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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Art

The Art of American Book Covers - Evangeline Mary Daniell

Published on 12 Dec. 2014
I only know of one cover by Evangeline Mary Daniell, who also went by the signature "Eva," but it is such an exceptional Art Nouveau design that it's likely there are others to be found. Please do post a comment if you know of any. Her monogram EMD is on both the cover and dust jacket of the first printing of The Seven Seas by Rudyard Kipling, the first American edition, published by Appleton in 1896. The monogram was removed from the cover on the 1897 and subsequent editions, but remained on the jacket. Three copies were in the first exhibition of American Decorated Publishers' Bindings 1872-1929 (2005).
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Art

Veronese, His Legacy, Among 17th Century Book Publishers, Art Collectors, & Printmakers

Published on 02 May 2014
This essay is an immersive, illustrated review of the spectacular Veronese show at the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (2012-13); but it also educates readers on Veronese's legacy in the 17th century among book publishers, printmakers, and (mostly) Stuart art connoisseurs. Drawing upon an extended Gallery of Images (21 images, including some fine installation shots, all with extended caption notes by the author), the essay demonstrates the fabled invention, wit, and clever humor of this "Happiest of Painters", as Henry James wrote of Veronese. The essay gives special prominence to the currency of Veronese in the 17th-century book culture and print culture (Images 6,7,14). The author's dedicatees are three prominent book specialists: Robert J. Barry, Jr.; John T. Shawcross; and Peter A. Tasch.
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Art

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - New York, New York!

Published on 28 Oct. 2013
Like the architect and sculptor Max Bill, Welti (1891–1934) belonged to the artistic new wave which characterised Zurich in the late 1920s, experimenting with abstract art and Dadaism. In 1932, it was Welti who was asked by Wilhelm Wartmann, director of the Zurich Kunsthaus, which was mounting a major Picasso retrospective, to look after the Spaniard during his visit. These early lithographs arose out of a visit Welti made to New York thanks to a 'Swiss Economic Study Tour to America', an initiative begun after the First World War.
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Art

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Who is Anne Marie?

Published on 18 July 2012
As personal papers and archival collections are increasingly sought after by librarians and collectors, we have accordingly been conducting a fair bit of original cataloguing of various special collections materials in order to keep up with the demand. I've thus become better at identifying and describing the papers and ephemera of obscure authors and artists, and even a few famous punk rockers unknown only to me; but every now and then I am confronted with anonymous or original materials of considerable interest which I cannot identify, despite my best efforts. Here for example is a hand-painted illustration from the 1930s signed "AM". Can anyone identify this Unknown Woman?
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Publishing the Fine & Applied Arts 1500-2000

Published on 10 July 2012
This new volume of the Publishing Pathways series examines the relationship between the business of print and the practice of art and design across five centuries. It explores the role played by the book trade in the diffusion of artistic and architectural theory, fashion, and practice, and traces the impact of advances in the techniques of binding, color printing, and illustration on the appearance of books. Among the topics discussed are the printed sources for decorative motifs in sixteenth-century churches, the publication history of the works of Andrea Palladio, and the evolution of drawing manuals in seventeenth-century England. Other subjects include the library formed by the architect Sir John Soane, developments in nineteenth-century art publishing, and the role of printed catalogues in documenting the acquisitions made by English collectors of paintings, sculpture, and antiquities.
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Art

Peter Paul Rubens and 17th Century Book Arts

Published on 23 May 2012
Specialists on 17th century books and book arts may enjoy viewing Maureen E. Mulvihill's illustrated exhibition review of the Rubens show at the Ringling Museum, Sarasota, Florida (February 17th-June 3rd, 2012). The review (12 pp, with a Gallery of Images from the installation) is published in Seventeenth-Century News (Spring-Summer, 2012). The Ringling's permanent collection includes five Rubens canvases (the Louvre, two). The show presents selections from Ringling's Rubens collection and many fine prints of the master's work (engravings, woodcuts) on loan from the Royal Museum of Fine Art, Antwerp
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Art

The Book Art of Richard Minsky

Published on 18 March 2011
A new book about the famous book artist: Richard Minsky has been making and remaking artists' books for fifty years. "The Book Art of Richard Minsky", recently published by George Braziller, Inc., shows the best of it. The book itself is a piece of art, bound in a beautifully printed and embossed hardcover and filled with numerous illustrations. It invites readers - and admirers - to explore the sculptural book works of Richard Minsky.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Japanese Literature Publishing Project and The Private Library

For many years L.D. Mitchell's blog The Private Library showed collectors that it is possible to build a collection without the benefit of much money. He published numerous articles on every imaginable subject of book collecting, he wrote about the most beautiful, the most important, the most common, the most attractive, the most unusual, the most interesting, the most extraordinary, the most amazing ... books one could read, buy, collect and simply enjoy. The Private Library has become an irreplaceable resource for all booklovers. Since April 2012, it is a static archive. L. D. Mitchell will no longer post new original content. ILAB is very grateful that he has given permission to publish some of his best articles and collecting tips from The Private Library on the ILAB website. Thank you very much, L.D.
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Article

Rubens in Stuttgart

There are many books with a Rubens design. Even in books from the 19th century we find frontispieces copied from a Rubens design which was often simply reproduced and thus many editions were adorned with a Rubens.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Famous Literary Hoaxes (Part Two)

Back in 400 BCE, Dionysus the Renegade was a Stoic philosopher and student of Zeno of Citium. He wanted to humiliate his rival Heraclides and decided to forge a work of Sophocles. Dionysus inserted the acrostic "Heraclides is ignorant of letters," which quickly led to the discovery of Dionysus' fraud - but not before he'd achieved his aim of embarrassing Heraclides. Since then, the literary hoax has played a fascinating and engaging role in history. In Part One, we focused on the Ossian poems, The English Mercurie, and Thomas Chatterton's Rowley poems. Now, delve into William Ireland's spurious Shakespeare, Davy Crockett's attempts to combat false autobiographies, and more.
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Article

43d California Book Fair and the State of the Trade

Last weekend's 43d California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Los Angeles, the first major book fair of the year, provided an excellent overview of where the rare book trade now stands and where it may be headed.
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Article

What Future For Rare Books ?

The anticipated death of the book is not a new phenomena. We recall that the book published in 1967 by the Canadian Marshall MacLuhan under the title "The Gutenberg Galaxy" dealt with this matter. Over the years we have seen that the electronic revolution has not really had the effect it had been predicted to have. We may also recall the cover of a magazine which appeared in the '90s and which referred to the answer of Gutenberg to MacLuhan in the form of an arm gesture of extreme vulgarity. Desktop Publishing did not finally kill the published book. It simply vulgarised the publishing proces. For us who are interested in the book as such, we feel that the aesthetics of the book may have suffered but not its productions in terms of quantity.
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DE CARO AND THE GIROLAMINI THEFTS – More from Italy

Recent news on the Girolamini thefts: Marino Massimo de Caro had given an interview to an Italian newspaper in which he accused antiquarian booksellers and auctioneers to manipulate valuable books – scratching out stamps, removing old ownership labels and/or gluing those to others. ILAB and ALAI refused to file a law-suit against both the reporter and Mr De Caro for giving such a scandalous interview, but the President of ALAI, Fabrizio Govi, and the former Director of the Italian National Libraries, Dr Daniele Danesi, have responded to it in a serious and widely read newspaper in Italy. Read the following letter to the Presidents of ILAB's member associations, by ILAB President Norbert Donhofer:
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