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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Albums and Sketchbooks

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Albums and Sketchbooks

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The Devil's Steeplechase The Celebrated Steeple-chase between His Satanic Majesty and the King of Terrors
61 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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62 Three Japanese Sketchbooks
1898-1899 Hardcover. Cloth spines. Good 
A broad variety of sketches in pencil and some watercolors an artist who we believe became professional. The artwork fuses traditional Japanese styles and subject matter with a Western-influenced approach. 4to. 30 by 23 cm. Unpaginated, 68 leaves, or 136 pages, containing a total of 280 separate mounted sketches, eight of which are watercolors, with one additional watercolor un-mounted, and one drawing is done with color pencils. Of the 280 drawings, we count 103 as featuring human subjects (with the importance of the human presence varying), 60 or so animal studies, 60 being views, and panoramas, 47 being botanical studies, and the remaining ten being still lifes or interiors. This subject breakdown is somewhat loose, as some of the drawings can fit into more than one of the categories, we would acknowledge. We believe one of the human studies is a self-portrait of the artist. Whatever the subject matter, there is a considerable range in the level of detail and finish, from highly sketchy to a more realized artistic conception. Condition: the leaves in all three sketchbooks are somewhat loose, with somewhat unsightly tape used on most leaves to bind them to the binding, ineffectually. The sketches themselves are generally clean. 
Price: 1000.00 USD
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Victorian Album of Original Mounted Zany Caricatures Done in Pen-and-Ink, Some Watercolors, with Numerous Miniatures
63 Victorian Album of Original Mounted Zany Caricatures Done in Pen-and-Ink, Some Watercolors, with Numerous Miniatures
1881 Full Morocco Very Good 
A fun house mirror into Victorian society, with over 300 clippings creating a collage of organized chaos on many of the pages. In our view, the arrangement of the imagery augments the irreverent spirit of the caricatures. 4to. 27.5 by 22 cm. Unpaginated, 73 pages of visual content, with all rectos used and some versos, with, by our count, a total of 309 separate mounted pieces with original artwork. Of these, 50 are colored. Not all the mounted illustrations are caricature, but the overwhelming majority are, and the cumulative effect of the album is an exuberant playfulness. The sheer number of caricatures crammed into these pages gives one the sense that a broad swath of Victorian society, bourgeois and noble, has come in for skewering. MPs, operagoers, jockeys, young and old lovers, musicians, minstrel performers, etc. etc. -- no one is spared. The miniatures, although not great in number, pack an outsized wallop, as well as speak the skill of the artist The artwork appears to us to have been done by a single person, a gifted amateur, about whom we know nothing with certainty. The strongest clue about him is a piece that states "School of Medicine Liverpool". Yet only a few of the clips near this appear to be poking fun at doctors and patients. The album is most definitely scrappy, but while this can be meant pejoratively, here the scrappiness of the album contributes to its charm, for the chock-a-block imagery on the page truly acts like a kaleidoscope -- hence, again, the fun house analogy above. Undoubtedly viewers will find similarities to Tenniel, du Maurier, Leech, and we can comfortably assume that "Punch" magazine was not unappreciated by this artist. The dating is based on one entry on the fourth page, "My diary 1881". We would assume that much of the artwork might have been done prior to this, later than this, or both, but the 1881 helps anchor the album, and we would add, much of the dress and styles exhibited in the album would reinforce this dating, loosely-speaking. To return to the question of the amount of color, there is some subjectivity in our categorization. We didn't include as colored pieces with what we thought, given the drawing, was a trivial amount of color. Also, we would note that the pieces were of widely varying size and shape, and there were some larger pieces that read as more than a single work of art, or were within themselves, a montage of sorts. As to the color quotient, when we do a page count assessment, we come up with 15 pages that read as color. Either way, the color quotient falls in the range of 16 to 20 percent, which is in line with our subjective impression leafing through the pages. 
Price: 1950.00 USD
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Victorian Verse Manuscript on all kinds of spiritualism -- Buddhism, Hinduism, Astrology, Numerology and the Kabbalah
