With time on our hands during the Coronavirus lockdown, we are reviewing the prices of some of our older stock and adjusting prices of books to ensure that they are the most attractive offering in the marketplace, as it is a reality of the antiquarian market for books that less expensive and mid-level material the trend has been inexorably downward, to the chagrin of booksellers and to the benefit of collectors.  Consequently, we have slashed prices anywhere between 20 percent and 60 percent of these books we have had listed for five years or more.  So we hope that anyone visiting the site might find something that might have become overpriced but now legitimately qualifies as a bargain.

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Original Artwork

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Original Artwork

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1 "Santiago de Cuba"
Box Very Good 
Extraordinary group of ten original "postcards" with mixed media artwork depicting the sights of Santiago de Cuba. N.d., 1950s. With each folk art-y depiction of a monument, building or the like there is a combination of wafer thin pieces of wood pasted down and watercolors and pen and ink applied directly to the card. On to the wood is applied inkwork as well. The sights include the Jose Marti monument, the Abel Santa Maria monument, the cathedral, the Moncada, the Pdre Pico stairs, the Castello del Morro, the Diego Velazquez balcony, the Plaza de la Revolucion Antoni Maceo, the Granjita Siboney, and the City Hall. Homemade box, with faux wood panels -- the faux finish is carried over to the interior of the box as well -- alligator trim and card label made to look like sign nailed down. We would guess that the cards and box were made by a local artist for sale to a visitor, but we can't say for sure that they were not made by an enthusiastic, talented tourist. Either way, does it really matter? Somehow, to the whole production, something of the improvisational, original and quirky spirit of Cuba itself is captured! The box measures 14 by 12 by 2 cm. The cards are 13.5 by 10 cm. 
Price: 1000.00 USD
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2 Album with Eight Original 19th Century Chinese Paintings
Hardcover. Leporello. Very Good 
N.d., 19th Century. Album, closed, oblong, 30 by 367 cm. The paintings measure 21 by 27 cm. All the paintings have Chinese captions written inconspicuously with a calligraphic hand. The paintings depict two men picking fruit off a tree, a man astride a galloping horse, a Chinese satyr (hairy man upper half, cloven hooved footed), a traveling man and boy, a primitive man with absurdly drooping breasts, a warrior (?) sitting against an animal that looks like a cross between a horse and a big cat, a near nude man sowing seeds, and a group of hunters with bows and arrows. All the paintings are on a brownish paper, and share a similar muted palette, although there are touches of bright red and some other colors in the dress. Even without knowing whether there is an intended narrative or other unifying principle, we find the whole quite cohesive and arresting. Condition: wear to the cloth on the cover, with some fabric loss and abrading. A few tiny chips to the edges of the paintings. 
Price: 1500.00 USD
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Exquisite Miniature Vellum Album with Four Watercolors and a Pencil Sketch, of Buildings and Their Surroundings A wartime gift from Jean Jadot to Brigadier Tarleton, and British officer, in the newly liberated Brussels, presented on October 21, 1944
3 Exquisite Miniature Vellum Album with Four Watercolors and a Pencil Sketch, of Buildings and Their Surroundings A wartime gift from Jean Jadot to Brigadier Tarleton, and British officer, in the newly liberated Brussels, presented on October 21, 1944
Full Morocco. Morocco slipcase. Calf box Very Good 
The four paintings of Lowland landscapes are rendered with extraordinary precision and capture the best of the miniaturist's art. Indeed, they justify the consideration of miniature painting as an art unto itself. The album itself has no date, but we would conjecture that the paintings date from the late eighteenth century, based on the dress of the tiny human figures depicted in them. It is conceivable, though, that the paintings are a little later, as fashion in country settings tended to lag behind that of the cities, or the artist could have chosen to depict people in the clothes of yesteryear. The album itself measures 53 by 34 mm. Marbled endpapers. Gilt ruling on the boards. The book and its slipcase are housed in a presentation box measuring 11.5 by 14 cm, with a snap button to open and secure. Jean Jadot was a well-known Belgian Roman Catholic prelate (1909-2009) who would later serve as an apostolic delegate to the United States, among other prominent postings. He hailed from an aristocratic family and was a life-long collector of antiquarian books and manuscripts throughout his life. Gerald Tarleton saw action on the Normandy beaches in 1944 before taking of the Brussels garrison. The book would appear to have been a gift in appreciation for the liberation of Brussels. Condition: the book itself has considerable surface wear on its leather, and is heavily rubbed especially on its spine. The red leather slipcase, which has its own separate well within the box, is well-preserved, with only minor light black soil spots. The box is rubbed and abraded here and there, but is structurally sound and attractive, with the gilt lettering on its top perhaps slightly faded but still easily legible. The interior of silk and velour has a few light, trivial stains. 
