homage, W Maxwell.” This is Queen Alexandria–Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress of India, the wife of King Edward VII. Full morocco leather binding by Edith de Rheims with the Guild of Women Binders, with dark green panels on the front and rear covers inlaid on dark brown leather, with title on spine done in gilt stippling, and decorated with three flowers and the top of a gilt fillet on the lower half of the spine. Covers feature a design of gilt flower stamps inlaid in brown, with a surrounding gilt stippled border design, accented with hearts. Elaborate doublures on a dark green morocco base, with flowers inlaid in turquoise, dark blue, and violet, connected with large inlaid brown leaves and gilt stems. Gauffered gilt top edge, with a design of birds, leaves, and a flower. Vellum endpapers with small gilt dots at each corner, signed “Guild of Women Binders” at the bottom of the front free endpaper. “E de R” signed on the bottom of the rear doublure. Measures approx. 5.25" x 8". Corners lightly rubbed, offsetting to vellum free endpapers, and paper on the rear endpapers rippled (as is typical for Guild bindings with vellum endpapers). A beautiful example.