Saturday, November 05, 2011

Happy Hallowe... er, Merry Christma.... HUH?????????

So, on the afternoon of October 28th Amy went out to mow the autumn leaves into the lawn, a task she really, really enjoys-

But 18 hours later we woke up to this-

So, on the morning of October 30th, Amy was doing this...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Don't Lose Your Head Over It-

But our Big August Sale has been carried over into September, with savings of 25% to 50% on over 1,100 books and catalogs about art & antiques!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Valley Keeps its Sense of Humor-

Even with all the economic damage Hurricane Irene did to crops here in the Valley, there's still room for a little dark humor.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Magnificent Ceramics Catalog-

“Catalogue of the Glaisher Collection of Pottery & Porcelain in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge”

By Bernard Rackham.
Published in Cambridge, at the University Press, in 1935.

A magnificent catalog of one of the most important collection of early English pottery. James Whitbread Lee Glaisher [1809-1928] was best known in his lifetime as a leading mathematician and astronomer, a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a lifelong lecturer and professor there-

F.R.S., 1875. President of the London Mathematical Society, 1884-6; De Morgan Medal, 1908. President, Royal Astronomical Society, 1886-8 and 1901-3. President of Mathematical Section, 1890. Editor of The Messenger of Mathematics, 1871-1928, and of the Quarterly Journal of Mathematics. Hon. D.Sc. Dublin, 1892, and Victoria, 1902. A great authority on faience and pottery; his collections, considered to be the finest in the world, were bequeathed to the Fitzwilliam Museum” (Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press).

Glaisher began to collect ceramics in middle age, and concentrated on the early English pottery and folk ceramics scorned by others. Although his collection, widely appreciated as one of the most important in Britain, eventually also included English porcelains and some foreign examples, it was his contribution to the understanding and appreciation of English pottery for which he is best remembered.

This set bears the bookplate of William Newsam McClean, with a presentation letter, handwritten and signed by Sydney Cockerell. McClean (1874-1968), a member of the Royal Engineers, donated the cost of building a special room at the Fitzwilliam Museum to house his brother’s collection of ancient Greek coins which had been presented to the Museum. Sydney Cockerell served as the Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum from 1908 to 1937. Prior to that he had been William Morris’s private secretary.

A grand catalog of a grand collection, with interesting associations.

Hardcover. 2 volumes. 10.5”x13.5”. Volume 1: xx + 431 pages, plus 36 colored plates. Volume 2: xv pages plus 266 black & white plates. Minor wear, a few scuffs and soil marks on the covers (please see the photos), some wear along the bottom of the covers, but overall clean and nice, with tight bindings.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Books on American Furniture-

The Book Elves are furiously enjoying the last days of Summer, but we managed to lock them in the Cataloging Cave for just long enough for them to turn out a new catalog-

Books on American Furniture
Part One (A-M)

features 107 books and catalogs on a wide variety of American antique furniture and cabinetmakers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

End of Summer Getting You Down?

We can cheer you up with 800+ books and catalogs about antiques & art on sale at 25% to 50% off their regular prices!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Story Behind the Story-

Here's another example of the story behind the auction being as interesting as the items in the sale itself-

“Magnifique Ensemble de Meubles et Objets d’Art Francais –Collection Monsieur Akram Ojjeh”
Monaco; Sotheby Parke Bernet: June 25-26, 1979.

A fascinating sale- Saudi entrepreneur, art & antiques collector, smuggler and international arms dealer Akram Ojjeh had purchased the magnificent collection of 18th century French furniture formed by art dealer Georges Wildenstein in 1977, intending to use it to furnish the famous luxury liner ‘France’, which he had also just purchased with the intention of turning it into a floating casino. That plan fell through and Ojjeh divested himself of both the ‘France’ and the furniture, the ship to Norway and the furniture at this glittering auction.

