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I Had a Blueprint of History

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Lesley Dill, I Had a Blueprint of History. Poem by Tom Sleigh. (New York: Dieu Donné Press and Peter Kruty Editions, 2012). Copy 1 of 30. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process.

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“Of the many ways to vent the human engine—of the many escape routes for what lies inside the body, firing up and down its nervous system and circulating through its veins—the most ordinary, and confounding, is speech. ‘We are animals of words,’ Lesley Dill has said. ‘If you were to cut us open anywhere, what would come out would not be just blood and organs, but also language.’” —Deep Breathing by critic and writer Nancy Princenthal, 2001.


The Brooklyn-based artist Lesley Dill created this limited edition artists’ book, featuring the poem I had a Blueprint of History by Tom Sleigh, Hunter College Creative Writing Program Director. The artist’s latest exhibition Faith & the Devil is currently on view at the George Adams Gallery in Chelsea, which also includes words by Sleigh.

I had a blueprint
of history
in my head —

it was a history of the martyrs
of love, the fools
of tyrants, the tyrants
themselves weeping
at the fate of their own soldiers —

a sentimental blueprint,
lacking depth —
a ruled axis X and Y
whose illusions
were bearable …
then unbearable …
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Founders Sue Gosin and Bruce Weinberg to open Dieu Donné in 1976, one of a few pioneer papermills in New York City and the United States. Today, this non-profit organization is dedicated to the creation, promotion, and preservation of new contemporary art utilizing the hand papermaking process.

Peter Kruty Editions is Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos, two master letterpress printers who have pooled their talents in letterpress printing and printmaking to form … one of the most versatile and well-known fine art and commercial letterpress shops in the United States.

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Sweet Papers

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A single sheet of sixteen candy wrappers with color printed vignette and letterpress joke below. Ashford, Kent: Howland’s Steam Confectionery and Grocery Stores, 1800s. Sheet 575 × 450 mm; each wrapper ca. 150 × 110 mm. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

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“The sweetmakers wrapped their goods in the cheapest paper from the stationer’s, or else recycled old books. In one home-based sweets factory, [Henry] Mayhew observed several volumes of the Acts of Parliament used for this purpose, as well as other books, which the confectioner ‘retained to read at his short intervals of leisure, then used to wrap his goods in. In this way he had read through two Histories of England!’ Mayhew counted about 230 sweetsellers trading, of whom twenty to thirty were Jewish ….” from Tim Richardson, Sweets: a History of Candy (Firestone TX 791.R523 2002)

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Japanese Sketchbooks

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Graphic Arts recently acquired twenty-three Japanese sketchbooks by unidentified artists (many different hands are apparent). They were collected by Eric Sackheim and given to Princeton University by his widow several years ago.

The sketchbooks, all with traditional Japanese bindings, were packed together with a 1938 auction catalogue from J.C. Morgenthau & Co., Inc. entitled An Important Sale of Japanese Color Prints, Japanese Books, Albums, and Books of Original Drawings, Roll Paintings, [and] a Wood Block. Fifty-five albums of drawings were offered at this sale, which may be the source of the group now at Princeton University. Here is a sample:

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The thrill of a great new reference book

Joseph J. Felcone, Printing in New Jersey, 1754-1800: A Descriptive Bibliography (Worcester, Mass.: American Antiquarian Society, 2012). Graphic Arts Reference GARF 2012- in process

“Bibliographies are like building blocks,” writes Joseph Felcone, “each successive work builds on its predecessors and in turn serves as a base for the next work. Private collectors and institutional collections play an essential role in the process. This present bibliography grew out of more than a hundred years of New Jersey bibliographical research and over two hundred years of collecting New Jerseyana.”

The author notes, “For the last twenty years I’ve been working on a descriptive bibliography of eighteenth-century New Jersey printing, and it has just been published by the American Antiquarian Society: Printing in New Jersey, 1754-1800: A Descriptive Bibliography.”

For those of us interested in printing history, we can only say, “thank goodness.”


It is no exaggeration when the publisher writes, “As a descriptive bibliography of early American imprints, New Jersey Printing sets a new standard for comprehensiveness, providing full descriptions of all of the known products of every eighteenth-century New Jersey press. Of the 1,265 books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers, and broadsides included, nearly 25 percent are recorded here for the first time.”

Felcone has spent a lifetime collecting, studying, and writing about New Jersey books and the early New Jersey book trade. To compile this comprehensive work, he visited and fully surveyed 115 libraries—from the major repositories in the United States and England to county and local historical societies in New Jersey—and physically examined and recorded every eighteenth-century New Jersey imprint.


