Catalogue No. 1 - Recent Acquisitions (March 2019)
Listing of all books from the catalogue is below:
1) Shakespeare, William. A Book of Shakespeare’s Songs With Musical Settings by Various Composers. New York: G. Schirmer, 1903. Limited edition of 200 copies, of which this is #190. Printed on Italian handmade paper, and issued with a signed frontispiece by the artist that was not included in the trade edition (original ad). Printed at the De Vinne Press. Extensive arts & crafts borders and illustrations by Edward Edwards. Measures approx. 9.75” x 12.75”. Some staining to vellum at spine, browning to edges of covers, fingerprints to first few pages.
“A title from 1903 shows De Vinne’s use of Satanick type, modeled on Morris’ Troy face: A Book of Shakespeare’s Songs, decorated by Edward Edwards for G. Schirmer … Edwards’ decorations are superbly done: woodcut illustrations in the style of Walter Crane on versos face recto text pages, both within elaborate borders,” (American Book Design and William Morris, Thompson).
2) Huntington, Archer M. Catalogue of the Library of Ferdinand Columbus. Reproduced in facsimile from the Unique Manuscript in the Columbine Library of Seville. New York: Privately printed by Edward Bierstadt, 1905. Limited to 300 copies. Approximately 260 pages. Full vellum with ties, and original slipcase. Measures 10.25” x 14”. Some discoloration to vellum, as well as library stamps to endpapers and title page. Slipcase worn.
Huntington was a Grolier Club member and founder of The Hispanic Society of America, while Bierstadt was the treasurer of the Grolier Club, a photographer, engraver, and is perhaps most well known for his involvement in many of the Grolier Club’s publications, including the incredible reproductions of the bindings in the American Bookbindings in the Library of Henry William Poor. I’ve found no record that Bierstadt personally printed any other volumes besides this one.
The library of Ferdinand Columbus is the subject of the recently published The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library by Edward Wilson-Lee (link). “After [Christopher] Columbus’s death in 1506, the eighteen-year-old Hernando sought to continue—and surpass—his father’s campaign to explore the boundaries of the known world by building a library that would collect everything ever printed: a vast holding organized by summaries and catalogues, the first ever search engine for the exploding diversity of written matter as the printing press proliferated across Europe. Hernando restlessly and obsessively amassed his collection based on the groundbreaking conviction that a library of universal knowledge should include ‘all books, in all languages and on all subjects…’ ” (Simon & Schuster).
3) The Book of Job. London: George Bell & Sons, 1902. Type arrangement and printing by William H. White of the Abbey Press. Numerous black & white illustrations by Robert T. Rose. 99 pages. Limited to 31 copies printed on Japanese vellum, of which this is #5, signed by the artist and embellished by him with a hand-coloured Ex Libris and the owner’s name (in this case, Henry W. Kerr, a fellow Scottish artist). Loosely enclosed is a pencil sketch titled “Redhouse”(?) by Robert T. Rose, signed and dated “16 Nov 1902”. Bound in the publisher’s full russet brown calf with gilt title to spine. Measures approx. 7.25” x 9”. Light rubbing and spotting to covers. Small tear to bottom of sketch.
In a review of an exhibition of fine printing and illustration held by the Society of Scottish Artists in 1913, which included some of Rose’s drawings, “The Connoisseur” wrote: “…one must not conclude without mentioning another literary treasure embraced in the display – an edition of The Book of Job, printed…by the defunct Abbey Press, and illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by Mr R.T. Rose. This artist is not a sound draughtsman in the ordinary academic sense of the term, and yet he stands in the front rank of contemporary illustrators. He has not the power of Mr Austin Spare, nor the delicate touch of Mr Lawrence Housman, but he always contrives to render the essential spirit of the literature with which he is dealing; and, in the drawings in question there is hardly one but exhales surely the weirdness and mystery which permeate The Book of Job.”
4) Keats, John. The Eve of St. Agnes. London: Edward Arnold, 1900. Printed at the Essex House Press, all on vellum, in a limited edition of 125 copies, of which this is #23. Hand-colored wood-engraved frontispiece by Reginald Savage and device on colophon. Initials drawn by hand in terracotta, blue, and green; text rubricated. The second of the “Great Poems” series from the Essex House Press. Bound in full vellum over boards, blind-stamped with the rose logo and the motto of the series, “Soul is Form.” Measures approx. 5" x 7.5". Some browning and discoloration to covers, and browning to page edges. Rear vellum pastedown slightly lifting from cover. Gift inscription in pen on verso of ffep.
