Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Harmonious Coloring-

We have a very interesting book about Victorian color theory in interior decorating in our new Catalog 184-

"The Interior Decorator, being the Laws of Harmonious Coloring adapted to Interior Decorations. With Observations on the Practice of House Painting" by D[avid] R[amsay] Hay, published in Philadelphia by Henry Carey Baird in 1867. First American, from the 6th London, edition.

David Ramsay Hay was one of the most influential color theorists of the Victorian era, and was a practical craftsman as well, attaining the status of Decorator to the Queen. This title was first published in 1828, and completely re-written for the 6th edition. The text is divided into two parts, the first treating the theory and laws of colors, the second addressing decorating issues more practically.

The second section begins by describing plain painting materials and types of colors and paints, and then moves on to decorative painting, including imitating woods and marbles, gilding, paper-hanging, stippling, decorative borders, imitation damasks, gold embroidery and leather. There is additional material on the analogies between sound and color, “cheap” painting, and “Reminiscences of the painting and decorating of Abbotsford”. This last refers to one of Hay’s most famous commissions, the redecorating of fellow-Mason Sir Walter Scott’s manor.

An influential and increasingly uncommon treatise on Victorian-era interior painting and decorating, and one of a very few Baird books to have a color illustration.

Hardcover. 5”x7.5”, 207 pages, colored frontispiece; publisher’s black cloth with gilt spine title; a little wear, but a very nice, clean, tight copy. [09461] $300.00

To see all the books in Catalog 284, click here.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Odd Things in the Peach Tree-

We've got a nice Ann Beattie first edition up on Ebay at the moment with a great inscription-

I love inscriptions like this- it's great to find nice, warm, clever inscriptions and sometimes I just can't resist buying books with them, even if they are outside our fields. This one ends Sunday night and is still very reasonably priced- click the link to our Ebay auctions in the right-hand column for a link to the auction.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wandering Tailors-

We have an interesting mid-19th century travelogue in our new September-October catalog, the tale of a wandering tailor-

"Wanderings of a Journeyman Tailor through Europe and the East, During the Years 1824 to 1840" by P.D. Holthaus, translated by William Howitt. Published in London by Longman, Brown, Green, and Longman's in 1844. 3rd edition.

Holthaus was a journeyman tailor, from Werdohl in Westpahlia, who took up his knapsack, needle and pen and set off through the highways and byways of the world, over Europe, Asia and Africa. Through Turkey, Wallachia, Greece, Syria, Egypt, Italy and France he walks and sews. Howitt notes in his Preface-

We see here the German, both as master and man...marching off, and establishing himself in the remotest countries, and amongst the strangest people. The Germans...insinuate and settle themselves down in every region, and often amongst people where we little expect to find them. Holthaus himself works in Constantinople, Athens, Beyrout, etc. He depends for the gratification of his passion for travel, solely on his needle. He literally sews his way from continent to continent..."

"His travels are not only well written, and display a great deal of shrewd observation and excellent feeling, but they have a peculiar advantage of observing everyday life from a new point of view. Our traveler does not glide on luxuriously in an easy-cushioned carriage, with his letter-book stuffed with introductions to all the prominent men of every prominent place; but he trudges on through desert-ways, works amid the swarming mass of strange cities, meets with all the rubs and rebuffs attendant on his humble station, and looks on things not as they show through the halo of wealth, luxury and favour, but to the eyes of the multitude

Hardcover. 4.5"x7", 286 pages, woodcut portrait frontispiece showing Holthaus in a broad-brimmed hat, with his walking stick, knapsack, dagger, tobacco pouch and pipe; old quarter leather and marbled boards, covers scuffed, but else a nice copy. [09526] $275.00

See more items from our new catalog by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Our New Catalog!

We had the big 6th Annual Library Sale/Vintage Auto/Antique Tractor Show & Volunteer Fire Dept Barbecue this weekend in Hatfield, and the Book Elves were beside themselves, wolfing down burgers and hot dogs, along with glasses of cider from the old cider press they were operating at the Farm Museum. There was that one regrettable incident involving the Mayor's vintage T-Bird and what the police are blindly insisting on calling "auto theft" and "joy-riding", but before three of the Book Elves were seen driving off down Main Street on a 1948 John Deere tractor, completely nude and blitzed on hard cider, singing "We Are Family" at the top of their lungs, they finished our new catalog-

Catalog #284 - RECENT ACQUISITIONS FOR SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER, 2006 is now available in printed format, or on our website. If you would like a printed copy of the catalog, please email us, and remember to include your mailing address. Or you can browse it on our website!

