"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
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”.
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”).
Irish Melodies and Sacred Songs
Thomas Moore. Boston: Re-printed by Munroe & Francis, 1849.
12mo (18.5 cm, 7.3”). , [ix]–xxxi, , 184 pp. Later American edition of these celebrated Hibernian-themed lyrics from the author of “Lalla Rookh.” The front free endpaper bears a rather sweet early inked inscription: “For thee, A.E.” (with a small, difficult-to-decipher signature).
Signed binding: Publisher’s striped cloth, predominantly seen in the 1840s and never common: Brown ripple-textured cloth thinly striped in light blue, covers each with blind-stamped frame and gilt-stamped harp and shamrock vignette, spine with gilt-stamped title and strapwork; front free endpaper with pressure-stamp of the Benjamin Bradley company. All edges gilt.
Come, Send Round the Wine
Come, send round the wine, and leave points of belief
To simpleton sages, and reasoning fools’
This moment’s a flower too fair and brief
To be wither’d and stain’d by the dust of the schools.
Your glass may be purple, and mine may be blue,
But while they’re fill’d from the same bright bowl,
The fool, who would quarrel for difference of hue,
Deserves not the comfort they shed o’er the soul.
Wonderful Collection of Broadside Irish Drinking Songs, 1860-1880
Brereton, Peter, printer. Collection of illustrated broadside song lyrics. Dublin: Peter Brereton, circa 1860-1880. 26 separate sheets. Narrow broadsides, thin wove stock (4-1/2 by 11 inches). $2800.
Fascinating collection of 26 broadside song sheets of popular 19th-century Irish ballads and drinking songs, including an early version of “John Barleycorn,” each with a delightful wood-engraved headpiece.
A group of rare librettos for comic operas performed at, and printed at the behest of, the theatre in Smock Alley, Dublin. Printed by A. Reilly, 1762.
[GOLDONI (CARLO)] The Fair of Malmantile; The Stratagems of Love. A Comic Opera. As it is Performed on the Theatre in Smock-Alley, Alexander M’Culloh, 1762; La Creanza… for the Benefit of Anna Lucia de Amicis, 2 leaves shaved just touching letters, Alexander M’Culloh, 1762; The Guardian Trick’d, A. Reilly, 1762; The Rivals, A. Reilly, 1762; [GIORDANI (GIUSEPPE)] The Jealous Lover [Gl’amanti gelosi], appendix leaf inserted at end, J. Hunter, 1764, 5 works in one in one vol., each with parallel Italian and English texts, contemporary calf, small 8vo
Curiosities, Rarities & Wonders in England, Scotland, and Ireland
R.B. (Nathanael) Crouch, 1685.
Fourth edition enlarged, engraved frontispiece, 5 plates, 3pp. advertisements at end, contemporary ownership inscription to endpaper, frontispiece becoming loose, torn at top edge, lightly soiled, contemporary calf, chipped and rubbed, joints cracked, lower board becoming loose, 12mo, for Nath. Crouch at the Bell, . *** An account of earthquakes, tempests, fires, murders etc around the British Isles. Scarce, only 4 copies listed in libraries on ESTC.
The Three Distinct Knocks, or the Door of the most Antient Free-Masonry
Woodcut vignette and diagram, spotted, a few small stains, later limp calf, gilt, bowed, split to foot of upper joint, a few minor marks, 8vo, Dublin, Thomas Wilkinson, [?c.1760]. *** Rare. ESTC list only 3 copies (National Lib.of Ireland, Bodleian and Grand Lodge, Pennsylvania).
Nathaniel Parker Wilis and Joseph Stirling Coyne. 1841.
The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland, 6 original parts, 2 engraved additional vignette titles, map and 118 plates after W.H.Bartlett, lacking portrait, some foxing, original roan-backed glazed viridian boards, title and vignette printed on upper covers, spines gilt, one slightly faded, rubbed, particularly at edges, 4to.