Handsomely designed by Jerry Kelly, the book is important to those working in early American printing, publishing, bookselling, book distribution and ownership, as well as related bookmaking arts such as papermaking and bookbinding. Note, for instance, the number of eighteenth-century references to Nassau Hall alone and you understand our enthusiasm with this volume.

The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New Jersey should be commended for helping to subsidized the production of the book, allowing me as a reader to acquire it for a very reasonable price. In this day and age, it is a great thrill to hold new scholarship in my hand and place it on our shelves for others to use and enjoy.


Au temps de Jesus-Christ




Josef Síma (1891-1971), Au temps de Jesus-Christ. Contes populaires tchécoslovaques mis en françois par Louise-Denise Germain. (At the time of Jesus Christ, Popular Czechoslovakian stories translated into French by Louise-Denise Germain). Préface de Charles Vildrac (Paris: Kauffmann. 1922). 10 woodcuts and 11 small vignettes by Joseph Síma. Copy 23 of 300. Graphic Arts GAX 2012-0242N

The artist Josef Síma was a founding member of Devětsil (Nine Forces), a Czech group of avant-garde writers, architects, actors, musicians, and visual artists. Vítězslav Nezval, Jaroslav Seifert, Karel Teige, and Toyen (Marie Cerminova) were also active in the group, which included more than 70 members in the 1920s.

Síma became acquainted with the French painter Louise-Denise Germain (1870-1963) and together they compiled Czech folktales, which Germain translated into French and Síma illustrated. During the process, he fell in love with Germain’s daughter, married her, and became a French citizen, spending the majority of his adult life in Paris.

See also: Revoluční sborník Devětsil (V Praze: Nakl. Večernice V. Vortel, 1922). Marquand Library (SAX): PG5023 .R48 1922


"It's about the desire to run away," Alec Soth

Alec Soth and Lester B. Morrison, Broken Manual. Special edition ([Saint Paul, Minn.]: Little Brown Mushroom; Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2010). 1 volume (unpaged) housed in book safe. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process.

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“It is common for artists to follow up the publication of their books with ‘special editions.’ But in the case of Broken Manual, this edition is being presented first. Made in an edition of 300, Soth calls this the ideal edition of Broken Manual. Each copy is housed inside another, one-of-a-kind book … cut by hand. Inside the shell, there is also a small booklet entitled Liberation Billfold Manifest and a print signed and numbered by Alec Soth and Lester B. Morrison”—Steidl

From 2006 to 2010, Soth photographed the places in which people retreat to escape civilization including the homes of monks, survivalists, hermits and runaways. Working with the writer Lester B. Morrison, he created an underground instruction manual for those looking to escape their lives.

“300 copies of [the book] exist,” said Soth. “It was a really special project for me and I wanted the special edition to come out first. We made a book safe, cut out the pages of these books we bought, and you can hide this Broken Manual in the larger book. It was a huge ordeal to cut them out, and we made those, they exist, but the trade edition never came out. …The thing about a book is that you can control the entire shape of it, unlike an exhibition where the parameters always change.”

Rosenwald ex libris


Rare book and print collector Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1979) donated part of his collection to the Library of Congress and the other part to the National Gallery of Art. Recently, these two organizations joined together to catalogue the Rosenwald collections into a mutual database so that researchers can search, retrieve, and use the materials together even though they are physically stored separately (tba).

Rosenwald was also one of the founding members of the Print Council of America, established in 1956 by a small group of museum curators, scholars, and collectors with a mission to “foster the creation, dissemination, and appreciation of fine prints, old and new.” At our annual meeting held last week in Los Angeles, Ruth Fine, emeritus curator of special projects in modern art at the NGA, generously offered members the gift of a Rosenwald bookplate. Thank you Ruth!

Note the iconography of his ex libris: images of roses and of a forest (“wald”) = rose and wald = Rosenwald.

Frank Eißner

futze1.jpgHolger Benkel and Frank Eissner, Erde und Feuer (Earth and Fire) (Rudolstadt: Burgart Presse, 2003). One copy of 100. Graphic Arts
GAX 2012- in process

In the classic tradition of xylographic printing, both image and text in Erde und Feuer are produced from woodcuts designed by the Leipzig artist Frank Eissner (born 1959) and printed on Bunko Shi paper. Originally trained in lithography, Eissner now specializes in relief printing, operating Eissner Handpresse since 1989, where he publishes limited edition artists’ books. For this volume, he collaborated with his colleague publisher Jens Henkel and “Blank Generation” poet Holger Benkel.


