A Look Inside the Catalogue
We ring in December with an offering of diverse Art, Press & Illustrated Books, with highlights in every category.
Notable treasures include an Ashendene Press edition of Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, of which only 155 copies were printed. Also included is a 1908 Insel-Verlag edition of Friedrich Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra, designed by Henry van de Velde and bound by Eleanore Ramsey.
Left, Lot 101: Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Insel-Verlag edition, 1908.
Sold for $15,000.
Lot 197: Gustav Klimt, Das Werk von Gustav Klimt, Einleitende Wort: Hermann Bahr, Peter Altenberg, 50 plates in original case
designed by Julius Dratva, Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $60,000.
The top lot of the sale is Gustav Klimt's Das Werk, the artist's only lifetime monograph. Klimt prepared the book with his friend, the Viennese publisher Hugo Heller, between 1908 and 1918. The work features fifty richly printed collotype plates of iconic works, including Pallas Athena, The Kiss, and The Sunflower, with ten heightened in gold and silver. Of the 300 copies, few have survived; this one is numbered 103.
Left, Lot 128: Leopoldo Méndez & Ramón Alva de la Canal, Horizonte, 9 of 10 issues, Jalapa, 1926-1927.
Sold for $22,500.
Right, Lot 4: Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Ashendene Press, Chelsea, 1913. Sold for $6,000.
One highlight of the sale is a set of the exceedingly rare Mexican Stridentist journal, Horizonte, edited by Leopoldo Méndez and illustrated by Ramón Alva del Canal and Diego Rivera, among others. It is the most complete set ever to be offered at auction, with nine of the ten editions present, and six highly uncommon supplements. Another highlight, Le Paradis Musulman, by François-Louis Schmied and J.C. Mardrus, features intricate color woodblock illustrations throughout; the title-page alone used 45 different blocks. Schmied included two self-portraits into the book.
American highlights include a six-volume set of original textile block prints from the Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project, as well as a rare copy of The Cubies' ABC by Mary Mills and Earl Harvey Lyall. The book is a witty attack on modern art in the form of an alphabet book, created in the wake of the famous 1913 Armory Show.
Right, Lot 97: J.C. Mardrus, Le Paradis Musulman, illustrated by François-Louis Schmied, bound with an additional suite on Japan Paper. Sold for $17,500.
Lot 203: Mary Mills & Earl Harvey Lyall, The Cubies' ABC, New York & London, 1913. Sold for $4,750.
Also available is a series of calling cards and invitations commissioned by Gilded Age New York City elites, including the Astors and Vanderbilts, compiled by the printer himself, one G.D. Carroll in Love: Compositions of Eminent Persons of Golden Ages, pictured below. A limited edition copy of The Book-Lovers Almanac for the Year 1983 showcases 12 book-related illustrations, was once owned by contributor Eugene Field, and bears the signature of the printer, Theodore Low De Vinne.
Left, Lot 22: The Book-Lover's Almanac for the Year 1893, The De Vinne Press, New York, 1893.
Sold for $750.
Lot 16: Love: Compositions of Eminent Persons of Golden Ages, edited by G.D. Carroll, New York, 1883. Sold for $293.
Left, Lot 77: Louise Saunders, The Knave of Hearts, illustrated by Maxfield Parrish, first cloth edition,
New York, 1925. Sold for $2,000.
Right, Lot 75: Annie R. Rentoul & Grenby Outhwaite, Fairyland, first limited edition, Melbourne, 1926. Sold for $4,250.
No sale of illustrated books would be complete without a storybooks section: a charming limited edition of Fairyland, 1926 by Australians Annie R. Rentoul and Grenby Outhwaite boasts 18 color plates and 32 black-and-white plates depicting fairies gallivanting with spectacles such as the moon, as well as endemic animals like koalas and kiwis. Another childrens’ highlight included is Maxfield Parrish’s 1925 The Knave of Hearts.
Among several unique handmade books in the sale is an unusually elaborate pedagogical workbook based on Wilhelm August Fröbel's "System of Gifts." Distributed to classrooms in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the kits contained various paper and string collage projects which introduced children to concepts such as shapes, textures, and patterns (called "gifts"), and explored their physical manipulation through folding, sewing and other activities, which he called "occupations."
Lot 171: Classroom workbook for Fröbel's System of Gifts, 1894. Sold for $2,000.
The sale features books on architecture of all styles. The first major illustrated publication on the ruins of Palmyra, Les Ruines de Palmyre autrement dite Tedmor, by Robert Wood and James Dawkins is a highlight.
Lot 114: Robert Wood & James Dawkins, Les Ruines de Palmyre autrement dite Tedmour, au Desert,
first edition in French, London, 1753. Sold for $2,750.
For more information on the sale, contact Specialist Christine von der Linn.
Learn how to consign with Swann here.