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Homemade Books

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Homemade Books

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1 Croqut
England Hardcover Very Good 
N.d. Circa 1870s. Small 4to. 24 by 18 cm. Eight pages of manuscript, with eight delightful pen and ink illustrations, including cover decoration, plus six ornamental letter vignettes ("historiated", "floriated" and "rusticated"). The illustrations include ones of a manor house, with three croquet players in the foreground, a grouping of players with one about to do an agressive swing resembling a golf drive, a group of young adults listiening to a serenader, and wooing couple and a seraph steering a tiny sailboat. The verse is pleasant and rich in charm: "Instead of wars of words and wit,/ This is a conflict far more fit./ The lady's ready grace and skill/ Matched against manyly strength and will./ All martyr-like, consent to bear/ Reverses with a cheerful air,/ And learn to hurl the well-aimed blow/ Of retribution on the foe . . . " Perhaps not Gerald Manley Hopkins, but the competent verse does capture the rhythm, the spirit and appeal of the game remarkably well, and together with the illustrations evoke a lazy afternoon in a bucolic setting of the 1800s that is bound to spark wistful daydreams in our hardened, frenetic times. Bound with a red buckram dust jacket, the title "Croqut" embossed in gilt on the front. The paper is of a stiff card stock. 
Price: 1450.00 USD
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Der Osterhas aus Reisen
2 Der Osterhas aus Reisen
Half cloth (buckram). Decorative paper pasted ont Very Good 
Charming whimsical story about an Easter bunny, told in German verse and inimitably illustrated with original watercolors. 8vo. 21 by 17 cm. 50 pages, including title page, with an original watercolor on every page, virtually all of which are between a half to three-quarters of the page. The bunny decides to make a journey, using his eggs as currency along the way. On the trip he encounters various obstacles and threats such as a giant and a dragon, but he also meets Snow White and the seven dwarves, Hansel and Gretel, and the like. Before the trip is over he visits Africa. He gets back home just in the nick of time for Easter and to lay new Easter eggs for the children in the area. The narrative is very much secondary to the bright winsome illustrations and the lilting verse. 
Price: 1500.00 USD
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Enigmas
3 Enigmas
Card. Paper pastedown on boards. Cloth spine. Very Good 
N.d., circa mid-19th century. Oblong, 7.5 by 12 cm. Unpaginated, 24 pp. Containing 20 riddles, with each riddle four to a dozen lines of verse written in a neat cursive hand, and the answers on the final leaf. Lovely original vignette watercolored illustrations, both drawn and colored by hand, one of an open book, the other, a flower bouquet. Gilt edges to the boards, with Greek raised ornamentation around perimeter. 
Price: 300.00 USD
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Homemade Book of Mounted Crayon Colored Cutouts of Boys in Costume
4 Homemade Book of Mounted Crayon Colored Cutouts of Boys in Costume
Paper Very Good 
N.d., circa 1930s. Measures 46 by 24 cm. Depicted is a boy as a scout, a policeman, an 18th century dandy with a peruke and tricorn hat, a fireman, a Tyrolian and Mexican musician. On the one hand the work would seem that of a child, especially since the cut-outs were done on lined paper, but on the other hand, the proficiency is beyond that of even a gifted pre-teen. Some blank pages from which it is possible that cut-outs were removed but this would seem unlikely. There are stains on the bottom of these pages that one could think come from paste, but the rest of the pages are clean and surely similar stains would have affected these upper areas as well. No title, nor any indicia of who created this. Otherwise, light wear. 
Price: 145.00 USD
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Homemade Book of Mounted Crayon Colored Drawings and Cut-outs of Bunnies and Other Animals, Flowers and Children, etc.
5 Homemade Book of Mounted Crayon Colored Drawings and Cut-outs of Bunnies and Other Animals, Flowers and Children, etc.
Paper Very Good 
N.d., circa 1930s. Measures 36 by 31 cm. 20 pages with mostly mounted crayon drawings but a few illustrations made in all or part of cut-outs. Of animals, cute bunnies are the most numerous, but there are also bears, pigs, a robin, a goldfinch, an oriole, a king bird, chickens, a duck. Of children, there is a boy in a witch's hat gazing at a jack-a-lantern, and a girl in a slot-car. One of the most interesting of the illustrations is a paper cut-out of a vegetable man -- a man made of different vegetables. The two flower arrangement drawings are especially well done. There is also a ship made of cut-out pieces. The work would appear by a very talented child, or perhaps a child with assistance from an adult. No title, nor any indicia of who created this. Otherwise, light wear. 
