"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
Through the Looking-Glass
Lewis Carroll. Bound By Kelliegram.
With Fifty Illustrations by John Tenniel. London: Macmillan and Co., 1927.
A spectacular Kelliegram pictorial binding, ca. 1927, stamp-signed “Kelliegram Binding London,” of full dark green crushed morocco. Covers decoratively panelled in gilt, with five characters from the story depicted in multi-colored morocco onlays on each cover. The front cover with central onlay of Humpty Dumpty in brown, red, pale green, black, blue and beige morocco and corner onlays of: the White Queen, the Red Queen, Haigha (the Messenger), and Hatta (the other Messenger). The lower cover reiterates the upper’s design with a central onlay of the Walrus in brown red, pale green and beige morocco and corner onlays of: the Carpenter, the Old Sheep, Tweedledum & Tweedledee, the Frog and the Carpener. Spine richly gilt in compartments with dots and pictorial devices. Five raised bands with gilt dots. Turn-ins with gilt corner devices. Amber silk endpapers. All edges gilt.
Siete Poemas Sajones; Seven Saxon Poems
Jorge Luis Borges. Verona: Plain Wrapper Press, .
Printed in maroon and black in Horizon Light type on Richard de Bas handmade paper, text in Spanish and English, 8 embossed vignettes by Arnaldo Pomodoro. Folio, original full vellum with three vertical bas-reliefs of gilded bronze inset into upper cover, spine titled in brown.
Aigned limited edition, number 22 of 100 copies from a total edition of 120. signed by the author and artist in the colophon. A beautiful and impressive production. Copies are difficult to locate outside institutional holdings and rarely to appear at auction; ABPC records only three copies sold.
Paolo & Francesca: A Tragedy in Four Acts
Stephen Phillips. London and New York, 1900.
Full brown morocco tooled in blind and gilt with a series of vertical lines with hearts at each end; crisscrossing these is a series of free-flowing lines forming an abstract ornament in the center of each cover with hearts stamped in brown and gold, similar pattern along spine which has five raised bands dividing six compartments; watered silk endleaves, all edges trimmed and gilt. An elegant Arts & Crafts binding in the style of Constance Karslake of the Guild of Women Binders.
So Here Then is the Last Ride
Robert Browning. The Roycrofters, NY, 1900.
One of 25 copies on vellum, finely bound. Hand-colored pictorial borders illumined by Harriet Robarge. Finely bound in full plum levant morocco, spine lettered in gilt, raised bands, wrap-around strapping designs in blind on covers and spine, gilt-rolled double rule on board edges, full morocco front doublure in cream, blue, turquoise, plum, and green leathers in an elaborate in-laid design with decorative gilt stamping, title in gilt at center, rear full morocco doublure in a less elaborate design, silk endleaves, top edge gilt.
What does it all mean, poet? Well,
Your brains beat into rhythm, you tell
What we felt only; you expressed
You hold things beautiful the best,
And pace them in rhyme so, side by side.
‘Tis something, nay ‘tis much: but then,
Have you yourself what’s best for men?
Are you—-poor, sick, old ere your time—-
Nearer one whit your own sublime
Than we who never have turned a rhyme?
Sing, riding’s a joy! For me, I ride.
~Stanze VII, The Last Ride Together
Order and Chaos chez Hans Reichel
Henry Miller. Tucson, Loujon Press, 1966.
Introduction by Lawrence Durrell. Illustrated with facsimiles and drawings, plus an original photograph of Miller on the front pastedown and a self-portrait drawing of Reichel; prospectus. (4to), variegated colored papers and cork endpapers in wove tissue-covered boards, pictorial jacket, slipcase. One of 1399 copies of the Cork Edition. First Edition. Number 3 in the Gypsy Lou Series.
Susan Christian. London, 1903.
“A Story of English society life.” 8vo, bound in handsome Arts & Crafts tan morocco with embossed lettering and image of apple trees on front cover, initials on rear cover, all edges trimmed and gilt.
Russian State Bank
A rare presentation volume to the bank’s first Chairman A.L. Sheinman, 1927.
A rare survival from the founding days of the state bank of Russia. Probably one of only a few copies. 1922 was an important year for the bank, in that it was permitted by the authorities to issue Chervonets that marked the beginning of monetary reform in the country and thereby ended spiralling inflation. In 1927 the bank was given total control of the country’s credit system. These two key dates are marked by this volume.
Loosely inserted is a bifolioum with a dedication, a fascimile of the bank’s balance sheet running from 1922-1927 and 7 mounted samples of banknotes (Chervonets), original leather, upper cover with large mounted metal presentation plate with a mounted 1923 gold chervonet on relief foliage decoration and an engraved presentation inscription
Charles Kingsley. London, 1886.
100 illustrations by Linley Sambourne. Elaborate blue morocco binding by Kelliegram featuring morocco inlays of a fish, a child swimming, and seagulls, spine lettered gilt, edges gilt. Blue cloth folding case.