64 Victorian Verse Manuscript on all kinds of spiritualism -- Buddhism, Hinduism, Astrology, Numerology and the Kabbalah
1874 Quarter Modern Red Morocco. Cloth boards. 
Wonderfully erudite, dense, eccentric and strange manuscript, filled with what we believe is mostly, and probably entirely, original verse, other than a few ascribed quotations. Unique, not just in the sense that any manuscript can be said to be, but also as a type of manuscript, not like anything we have previously seen, let alone handled. N.p. 8vo. 22 by 17.5 cm. Unpaginated, 124 leaves, with content on all rectos and three versos. We count about 40 pages with illustrated content -- this can be small vignettes, or especially decorative and elaborate letter devices, but we excluded simpler letter devices from inclusion. Throughout there are smallish examples of illumination as well. The album features calligraphy throughout, in varying styles (Gothic primarily), together with writing in a neat cursive which we would not consider calligraphic, and also other scripts used, such as Hebrew, Greek, Sanskrit, and Arabic, and the author switches freely from English to these other languages, as well as Latin, French and Olde English. With the Old English, we do not know enough as to whether he is using the real thing or he is concocting a mock version of it -- the same may be true of the Ancient languages or Sanskrit, for all we know. The unifying thrust and theme of the album is spiritualism and mysticism. The author’s attitude towards this broad topic is not straightforward. Surely he was fascinated, but was he a true believer, an agnostic or an iconoclast having a bit of fun with the elaborate rigmarole of it all? At times, he seems earnest, at others, tongue-in-cheek, and yet others, a bit of both. One of the pleasures of reading through the manuscript is coming upon the bursts of sly humor. This is evident even on the first dedication page (there are two dedication pages), when he writes: “To a womanly woman! Otherwise called Her Majesty of England . . . “ Below which, with an actual small feather held by an ink drawing of a hand, come some over-the-top invocations, “Say: A single hande thus woike hath wroughte . . . “ Also, the verse throughout generally reads as light verse, with rhymed couplets abounding, often verging on doggerel. One can sense repeatedly, when the meaning is obscure, that there is an element of inside joke to the writing. We suspect the author himself had no particular meaning other than to revel in enigmas and puzzles. A fair amount of space is devoted to numerology, with rhymed riffs on various numbers such as seven and twelve – these can go on for three or four pages, and within them are whimsical associations. Here are a few lines for 12, written under the title of “Infernal”: “Twelve hath its Evil Compound, legends tell,/ Twelve different Circles probe the lowest hell,/ . . . Twelve marks the hour of the Felon’s doom,/ Twelve strokes the sinking makes before he drown,/ Twleve ‘tis the Secret of the Debtor’s gloom,/. . . “ In these lines, and many others, we can not help noticing the similarity to Freemason gobbledygook. Whether or not this was a conscious inspiration, and we believe it was, with illustrations of pyramids and the like, the author revels in the esoteric and opaque in the same way. We describe the album as dense, and we mean this down to many a page, in which there can supplement the main text footnotes, or sidebars, sometimes running vertically in the margins, and montaging of text bits. In the footnotes, the author parades his learning. Or is it at times a parody of scholarship? With Eastern religions being of great interest, there are quite a few poems relating to India, and Indian scenery is the source of some of the most exquisite illustrated vignette. , 
Price: 2500.00 USD
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Views of the City of Paris and Vicinity.  August 1869
65 Views of the City of Paris and Vicinity. August 1869
1869 Full Leather Very Good 
Oblong, 16 by 24.5 cm. 24 mounted color engraved views of Paris. Essentially these views are postcards attractively mounted, with handwritten captions and inked framing. The places depicted include some of the obvious sights, such as the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde and the Arch de Triomph, along with some slightly less known locales, such as the Boulevard St. Michel and the Bourse. With an hand-lettered title, this is an appealing tourist momento from a long bygone day. Lower spine has tear, and other wear to the cover. 
Price: 165.00 USD
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Watercolor Album of European Views
66 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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Watercolor Album with American Views, including scenery from the American Southwest
67 Watercolor Album with American Views, including scenery from the American Southwest
Decorated Cloth Very Good 
N.d., circa 1890. 4to. 28 by 22 cm. Sixteen mounted watercolors. The best watercolors here have an impressionistic panache, and generally they show evidence of a deft brush. The painter, whom we would guess was English, traveled to Virginia and the American Southwest. The American views include Washington from the Potomac, a Virginia farmhouse, "Negro" shanty dwellings near Washington, Washington's home in Mount Vernon, the San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a bell at this mission, "Mexican" houses in Santa Fe, and Glorieta, which appears to be a typical village of the wild west, a western ranch house on a hill. Other paintings include a house in Mayfield, Sussex, and its dining room, a young man in full chaps, sailboats, Battersea Bridge in London, an old church in Mayfield, and hills by Braemar. The album has had several of its paintings removed. We know this because the underlying leaf remains with the old caption. Condition otherwise: moderate, to heavy, wear, of the Arts and Crafts style binding. Some rubbing to its surface, and bumping of its corners. The underlying leaves within are heavily age toned and brittle from their acidity. 