5) Field, Eugene. The Symbol and the Saint. [Chicago: Privately printed,] 1886. Illustrated by J.L. Selanders. Bound in ¾ citron morocco by Ringer with title gilt vertically to front cover, original wrappers and yellow ribbon bound in. The very scarce privately printed facsimile of the original manuscript, signed by Field at the end. Presentation copy from the author, with inscription on wrapper: “With the compliments of Eugene Field”. Loosely inserted is a sheet of paper on which Field has written “The Symbol and the Saint, Christmas, 1886”. With Eugene Field’s bookplate. Measures approx. 5.75” x 7". Rubbing to leather, corners bumped, and ffep is loose and laid in.
“[In 1891,] Field’s Christmas stories commanded almost any price in reason he was inclined to ask for them–a condition far different from that which provoked his wrath and scorn in the winter of 1886. That year his Christmas contribution to the Morning was ‘The Symbol and the Saint’–a story upon which he expended a good month’s spare time. In the same issue were contribution from every member of the staff, excepting myself. In the course of time each story-writer received the munificent sum of $15, the author of the ‘Symbol and the Saint’ the same as the reporter, who turned in the thinnest, flimsiest sort of a sketch. It was a case of levelling all down to a common standard, which Field did not relish. He felt keenly the injustice of estimating the carefully finished product of his month’s labor at the same rate as the hurried and rough journeyman work of a local hand, which had not more than an hour, all told, in its conception and composition. ‘I think […] that things have come to a sweet pass when my work, over which I have toiled for more than three weeks, is to be estimated at the same rate as the local hand’ ” (Eugene Field: A Study in Heredity and Contradictions, Thompson).
6) [Bruce Rogers] Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Compensation: An Essay. The Riverside Press, 1903. Limited to 530 copies, of which this is #409. Original slipcase. Tan buckram spine with grey paper-covered boards and gilt titling to upper cover. Brimmer type on unbleached Arnold handmade paper. Measures approx. 4.5" x 7.75". Slightly cocked, with institutional bookplate to front pastedown and a stamp to copyright page and one of the rear endpapers. Slipcase worn.
7) [Bruce Rogers] Thoreau, Henry David. Of Friendship: An Essay from A Week on the Concord & Merrimack Rivers. The Riverside Press, 1901. Limited to 500 copies, of which this is #72. Original paper jacket and original slipcase. Prospectus loosely inserted. Tan buckram spine with grey paper-covered boards and gilt titling to upper cover. Brimmer type on unbleached Arnold handmade paper. Measures approx. 4.5" x 7.75". Jacket is worn, with chips and tearing–but the only copy I’ve encountered as such. Slipcase worn.
“A noble bit of literature, presented in a thoroughly fitting and beautiful form, is to be found in the reprint of Thoreau’s essay ‘Of Friendship’… Produced at the Riverside Press under the direction of Mr. Bruce Rogers, the volume is in every mechanical detail a fine example of artistic, dignified, and conservative workmanship. … This little reprint is a volume to be cherished by those book-lovers who have been fortunate enough to secure a copy” (“The Dial”, 1901).
8) [Bruce Rogers] Higginson, Rev. Francis. New England’s Plantation with The Sea Journal and Other Writings. Salem, MA: The Essex Book and Print Club, 1908. Limited to 175 copies. Prospectus loosely inserted. Black cloth spine with brown paper-covered boards. Caslon type on Italian Etruria handmade paper. Front pastedown features the E.D. French-designed bookplate of famed angling collector and Grolier Club member Samuel W. Lambert. Measures approx. 5.75" x 9". Some fading to cloth and wear to head of spine. Corners worn. Light foxing to endpapers.
9) [Bruce Rogers] The Semi-Centennial of Anæsthesia: October 16, 1846 - October 16, 1896. Boston: [Privately printed by] Massachusetts General Hospital, 1897. Title page, chapter headings, and initials by BR. A commemorative volume produced for an event held on the fiftieth anniversary of the first public demonstration of surgical anesthesia. Tissue-guarded engravings of Massachusetts General Hospital (as frontis), commemoration invitation, plate depicting physicians surrounding patient (October 16, 1846), and portraits of J.C. Warren and William G. Morton. Maroon cloth with beveled edges and gilt lettering to front cover and spine. Measures approximately 7.75" x 10.25". Two institutional blind stamps to title page and date handstamp to rear endpaper. Light wear to covers, fading to spine and head & tail worn, and discoloration/stain to rear cover. Fingerprints to front endpaper. Supposedly one of only “a few copies” printed (Chaucer Head Book Shop)–very rare.