Price: 2500.00 USD
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The Devil's Steeplechase The Celebrated Steeple-chase between His Satanic Majesty and the King of Terrors
4 The Devil's Steeplechase The Celebrated Steeple-chase between His Satanic Majesty and the King of Terrors
Half calf. Marbled boards. Modern black cloth cl Good. 
The Devil versus Death over hill and dale! A highly original illustrated manuscript, with vivid watercolor illustrations, forming the major part of a sketchbook. N.d., 1830s probably -- the race is dated as 1830. Oblong 8vo, 18.5 by 27 cm. 29 leaves in album. More pertinently, 9 full page watercolors devoted to the primary story contained within this album, the story we have entitled "The Devil's Steeplechase", each with a narrative on the facing page. The text installments are paginated. Three other watercolors of mere mortals riding, two of these in a steeplechase or a foxhunt. In addition, there are two other pages with watercolors, one of which is a finished painting, the other, sketchier, and 11 pages with pen and ink drawings, in varying states of finish, plus three pages heavy with text (two of which we also have counted as having illustrations. We note further we are counting the endpapers which are covered with pen and ink drawing.) The other illustrations, including a page of mostly silhouettes, are on military or equestrian themes mostly. Also in the manuscript is a four page rendering of "The Tragedy" from "The Ingoldsby Legends", which recounts the story of Catherine of Cleves. As "The Ingoldsby Legends" was published first in 1837, that serves as a marker of the earliest date for some of the sketchbook, but it doesn't rule out that some of the sketchbook was done earlier. So while this sketchbook has something of the appearance and character of a commonplace sketchbook, the dominance of one narrative, and the overall cohesiveness of the illustrations including those that are of a looser, sketchier nature, elevates this from the more pedestrian specimens of the genre. We think, also, without making grandiose claims as to the calibre of the illustrator's skill level, we would assert that no one would dismiss these illustrations as generic or common. Given how clever the illustrations and the story line accompanying the steeplechase are, it is unfortunate we do not have the name of the author/illustrator. We doubt it is a coincidence that the date of the Devil/Death steeplechase is but four days after the first English National Steeplechase, which was run in Bedfordshire and was the precursor of the Grand National race at Aintree. It is not, therefore, a giant leap to view this imaginary race as a sharp satire on the day's real-life racing scene. In the story here, a morbid variant of the turtle and the hare fable, the Devil gets off to an auspicious start, and then might seem to have the race clinched when Death falls into a water ditch. But as the Devil relaxes, Death recovers, catches up, and then with the final fence by a Churchyard, the Devil isn't able to jump it, "whether from his horse not having a jump left, or from Satan himself not liking the smell of consecrated ground". Death leaps into the cemetery "as easily as if he were driving through his own park gates" and celebrates his victory by throwing his head (which is a skull) in the air and catching it several times. Condition: Rebacked in red calf matching remnants of older leather. Edges rubbed. Moderate scuffing of boards. Corners bumped, not terribly. Two leaves conspicuously cut out -- no clue as to what was excised. One leaf with closed tear, not affecting illustration. One loose leaf. 
Price: 6000.00 USD
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Watercolor Album of European Views
5 Watercolor Album of European Views

N.d., 1905-1932. 43 leaves, with 86 watercolors of different views from England, France, Italy, the Lowlands, Switzerland, all done by a very accomplished hand during the first third of the 20th century. The views of both panoramic and close-up, natural scenery and architectural, with bridges, castles, cottages aplenty. The artist was concerned with capturing the beautiful and rendering it so -- this was not the effort of a modernist cynic wallowing in irony, the sordid, the underside of things -- and so there is a dream-like quality to the art. That all was done by one artist contributes to the satisfying cohesion of the album. The images might not individually be particular original in their treatment, but that doesn't negate the sensual, sensate appeal of them, and the effort that each image represented speaks to a level of appreciation for sights that is impossible to achieve in our era of commodified tourism. This kind of album is an affirmation of the rewards to be garnered on the Grand Tour of Yore. The pictures are not signed other than a handful with the initials "KP" and dated from 1905 to 1932. There can be no question that they are all by the same hand, and that KP probably had it in mind to create a cohesive album like this. The album itself is strictly utilitarian in its design, with screws used to bind the leaves together, and the boards covered with an office log leatherette which is now rubbed and worn. The leaves are of a near card stiffness, though, which is well-suited for the mounting of the watercolors thereon. The oblong album measures 26 by 21 cm, 10 by 8.5 inches, and the watercolors are of varying size but typically cover a little more than half the surface. 
