"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
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
George T. McWhorter, translator. Lexington, Ky.: King Library Press, 1975.
Casebound in boards covered with green and white marbled paper and with a matching dust jacket.
George T. McWhorter’s translation of the Anglo-Saxon lyric poem known as “The Seafarer”: the original was recorded in the famous Exeter Book, the 10th-century anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry. This edition was printed in only 100 copies in Hammer Samson uncial type accomplished in black and red, with “composition / presswork / binding by David Oldham, Carolyn Whitesel, and Sallie Ruff (apprentices to Carolyn Hammer and Margaret Williams)” as per the colophon. The medieval birds on the title-page, cover, and wrapper were drawn by Calvert Guthrie.
B-A Note: Originally penned in the Anglo-Saxon in the 10th century, this poem has been translated numerous times by numerous people, including Ezra Pound. I am unable to find an online version of McWhorter’s translation, so the excerpt below is from a 1982 translation by Jonathan A. Glenn, with annotations.
About myself I can utter a truth-song,
tell journeys—how I in toil-days
torment-time often endured,
abode and still do bitter breast-care,
sought in my ship many a care-hall,
horrible waves’ rolling, where narrow night-watch
often has kept me at the ship’s stem
when it dashes by cliffs. Pinched by the cold
were my feet, bound by frost’s
frozen fetters, where those cares sighed
hot about heart; hunger within tore
the mind of the sea-weary one.
Stenography; or, Short-hand Improved
John Angell [c.1787].
Fourth edition, advertisement leaf at beginning, engraved title with decorative border and 21 plates, lightly soiled and browned, old library label on front pastedown, contemporary calf, a little worn, upper cover detached, 8vo.
The Jackdaw of Rheims
Thomas Ingoldsby. Early 20th Century.
10 leaves. Text in black ink with red, green and blue initial letters. Elaborate pen & ink illustrated borders on title page and facing leaf; two large initial letters, one colored and one with a pen & ink illustration; two small illustrations and a large tail-piece vignette also in pen & ink; other decorations in green and red throughout. 29x22 cm. (11½x8¾”) bound in full red morocco, gilt illustrations on front and rear, spine lettered in gilt, calf-backed clamshell box.
A lovely illustrated manuscript of the classic Jackdaw of Rheims from the Ingoldsby Legends. A very skillfully rendered manuscript with remarkable pen & ink drawings, the artisan unfortunately unidentified. Bound by Bayntun-Riviere.
Tymms (W. R.) and M. D. Wyatt.
The Art of Illuminating as practised in Europe from the earliest Times.
Publication Details: Day and Son. 
Illustrated by Borders, Initial Letters and Alphabets, selected & chromolithographed.
Description: chromolithographed title and 95 plates, owner’s signature on the front endpaper, blank corner of title dampstained, pp. 96, 8vo, orig. damson cloth, embossed with a stylised leaf design in blind, title in gilt on the front cover, spine to the same design with gilt lettering, inner hinges strengthened, good
The First Kelmscott Rossetti, with a Fine Provenance
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. Ballads and narrative poems. Hammersmith: Ellis & Elvey (pr. by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press), 1893.
An early example from William Morris’s series of beautiful productions accomplished at his Kelmscott Press — and an outstanding combination of Morris’s and Rossetti’s Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics. This collection of some of Morris’ dear friend Rossetti’s most important verse was printed eleven years after the poet’s death using Kelmscott’s Golden type in black and a good deal of red; characteristic woodcut grapevine borders surround both the title-page (printed on the verso of fol. [a]2) and the first page of text opposite, with the rest of the volume offering additional, floriate, woodcut initials designed by Morris.
Illuminated Manuscript: the Lord’s Prayer, the Ave Maria, and the Gloria Patri
G. Righi, Italy, early 20th Century
Period red velvet brocade, brass cornerpieces and bosses. An elaborate modern illuminated manuscript in the Sangorski manner. The Lord’s Prayer has an historiated initial (100 x 100 mm) showing God in Heaven with angels below, and broad foliate borders in gilt, pink, blue, and green, with vignettes of the Lamb and storks. The Ave Maria has a miniature (45 x 85 mm) of the Annunciation, and broad detailed borders with various floral motifs, the Lamb, birds, and a chalice flanked by angels.
MEDIEVAL SCRIBAL PATTERN BOOK, MS 439
A medieval scribal pattern book by Gregorius Bock, ca. 1510-1517 from Swabia, Germany. The codex is composed of two parts: the first illustrates alphabets in various scripts often preceded by a text written in that style and second part of the codex is composed of decorative initials arranged alphabetically.
Some of the styles demonstrated include gothic textura, round gothic, round humanistic, Batarde, Greek, and Hebrew.
Carta confirmatoria de hidalguia: Francisco Cabezas Gerion y Solano
Los Reyes [i.e., Lima]; Oviedo, Spain: A. & G. Way, prs., 1627. Folio (30.5 cm; 11.875”). , 71–125 ff.
Binding: Full calf over light, flexible paste boards. Blind-tooled single rules elaborately criss-cross in large diamond and half-diamond patterns on both covers, with blind-tooled florettes gracing the diamonds’ and half diamonds’ interiors. Intricate 17th-century Peruvian bindings are rare in commerce in our experience.
Cabezas Gerion was born in Lima of parents and grandparents who were Peruvian born and who enjoyed minor noble status. He here seeks to have his standing as an hidalgo confirmed, presenting copies of documents from as far back as 1456 (in 1620s copies) but chiefly relying on the testimony of citizens of Lima who have known his family and its genealogy.