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Highlights of the ANZAAB Sydney Rare Book Fair, 8-10 November 2013

The ANZAAB Sydney Rare Book Fair will be held at The University of New South Wales in The Roundhouse. There will be a total of 23 exhibitors attending. Some of the highlights are:
Published on 09 Oct. 2013

The ANZAAB Sydney Rare Book Fair will be held at The University of New South Wales in The Roundhouse. There will be a total of 23 exhibitors attending. Some of the highlights are:

Pre-Raphaelite book collection 1846-1905

Collection of 20 books in 27 volumes plus two sets of periodicals. This unique collection provides a significant illustrated reference on the work of Pre-Raphaelite artists. A majority of the books are sumptuously printed and bound, and contain extensive illustrations. The Pre-Raphaelites published a periodical, The Germ, only four issues of which came out in 1850. Its name comes from the phrase "the germ of an idea," the magazine being the seed of the Pre-Raphaelites' ideas. This collection contains the rare first edition, as well as the subsequent limited edition reprint from 1898.

The largest book, and one of the rarest in the collection, is on the paintings of Edward Burne-Jones and is impressive enough to be shown in its own right, containing 90 illustrations covering most of Burne-Jones' career, with photogravures ranging in size from 24 x 30 cm to 45 x 55 cm. Another rare item in the collection is a volume of 71 Burne-Jones drawings which have been reproduced to an unusually high standard by a photographic process. The finish is so realistic the viewer needs to look twice to be sure they are not the real drawings.

Other important books that make up the collection include Augustus Welby Pugin's Floriated Ornament: A Series of Thirty One Designs, and the classic and ground-breaking book by Owen Jones, The Grammar of Ornament. These books on design had a great influence on a number of the Pre-Raphaelite artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Holman Hunt, John Ruskin and William Morris.

Another important book in the collection is The Art of William Morris, which has 40 colour plates depicting his designs for tiles, wallpaper, carpets and book bindings. Also a highlight is a sumptuously leather-bound illustrated book on Dante Gabriel Rossetti's life, which features very fine gold and blind tooling, raised bands, with the unusual addition of his birth and death dates integrated into the design of the front and back covers.

The richness of this collection lies in the abundant illustrations, particularly the photogravures which reproduce the paintings to a very high standard. The books stand out even today as masterpieces of printing and are collected in their own right. (Josef Lebovich Gallery, $110,000)

A leaf from the Gutenberg Bible

The first book printed in Western culture using the radical technology of movable type, is perhaps the most famous and important book in the world.

Complete examples are now rarely procurable in the marketplace, yet a single leaf, extracted from an incomplete copy of the Bible by New York dealer Gabriel Wells in 1921, captivates the imagination when one contemplates the impact this revolution of the Renaissance had on humanity. (Douglas Stewart $85,000)

Rare Chinese export trade album [c1800]

Before the invention of photography, and the later 19th century vogue for all things Japanese, there was a great fascination in Europe for China and Chinese goods which was catered for by paintings and prints. This seemingly insatiable market for images of China was at its height between the early 16th and early 19th centuries. It appears that paintings in this album were executed in the early 19th century in China and likely bound together a little later possibly in France. (Asia Bookroom $17,500)

Sydney Illuminated Address 1893

Illustrating this address, two exquisite small watercolour views of Sydney by John Sands are titled “North Head Sydney” showing the headland with a steam ship in the foreground and “Sydney Harbour” showing the Royal Botanic Gardens with the Macquarie Street Gates, people walking in the gardens, the Government Stables, Farm Cove and ships on Sydney harbour in the background. (Jörn Harbeck $2,200)

Sunny South Series

A Parrot Shape Book from this rare Sydney series. Tall narrow duodecimo by dimensions, colour-illustrated card wrappers in the shape of a parrot, a little marking. Sydney, John Sands, November 1931.

Rare: one in a series of about four untitled shape books, the verse unsigned, issued by Sands during the Depression, undated but copyright 1931. Muir, 7214. (Kenneth Hince $1000)

The First Illustrations of the Koala Arcana, or, The Museum of natural history: containing the most recent discovered objects embellished with 84 hand-coloured engraved plates

The Arcana was issued in monthly parts between 1810-1811, the whole work split into sections of Zoology, Ornithology, Entomology, Ichthyology, Conchology (for which Perry was mostly known), Amphibia and Botany, followed by various articles including an extract relating to Mungo Parke’s travels in Africa. Sixteen Australian animals are figured including the first illustrations of the Koala and Brolga. (Andrew Isles $55,000)


Rudolph Jenny (c1827-1905) after Albert Charles Cooke (1836-1902). Wood-engraving. 1871. 280mm by 670mm (image) 450mm by 920mm (sheet). From 'The Illustrated Sydney News'. Initialled 'AC' and signed 'R Jenny' in the block. Folds as issued. (Sebra Prints $3,200)

Inlaid with six diamonds

Capote (Truman), Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A short novel and three stories. Pp. [viii]+180(last blank); bound by The Chelsea Bindery in salmon pink morocco, the spine with silver lettered black morocco title label between two raised bands, the upper board featuring a black morocco onlaid silhouette of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly from the 1961 film of Breakfast at Tiffany's, depicted in evening dress and tiara and brandishing a long cigarette holder, the design embellished with 6 genuine diamonds (inlaid into the tiara, earrings and necklace), dentelles with double silver rule; all edges silver; black endpapers; Random House, New York, 1958. First edition.

A striking designer binding, presented within a custom-made fully lined black velvet drawstring bag with decorative bead fastening. The three other stories are House of Flowers; A Diamond Guitar; and A Christmas Memory. (Kay Craddock $5,000)

A pick-pockets voyage to Australia

1795 edition of George Barrington’s account of New South Wales. Barrington was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia for pick pocketing. (Cornstalk Books $4,000)

Charles Dickens first edition with original photographs of Dickens

Master Humphrey’s Clock. Tipped in to the front of volume one is an original albumen printed photograph of Charles Dickens taken by George Herbert Watkins and stamped by him. The photo is taken between April and June 1858. Dickens wrote to Watkins on July 17th 1858 requesting five and twenty impressions for private friends. Original albumen photographs of Dickens are rare. (Cornstalk Books $1750)

ANZAAB Sydney Rare Book Fair, 8-10 November 2013

The Roundhouse, University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)

Opening hours: Friday 6 – 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Visit the official website for more information.

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