Sir Francis Watson contributes an introduction to this catalog in which he recounts spending an afternoon in the Wildenstein’s townhouse in New York, examining the many pieces of cabinetwork that were sold in this sale. On July 9, 1979, Time magazine wrote about the event-

“The crowd in the chandelier-hung room at Monaco's elegant Winter Sporting Club was certainly stellar, stippled with the rich (Greek Shipowner Stavros Niarchos, London Merchandising Millionaire Sir Charles Clore), the royal (Britain's Princess Alexandra) and the pop (ex-Beatle Ringo Starr). But the real stunners were the prices being paid for the glittering collection of French antique furniture and objets d'art that were on the block in what Sotheby Parke Bernet hoped would be the auction of the year. So it was. On sale were 201 antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries that once belonged to the famed Wildenstein family of art dealers. The collection was bought in 1977 by Akram Ojjeh, a Saudi Arabian entrepreneur who lives in France. Even Sotheby's normally unflappable chief auctioneer Peter C. Wilson was astonished at the frenetic pace of the bidding, which often drove prices three or four times as high as most dealers had expected. The most breathtaking buy was a garishly ornate Louis XV corner cabinet. The contenders were two agents working for anonymous buyers and Art Dealer Andrew Ciechanowieski of London's Heim Gallery. As the salon fell silent with tension, the three repeatedly raised the price in jumps of $117,000. Finally, Ciechanowieski, nodding his head, raised the bid to $1.7 million—more than three times the amount ever paid for a single piece of furniture in an auction. All told, the collection fetched $12.8 million, which made the Monaco auction second in size only to the sale, for $34 million, of the famed Robert von Hirsch collection of rare art and furniture in England last year. Owner Ojjeh apparently turned a handsome profit on the sale. He bought the collection from the Wildenstein family two years ago reportedly for $7 million.”

Hardcover. 7.5”x10.5”, 273 pages, 201 lots, color and black & white illustrations, dust jacket. Prices realized sheet stapled to first page. Minor wear, otherwise clean and nice.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Real Life in a Bookstore-

This, by the way, is the most realistic take ever on what it's like to run a bookstore-

Friday, August 12, 2011

Does Lightning Strike Twice??

I dunno, but you do have a second chance at our

500+ Books & Catalogs on
Antiques & Art
are on sale at 25%-50% off!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Very Special Book-

“Taos Pueblo. Photographed by Ansel Easton Adams and Described by Mary Austin”

By Ansel Easton Adams & Mary Austin.
Published in Boston by the New York Graphic Society in 1977.

Facsimile Edition, published in an edition of 950 numbered copies, signed by Ansel Adams.

Originally published by the Grabhorn Press in an edition of 108 copies in 1930, the original edition, whose photographs were individually hand-printed by Adams, has become a legendary rarity of photographic literature, making this fine 1977 re-issue the only available edition within the financial reach of most collectors. It was the second set of Adams’ photographs to be published, after his High Sierras portfolio. This edition has an added Afterword by Weston J. Naef of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which discusses the publication and importance of the original edition.

Hardcover. 13”x17.5”, 21 pages plus 12 full-page black & white plates. Publisher’s adobe-red cloth and light brown leather spine. Cloth slipcase. The book is fine and clean. The slipcase has some light soil and wear and a few light moisture spots and slight dings.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Well, How About That?

Here's an interesting auction catalog that came in the other day -the title tells you nothing in particular, so I got curious as to whose estate it was, and Googled the date...

“Property from a Private Collection”
New York; Sotheby’s: October 28-29, 1988.

The sale of Sunny and Claus Von Bulow’s estate furnishings. The story was told by the Philadelphia Inquirer noted a few days after the sale-

There were certainly no bargains for souvenir-hunters at the two-day auction of English furniture, oil paintings, porcelain and silver belonging to Martha "Sunny" and Claus von Bulow. The sale at Sotheby's, which ended Saturday, netted $11,562,980, far more than the expected $6 million to $7.5 million. Saturday's sale of furniture and decorations alone brought $6.7 million - a record for English furniture. The sale featured furnishings from the von Bulows' Newport, R.I., mansion, Clarendon Court, and their spacious apartment at 960 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan. The auction had been advertised merely as "Property From a Private Collection," but the catalogue cover featured a drawing of Clarendon Court. Von Bulow, 62, a Danish-born aristocrat, was tried twice for trying to murder his wife by injecting her with insulin. He was acquitted after the second trial in 1985. "Sunny" von Bulow, who fell into a coma in 1980, remains in a vegetative state in a hospital here. Once the word got out, the sale became a celebrity auction comparable to the sale of the Duchess of Windsor's jewels and Andy Warhol's cookie jars. The displays were crowded with sightseers for two days before the sale.”