“His work—books made entirely in wood block printing, books in a wonderful form with most carefully chosen texts—is not intended for the general public, but merely for a small circle of connoisseurs, whose affection for each printed work has to be won anew. …Eissner’s language consists of expressive figures combined with equally dominant, almost abstract parts which give an appearance of painting due to the transparent imprint of Eissner’s color range. Eissner is not interested in a large number of copies, but rather in experimenting with wood blocks in a new way. …Eissner’s lean figures symbolize asceticism and uninhibited physicality, his colors quiet and silence.”—Wolfgang Grätz, Büchergilde Artclub (2004)


À l'Abattoir les Cartellistes!!


Jehan Sennep, À l’Abattoir les Cartellistes!! Album-souvenir des Elections de 1928 (Paris: Editions Bossard, [1928.]). One copy of 200. Bookplate of the Baron de Cougny-Préfeln. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process.



In the French Third Republic, a coalition was formed of left-wing parties (the Socialists and the Radicals) in the Chamber of Deputies. They established the Cartel des gauches in opposition to the right-wing Bloc National, which they defeated in the elections of 1924. Led by Édouard Herriot (1872-1957) and later Aristide Briand (1862-1932), the Cartel was defeated in 1926.

On April 22 and 29, 1928, elections were held for the 14th legislature. The French caricaturist Jehan Sennep (whose real name was Jean-Jacques Charles Pennes, 1894-1982) cartooned the members of the Cartel in the Paris papers and then, brought them together in this send-up of the election. Herriot, Marcel Cachin (1869-1958), Georges-Étienne Bonnet (1889-1973), and Blaise Diagne (1872-1934) are among the Cartellistes transformed into cattle being led to the slaughter house. The book is sardonically printed on rough brown butcher’s paper.


Moritz Götze


Moritz Götze, Gulliver (Rudolstadt: Jens Henkel, Burgart-Presse, 1996).
32 serigraphs. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process


“Serious and Lightness:
Seven men are taking a boat trip. Debris and mines are floating on the water. On board the ship is an oil barrel, a lit torch and a TV set. The sea is stormy, and the waves look like shells. Welcome to Rococo. Welcome to the 21st century.

Moritz Götze likes to use metaphors and historical settings to address pressing issues of his time. With outstanding painterly virtuosity and draughtsmanship, he assembles his visions into crystal-clear compositions whose semantic layers reach near-abyssal depths. Though his visions are often clad in aristocratic nonchalance, they can occasionally become explicit, and sometimes drastic.”—Götze’s website



Jen Bervin and Marta Werner, The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope-Poems (New York: Granary Books, 2012). Copy 23 of 60. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process


Housed inside a lignin-free archival box, The Gorgeous Nothings includes a guide to the envelope-poems of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886); a 52-page letterpress booklet by Dickinson scholar Marta Werner; and a portfolio of 47 double-sided manuscript facsimiles.The original cover drawing on the box lid is in blue pencil and has a hand-painted seal of gum arabic and gouache.

The edition, published by Granary Books, is accompanied by a guide with a bibliographic directory for the fragments and a series of visual indexes. The 47 manuscript facsimiles show the front and back of each Dickinson envelope-poem printed at 1:1 scale accompanied by smaller visual transcriptions in blue. A close-up of one of the fragments is seen above.

Artist Jen Bervin writes:
“The title, The Gorgeous Nothings, is an excerpt from Emily Dickinson’s manuscript A 821:
‘the gorgeous nothings which compose the sunset keep’.
In choosing it, I was thinking of Dickinson’s own definition for nothing: ‘the force that renovates the World -’ and her definition for no: ‘the wildest word we consign to language.’ These gorgeous nothings are that kind of nothing … I think of these manuscripts as the sort of ‘small fabric’ Dickinson writes of in A 636:
‘Excuse Emily and her Atoms the North Star is of small fabric but it implies much presides yet.’”

“This poem exemplifies Dickinson’s relationship to scale so perfectly. When we say small, we often mean less. When Dickinson says small, she means fabric, atoms, the North Star.”

Marta Werner’s essay, “Itineraries of Escape: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope-Poems,” includes seven digital prints. The cover, bound in Saint Armand Dark Linen with royal blue Shikibu Gampi-shi endpapers, replicates the page forms of A821 / A821a. The text is printed letterpress by Friedrich Kerksieck on Byron Weston Linen Ledger White.

