"May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books." -Thomas Carlyle
Welcome to my virtual book collection. Since collecting actual books is somewhat cost-prohibitive, I've begun to amass all of the books I would love to have if I had the means. Some are new, lots are old, all are unique or beautiful or unusual or in some other way have captured my fancy. Enjoy browsing!
Special Collections: Fine Bindings ~ Fairies and Fairy Tales ~ Terror and Madness ~ Poetry ~ Food, Drink and Apothecary ~ Science Fiction ~ Illuminations, Lettering and Hand-Coloring ~ Magic ~ Supernatural and Occult ~ Alchemy ~ Science and Technical ~ Maritime ~ Costumes ~ Humor ~ Children's books ~ Legend of King Arthur ~ Americana ~ 18th Century ~ 19th Century Authors and illustrators: Edgar Allan Poe ~ Jules Verne ~ Edmund Dulac ~ Kay Nielsen ~ Arthur Rackham ~ Edward Gorey ~ Charles Dickens ~ H.P. Lovecraft ~ William Hope Hodgson ~ Mark Twain ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Salvador Dali ~ George Cruikshank ~ Emily Dickinson ~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~ H.G. Wells
Reithmüller Kgl. Württemb Hoflieferant
Kirchheim-Teck, Germany, late 19th century
61 chromolithograph plates (Nos. 1-59 plus Nos. 1a & 6a). (Small folio) 35x26 cm. (13¾x10¼”), original cloth-backed boards. First Edition.
A very rare trade catalog for Chinese-style paper lanterns, from the plain to the ornate. Includes floral designs, designs for various trades, nations, holidays, etc. Also includes figural lanterns, character lanterns, etc. A remarkable catalog! OCLC WorldCat locates no copies though the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a copy in their collection.
Catalogue of the Inaugural Bench Show of the San Francisco Kennel Club
Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, Cal. May 19, 20, 21, 22, 1897
With 4 inserted plates with photographs of trophies awarded; numerous illustrated advertisements. 23x14.7 cm. (9¼x5¾”), original color lithographed pictorial wrappers.
Rare and fascinating catalogue listing the many participants in the first dog show of the San Francisco Kennel Club, with hundreds of categories, from Mastiffs and St. Bernards to Dachsundes and Yorkshire Terriers. The lineage of each of the participating pooches is given, and other details, including whether they were for sale, and if for sale, the price. A quick perusal reveals prices as high as $10,000, that for a St. Bernard named Tammany. The advertisements are equally entertaining, many relating to dog-related products, breeding fees, etc. No copies are listed in OCLC/WorldCat.
The Natural History of Humbugs
Reach (Angus B.) 1847
Wood-engraved frontispiece and illustrations, 12pp. advertisements at end, original pictorial wrappers,
Auction lot also includes: The Natural History of ‘Stuck-Up’ People, The Flirt, The Natural History of the Gent, The Natural History of the Ballet-Girl, and The Natural History of the “Hawk” Tribe.
Jules Verne. (P’tit Bonhomme) 8vo, 1895.
A very scarce Jules Verne title. First English edition, 76 plates, small bookseller’s label to front pastedown.
The town of Westport, in the privince of Connacht, is situated on Clew Bay. This bay is one of the most beautiful along the entire seaboard of Ireland; its capes, promontories, and points are ranged like so many sharks’ teeth which bite the incoming rollers. It is at Westport that we are to find little Mick in the dawn of his life’s story; we shall see where, when, and how that story comes to its end. ~Opening Paragraph
Irish Recipe Book.
Cormick (David & Ellen, of County Monaghan, Ireland). Circa 1830.
Manuscript in several hands, 73pp. excluding blanks & 19pp. of index. Recipes include: “Receipt for Making Ginger Cake”; “Godbolds Vegetable Balsam”; “Whipt Cream”; “Receit to Boil Salmon”; “Receipt for making Spanish Flummery”; “Receipt to make Orange Jelly”; “Green Gooseberry Wine”; “Receipt to make Ginger Beer”; “Receipt for Greening Gerkins”; “Receipt for washing silk stocking”; “Receipt for making Plumb Jam”; “To make Isinglass Blancmange”; “To make rasperry whiskey”; “To make a Bread Pudding”.
L’Après Midi D’Une Faune
Stéphane Mallarmé. Illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley. ?Early 1893
The printed booklet comprising part of the Édition definitive of 1882 later bound into vellum wrappers with the following autograph decorations by Beardsley: (i) brown front original over (now the front endpaper): Whistleresque butterfly and three neumes in black ink; (ii) first page of the poem: faun’s head and naked breast, hairs from the latter trailing into the initials “AVB”, with the edge of a jagged cloud and blue sky in watercolour behind him; (iii) opening covering the second and third pages of text (numbered 6 & 7): whispy forms and floating tendrils in black ink; (iv) fourth and fifth pages of text (numbered 8 & 9): lily-pad, tendrils and neumes in black ink; (v) seventh page of text (numbered 11): branch with flowers in black ink, above the inscription in lower-case capitals “Aubrey Beardsley” with an additional tendril ending in the initials ‘AVB’, in black ink; together with a loosely inserted unrelated signed Beardsley inscription dated Xmas 1895, 7 pages of drawings in all, bound into vellum wrappers (possibly by Smithers), some light spotting and minor wear to outer leaves, but overall in fine and attractive condition, 8vo,
The Story of the Glittering Plain
William Morris. Kelmscott Press, 1891.