Price: 165.00 USD
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La Perle de Tolede.  Imite de l'Espagnol d'apres Merimee.  Pastiche
6 La Perle de Tolede. Imite de l'Espagnol d'apres Merimee. Pastiche
Quarter Morocco Very Good 
Exquisite vignettes and full-page pencil drawings illustrating an original French narrative poem emulating perhaps, on a small scale, the Spanish chivalric tradition. 4to. 30 by 25 cm. 18 pp. (Writing and artwork on one side of a leaf.) The first page is probably a self-portrait of the writer/artist in profile plying away in an office cell. The author expresses an affection for Andalusia, and perhaps a celebration of the place and its culture is his ultimate aim. The poem pits a Christian against a Moor, the latter meeting his death, but the author appears to sympathize with him. While the poem may lack a certain clarity, the drawings are crisp and delightful. The larger illustrations have a naivete about them, while the vignettes are quite precise. Leaves are of heavy card. Light wear and soiling. 
Price: 2250.00 USD
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Lustige Post.  Neu Ein Nachschlagewerk.  Neu fr angehende Postpensionisten
7 Lustige Post. Neu Ein Nachschlagewerk. Neu fr angehende Postpensionisten
Munich 1948 Hardcover. Paper pastedown on cover. Very Good 
The inefficient efficiency of Deutsche Post -- a whimsical and fun take on postal services and innovations! 4to. 24.5 by 21.5 cm. Unpaginated, 29 leaves, each with original illustrations done with pen and ink and watercolors. The manuscript was created as a tribute or gift for a retiring postal official (the Oberpostinspektor) in Munich, whose name was Karl Scherner. The illustrations are absurdist cartoons that don't require an understanding of the text. Along with the title and caption of each illustration, there is usually a small clipping pasted in that represents the actual postal notice or schedule relating to the service. Moderate wear. 
Price: 850.00 USD
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Record of the Child-Life of Geraldine Richmond
8 Record of the Child-Life of Geraldine Richmond
Wraps Good 
The heavy paper wraps have a watercolor painting of daffodils and the name of the baby, "Geraldine", written neatly at a diagonal to a side of the painting. Within are 17 leaves of content -- pen and ink work only on rectos, and a few of the pages have just the ornamental work, with the space intended for clippings or photos not used. The cover measures 25 by 17.5 cm, the interior pages, 20 ny 16.5 cm. 
Price: 300.00 USD
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The Weathercock on Salisbury Cathedral Spire
9 The Weathercock on Salisbury Cathedral Spire
Wraps, staple bound. Cloth folder Very Good 
Highly original, comical anthropormphic illustrations of an accident-prone rooster. N.d., circa 1930s. Oblong, 21 by 28.5 cm. Unpaginated, 32 pp, including cover. The story line is loose, even disjointed, with each page representing a separate incident or story line. Tidbits of satire pervade the work, directed here at the clergy, there at sots. Some of the humor contained in the captions is obscure, but the visual humor never slackens, and whatever the merits of the overall narrative, however, the watercolors are irresistible, and while anthropomorphism is a commonplace in juvenilia, these renderings somehow stand apart as not being derivative. The artist also filled out the illustrations with town streets, buildings, landscapes and various objects that are just right -- realistic yet not fussily literal. His was a confident hand that with seeming ease created pictures with real panache and style. The dating is a bit tricky. There are numerous references, visual and textual, to the military, and there are World War One era planes. But there are also some later aircraft, and in one illustration, a soman is wearing a dress that is unquestionably of the thirties. With custom made cloth folder, leather title label on front board, to house the manuscript. 
Price: 1450.00 USD
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10 To a Daisy
Wraps or brochure Very Good 
N.d., circa 1900. A cleverly executed watercolored cover, with a diagonal fold-over flap shaped to the outline of the daisy petals. Inside is a four page, sixteen line poem presumed to be original. Bound with tasseled-tipped string. Oblong, 10.5 by 13 cm. 
Price: 75.00 USD
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[Manuscript]  Histoire de la Cochonnette
11 [Manuscript] Histoire de la Cochonnette
Christmas, 1944 Hardcover. Cotton toile fabric pasted onto boards Very Good 
Charming original story about a clever pig and his rooster and chicken pals, and how they escape becoming their master's Xmas supper and then a ravenous wolf. Oblong, 21.5 by 27.5 cm. Unpaginated, 20 leaves, text and illustrations only on rectos. Eighteen original watercolor illustrations, all but two of which are full page or dominate the page. The watercolors are rendered with a confident simplicity -- these illustrations could easily have appeared in a published children's book. The text is written in a neat cursive. Besides the sweet narrative, we find the toile covers lovely, and also in keeping with the story within. On the front are vignettes of a coq and geese; on the rear, a horse, a dog and seraph, and both covers have a bucolic feel to them. Condition: the toile cover has staining. The interior has moderate wear. 