©The images of the manuscripts of Emily Dickinson are reproduced courtesy of Amherst College Library, Archives & Special Collections, The Houghton Library, Harvard University, and the Harvard University Press. The President and Fellows of Harvard College claim the sole ownership of and sole right of literary rights and copyrights therein to the texts of Emily Dickinson.

The Apocalyptic and Messianic Prophecies of the Book of Daniel


William Ward Simpson (1872-1907), Wall chart illustrating the Apocalyptic and Messianic Prophecies of the Book of Daniel (Buffalo, New York: Courier Co. (Litho Dpt.), [ca. 1900s]). Chromolithographed linen. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

Seventh-Day Adventist William Ward Simpson was converted in 1890 and ordained as a minister in 1899 at the age of twenty-seven. For the next eight years, Simpson preached to enthusiastic crowds throughout California and the Midwest using large, colored wall charts to illustrate the hidden biblical prophecies.


See also Liberty: a Magazine of Religious Freedom (Washington: Review and Herald Pub. Association, 1906- ). Firestone Library (F) BV471.S48 L534

National Photo and Lantern Slide Color Company


Dunne’s Transparent Pastel Colors … For All Photographs, Pictures, and Lantern Slides ([New York]: M.K. Dunne, [ca. 1910]. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

Mary Katharine Dunne established the National Photo and Lantern Slide Color Company at 2021 Fifth Avenue in New York City. From here, she not only sold boxes of “Dunne’s Color” but also taught the hand coloring of photographs. In the June 1910 issue of The Photo-Miniature a short note asks the reader:

“Are you interested in the coloring of photographs and lantern slides? If you are, then you should know Mrs. M.K. Dunne, of the National Photo and Lantern Slide Color Company …Mrs. Dunne is a charming Southern woman, expert in her art, with a great big enthusiasm for the beauties of color in nature and American scenery. I thoroughly enjoyed my hour with her and, as one result of the interview, can advise readers to invest, say ten dollars, in the Dunne Correspondence course of Photograph coloring and the necessary coloring outfit, as the simplest and surest way of getting a practical mastery of this special branch of work. For those who really want to know, this expenditure is abundantly worth while. The Dunne color outfits are sold by dealers everywhere in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, but Mrs. Dunne will gladly answer any inquiries about instruction, if those who write her will mention this magazine as an introduction.”

Learned Birds and Other Acts

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Sig’r Blitz The World-Renowned Ventriloquist & Magician. Extraordinary Attraction with the Learned Canary Birds!… (Boston: J.H. & F. Farwell Job printing Office, [ca. 1860-1968]). Illustrated broadside. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

The British magician, ventriloquist, juggler, and animal trainer Antonio van Zandt (1810-1877) performed under the name Signor Blitz, a name pirated by a dozen other magicians in an effort to capitalize on his extraordinary popularity. Blitz emigrated to the United States in 1834, settling in Philadelphia.


When Blitz died in 1877, obituaries ran in newspapers throughout the United States. The Chicago Tribute stated, “In the death of Signor Antonio Blitz … the whole public will feel as if it had lost a friend, so many years had he devoted himself to its entertainment. His name has literally been a household word. He was born in Deal, England…and his peculiar talents were shown so early that at the age of 13 he made his first appearance at Hamburg and then performed in succession at Lubeck, Potsdam, and other continental cities, exciting wonder wherever he went.”

The Detroit Free Press noted that “Signor Blitz deserves to be remembered as the prince of prestidigitateurs in his [time]. …Three generations at least of Americans owed to him some of the happiest hours of their lives. He was ‘the’ conjurer of the republic; the most incredible of ventriloquists; the most insatiable consumer of yards of ribbon, omelettes made in badly astonished hats, and miscellaneous cutlery; the most indefatigable producer of canary birds from watch cases, rabbits from waistcoat pockets, and butterflies from egg shells, that America ever knew.”


