Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Antiquarian Books ... aka Old Books

Over the years, as both a collector and antiques dealer, I have always felt a bit of awe when holding an item that is older than me. Even more when it is a real antique a hundred or two hundred years old. Antiquarian books are even more thrilling because the closer the printing is to the origins of the book, or even maybe a first edition signed by the author, it feels like I have a connection, a communication with the writer.

I have my own collection of old books -- early books about Hawaii and interesting books on wine and oenology. I also love miniature books and old journals. As dealers we have had the good fortune to reunite a few old diaries and albums with the original families! That is a truly wonderful feeling.

Even if you don't read these old tomes, they make wonderful statement pieces in decorating offices, libraries and dens. The old coffee table books add a wonderful conversation piece to any family room.

Here is a selection of some of the old collectible and antiquarian books we have in stock. Many are online, more are available just in the shop.

Le Bon Anglais: Wonderful small illustrated book with French text celebrating Anglo-French relations after WWI. First Edition. Published by Chez Devambez, 1918. Soft cover. Contains a dozen brilliant pochoir woodcuts by Guy Arnoux with accompanying text by Roger Boutet de Monvel.

Atlas of Early American History - The Revolutionary Era 1760-1790: Princeton University Press, Princeton (NJ), 1976. First Edition. Lester J. Cappon (Editor) with Barbara Bartz Petchenik and John Hamilton Long. Fantastically detailed and well researched atlas of the American Revolutionary War. Excellent graphics, heavy, quality paper. Published for the Newberry Library and the Institute of Early American History and Culture.

The World of Currier & Ives edited by Roy King and Burke Davis. Pubished by Bonanza Books, New York, 1987. 140 page collection of prints of Currier and Ives lithographs from the Roy King collection. Includes introduction, a section on collecting and buying prints, a selected list of 200 Currier and Ives prints with values. Over 55 prints in full color with interpretation and background on opposite pages. Wonderful collection printed in quality fashion.

American Fabrics Magazine Van Gogh Edition:
Fantastic fashion magazine devoted to fabrics and fashion. Included are articles and advertising about fabrics, including fabric samples that are tipped onto the pages. Reporter Publications Incorporated, 1949. Feature article and cover devoted to Vincent van Gogh, who was having an exhibition at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art at the time. Other articles include: Textile Education, Lace, Nylon, Nature & Wool and Television.

The Frick Collection, Vol 8, Potteries and Porcelains:The Frick Art Reference Library, NY 1955.  This is a high quality catalog of the Frick Collection of pottery and porcelain. Forward by Walter Read Hovey and Introduction by Sir Osbert Sidwell. 53 plates, each with a separate page of description. Paper is high quality art paper. The first 45 pages are extended essays on the contents of the exhibits, including the plates in the catalog. The plates are all black and white photographs printed on heavy art paper. This is an important catalog of an important collection. 

Arts and Crafts Miniature Book of John Keats’ Sonnets published 1905 London: Anthony Treherne & Co. and NY: The H. B. Claflin Co. Printed by Neill & Co., Ltd., Edinburgh. Leather covers embossed both front and back, with marbleized end papers, gilt edges and original silk ribbon page marker. A remarkable little book.

Les Dents Humaines Morphologie OR Human Teeth Morphology, by E. Marseillier. Published Gauthier-Villars, Paris 1947. Paperback. This is a dentistry book (in French) about general characteristics and distinctive characteristics of teeth. Many illustrations, drawings and diagrams in black and white and red. Great book on mid-century dentistry. Great gift for a dentist!

The Prince of the Realm is a lovely little book with an inspirational tale about a farmer. First Edition. The book is printed on heavy, high quality, watermarked paper using arts and crafts printing methods by The Lincoln and Smith Press, Boston, for Davis and Bond, Boston, copyright 1912. The covers are cardstock. The book has 40 pages and comes in a matching envelope. Excellent condition, virtually unread. Unusual and hard to find original book.

Russian Book: National Architecture of Uzbekistan 1959: This is a large folio collection of color photos of the architecture in the primary cities of Ubekistan, Russia. Written in Cryllic Russian, but with captions in several languages, including English. Excellent graphics with nice photographs. Originally published in 1959, but this may be a 1961 edition. The slip cover has a shield or cartouch that reads: Decade of Art & Literature of the USSR.

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