Price: 675.00 USD
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Whimsical Monogram and Crest Album, with monograms and crests incorporated into original watercolors and pen-and-ink artwork mostly mounted onto the page
68 Whimsical Monogram and Crest Album, with monograms and crests incorporated into original watercolors and pen-and-ink artwork mostly mounted onto the page
Half Morocco. Pebbled cloth on boards. Good 
Oblong, 24.5 by 31 cm. 17 leaves containing the original mixed media artwork. The augmented monogram album is different than others we have handled in that the playful artwork is almost entirely pasted or mounted onto the page, with relatively little of this artwork applied directly to the page. We do not think that is a distinction that matters greatly, though. Among the fanciful paper cuts are royal guards, one with a preposterously big bearskin hat, a clipper ship, anthropormorphic pigs (a he and a she), each holding balloons by string, a beehive, a scissor, a witch's head. One picture we think is especially fun depicts a beautiful woman -- this one printed -- resting on a stone wall, while she is blowing bubbles. Directly painted onto the pages are flowers, a Greenaway style girl and a mouse and owls, sometimes some details, or done in pencil, a woman's portrait. One additional page has no monograms or crest but paintings of a lancer and a soldier done onto the page. Condition: the binding has some looseness. General wear to the binding. Soiling scattered on the leaves. 
Price: 2750.00 USD
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69 [Album] European Tour Circa 1890s
Half Leather Very Good 
N.d, circa 1890s. Assembled probably during an European Grand Tour that took the compiler to England, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and back to England. Posted on each page is one or two items, generally photos that were sold like postcards would later be and about the same size as the typical postcard or larger. There are 32 card leaves, or 64 pages, of these images. Rebacked in green morocco. 
Price: 240.00 USD
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70 [Autograph Album] Featuring Entries by Rosalind Russell, Linda Darnell, Pat O'Brien, etc.
Cloth Album Very Good 
N.d., circa 1940s. Autographs include those of Linda Darnell, Rosalind Russell, Charlotte Greenwood and Pat O'Brien. The autograph of Rosalind Russell includes a pen illustration of the actress's back and her face, both crudely yet appealingly done. The sketches were probably by the album keeper, not Ms. Russell, although the latter is a possibility. More obscure nowadays but famous at the time were Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce, who played the couple Ethel and Albert Arbuckle on a long-running radio, then television, show, "The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert", and both signed the album with both their real names and the name of their characters. Rounding out the album are several fashion illustrations of gowns done with watercolors. The album is of modest size, measuring 6 by 4.5 inches. A few of the items are loose within, while others entries were applied directly to the leaves. 
Price: 225.00 USD
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[Manuscript] Ornithology
71 [Manuscript] Ornithology
Half Morocco Very Good 
N.d., circa 1830s. Folio, 36 by 27 cm. 192 numbered pages, 22 of which are given over to striking illustrations of birds made by a mix of precise cut-outs of hand-colored bird forms from "American Ornithology" by Wilson and meticulous pencil drawings of branches and other background elements in a style emulative of Wilson. Thus these illustrations can be described as both mixed media, as there is an element of collage combined with direct drawing onto the page, and folk art, for while the bird paintings are not themselves folk art, the entirety of creation is! These bird plates have hand-written captions which identify the birds, usually two per page, give or take. On many of the pages between these illustrations are hand-written, in a neat hand, verse as one finds typically in a commonplace book of this era. The latter part of the album is an herbarium, with a good number of blank leaves as well. We do not know who created this manuscript, but we think it likeliest it was done in England, notwithstanding the bird cut-outs come from "American Ornithology", based on the binding above all else. 
Price: 3000.00 USD
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[Mock Japanese Book]
72 [Mock Japanese Book]
Monson, Massachusetts April 27, 1901 Hardcover. Paper pastedown on boards. String bi Very Good 
The clever, original, and we believe, unique sort of Japanisme-inspired manuscript gift book. Oblong, 24.5 by 31.5 cm. Ten folded leaves with original watercolors and mock Japanese calligraphy. Most content on the rectos. Also a blank leaf in front and in back. Mock calligraphy also on backs of cover boards. The leaves are a thin Japon, or Japon-like, paper, with twinkly specks. 