Read the magician’s autobiography:
Antonio Blitz (1810-1877), Life and Adventures of Signor Blitz; Being an Account of the Author’s Professional Life; His Wonderful Tricks and Feats; with Laughable Incidents, and Adventures as a Magician, Necromancer and Ventriloquist (Hartford, Conn.: T. Belknap, 1872). Firestone Library (F) GV1545.B6 A3 1872

Brian Nissen's Codices


Brian Nissen, Pipixqui Codex (Mexico City: Nissen, 2010). Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

“The word Pipixqui comes from the Aztec language and signifies to be in heat, to be aroused. In seven chapters, this codex portrays some of our most intimate antics. It depicts the foibles of flirting, incitements to excitement and the infinite trajectories of desire. Invoking codes of courtship and the protocols of passion that collapse when the compass needle of ecstasy becomes disorientated and our sensation of balance comes undone.”—Brian Nissen


Brian Nissen, Códice Madero (Mexico City: Imprenta Madero, 1984). Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

The images of this codex involve the rituals of games and play. “A codex of games; puzzles, crosswords, jigsaws, dominoes, quizzes and conundrums. Play is one of the basic pillars of art, and one of the fundamental forces that propels the artist. It is when we put into play the elements with which we work—color, line forms, signs etc. that we begin to discover their secret relationships. They reveal their own special language and speak to us of a hidden order.”—Brian Nissen


Brian Nissen was born in London and studied first at the London School of Graphic Arts and then, at the École des beaux Arts in Paris. In 1963, Nissen traveled to Mexico where he lived and worked for the next seventeen years. His encounter with pre-Hispanic cultures had a defining impact on his thinking about the nature of art. The Graphic Arts collection is pleased to have acquired one copy of each of his artists’ books, two seen here.

The Battle of New Orleans

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Joseph Yeager (ca. 1792-1859) after a design by William Edward West (1788-1857), The Battle of New Orleans and Death of Major General Packenham on the 8th of January 1815. Philadelphia: Published and Sold by J. Yeager, [1816]. Hand colored engraving. Approximately 15 x 19 1/2 inches. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process. Purchased with support of the Barksdale-Dabney-Henry Fund, 2012

Philadelphia engraver, Joseph Yeager (ca.1792-1859), designed and published this bird’s eye view of the Battle of New Orleans in November 1816. Shown from a British perspective, the central group includes the figure of General Sir John Lambert (1772-1847) weeping into a handkerchief next to the fallen Major General Sir Edward Michael Pakenham (1778-1815), with other officers surrounding them. The Americans are viewed through clouds of smoke, with their flag flying at both the right and left. General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), who led the defense and became a national hero after this battle, has been singled out for the bottom title vignette.

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From December 25, 1814 to January 26, 1815, British casualties totaled 386 men killed, 1,521 wounded and 552 missing for the whole campaign. On the American side, 55 men were killed, 185 wounded, and 93 missing after the siege. (According to William James, A full and correct account of the military occurrences of the late war between Great Britain and the United States of America, Rare Books E359.J29)

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The artist signed: “West. Del.” has been attributed to William Edward West (1788-1857), who was born in Lexington, KY, and studied under Thomas Sully in Philadelphia. West worked there until about 1818 when he went to Natchez and then to Europe, to finish his painting education. Even when he returned to the United Stated, West continued to travel, working at various times in Baltimore, New York, and Nashville.

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For more information, see Library of Congress. An Album of American Battle Art 1755-1918, p. 94 (Marquand Oversize NE505 .U58q); Stauffer, American Engravers on Copper and Steel, 3433 (Graphic Arts NE505 .S79 1994); John Carbonell, “Prints of the Battle of New Orleans,” in Prints of the American West (1983), p.2-12. (Marquand NE505 .P55)

The Szyk Haggadah


The Haggadah / [executed by] Arthur Szyk (1894-1951); with translation and commentary by Byron L. Sherwin. Deluxe edition (Burlingame, Calif.: Historicana, 2008). Copy 151 of 300. Text of Haggadah in Hebrew with English translation; commentary in English. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process. Purchased thanks to the support of Joanna and Daniel Rose, P*01.


“So much of Jewish history passes through the Passover Haggadah narrative and through Arthur Szyk’s Haggadah in particular. This is the work of an artist who combined his two passions - art and history - to the highest degree. In his Haggadah, Szyk illustrated the oppression, enslavement, and attempted annihilation of the ancient Israelites in Egypt, events unfolding again in his own time in Nazi-occupied Europe. His visual commentary on the Haggadah narrative weaves together numerous historical strands of the Jewish people and its heroic confrontation with those who ‘in every generation rise up against them.’ How Szyk expresses his passion, convictions, and beauty awaits your exploration.” —Irvin Ungar, publisher of the Szyk Haggadah


This set includes a new English translation by Rabbi Bryon L. Sherwin; a companion volume Freedom Illuminated: Understanding The Szyk Haggadah; a DVD with a documentary film prepared by Jim Ruxin showing how this Haggadah was created; and a custom-made magnifying glass to enhance the viewing of the book’s illuminated plates.