Price: 2000.00 USD
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Outstanding Album of 118 Original Watercolors and Sketches by Several Hands, Bright, Phebe;  Caroline Bright;  P. (?) Eliza Bright;  Clara E. Bright;  Sarah Anne Bright;  Emily Knight (?);  Val Mautiu (?);  E.L. (?);  Mary Jared (?) Wallace
6 Bright, Phebe; Caroline Bright; P. (?) Eliza Bright; Clara E. Bright; Sarah Anne Bright; Emily Knight (?); Val Mautiu (?); E.L. (?); Mary Jared (?) Wallace Outstanding Album of 118 Original Watercolors and Sketches by Several Hands
England 1846-1863 Cloth Very Good 
Combining charismatic watercolors of castles amidst the English countryside with intricate botanical paintings! Folio, 38.5 by 28.5 cm. Of the 118 individual works of art, 74 are watercolors, with the remaining 44 being mostly pencil work, but also including chalk and pen and ink. Views most definitely dominate the album, with 55 of the pieces primarily views, and a good number of the 17 images we classify as architectural and of the seven depictions of ships, also views. We count 22 of the specimens as botanicals, the majority of which are delicate paintings of individual flowers similar to the color plates one might find in a botanical survey of the same date. Also, five paintings of people, and a few miscellaneous items. Some of the views and buildings rendered with place names -- Ragland, Castle Campbell, Goodrich Castle, St. Mary's in York, the Thunsee. English views are the main thing, but there are other examples of Alpine and continental scenery here as well. The overwhelming majority of works are finished, with a smattering of partially done or sketchy specimens. While clearly there were a good number of contributors, the overall quality level is high, with only a few pieces coming off as inept or sloppy. Dates are given for most of the artwork, ranging from the late 1840s to the early 1860s. There is one botanical seemingly carrying a date of 1806; we think there is a strong possiblity that this was miswritten or part of a six has disappeared. From the numerous Brights who signed the works, we would conjecture this was an album created to collect the works of that family, with perhaps contributions of a few friends added in. Phebe Bright and Mary Wallace would appear to have been the compilers and perhaps also the muses for the others. One really has to see the individual works together to get a sense of how good the collection is, of course. In our judgment, Victorian amateur art albums don't get much better than this. Rebacked sympathetically. Some soiling and fading of the boards. Not all the pieces are mounted, but we believe the loose pieces were probably always so. 
Price: 3500.00 USD
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[Manuscript] In the Back-Yard and the Cellar, Bull, Johan (1893-1945)
7 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 matted 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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21 manuscript silhouette
8 Grams-Grock 21 manuscript silhouette "Theatre d'Ombres" scenes, or early comic strips
NA Very Good 
N.d., circa 1880s or 90s. 27 panels with comical silhouette pen-and-ink illustrations, representing 21 different comic story lines, with all the panels about 49 cm wide, and almost all 16.5 cm tall (a few are narrower). All the panels are titled, with the illustrations sometimes, but not always, being captioned. Generally the captions, which are rendered in French, are not essential to the enjoyment of the drawings nor to an understanding of what is going on. Most artwork done directly onto the paper, with a few strips with the artwork mounted onto the underlying paper. Titles to the panels include: Etude sur le Divorce (2 panels); Le Chant du Chat (4 panels); La Chanson de la Cocotte (3 panels); La Poète a la Campagne; L’amiral Courbet / Les Chinois; En Algere: Conférence Interrompue; L'Inégalité Conduit a l'Egalité; Les Mendiants, Avant les Elections; Le Voleur Volé; Un farce. En Bordée; Mesaventure de Pandore; Camelots; Au Cirque; D'Apres Nature; Un Polisson; La Victoire du Sapeur; Créancier; Entre l'Arbre et l'Encore. We have been unable to find out anything about the artist, who we assume was using a pseudonym with these strips. Indisputably his work was at a most professional level; equally of merit are both the imagination evident in the conception and the execution. Captured often is a sense of movement in the silhouetted figures; one can look at these as an early prototype of motion pictures. In this vein, the individual parts of the panels, the equivalent of comic strip cells, at times deliberately blend into one another very artfully. With the silhouetting details are necessarily sacrificed while others are more sharply in focus, and the artist masterfully conveys the personality and character of the figures with just their outlines. Grams-Grock satiric sensibility and muscle were formidable. The figures are all quite distinctly French and of the period, and yet, the satire holds up exceedingly well because the topics generally relate to truisms about human, and animal, nature. As to the latter, cats are the subject of two of the strips. Finally, the artwork has an elegance and beauty that separates it from the zestful yet decidedly vulgar artwork of the newspaper comic strip that was just coming into its own around the time these were made. Condition: all panels are folded down their center. The paper used is thin, heavily toned and somewhat brittle, resulting in a few tears and slender edge chips here and there, never getting close to the actual illustration. Sometimes the paper has a blistered surface. Stains along a few edges probably from paste -- some of the panels, if not all, were probably mounted into albums or on boards in the past. Scattered offsetting effect and also scattered light soiling. 
