A Form Worthy of Its Contents: The Folio Society at 70

A Form Worthy of Its Contents: The Folio Society at 70: Biblio and Fine Books & Collectionsby Barbara Basbanes Richter, reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections

This year marks seventy years since The Folio Society began publishing beautiful editions of global literary classics. To mark the occasion, the publishing house is offering a showstopping selection of titles in its fall catalog–Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, a two-volume set of The Little Prince, and other great books. In addition, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting an exhibition entitled The Artful Book, featuring illustrated books, bindings, and original artwork from the Folio Society’s vast archives. Highlights include commissions from illustrators like Quentin Blake, Sara Ogilvie, Kate Baylay, Neil Packer, and many others. (more…)

Rare Finds are a special feature from Biblio and the wonderful writers at Fine Books & Collections. Visit their site to see more about the rare book trade.


“Paradise” & Private Presses

by Rebecca Rego Barry, reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections This year marks the 350th anniversary of the publication of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The sixteenth-century Buckinghamshire house where he completed the epic poem is now a museum known as Milton’s Cottage, which debuts today an exhibition titled Paradise Lost & the Private Presses. Curated by James Freemantle, who collects private press books (see his Bright Young Collector profile), the exhibition focuses on editions of Paradise Lost from … Continued


Literary Posters at Auction

by Rebecca Rego Barry

Alongside an array of vintage war, travel, and political posters on offer at Swann Galleries this week, a few gems that feature literary magazines caught my eye. I dare say these posters, particularly those that headline a coveted author, might be “gateway” buys that introduce book collectors to the poster market. If nothing else, they will enhance a wall and complement a full bookcase.

literary posters on biblio.com - from fine books & collections

Rudyard Kipling and Anthony Hope collectors might take special notice of this McClure’s poster from August 1895. The estimate is $400-600.

literary poster for The Bookman - Rare Finds from Fine Books Magazine & Biblio.com

Perhaps a favorite for this readership, this advertising poster for The Bookman, Christmas 1895, depicts a Benjamin Franklinesque character perusing a bookshop. The estimate is $400-600.

literary poster - Fine Books Magazine & Biblio.com

According to Swann, this poster for the March 1907 issue of Scribner’s magazine is rarely seen at auction. It portrays a fashionable female reader with her Scribner’s magazine in hand. The estimate is $2,500-3,500.

literary poster - Rare Finds from Fine Books Magazine & Biblio.com

This Paris Review poster from 1983 was designed by conceptual artist Sol LeWitt. It is signed and numbered by the artist, 75/100. The estimate is $700-1,000.

Posters as Ephemera

Posters: Rare Book Room on Biblio

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Rare Finds are a special feature from Biblio and the wonderful writers at Fine Books & Collections. Visit their site to see more about the rare book trade.


Exhibition at The Met to Focus on Fragonard, Famed Master Draftsman of the 18th Century

Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732-1806)—one of the most forward-looking and inventive artists of the 18th century—was equally skilled in painting, drawing, and etching. Yet, unlike many old masters for whom drawing was a preparatory tool, Fragonard explored the potential of chalk, ink, and wash to create sheets that were works of art in their own right. As displays of virtuosity and an imaginative spirit, his drawings were highly prized from his own day to the present, and New York has … Continued


Four Unknown Beatrix Potter Illustrations Found in England

By Nate Pedersen, Fine Books & Collections

Four previously unknown Beatrix Potter illustrations were found tucked away in the library at Melford Hall, a Tudor mansion and National Trust property in Suffolk, England.

The drawings focus on interior and exterior scenes of Melford Hall itself, which was frequently visited by Potter between 1899 and 1938 when her cousin Ethel Leech lived there with her husband and three children. (more…)

Rare Finds are a special feature from Biblio and the wonderful writers at Fine Books & Collections. Visit their site to see more about the rare book trade.


Brontë Bible at Auction

Brontë Bible at Auction - Image via Sotheby’s.
Brontë Bible at Auction – Image via Sotheby’s.