Price: 950.00 USD
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[Manuscript] Varied Versions
12 [Manuscript] Varied Versions
Paper pastedown on boards. String ties. Near Fine 
Clever light verse and charming watercolored vignettes, with the verse and artwork cross-fertilizing and resulting in an entirely novel homemade book, unlike any such effort we have ever beheld. N.d., mid-20th century. (A send-up of an Edith Sitwell poem first appearing in 1953 suggests the manuscript dates to the late fifties or sixties. Our sense, based on the poem, was that Sitwell was still alive at the time. The eccentric poet passed away in 1964.) Oblong, 15 by 19.5 cm. Unpaginated, 24 leaves, with content only on the rectos. It is unfortunate that the identity of the poet is unknown, as the verse are not only fun and funny, but also there is a coherence and uncommon evenness of quality. The verse manages to strike a satisfying balance between absurdity and restraint. Much of the verse relates to cuisine and edibles, directly and indirectly, and insects are another motif cropping up now and again, but these commonalities are secondary in creating the coherence we speak of. We think the word play on what might be regarded as a half-title page captures the esprit especially well: "A volume of vagaries and verses from the vitiated vortex of a virus victim -- Gems from the Germery". In the corners are two drawings of flies. Between the words and pictures, we would consider the former the more important, in contrast to most homemade books we have encountered. This is not to say the vignettes don't have a charm and polish, but rather, they are servants to the words, whetting our interest, adding a visual fillip, or the like. The cover has a patterned paper pastedown. The title is given, pasted to the front cover, on a shaped cut-out pen and ink drawing of a scroll and inkwell. 
Price: 465.00 USD
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13 ????????, ?. ?. (Ivenskii, S. G.) ????????? ?????? M??? ???????? (Little Album of My Drawings)
??????? (Vologda) 1964 Wraps Very Good 
Oblong, 98 by 108 mm. Six leaves, including cover, with six tipped-in examples of original artwork, done in pen and ink, employing colored inks, some pencil and watercolor, and one vignette done directly onto the paper. The drawings include a self-portrait, two caricatures, and two (or three) bookplate designs. Quite unusual. 
Price: 300.00 USD
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14 ????????, ?. ?. (Ivenskii, S. G.) ????????? ??????? ??????????? (Some Sketches ?)
??????? (Vologda) 1964 Wraps Very Good 
120 by 92 mm. 14 leaves. With 14 vignette original designs, done by hand, mostly of bookplates. The designs are dated 1962 to 1964. Also a frontis portrait, which we take to be a self-portrait. Two page hand-written preface explaining what follows, and each of the bookplates has a brief caption on the facing page. 
Price: 300.00 USD
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15 A.P. (?) Pen and Ink Sketches 1888
1888 Very Good 
Six leaves, with six ink drawings of a high amateur caliber, and and verse on the verso sides written in a neat, ornamental hand. Depicted are Croydon Mountain, the Sugar River, Lake Sunapee and Mosquito Hollow. On the back cover is writen "A Happy New Year", and so this thin book was prepared as a sentimental gift card. The artist initialed his work with what looks like "A.P.", and that is all one can tell about the creator. Foxing on the front and rear. The leaves are held by string which is now a bit loose. 
Price: 150.00 USD
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Book of Fate, Anonymous
16 Anonymous Book of Fate
Wraps. Card. Ribbon tie. Very Good 
A whimsical fortune-telling game and homemade book, with paper cut-outs and painted touches. N.d., circa 1910. 18.5 by 13 cm. Six leaves, each with a hand-drawn flower holding eight petals. When one pulls a petal (a tab), revealed is a fortune. So on each of these pages a question is posed, and then the players pulls one of these petals to discover the answer which applies to her. (This was almost certainly created by a young lady, for the entertainment of her friends.) The questions are: your greatest desire, your characteristics, whom you will marry, when you will marry, what others think of you, and finally your fate. The responses run the gamut, from roseate to tart and unfortunate. Thus as to when you will marry, the answer can be specific -- in two years -- to cynical, such as when sufficiently urged , or when 2 and 2 are five. One can easily imagine the players breaking out into loud hysterics as they proceeded. With a painted flower on the front cover. 
