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