One of 200 copies on Flower paper, printed in Golden type, wood-engraved border and initials designed by Morris, engraved bookplate of Freeman Bass, original vellum with washleather ties, yapp edges, spine titled in gilt, uncut.
“Now must it be told of Hallblithe that he rode fiercely down to the sea-shore, and from the top of the beach he gazed about him, and there below him was the Ship-stead and Rollers of his kindred, whereon lay the three long-ships, the Seamew, and the Osprey and the Erne. Heavy and huge they seemed to him as they lay there, black-sided, icy-cold with the washing of the March waves, their golden dragon-heads looking seaward wistfully. ” Opening of Ch. IV
Aventures d’Alice au Pays des Merveilles. Traduit de l’Anglais par Henri Bué.
Lewis Carroll. London, Macmillan and Co., 1869.
First French edition. Contemporary full-grained dark blue morocco, spine ribbed and gilt, with gilt triple fillet borders on sides with gilt medallion portrait of the White Rabbit in centre on front cover, and of the Cheshire Cat on back cover, richly gilt inner borders, gilt edges (NOULHAC), and with the original publisher’s gilt blue cloth preserved, including the spine. With 42 wood-engraved plates and illustrations by John Tenniel.
“First came ten soldiers carrying clubs; these were all shaped like the three gardeners, oblong and flat, with their hands and feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers; these were ornamented all over with diamonds, and walked two and two, as the soldiers did. After these came the royal children; there were ten of them, and the little dears came jumping merrily along hand in hand, in couples: they were all ornamented with hearts. Next came the guests, mostly Kings and Queens, and among them Alice recognised the White Rabbit: it was talking in a hurried nervous manner, smiling at everything that was said, and went by without noticing her. Then followed the Knave of Hearts, carrying the King’s crown on a crimson velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand procession, came THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS.
The wonders of the heavens, being a popular view of astronomy, including a full illustration of the mechanism of the heavens; embracing the sun, moon, stars, with descriptions of planets, comets, fixed stars, double stars, the constellations, the galaxy or milky-way, the zodiacal light, aurora borealis, or northern lights, meteors, clouds, falling stars, aërolites, &c.
Duncan Bradford. Boston, American Stationers Co., 1837
First edition of a popular American astronomical guide with exquisite plates with views on the moon, and stellar constellations adorned with the zodiacal symbols.). It contains an engraved frontispiece with Herschel’s telescope, an engraved title with zodiac, 6 full-page engraved plates with telescopic views of the moon in different phases and planets, and 6 hand-coloured folding engraved plates with celestial charts.
B-A Note: Old scientific books can have such long, elaborate titles!
Costumi della corte pontificia
Rome, ca. 1850
This charming Vatican souvenir illustrates the costumes of court officials, including bishops (Roman, Greek, Armenian, Syrian), the Swiss Guard, and, of course, the Pope on various occasions, in 30 brightly hand-colored plates with captions in Italian. The contents unfold accordion-style in one long strip comprised of seven pieces neatly joined together in a Leporello binding.
L’Art de Juger du Caractère des Hommes sur leur Écriture
[Hocquart (Edouard)] , Paris, 1816
Half-title, hand-coloured aquatint frontispiece, 24 engraved plates of handwriting samples, water-staining to upper corner of a few ff., occasional spotting, contemporary calf-backed marbled boards, spine richly gilt.
Smokiana. Historical & Ethnographical
R.T. Pritchett. Bernard Quaritch, 1890.
Lithographed throughout in facsimile of the author’s handwriting, pictorial title, colour & plain illustrations of smoking implements, title with slight marginal staining, otherwise a good copy, modern half morocco, spine gilt, small 4to,
Medicinal Plants, Being Descriptions with Original Figures of the Principal Plants Employed in Medicine
Bentley, Robert & Henry Trimen. London, J. & A. Churchill, 1880.
4 volumes. 306 hand-colored lithograph plates, including several double page. (8vo) 23.2x16.5 cm. (9¼x6½”), newly bound in full black morocco, black and red labels on spines.
Bentley (1821-1896) and Trimen (1821-1893) produced a comprehensive account of the major plants used in the medicine of the day. Each plant entry (306 in all) consists of several sections, including: a physical description of the plant and its parts, its habitats, botanical classification, commerce and medicinal uses, varieties, chemical composition, and an explanation of the plates. Nissen 137.
Journal Des Dames et Des Modes - Tome LXXVI - LXXXVII
Lemaire, J.P. Frankfurt, January 1836 - December 1841
12 volumes, each containing 6 months of the weekly issues. 360 hand-colored plates. (8vo) 19.5x13.5 cm. (7¾x5¼”), period half calf and marbled boards, red and black labels.
A nice run of 6 consecutive years of this leading fashion journal of the mid 19th century.
Ehon Futami-Gata (Erotic Book of Conjugal Eddies)
Katsushika Hokusai, ca.1802-4
3 volumes, 8° (215 x 152mm). 21 double-page and 6 full-page colour-printed woodblock illustrations. Original blue paper wrappers with minor gilt decoration, printed title slips pasted to upper covers (lightly creased and worn).
“IT IS ONLY BY RARE GOOD CHANCE THAT A SHUNGA AS RARE, OR AS CLOSELY GUARDED, AS EHON FUTAMI-GATA, IS LIKELY TO BE SEEN AT ALL’ (Hillier p.507). Only attributed to Hokusai by Hayashi Yoshikazu and Hillier in 1981 and 1987 respectively, the present work is now seen as key to the development of Hokusai’s erotic art from his early works of the Shunro period to his later masterpieces.” (J. Hillier, The Art of the Japanese Book, p.507)