Hardcover. 8.5”x11”, 509 lots, color and black & white illustrations, dust jacket. Prices realized sheet stapled to first page. Clean and nice.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Don't Let Somebody Beat You To It!

We currently have 400 books and catalogs on antiques and art on sale at 25% to 50% off their regular prices! Come take a look at the bargains before somebody else walks out the cyber-door with them!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Pine Log & Greek Revival-

There are plenty of books about old New England houses and homesteads, here's a scarce book about southern examples which we just catalogued-

“Pine Log and Greek Revival. Houses and People of Three Counties in Georgia and Alabama”

By William H. Davidson.
Published by the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society in 1964.

DISCUSSION: A well-illustrated survey of extant pioneering, antebellum and post-bellum houses in the three-county area around West Point, Georgia- Troup County and Harris County, Georgia and Chambers County, Alabama. This area is included in the Chattahoochee River Valley, an important trading route in the 19th century. An important record of early houses, many of which no longer exist.

DESCRIPTION: Hardcover. 9”x11.5”, 396 pages, black & white illustrations, dust jacket. Folding map. Signed by the author.

CONDITION NOTES: The dust jacket has some minor wear, but otherwise clean and nice, with a tight binding.

Price: $350

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Totally off Topic-

But in the Foggygates Victory Garden, our string-tied tomatoes have gone from this-

to this in just 3 weeks!

No ripe tomatoes yet, but they're loaded with green ones, so we're just waiting (im)patiently...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Here's Something to Grab Your Attention!

We've updated our sale list to include almost 400 titles!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It's those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, but it's too hot to build new bookcases, so we're going to clear some instead. Today we have 97 special books marked down 20-50%. Please visit our store and see if there's something you never-before knew you had to have!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Baby__ ???

1 guess as to who the baby in this 19th century book engraving grew up to be-

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our New Catalog-

Ah, Spring! For the Book Elves that means its time to dig out the grill & beer cooler and spend pleasant, balmy evenings passed out in the half-dug garden amidst a welter of beer cans and potted tomato seedlings. It also means, regrettably, Spring Cleaning. As part of that ritual this year, the book Elves decided to re-organize the private library in the Cataloging Cave, which is variously described as being somewhere between “a gabajillion” and “umpty bazillion” volumes. Being Book Elves, the “re-organization” consisted of moving every single book one bookcase to the left.

But before they were lost to sight under mounds of hardcovers, softcovers, leather-covers and no-covers, the Book Elves finished our latest catalog-

Books on the Fine and Decorative Arts, Antiques, Design & related subjects.

You can see the entire catalog, with illustrations, on our website.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Renaissance & Baroque Bronzes

We are pleased to
present a special list:

Books on Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes,
most from a private collector's library.

You can see the entire catalog,
with illustrations, on our website.

- -

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Our New May Catalog-

What a production the Royal Wedding was! The pomp, the red & gilt-coated ushers, the brass bands, live swans, incense, Latin chants and silly hats –and that was just the Book Elves’ party here in the Cataloging Cave.

Of course, if we’re making a list we might also include the cartons of nachos, dozen kegs of beer, three wide-screen televisions (two of which survived the festivities), obscene limerick contest, and two live badgers that got loose on the hors d’oeuvres table...

But before the Book Elves maxed out all their credit cards and re-created Westminster Abbey in quarter-scale using only matchsticks and rubber cement, they finished our latest catalog-

Books on the Fine and Decorative Arts, Antiques,
Design & related subjects is now ready for viewing!

You can see the entire catalog,
with illustrations, on our website!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Books on Native American Arts-

We recently added a number of additional titles to our stock of books on American Indian arts & crafts.