10) [Bruce Rogers] Buonarroti, Michelangelo. Sonnets and Madrigals of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Rendered into English Verse by William Wells Newell. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1900. Printed at the Riverside Press. Limited to 300 copies, of which this is #96 (numbered in Rogers’ hand). The title page, initials, and ornaments in this volume have been delicately hand-colored. Tan cloth with gilt (oxidizing to red) lettering and decoration to covers and spine. Original slipcase. Caslon Italic type on handmade paper. The first of the Riverside Press Editions designed by Rogers. Measures approx. 4.25" x 7.25". Bookplate of the collector Joseph Manuel Andreini to front pastedown, as well as the small leather bookplate of Neva & Guy Littell of R.R. Donnelley. Slipcase worn at corners. Some smudging to spine, half-title page is split to about halfway at hinge.
“Mr. Rogers considers the two opening pages of the ‘Sonnets’ the most satisfactory in the entire book, and the whole ‘book was designed with the intention of having it illuminated in its final form.’ Mr. Rogers’ own copy indeed he has so illuminated, and specially bound in parchment (stained antique) over heavy beveled boards. I have seen no more beautiful specimen of modern work" (“The Inland Printer”, 1901).
Though done by a later hand, this volume appears to fulfill BR’s original intention of illumination, and is a beautiful & unique copy.
11) [Bruce Rogers] Donne, John. The Love Poems of John Donne. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1905. Printed at the Riverside Press. Limited to 535 copies, of which this is #226. The title page, opening initial, and “BR” thistle ornament at colophon have been delicately hand-colored. Selected and edited by Charles Eliot Norton. Vellum spine with brown paper-covered boards. Caslon type on handmade paper. Uncut. Measures 4.5" x 7.75". Some wear to boards, edgewear, and darkening to vellum spine.
12) Malory, Sir Thomas. The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur, of his Noble Knights of the Round Table, Their Marvellous Enquests and Adventures the Achieving of the San Greal, and in the End, Le Morte Darthur, with the Dolorous Death and Departing out of This World of Them All [3 vols.]. The text as written by Sir Thomas Malory and imprinted by William Caxton at Westminster the Year MCCCCLXXXV and now spelled in modern style. With an introduction by Professor Rhys and embellished with many original designs by Aubrey Beardsley. Issued to subscribers by J.M. Dent & Co., London, in 1893 and 1894. This set is #17 of the coveted large paper issue of 300 copies: printed on handmade Dutch laid paper, with the ornamental initials on all bordered pages printed in red ink, and all of the full page illustrations on a French handmade etching paper. Illustrated throughout by Aubrey Beardsley, including 2 copper-engraved frontispieces, 18 full page wood-engraved plates (one used as a frontispiece, 5 folding), and over 350 illustrations, initials, chapter headings and decorative borders in the text. Original blue wrapper cover bound in at the end of each volume, and additionally, in the rear of volume III, the following are bound in: a) two canceled leaves, b) the publisher’s note to binders on the cancelled leaves, c) the publisher’s note to subscribers on the binding of the set, and d) the original prospectus.
The large paper edition was issued for binding in three volumes, “…to ensure greater convenience in handling”, as well as with the recommendation “…that the large paper parts should…be bound in Vellum, as being handsomely in keeping with the style of the edition, and very strong.” Though this binding was not done at the time of issue (appears to be circa 1905-1910), both instructions were followed, and as such, it is bound in calf vellum with a beautiful arts & crafts design by the W.H. Smith & Son bindery from a design by Douglas Cockerell. Gilt lettering and arts & crafts decoration to front covers and spine. Dual gilt rule to back covers. Light grey linen endpapers. Top edge gilt, other edges uncut. Pencilled owner inscription on the back of each title page of F.W. Bourdillon, translator and author, and perhaps most well known for his works published by the Daniel Press. Each volume measures approx. 8.5” x 10.25”. Some minor rubbing to covers, as well as offsetting (as in all copies) of the illustrations.