HIGHLIGHTS include -

*The earliest printed book on American silver collections.

*The scarce 1917 Memorial Exhibition catalog of paintings by John J. Enneking.

*Howard's 1838 study of color as used by artists, a very early example of the use of chromolithography in book illustration.

*A 1935 Maggs Brothers catalog completely devoted to books about Royalty, issued to commemorate King George V's Silver Jubilee.

*A beautiful leatherbound copy of the catalog to the 1963 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition of American furniture & other arts, limited to 445 copies.

*James Jackson Jarves' influential 1867 study of Japanese arts.

*An important and influential 1846 book on fresco painting techniques.

*An unusual pamphlet promoting of a scheme to fix up Independence Square for the 1876 Centennial.

*A very interesting 1881 study of the development of the Christian altar and its fittings.

*A very scarce 1915 Worcester County exhibition catalog of American silver.

*The first book on American gems, published in 1838.

*An enlightening 1894 study of the evolution of the electric light bulb.

*A scarce 1867 book on the laws of color as used in interior decoration.

*An important and comprehensive 1895 report on worker housing around the world.

*Noted antiquarian Charles Dorman's copy of Harrington's 1939 book on Delaware silversmiths, limited to 300 copies, and with extensive handwritten notes by Dorman.

*An interesting 1845 book about collecting paintings.

*A complete 1890s guide to Victorian construction and decorating work methods and tools.

...and many more books on silver, ceramics, glass, furniture, folk art, metals, textiles and other arts, and related topics.

Please take a look by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Booklet that Started a Catalog-

A few years ago at the Los Angeles Book Fair I came across this very cool 1862 catalog/promotional book. When I got it back to the office I began to catalog it, but then the idea popped into my head- why not look for some other material and issue an entire ice-related catalog? That eventually morphed into "Fire & Ice", our new catalog out this week. Here is the book that began the project-

"Ash’s Patent ‘Piston’ Freezing Machine and Wine Cooler, For Freezing and Cooling Liquids..." London; George Simpson, Ice Merchant: [1862]. 2nd edition.

The title page continues- “The first perfect application of the natural law of congelation adapted to domestic use; producing results never before accomplished. Also a cheap and effective method of preserving ice, and a recipe for preparing the celebrated freezing powders, (the best substitute for ice yet discovered), together with a variety of other choice recipes for mixing desert ices, ice puddings, &c., including valuable information, interesting to housekeepers, confectioners, &c., and essentially important to residents of all hot climates”.

The Ash Machine, manufactured by Simpson, used an up and down motion which produced ice or cooled liquid in a fraction of the time that cranked machines did. The first 34 pages of this booklet describe and illustrate the machine and the various uses to which it may be put; the booklet then goes on to describe a method for storing ice in the ground, an ice chest sold by Simpson, Simpson’s Patent Freezing Vase, a Patent Butter Cooler, the Seltzogene seltzer bottle, and several other Simpson inventions. This is followed by several pages of testimonials and then a list of nobility, clergy, gentlemen and ship’s officers who use the Ash machine. An interesting and elaborate early promotional book.

Hardcover. 4.5”x7”, 54 pages, line illustrations; elaborately impressed brown cloth with gilt titles; some soil, a little cover wear; text browned, lightly soiled, and with foxing to the title page. [09352] $400.00

See the entire Fire & Ice catalog here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


The last dregs of Summer linger around Foggygates and the Book Elves cling to their lawn chairs every afternoon, resolutely sipping ice-cold lemonade even as the sun sinks behind the trees and the temps dip into the 40s. Evening cookouts are no longer as much about cooking food as keeping warm, which may have given them the idea for our latest printed catalog...

FIRE & ICE -Catalog 282

is now available. It features a selection of books on two diverse yet oddly-related topics- the use of fire and the use of ice in everyday life. Books and other materials on fireplaces, lighting devices, fire-making tools, as well as ice harvesting, icy foods and pastimes, and the making and use of ice for refrigeration are all included.

We have printed copies available (if you would like one, please remember to send us your mailing address), and the catalog is also posted on OUR WEBSITE.

Have fun!