They can be seen here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Our April Catalog-

The Book Elves are nothing if not rabid baseball fans, and this year to celebrate Opening Day they decided to build a miniature replica of FenwayPark in the field out behind the Cataloging Cave. The whole thing went surprisingly smoothly for a project of this size (or indeed, for any project involving the Book Elves), with a minimum of explosions, fires, hospitalizations or court orders. By Opening Day everything was ready for a party, and they brought in grills and hot dogs and coleslaw and chips and kegs of beer –and then it started to snow. And the grill went out, and the hot dog buns got soggy, and the coleslaw froze... and then Sox pitcher Jon Lester gave up three home runs in five innings. By game’s end the Book Elves had retired to the Cataloging Cave with the chips and beer, and their Fenway Park replica was sitting under three inches of new snow.

And then the cops showed up...

But before they admitted to the court that they built their amazing replica of Fenway’s left field wall (the Green Monster) by “liberating” the backboards from the town’s tennis courts, the Book Elves finished our latest catalog-

Books on the Fine and Decorative Arts, Antiques,
Design & related subjects is now ready for viewing!

You can see the entire catalog,
with illustrations, on our website!

Monday, March 28, 2011


"Silver by the Fox Family of Silversmith. A Major Collection & Various Properties"

Gallery/Date: London; Phillips: September 23, 1988.

Discussion: The sale of a unique collection of silver spanning the 19th century, all made by the Fox family of silversmiths, Charles Fox and his family. The private collection was amassed with care over several decades, and some other Fox family silver is added to round out the sale.

Description: Softcover. 7”x9.5”, 68+ pages, 104 lots, color and black & white illustrations.

Condition Notes: Light soil to the covers, contents fine.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FEATURED BOOK- First Impressions are important...

“Lasting Impressions. American Painters in France 1865-1915”

By William H. Gerdts, et al.
Published by the Musee Americain Giverny & Terra Foundation for the Arts in 1992.

DISCUSSION: A magnificent catalog to the loan exhibition at the Musee Americain Giverny, paired with the fine extended essay (pp 13-124) “American Art and the French Experience” by Professor Gerdts.

DESCRIPTION: Hardcover. 9”x12”, 286 pages, 98 color and 140 black & white illustrations, dust jacket.

CONDITION NOTES: Minor wear, but overall clean and nice, with a tight binding and no marks.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Our March Catalog-

Figuring “better late than never”, and having finally been cleared for interstate travel by the Department of Homeland Security, the Book Elves packed up the lime-green VW microbus with shovels and rakes and implements of disruption, and debauched for Florida and Spring Break.

[Editor’s Note: astute readers will have noticed the completely incorrect use of the word “debauched” by the author; he assures me that, taking into account the confluence of the Book Elves, Florida, Spring Break, and unlimited quantities of beer and inflatable pool toys, the word “debauched” fits, if not in a technically correct sense, then at least in a moral one].

But before they left us trying to figure out how they got the snowblower up on top of the carriage house roof, and how much bail money we are going to need to wire down when the inevitable call comes in from the Florida State Police, the Book Elves finished our latest catalog-

Books on the Fine and Decorative Arts, Antiques,
Design & related subjects is now ready for viewing!

You can see the entire catalog,
with illustrations, on our website!

- -

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Our New February Catalog-

It’s been snowing here more or less constantly since December, and as the drifts hit six feet the Book Elves collectively threw their snow shovels aside and announced that it was a grand time to go sledding. The only problem with this otherwise engaging idea was that all the sleds had been destroyed last July in the Great Goat-Sled Rodeo Disaster. Where the stupi-, er, imaginative idea of substituting kayaks for sleds came from has now been lost, and perhaps it’s better that way.

So up to the top of Mt. Crumpet, um, Mt. Tom, the Book Elves trudged with their fleet of Kayaks, in a real-life “Paddle to the Sea” moment. And in fact, that may be where they ended up, because ever since they slid back down Mt. Tom in the general direction of the Connecticut River, nobody has seen a trace of them. Or the kayaks. Or ten cases of beer that we had been storing for our Super Bowl party.

But before the Book Elves launched themselves down the icy mountain slope of fame or disaster, they finished our latest catalog-

features books and catalogs on the decorative and fine arts, design, trades, and related subjects, and it is browsable on our website.