13) Barclay, Florence. The Mistress of Shenstone. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons/The Knickerbocker Press, 1910. Bound by The Knickerbocker Press in deep violet full grain morocco in jansenist style, with gilt title to spine, and full morocco doublures and flyleaves with neo-gothic title and author to front doublure. Measures approx. 5.5” x 7.75”. A few light marks to front cover.
14) [W. Russell Flint] Salaman, Malcolm C. W. Russell Flint, A.R.A. (Modern Masters of Etching, No.27). London: The Studio Limited, 1931. Twelve photogravure plates with titled tissue guards. Bound in ¾ crushed morocco with vellum boards by Dora Knight, with decorative tooling in blind and lettering in gilt to front cover and spine. Letter from binder to recipient loosely inserted. Grey endpapers. Measures approx. 12.5" x 9.75". Light rubbing to leather and some discoloration to vellum, and covers slightly bowed outwards. Pages foxed.
Though relatively little is known about Dora Knight, one of her bindings was featured in “The Studio” in 1925: “Mrs. Dora Knight’s bookbindings are not unknown to our readers, and we here give another example of her restrained and tasteful craftsmanship” (link).
15) Rourke, Constance. Troupers of the Gold Coast or The Rise of Lotta Crabtree. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1928. First edition. Bound by R.R. Donnelley (under the direction of Alfred De Sauty) in a unique “2/3 leather” binding, with ½ crimson morocco spine extending to boards, large panel of metallic hand-stamped paper in green, blue, yellow, black, silver, and brown to middle of boards, terminating in another portion of gilt-decorated morocco on the edges of the boards. Gilt butterflies and dotted leather rules to spine and leather on covers; certainly representative of the late-1920s and early 1930s work of De Sauty/Donnelley. Grey endpapers. Marbled felt-lined slipcase. Measures approx. 6" x 9". Very light rubbing, and minor wear to corners.
“For thirteen years [1923-1935], the Extra Bindery [at Donnelley] was headed by the distinguished English bookbinder Alfred de Sauty, who was recruited by T. E. Donnelley from the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. De Sauty immediately set the standard for American bookbinding when he hired three European-trained bookbinders, William Anson, Basil Cronk, and Leonard Mounteney. As was the European tradition, hand-binding at RR Donnelley was a team effort. The head of the bindery generally established the design and specified the materials. From there, a book passed through the hands of several staff members, each responsible for a particular aspect of the process; sewing, backing, tooling, and finishing” (University of Chicago Library).
16) E.V.B. [Eleanor V. Boyle]. Days and Hours in a Garden. London: Eliot Stock, 1898. Vellucent binding by Cedric Chivers, featuring a classic design comprising an elaborate painting of a house & garden surrounded by purple framing & brown branches with a mother-of-pearl inlay below, as well as the title above highlighted in a scroll framed by leaves and flowers. The back cover continues the theme with gilt ruling and a frame containing Francis Bacon’s comment on gardening that appears on the title page. The spine is decorated with a similar motif. Lightly marbled endpapers. Top edge gilt. Bookplate of Mary Longford to front pastedown. Measures approx. 4.75" x 7". Some spotting to covers, and light browning to spine.
“At the beginning of the 20th century, Cedric Chivers (1853-1929) of Bath, England, developed a remarkable technique for decorating the covers of books bound in vellum. Unlike the method patented by James Edwards, in which paintings were executed on the reverse side of the vellum showing through on the cover once bound, Chivers’ designs were created on paper…[and] applied to the book boards and then covered with transparent vellum. Chivers called this binding style ‘Vellucent’. Vellucent [bindings] were usually lightly tooled in gold to highlight certain parts of the painted decoration but occasionally very thin layers of iridescent materials such as mother of pearl and precious metals were also laid under the vellum to enrich the design” (University of Adelaide).
“In his large bindery at Portway, Bath, [Cedric] Chivers employed about forty women for folding, sewing, mending, and collating work, and in addition, five more women worked in a separate department, to design, illuminate, and colour vellum for book decoration, and to work on embossed leather. These five were Dorothy Carl[e]ton Smyth, Alice Shepherd, Miss J.D. Dunn, Muriel Taylor, and Agatha Gales. Most Vellucent bindings were designed by H. Granville Fell, but the woman most frequently employed for this kind of work was probably Dorothy Carl[e]ton Smyth” (Women Bookbinders: 1880-1920, Tidcombe).