By Rebecca Rego Barry

Apropos to our summer issue’s feature on Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary, Sotheby’s London is offering a bible that the author gifted to her best friend Ellen Nussey in 1837. The diminutive (duodecimo) bible was printed in 1821 and bound in red morocco with gilt edging. The sparse inscription in Brontë’s hand reads “E Nussey | from | C Bronte | 1837.”

At the time, Brontë, 21, and Nussey, 20, had already been friends and correspondents for several years. But why did Brontë bestow a bible? According to Sotheby’s, she was “experiencing some religious confusion. This, coupled to an emotional separation from Nussey, may have prompted the gift.”

A later inscription reveals that Nussey bequeathed it to a relative, Mary Carr, before her death in 1897. Some penciled verse and marginalia of unknown origin appears in the book as well.

The sale is scheduled for July 12, and the estimate is £15,000-20,000 ($19,000-25,000).

 

Browse related collectible books:

Charlotte Brontë Books & Illustrations

Beautiful and Rare Bibles

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Rare Finds are a special feature from Biblio and the wonderful writers at Fine Books & Collections. Visit their site to see more about the rare book trade.


A Revamped Website for Mosher Press Collectors

Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Rebecca Rego Barry, author

Just a few weeks ago I was delighted to hear that collector and bookseller Philip R. Bishop renovated and relaunched a website devoted to the work of American private press pioneer Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923) of Portland, Maine. As Bishop writes of him, “Mosher’s contributions to the private press movement in the United States rank him high as a major exponent and promoter of the British Pre-Raphaelites, Aesthetes, and Victorians to his fellow Americans.” This comprehensive website complements Bishop’s bio-bibliography, Thomas Bird Mosher: Pirate Press of Publishers (Oak Knoll Press, 1998). (more…)

Rare Finds are a special feature from Biblio and the wonderful writers at Fine Books & Collections. Visit their site to see more about the rare book trade.


A New Chapter for First Edition of “Alice in Wonderland”

Last year, the world celebrated 150 consecutive years of Alice in Wonderland in print with seminars, conferences, readings and film screenings. 2016 has another tantalizing event on the horizon: At high noon on June 16, in a stand-alone sale at Christie’s New York, an extremely rare first edition copy of Lewis Carroll’s landmark publication will be on the auction block, still in its original red cloth binding and with unparalleled provenance. Sometimes referred to as the “Suppressed Alice,” the first … Continued


Muhammad Ali Passport at Auction

Muhammad Ali Passport heads to auction (via FB&C and Biblio.com)

 

Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday (June 3, 2016), has coincidentally been on my mind for the past few weeks.

In preparing an article on collectible passports for the Fine Books & Collections upcoming summer issue, we zeroed in on one very significant passport coming up for sale this week: a replacement passport issued to the three-time heavyweight champion in Dublin, Ireland, on July 19, 1972, the day he defeated Alvin Lewis. Ali used this passport for the next eighteen months, a busy and important period of his professional boxing career.

Interest in this piece of sports history was always going to be strong, and now, it would seem, it will be intense. The passport goes to auction at Bonhams New York on Wednesday, conservatively estimated at $25,000-35,000.

Look out for the auction’s results and more on collectible passports in our summer quarterly.

Image Courtesy of Bonhams.

Browse related collectible books:

Muhammad Ali Ephemera and Books

Sports, Games, and Recreation Rare Book Rooms

Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Rebecca Rego Barry, author

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Rare Finds are a special feature from Biblio and the wonderful writers at Fine Books & Collections. Visit their site to see more about the rare book trade.


Mo Willems Exhibit Opens at New-York Historical Society

  Hours before the Saint Patrick’s Day parade was scheduled to march up 5th Avenue on March 17, members of the press gathered in a second floor gallery of the New-York Historical Society to examine an exhibition organized by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA dedicated to the work of bestselling author-illustrator Mo Willems. Though currently residing in Northampton, Massachusetts, Willems created his iconic characters such as The Pigeon and Trixie while living in Brooklyn, … Continued