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Illustrated Manuscripts

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Illustrated Manuscripts

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Album of Original Watercolor and Ink Designs for Calendars from 1903 to 1907 Satan's Calendar.  Life's Journey Calendar.  Expectation's Calendar.  Young Herchard Calendar.
1 Album of Original Watercolor and Ink Designs for Calendars from 1903 to 1907 Satan's Calendar. Life's Journey Calendar. Expectation's Calendar. Young Herchard Calendar.
1902-1906 Decorated Cloth Very Good 
Uncommonly clever, colorful manuscript calendar illustrations built around a theme for each of the years. Small folio. 31.5 by 26.5 cm. A total of 29 original watercolors, all dated and signed E.L.P.R. The identity of the artist is otherwise unknown and possibly irretrievable. What is manifest, however, is his skill, humor and panache, and these illustrations stand out among the fluent amateurs of the day, if amateur the artist in fact was. Some of the imagery is decidedly pre-Raphaelite in its style and modeling, while others are more suavely Fin-de-Siecle. Similarities can be found to Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, Burne-Jones, Cecil Aldin, and a host of others, but never is this artist merely imitating. The 1904/1905 series, departing from the calendar format, feature full paintings meant to illustrate one word or short phrase captions such as "Declaration", "Osculation", "Vexation", and these qualify as polished, arresting works of art. The other years have mounted card sheets each covering two months. Typically there is a large watercolor in the center and for 1903, two small ink vignettes for each month. The other years simply present each month in the usual tabular format. These years also have lines of what is presumed to be an original narrative poem which carries through the particular year. The poem is commensurate with the illustration, and it reinforces the cumulative effect of the work. A number of the mounted cards have small neat holes on the top, clearly suggesting that the leaves were once hung on a wall and/or were bound together by a ribbon. Original decorative cloth album. 
Price: 6500.00 USD
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2 Sanskrit Fortune Teller's Manual
Nepal Quarter Morocco Box Good 
Visually compelling antique from the Himalayas. Circa 1700. 38 leaves, or 72 pp., with 38 color illustrations -- one on the top of every opening of the vertically bound book. The text is at least partly in Sanskrit, with some in another language or dialect -- possibly colloquial Newari, which is spoken in Nepal. Almost certainly a divination tool akin to tarot cards. One verse within has been translated as: "By the sight of Parvati one destroys the sins that were previously done. By her (?) favor one attains desired success and the destruction of enemies." Section headings are all in Sanskrit and a few have been translated, including: "For one who asks about news of someone who is on a journey", "For one who asks about news of someone who is ill", "For one who asks about news of love", and "For one who asks about news of home". Below each of these headings comes the fortune-teller's response, always beginning with, "Oh question asker". The answers, alas, appear mostly to be in this other tongue, and thus remain as of now a mystery to us. What isn't a mystery is the wondrous exotic imagery, of stylized figures, possibly Gods, with a bow and arrow, on an elephant, with clubs or other weapons, on a chariot, or the strange animals. The palette is primarily earthy deep reds and greens -- this might be something that is accentuated with the aging of the leaves. Quarter Morocco box measures 25 by 17 cm, and has well for the book proper. The book has suffered smoke damage on its exterior -- the kind that is very commonplace of books of this age, given how homes were heated at the time. Chipping of corners on many leaves. Some wormholing, which we would regard as minor overall in this instance. Some occasionally blotching out of the lettering. Still, the images are intact and almost all the text is legible. 
Price: 3500.00 USD
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3 Anonymous Sea Songs
Quarter Calf. Wood Boards. Very Good 
Could this be an unabashed gay celebration from the Thirties? Here with a single exception, only men are presented, and in two images, with a suggestion of intimacy, and elsewhere, with a constructivist-style muscularity that somehow also brings to mind Tom of Finland, the pioneer in depicting hyper-masculine muscle men, among them, sailors and dock worker-types, the specific subject matter of this unpublished, unfinished manuscript. And the one exception, with a woman in the illustration, depicts what could be depicted as dissention between the muscular man and the diminutive girlfriend. N.d., circa 1930. Folio. 33 by 24 cm. [4], 9-35 pp. The songs represented here include "Whiskey for My Johnny", "Paddy Doyle", "Across Western Ocean", "Poor Old Joe", "One Day More", "Banks of the Sacramento", "Blow the Man Down", "Captain Kidd", "It's Time for us to Leave Her Johnny", and a few songs without the title written in. Even with the gaps in illustration, title or text, the work delivers a strong punch, and there is absolutely nothing tentative or sketchy about what is present. This was done by someone with a clear vision, and testament to that is that the leaves are a Normandy Vellum France paper, which is both a heavy and luxuriant stock. The paper was in common use between 1915 to 1925, anchoring our dating. However, we believe the aesthetic is late twenties to early thirties. Also included are two separate sheets, with three pages of pencil sketches, with some red watercolor employed in one of the drawings, for the artwork presumably that did not get entered into the book. 
Price: 1750.00 USD
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Das Preussische heer unter Koenig Wilhelm I. 1870/1871., Guentter, A.
4 Guentter, A. Das Preussische heer unter Koenig Wilhelm I. 1870/1871.
1919-1921 Half Morocco. Fine 
Manuscript containing 84 original mounted watercolors depicting the Franco-Prussian War. 4to. 29 by 24 cm. 16 leaves with text and painted flags of all the German regiments in the war, followed by the 84 watercolors, each with a title written onto a separate sheet preceding it. At the end, a four page table of contents. While the illustrations are in a sense celebrating the German army and its individual regiments, the paintings are also undeniably beautiful, and in their impressive detail, come off as highly realistic and honest. The artist, about whom nothing is known beyond this body of work, showed meticulous care in rendering uniforms and weaponry, and he was also clearly an accomplished equestrian artist, capturing the horse in its power, motion, attitudes and terror. One would have to think that the author must have had an intent to publish this collection, but there is no evidence that this ever occurred, or that this was indeed an actual aspiration. What one has here, then, is a collection that is as good, and arguably superior, to the several artist's collections that were in fact published in the aftermath of the war. 
Price: 10000.00 USD
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Chinese Whimsy, Street, Aileen
5 Street, Aileen Chinese Whimsy
1935 Limp Vellum (folded over) Fine 
4to. 25 by 16 cm. Unpaginated, 21 leaves, or 21 pp. with content. (11 pages with original watercolors, and the balance of pages with calligraphy employed in original verse.) The illustrations are very striking, especially the several of masks. Also striking is a colorful, flamboyantly winged chicken and a pig-faced man. The images are set starkly in the center of the page, with no surrounding decoration, and thus hew to an Oriental minimalism that allows them to leap off the page. The verse is a perfect complement, and the two work together seamlessly, paying homage to an Oriental style and flair while never entirely embodying it. We have no information on Aileen Street, the creator Small vellum tear by lower spine. Otherwise, clean and crisp. 
Price: 750.00 USD
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