For more information, see their website:

Unrecorded second edition of The Penman's Magazine

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George Shelley (ca. 1666-ca. 1736) and John Seddon (died 1700), The Penman’s Magazine, or, A New Copy-Book, of the English, French, and Italian Hands, after the Best Mode; Adorn’d … after the originals of the late incomparable Mr. John Seddon. Perforn’d by George Shelley … Supervis’d and publish’d by Thomas Read (London: printed by J. Holland …, 1709). 2nd ed. Bound in old quarter calf over marbled boards. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

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Thanks to the research of Christopher Edwards, we recently acquired this unrecorded second edition of The Penman’s Magazine. The plates were selected by George Shelley but arranged by Thomas Read, one of his students. Read contributes a Preface to the Reader that states, “Seddon on his Death-Bed bequeath’d me his Remains,” desiring him to “Have them Perfected.” Read calls Shelley “a celebrated penman of the Age, who was so generous as to undertake it, and has so order’d the Ornamental Part, that it flows from the Pen by a swift Command of hand with the greatest ease imaginable.”

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Description and Praise of the City of Haarlem


Samuel Ampzing (1590-1632), Beschryvinge ende lof der stad Haerlem in Holland. In rijm bearbeyd: ende met veele oude en nieuwe stucken buyten dicht uyt verscheyde kronijken, handvesten, brieven, memorien ofte geheugenissen, ende diergelijke schriften verklaerd, ende bevestigd. With: Petrus Scriverius, Lavre-Kranz voor Laurens Koster van Haerlem, eerste vinder vande boeck-druckery (Haarlem: Adriaan Roman, 1628). Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process



Several month ago we found a collotype depiction of Laurens Jansz. Coster’s fifteenth-century print shop. Happily, we have now acquired the book that first presented this amazing print to the public.

The Dutch poet Samuel Ampzing (1590-1632) wrote this book to promote the city of Haarlem. He began the project in 1617 and published it in 1628 under the title Beschrijvinge ende lof der stad Haerlem in Holland. As an added bonus, the foreword is an essay by Ampzing on the Dutch language and its rules of rhetoric, which was also sold separately in 1628 under the title Taelbericht der Nederlandsche spellinge (Treatise on Dutch Spelling).

The book includes eleven double page prints designed by Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (1597-1665), among the most famous of the seventeenth-century Dutch painters. In addition, he drew a portrait of Coster (ca. 1370-ca. 1440), who was for some years thought to have predated Gutenberg in the use of moveable type. The book includes a short section by the Leiden scholar Petrus Scriverius in praise of Coster and two plates imagining the inside of his shop.


Nausikaa, A French Odyssey


Homer, Nausikaa, translated by Leconte de Lisle (Paris: Édition d’art, H. Piazza, 1899). Copy 306 of 400. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process.

The French writer Charles-Marie-René Leconte de Lisle (1818-1894) began translating Homer in 1845; his Iliad appeared in 1867, and the Odyssey and the Hymns in 1868. A few years after his death, the prose for his sixth book of The Odyssey was embedded into twenty-two full page color lithographs by Nabis-inspired Gaston de Latenay (1859-1943), along with twenty-two borders and twenty-four vignettes, initials and culs-de-lampe.


In Book Six, we find Odysseus sleeping on the island of Skheria. The King’s daughter, Nausicaa, goes to the river with her maids to wash clothes and play. They happen on the naked Odysseus and although the others run away, Nausicaa stays and speaks with him.

French: Ainsi dormait là le patient et divin Odysseus, dompté par le sommeil et par la fatigue, tandis qu’Athènè se rendait à la ville et parmi le peuple des hommes Phaiakiens qui habitaient autrefois la grande Hypériè, auprès des kyklôpes insolents qui les opprimaient, étant beaucoup plus forts qu’eux. Et Nausithoos, semblable à un dieu, les emmena de là et les établit dans l’île de Skhériè, loin des autres hommes. Et il bâtit un mur autour de la ville, éleva des demeures, construisit les temples des dieux et partagea les champs.


English: So there he lay asleep, the steadfast goodly Odysseus, fordone with toil and drowsiness. Meanwhile Athena went to the land and the city of the Phaeacians, who of old, upon a time, dwelt in spacious Hypereia; near the Cyclopes they dwelt, men exceeding proud, who harried them continually, being mightier than they. Thence the godlike Nausithous made them depart, and he carried them away, and planted them in Skheria, far off from men that live by bread. And he drew a wall around the town, and built houses and made temples for the gods and meted out the fields.


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