17) Freeman, Gage Earle. Practical Falconry; to which is added, How I became a Falconer. London: Horace Cox, 1869. First edition. Vellucent binding by Cedric Chivers, featuring a falcon in profile perched on a gloved hand surrounded by a circular mother-of-pearl frame. Cover also includes the monograms of the recipients of the book (“CEDU” & “MCF”). Spine features the title in a painted scroll, outlined in gilt. Top edge gilt. Gift inscription from W. Hudson(?) to Charles and Mrs. Upton on the front pastedown, mentioning a falconry outing in South Africa. Loosely inserted is a worn pamphlet with rules and draws for the “Grand Concours International de Coqs”–a cock-fighting tournament held in Ville de Merville, France in 1913. Measures 5.5" x 8". Some spotting to front cover and spine.
“Through life [Freeman] devoted his leisure to hawking… In Northamptonshire he enjoyed his first experience with a kestrel-hawk, equipped with a hood of home manufacture, and he afterwards flew sparrowhawks, merlins and peregrines at pigeons and larks. But he had his best sport later whilst in his lonely Cheshire parish, hawking grouse with peregrines on Buxton Moor and Swythamley… Next to peregrines, Freeman preferred goshawks, with which he killed hares and rabbits, with or without ferrets. Lord Lilford affirmed that Freeman did more to keep English falconers in the right way than any man living… He had the chief share in ‘Falconry; its Claims, History, and Practice’ (1859), written in collaboration with Francis Henry Salvin. This is a handbook for beginners, with plates by Wolf, now long out of print. Freeman’s ‘Practical Falconry; and how I became a Falconer’ (1869), is slightly more discursive and is now much sought after” (Dictionary of National Biography, 1912).
18) [Susan Stuart Frackelton]. Guest Book for the Home of Herbert V. and Janet A. Burrows. 30 leaves + endpapers. The title page of the book is a striking example of Susan Stuart Frackelton’s illumination, and indicates the Burrows’ as the recipients of the book on June 9, 1914, and that S.S. Frackelton has illuminated the book and her daughter, Gladys Frackelton, has inscribed it. Following the title page are twenty-six pages featuring a wide array of illuminated borders: most of them in the Arts & Crafts vein, with several of them calling to mind the artistic background Frackelton is most well known for–the painting of china and stoneware. The recto of each page also has a single-ruled border drawn on it. Ten of the twenty-six bordered leaves have not been used; the other sixteen have at least one name, and several of them are fully inscribed by visitors to the Burrows’ home.
Limp green full grain morocco, tooled in gilt, with (working) decorative clasp. Decorative silk fabric to pastedowns, and plain silk fabric glued (though coming loose) to free endpapers. Rubbing and edgewear to covers, spine tips worn. Given the makeup of the binding, it was either custom bound by the Frackeltons or completed by an amateur bookbinder for them, as various details (headbands, tooling, endpapers, etc.) indicate a very well-intentioned, but non-trade, binder.
Janet and Herbert Burrows appear to have been a fairly prominent couple in the Chicago area in the 1920s, with records of their support of the Art Institute of Chicago (link), as well as Janet Burrows’ membership in the Chicago Woman’s Club (link). The latter warranted an entry in this guest book upon Janet Burrows’ entrance into the Club on June 20, 1920–the page is also signed by Susan Frackelton and Gladys Frackelton, indicating an ongoing friendship between the women over the years.
Another page refers to Janet Burrows as the director of “The High Heart” at the Playwrights Theatre of Chicago on May 4, 1929, and includes the signature of several of the actors. The Playwrights Theatre was founded by Alice Gerstenberg in 1922 and was a key location in the Little Theatre Movement (link).
“Known in the art world for her unique “blue and grey” stoneware style, china painting and book illumination, Susan S. Frackelton was more than just an artist. Her innovation in those art forms helped elevate American decorative arts to a standard of excellence and, at the same time, dispelled any myths about women being unable to rise above the rank of an amateur artist. Akin to women of today, she used her talents as an artist and entrepreneur to break through the bonds of traditional gender roles, both in the art world and society.
…The medals and awards that she won dispelled any notions that a woman could compete on a national and international stage in the ceramic arts. As her reputation grew, Frackelton’s china decorating business flourished, which helped her family stave off bankruptcy after her husband’s import business failed. Her continued involvement in developing societies and clubs, most notably the National League of Mineral Painters, helped to elevate the cause of female amateur artists and opened the door for them to exhibit their work going forward” (Milwaukee Country Historical Society).