Price: 165.00 USD
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[Homemade Book] To My Valentine Collection of Five Illustrated Leaves on Card, Anonymous
17 Anonymous [Homemade Book] To My Valentine Collection of Five Illustrated Leaves on Card
Unbound Very Good 
Winsome collection of manuscript color illustrations, and light text, for part of a children's story. N.d., circa 1920s. The first card, or what is presumed to be so, bears the legend, "To My Valentine", with the name of "Ann Warren Stewart", written on a mailbox. Since Ann is a character in these drawings, we can assume she was not the author or illustrator but rather perhaps a recipient or dedicatee. The artwork is in the style, loosely, of Mabel Lucie Attwell or the Sally Dick and Jane readers. While it is simple, and perhaps even a touch naive, it is also very polished and almost certainly was executed by an adult. And so we see a small child fetching a giant heart-shaped valentine from a mailbox, a toddler stumbling off a chair, an older child trying to interest a baby in toys, and an older toddler climbing up and down a high chair. Each of these cards is fit for framing and hanging on a wall. Now disbound, there are three margin holes that once kept them in a binder. Light scattered soiling does not mar the preciousness and charm of the illustrations, each 11 by 9 inches, 29 by 22 cm, each on heavy card stock. 
Price: 150.00 USD
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18 Bernhard, Lucie (1894 - ?) Chesa Dr. Ruppanner Samedan
Samedan, Switzerland Vellum Fine 
N.d., circa 1930s. Two poems about a Sanitarium opened by Dr. Rupanner in Samedan, which is close to St. Moritz in the southeast corner of Switzerland, accompanied by watercolor vignettes. The title page is given over to a fine watercolor of the grand four story house, which housed the hospital. It would appear that Bernhard was a patient in the hospital, and in gratitude she indited the poem and decorated its four pages with vignettes that echo the subjects brought up in the verses. The poems themselves are written in a neat, however inscrutable, hand, with a cursive style no longer in favor, and thus it is very difficult to make out every letter or word, but it is plain that Bernhard was a far more accomplished graphic artist than poet, and it is believed that she did work as a professional artist. Of the fourteen illustrations (not counting that on the title page), the most interesting, and largest as well, are of three girls by a garden, of a pretty room with a display cabinet, of two angels ascending to heaven, and of an ongoing medical operation. The album containing the poems has many blank leaves following the poem. Its full vellum binding, with its decorative veining, is clean, with the slight bowing of its boards as typical of vellum. 
Price: 675.00 USD
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19 Bigelow, Helen [Homemade Book] Miscellany of Cards and Magazine Illustrations Handsomely Pasted into Homemade Album with Red Fabric Trim Sewn on all Edges
NA Very Good 
N.d., circa 1920. No particular theme other than light sentiment, but also handsomely and neatly done by a child, with the leaves, all of a thin, flexible/pliable card stock, bordered by a red cotton fabric sewn into the card. First pasted on illustration with tear and chip. 
Price: 25.00 USD
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[Manuscript] In the Back-Yard and the Cellar, Bull, Johan (1893-1945)
20 Bull, Johan (1893-1945) [Manuscript] In the Back-Yard and the Cellar
Hardcover Very Good 
Mock-up manuscript for an unpublished children's book manuscript. N.d., circa 1930. Oblong, 25 by 38 cm. 15 pages of illustrated text following the manuscript cover. In addition, there are three framed illustrations of the semi-abstract animal motives found on the front cover. It is unknown with any certainty why this immensely charming, and very professional, manuscript was never published. It is our conjecture that the manuscript was submitted early in the Depression when publishers were cutting back on the children's book list, and especially color illustrated books, both because of the economic straits they were suffering like virtually every industry in the American economy, and more specifically, perhaps, changes in the marketplace for children's books, with some shift of buying from families to public libraries, with a subsequent drop in overall sales as a result. Nonetheless, this manuscript was intended by Bull to be published, as on the back cover there is a label indicated that the manuscript had been submitted by Fred A. Wish, Inc., presumably Bull's literary agent. The book is a small collection of nonsense verses about animals around a house -- cats, dogs, mice, chickens, ducks. Each of the poems runs one to two pages, and is accompanied by one to five illustrations, with the text and illustrations pasted onto the heavy card stock leaves. Condition: card leaves are detached from spine band. A few minor edge chips to cards. 
Price: 2000.00 USD
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