Price: 2500.00 USD
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[Original Artwork] Talpa:  or the Chronicles of a Clay Farm, an Agricultural Fragment, Hoskyns, Chandos Wren.  Frontis illustration by George Cruikshank.  Original artwork by members of the Hewitt family (Maude, Gertrude Grace and Agnes Hewlitt)
9 Hoskyns, Chandos Wren. Frontis illustration by George Cruikshank. Original artwork by members of the Hewitt family (Maude, Gertrude Grace and Agnes Hewlitt) [Original Artwork] Talpa: or the Chronicles of a Clay Farm, an Agricultural Fragment
London Lovell Reeve 1854 Third edition Half Calf Very Good 
Extra-illustrated with 23 original pen and ink mostly whimsical drawings by the Hewlitts. 12mo. 18.5 by 12 cm. 240 pp. With the Hewletts' original drawings inserted. These original drawings are larger than the original text by about 2 cm, and so the book when opened has an unusual, eccentric appearance. Rubbing along joints and corners. Scattered light foxing. 
Price: 750.00 USD
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[Manuscript] Excelsior, Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth.
10 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. [Manuscript] Excelsior
Full Morocco Very Good 
A beautiful manuscript rendition of Longfellow's early Alpine poem, written in a calligraphic hand and with original artwork on every page. N.d., circa 1850. 8vo. 21 by 14 cm. Unpaginated. Ten leaves, with writing and illustrations solely on rectos. We do not know who created this album, although there is a note in the front alluding to Arthur Armstrong (1798-1851), who was a well-known artist and art teacher based in Philadelphia. We think the artwork, done with pen and ink and wash, is original. We note there is considerable similarity of one of the illustrations to one that was in a published collection of Longfellow's works from the 1840s, but there are marked differences in the detailing of the two, and we have discerned as much similarity between that published illustration and those published elsewhere. Thus we would say this manuscript's artist might have been influenced by the published work but consciously departed from it as well. Condition: moderate to heavy wear to the 19th century binding. The leaves within are age toned and a bit brittle. Tissue guards have some tears. 
Price: 1500.00 USD
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Dessins Originaux de Paul Wagnez, Wagniez [Wagnez], Paul
11 Wagniez [Wagnez], Paul Dessins Originaux de Paul Wagnez
Cloth Very Good 
Small folio, 33 by 25 cm. 38 pp. of pen and crayon drawings, most of which are both erotic and comical, mounted in "Henschel's Skizzenbuch". The accompanying text, often narrative poems, is written by Wagniez as well. The French-Belgian artist Paul Wagniez (1876 - 1935) studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts et des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and became known for book illustration. He was a versatile artist, nonetheless, at home with still lifes, landscapes, portraits, and action scenes such as those of the hunt, and equally proficient in oils, watercolors and other media. Most of the works contained in the album are from the early 1930s, shortly before Wagniez's death, and these were dedicated to a friend, Robert Villefumade, who most surely compiled this album in honor of Wagniez. The overall nature of the content is not readily apparent as one opens the front cover. On that cover there is a funny picture of a squat obese woman surrounded ludicrously with mathematic iconology. Humor aside, this offers no hint of the risqué. Pasted to the FFEP is a moody youthful self-portrait, circa 1900. Following are two additional somber works -- another, more mature Wagniez self-portrait executed in 1928, and a pretty yard scene of a cat, dated 1934. Then the fun begins. The erotica bears some resemblance to Epinal cartoon sheets in the arrangement of vignettes on the page amidst text, in their artistic styling, and in being, essentially, graphic short stories, except unlike Epinals, the content is not meant for juvenile eyes. In one tale, "Chut, chut! Tu vas reveiller Grand-mere . . . " a young woman exhorts her lover to be quiet lest they wake the sleeping elderly woman. Another piece involves a lecherous traveller unexpectedly rebuffed in his advances. Other story lines show a wet nurse who doesn't feel compelled to nap with her ward, the uninhibited dreams of young women, and a Flapper named Fanny who "se chauffe en hiver/A la flamme elle expose son derriere . . . " This being the land of saucy louche-ness, one can find tingly hints of sapphic love and other taboos defied. Not all the action is harmlessly consensual by any means -- there is a fair amount of violation and rape. The stories are set in the past, with particular relish for the period spanning from Henri IV to Louis XIII, but scenes also set in mythology, the Middle Ages and the eighteenth century. A few of the final entries are sketchy, unfinished cartoons, but overall, the work is meticulously detailed and rendered with great fluency. Moderate to heavy wear to the cloth binding, with tears along joints, bunching of the cloth, soiling, etc. 
Price: 5000.00 USD
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