The Quadrupeds of North America. New York
John James Audobon: V. G. Audubon, 1849-51-54
3 volumes, in 8s (10 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.; 260 x 170 mm). 155 fine handcolored lithographed plates by W. E. Hitchcock and R. Trembly after J.J. and J. W. Audubon (plates 1-31 printed by Nagel & Weingartner, New York and colored by J. Lawrence; remaining plates printed and colored by J.T. Bowen, Philadelphia); lacking half-titles, light toning to text, chiefly in vol. 1, occasional text offsetting to verso of plates, not affecting images. Publisher’s deluxe dark blue morocco paneled gilt, covers gilt-stamped with animal emblems derived from Plate I (American Wildcat) in the center and Plates XXXI (Collared Peccary), VI (American Cross Fox), XLII (Common American Skunk), and II (Maryland Marmot Woodchuck Groundhog) used as cornerpieces, dentelles richly gilt, yellow-coated endpapers, spines in 6 compartments with raised bands lettered and decorated in gilt, edges gilt.
Thomas Moore. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1846.
Additional title and decorative borders throughout by Daniel Maclise. Apart from letterpress title, preface leaf, and end matter, entirely engraved throughout. 4to, original bevelled cream boards printed in green and gold with shamrock border enclosing center roundel showing woman playing harp (front cover) and publisher’s monogram (rear cover),
First Maclise edition, in the original boards, “one of the finest covers of the early Victorian period, probably designed by Owen Jones”—McLean (1983), page 30. Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England 29 (“a landmark … in the history of style”).
The Mookse and the Gripes and The Ondt and the Gracehopper. From Two Tales of Shem and Shaun, Finnegans Wake
Joyce, James. Chicago: The Compulsive Printer, 1977-78
Binding by Joseph D’Ambrosio.
Two titles based on Two Tales of Shem and Shaun. Illustrated with serigraphs and block prints by d’Ambrosio. 8vo, original bindings. Each a limited edition. Bound in ruby red velvet and 23k gold leaf over a relief-serigraph, designed by the artist; book and separate print laid into rose board slipcase. Prospectus card signed by d’Ambrosio laid in.
“Eins within a space and a wearywide space it wast ere wohned a Mookse. The onesomeness wast alltolonely, archunsitslike, broady oval, and a Mookse he would a walking go (My hood! cries Antony Romeo),so one grandsumer evening, after a great morning and his good supper of gammon and spittish, having flabelled his eyes, pilleoled his nostrils, vacticanated his ears and palliumed his throats, he put on his impermeable, seized his impugnable, harped on his crown and stepped out of his immobile De Rure Albo (socolled becauld it was chalkfull of masterplasters and had borgeously letout gardens strown with cascadas, pinta-costecas, horthoducts and currycombs) and set off from Luds-town a spasso to see how badness was badness in the weirdest of all pensible ways.” ~The Mookse and the Gripes, Finnegans Wake
Moby-Dick, or, The Whale.
Herman Melville. Arion Press, San Francisco, 1979.
(Initial publication 1851)
Printed in blue and black on handmade paper bearing a whale watermark. 100 woodcut illustrations by Barry Moser. Folio, full blue Moroccan goatskin, spine slightly but evenly darkened, joints and ends lightly rubbed; internally clean; blue cloth slipcase, unevenly faded and with some surface marks.
One of 250 unnumbered copies of the first trade edition of the Arion Press edition, designed by Andrew Hoyem. One of the greatest achievements in modern bookmaking.
“Warmest climes but nurse the cruellest fangs: the tiger of Bengal crouches in spiced groves of ceaseless verdure. Skies the most effulgent but basket the deadliest thunders: gorgeous Cuba knows tornadoes that never swept tame northern lands. So, too, it is, that in these resplendent Japanese seas the mariner encounters the direst of all storms, the Typhoon. It will sometimes burst from out that cloudless sky, like an exploding bomb upon a dazed and sleepy town.” ~Chapter cxix
John Dryden: The Works
Jacob Tonson, 1701.
Vol. III only, title in red and black, some small worming in lower margins, a few tears, browned, bookplate of Augustine Fitzgerald on front pastedown, bound in a contemporary panelled Irsh binding, gilt stamp: “Col. Augustine Fitzgerald 1769” on upper cover. (Fitzgerald family of Carton House, near Dublin.)
SONG FROM AMPHITRYON
FAIR Iris I love, and hourly I die,
But not for a lip, nor a languishing eye:
She’s fickle and false, and there we agree,
For I am as false and as fickle as she.
We neither believe what either can say;
And, neither believing, we neither betray.
‘Tis civil to swear, and say things of course;
We mean not the taking for better or worse.
When present, we love; when absent, agree:
I think not of Iris, nor Iris of me.
The legend of love no couple can find,
So easy to part, or so equally join’d.
The Adventures of Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens. Bound by Bayntun. 1846
First one-volume edition, half-title, 24 plates by George Cruikshank, plates lightly browned, modern full red morocco, gilt, by Bayntun, g.e., 8vo, 1846.
The makers of Venice: Doges, conquerors, painters, and men of letters.
Margaret Oliphant. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., [ca. 1900–1910].
Binding: Striking medieval-style vellum, front cover with inset chromolithographic illustration in jewel tones in raised, stamped and gilt frame; hand-painted foliate decorations in pink, green, blue, and yellow with stamped and gilt “studs” laid on, artfully scattered. Calligraphic title incorporating onlaid raised decorative capitals; spine with painted foliate decoration; back cover with fully-filling reverse-painted griffin in blue-green and gilt. Studs and other raised elements appear to be clay or ceramic; upper edges gilt and gauffered.
First published in 1887, this evocative study of medieval and Renaissance Venetian history comes from a Scottish-born novelist and historical writer who also published similarly titled works on Florence, Rome, and Jerusalem. Here it appears in a remarkable hand-painted, medieval-inspired binding with raised and gilt details.