Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Grave Affair-

Special Bookin’! Halloween Issue:

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new edition of A Grave Affair, a special issue of our Bookin’! catalog series, featuring books and other material about gravestones, epitaphs, mourning customs and related topics (also referred to by the Book Elves here in the Cataloging Cave as “The Death Catalog”).  This is always one of my favorite catalogs to put together, and I hope you find something that entices, pleases or surprises you.  

 (a.k.a., The Death Guy)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fraudulent Frogs???

From our new Bookin'! catalog-

8. [Fraud & Frogs] American Frog Canning Company Promotional Correspondence. 

New Orleans: 1936

A typewritten letter on the company’s very graphic stationary, dated May 19, 1936, signed by S. Schutt, forwarding information about raising frogs for the company. The stationary includes pictures of the company offices, a tadpole, a frog, a barrel of live frogs, and cans of frog a la king and frogs' legs. Alas, the enterprise came to grief. The Sandusky Register for the 19th of June, 1936, reported:

"Two frog specialists who opened a school here and then hopped to New Orleans were held there today for transfer to Toledo to face a federal charge that their mail-order course in commercial breeding of the amphibians constituted a fraud. The two, Albert Broel, formerly of Detroit, and Sylvester Schutt of Fremont, denied any guilt and were held in lieu-of $2,500 bonds for return to Ohio, where their undertaking began in 1933. Postal officials, who obtained their indictment secretly last December, charged that Broel and Schutt offered for $47.50 cash or $157.60 in installments to instruct would-be frog-farmers in a business which they professed would 'yield the student up to $100,000 in two years'. The officials said such profits sounded too high, even though each graduate student was promised a pair of frogs free from the farm here. After the indictment, Broel and Schutt were discovered to have left Fremont and opened the American Frog Canning Co., in New Orleans. Broel, who said he was a Polish army officer during the World War, owned the farm here and maintained a downtown office when the school functioned."

Letter. 8.5"x11". Folded, minor wear and soil. [39575] $85 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Printmaker to the Mexican People-

An item from our new Bookin'! catalog-

11. [MexicanArt] Handbill- Posada: Printmaker to the Mexican People.

Brooklyn Museum: 1944.

A handbill for the Brooklyn Museum's September 8-October 15, 1944 exhibition of prints by Jose Guadalupe Posada. Their August 18, 1944 press release for the exhibition explained:

"The Brooklyn Museum will begin its fall exhibition season with a large show entitled POSADA — PRINTMAKER TO THE MEXICAN PEOPLE (September 8-October 15). Lent by the Direccion General de Educacion Estetica, Mexico, it contains over six hundred prints, blocks and photographic enlargements and will be installed in four large galleries on the second floor. The first great printmaker in the New World, Posada’s gigantic production of twenty-thousand subjects reached the remotest village. The Mexican people well understood his art, because he re-stated with simplicity and vigor their own legends and songs, their own inarticulate hopes and aspirations. Through the medium of his prints he was among those actively responsible in preparing the way for the 1910 Revolution. Not only a prophet of the armed-mass uprising, he was a creator of an artistic expression which reflected a new social philosophy and established the foundations for a new national art. An excellent draughtsman, his work has economy of line, boldness of contour and dramatic action. It establishes him, not as a folk artist, but as a highly competent master who portrayed his era with passionate honesty and revolutionary zeal."

Handbill, 8.5"x11". Several chips and tears, creases, minor soil. Fragile. [39572] $60

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gone, and also Forgotten-

An item from our new Bookin'! catalog-

7. [Forgotten by History] Victorian Dramatic Author Brochure. Philadelphia. Undated, but probably 1860s. An interesting piece of self-promotion by a Philadelphia author/playwright, probably in the 1860s. The front of the brochure claims "Established 10 Years - Bob Watt - Dramatic Author - 610 Arch St., Phila. Pa", and the verso adds- "Best of Professional References - I write original songs, sketches, farces, comedies, dramas and all stage specialties to order. Comedies and dramas revised. - Author of 'Pert', 'My Sister', 'Foiled', 'Bait', 'Zero' and many other successful plays". Sadly for posterity, neither OCLC or any other source we have been able to find contains any record of this established dramatic author or his works.

3.5"x4.25 (folded). Some soil. [39576] $100

“Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

-Samuel Clemens

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
 -Stephen King 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The October 22, 2103 Issue of Bookin'!

Well, in spite of our best efforts, another Bookin’! is ready to unleash upon an unsuspecting public. The Book Elves were going to write a little song to introduce it, but they insisted that there was only one word that rhymed with “Art” and I insisted that word wasn’t going in the song.  Next week is the big Halloween Special, a.k.a. “The Death Issue”, so if you’re looking for something normal, it would be best to browse this week’s installment. Actually, to be perfectly honest, there’s nothing normal here, either. That’s sort of the point of doing the whole thing.  

Well, that, and keeping the Book Elves off the streets.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A New Catalog Series-

A new catalog series featuring the unusual,
the unruly, & the self-important.


We first published our Bookin’! series in the late 1990s, and the Book Elves (ever-ready to find a new excuse to get some overtime) have been lobbying for its return since at least 3:30 pm yesterday. Since the new(ish) .pdf format allows us to set wild our most self-indulgent production fantasies at little or no expense I naturally said, “No, of course not!”, and then they went ahead and did it anyway. So please enjoy, and join the Book Elves as they sing their theme song:

Books are Good!
Books are Nice!
Books are Often
Food for Mice!

Chaos, panic & disorder. My work here is done.  Have fun browsing the new Bookin'!