Price: 2500.00 USD
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[Photo Album] Souvenir 5th November 1920 The Willows Windsor
73 [Photo Album] Souvenir 5th November 1920 The Willows Windsor
Windsor, UK 1920 Half Morocco Very Good 
A group of oversized photos that capture a somber yet celebratory occasion at a grand estate two years after the end of the First World War. Oblong, 27.5 by 38 cm. Twelve large original photographs of a grand country estate called "The Willows", taken when its owner was being honored for having turned it over to the British war effort. As depicted on Downton Abbey, many a palatial home served as a temporary hospital, a hospice, or some other use relating to the war effort. In this instance, the property owner was a man of Indian origin, Sir Dhunjobhoy Bomanji, who had made a fortune in textiles and shipping. From India's Parsee community. Bomanji was an ardent supporter of the British Empire -- He would soon afterward, in 1923, donate a statue of the World War One commander, Douglas Haig (the first Earl Haig), to the City of Edinburgh. Haig in fact is one of the guests at the luncheon party and among the distinguished guests shown in one of the photos. Other distinguished guests included Princess Alice, the Earl of Athlone, Lady Mary Chrichton, Lady Campbell, General Carteret-Carey and Captain Donald Simson. The other photos are of the house decked out with banners and bunting for the entertainment of 700 guests comprised of ex-servicemen, war widows and orphans, the band of the Life Guards, two photos of the dining room set up for but prior to the luncheon, the procession of 300 war orphans by the host and luncheon guests, among them a Hasidic child, the procession of disabled soldiers, the procession of non-crippled ex-servicement, Mr. Bomanji presenting a check of 5,000 pounds to Princess Alice, Earl Haig addressing the diabled soldiers and finally, a group photo of the host and his most distinguished guests -- those at the luncheon. Leather worn along joints in a few spots. Gilt lettering partly rubbed on front board. 
Price: 1500.00 USD
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74 [Scrapbook on the automobile] 1908
New York 1908 Wraps Good 
In interesting snapshot of the world of automobiles, the year of the first Model T (and thus essentially preceding the revolution in auto manufacturing). 8vo. 21 by 16 cm. Close to 100 leaves, about two-thirds if not more filled with material. Scrapbook includes many pages of cut-out images of the year's models of automobiles, plus newspaper clippings on automobile news, including the prominent races of the year -- most importantly, the New York to Paris race of that year. Regarding this race are photos of the some the obstacles encountered such as Siberian snow. A few leaves have a children's scribbles of planes, a boat, a soldier, certainly done later by someone other than the album compiler. The wrap covers are detached. 
Price: 245.00 USD
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[Watercolor Album] Tokayi-do.  Famous Places on the Tokaido
75 [Watercolor Album] Tokayi-do. Famous Places on the Tokaido
Wraps Very Good Minus 
44 oblong pages of sublime Japanese watercolored panoramas, views and landscapes. A few of the images are double paged; all have a flow that provide a strong cohesion to the work, which qualifies as a pictorial essay. The treatment of buildings, topography, and flora is both impressionistic yet specific, and there is a dream-like quality that is powerfully seductive. The album measures 6.5 by 9.5 inches, 24 by 17 cm. The wrap covers are worn, with heavy edgewear, warping, soiling. The tissue thin leaves are folded over, and some of the folds have closed tears. While there is scattered light soiling on the pages, the images have their essential integrity intact. 
Price: 1350.00 USD
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Presenting the Foxy Movie Toons,
76 "Dick Weinert" Presenting the Foxy Movie Toons
Very Good 
Movie-themed cartoon character original watercolored rebuses. From the 1930s. Oblong, 14 by 22.5 cm. 27 leaves. Many of the rebuses form the names of Hollywood stars of the day -- Tyrone Power, Ginger Rogers, Wallace Beery, Dorothy Lamour, etc. 
Price: 1750.00 USD
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77 ????????, ?. ?. (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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78 ????????, ?. ?. (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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Pen and Ink Sketches 1888, A.P. (?)
79 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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80 Andersen, Margit Yoel Album of Die-Cuts Worked into Colored Pencilled Background Illustrations
Hardcover Very Good 
N.d., circa 1890s. 4to. 26 by 21 cm. Unpaginated, 20 pp. The background illustrations sets most of these pages apart from a typical chromolithographic die-cut album. The settings include garden and meadow, a castle, a seascape, a lake. The cut-outs are of Tyrolean dancers, dogs, Lord Fauntleroy-like children, soldiers, courtiers, flowers and bouquets, ships and boats, etc. Achieved by all this is collage that is not merely random but has a real cohesion. The cover is a classic Aesthetic Movement album cover with gilt, a play of diagonals and rococo ornament, and a chromolithographic centerpiece. The paper is acidic and thus a bit brittle -- relatively, though, less than many such albums. Attribution is based on a pencil inscription on the FEP. A little crinkling and minor closed tears as well as general wear. 
Price: 175.00 USD
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