Wordless Books and Graphic Fiction
Guillaume Apollinaire: Bestiary, or the Parade of Orpheus
Boston: David R. Godine, 1980. Small octavo, brick colored cloth with pale blue dust jacket, not price clipped. Text xi + 66 pages, illustrated with 30 woodcuts by Raoul Dufy. Book is near fine with light foxing to top and long edges of text block, Jacket good+ faded at spine and upper edge, with what appears to be a tape mark on the front panel, though no evidence of a tear or loss at the edges.
Beronä: Wordless Books - The Original Graphic Novels
New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2008. Quarter orange cloth with pictorial boards, 256 pages, overall size 6-13/16" x 9-9/16". Negligible wear to extremities of spine; Upper corner of rear board is slightly bumped. Text block is square, tight and clean. A useful survey of the early years of this important genre, which had its origins in Europe and which took hold in the United States with the publication of Lynd Ward's masterpiece, Gods' Man. A useful but by no means comprehensive reference for both book and print collectors. Overall fine condition.
George Grosz: Ecce Homo
New York: Jack Brussel, 1965. Folio, 110 leaves; full marbled paper binding over boards, gold lettering on spine and cover. Pictorial dust jacket with light soiling and price clipped front flap, in a protective Mylar sleeve. Text block is bright and clean; cover very good overall, with light bump to corner and moderate shelf wear. This is the first American edition of the 1923 classic, reproducing all 84 drawings and 16 watercolors. The color plates are printed on a heavier and smoother stock, and in several cases are not the full height of the text block, an apparent bindery error. Overall, an attractive copy.
Another copy, this in a sound slip case with considerable soiling and shelf wear. Spine of the book is darkened but otherwise the text and cover are very good.
Another copy. Ex-library, with labels removed front paste down, adhesive residue remaining from spine label. and residue of spine lable. Otherwise, this copy is very sound and clean with only minimal shelf wear. Lacks jacket.
R. Crumb: The Book of Genesis
Hendrik Glintenkamp: A Wanderer in Woodcuts
New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1932. Octavo. Half tan cloth with black cloth-covered boards and pictorial end-papers depicting the route of the author's travels through Europe. Unnumbered pages with 126 woodcuts printed on the obverse of each leaf and facing a brief paragraph of descriptive text on the reverse of the preceding leaf. The binding is fair: the spine is heavily darkened and frayed both top and bottom; the boards are scuffed and show shelf wear, with small losses in three of four corners. The black stained top edge is soiled and has two water spots that do not affect the pages; there is a small water stain on the front endpaper that affects the pages only slightly and well away from the suite of very powerful and masterful woodcuts by Hendrik Glintenkamp. This aside, the overall condition of the leaves is very good.
George Grosz: Uber alles die Liebe
Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1930. Quarto, 8¼" x 10-3/4"; red cloth with black script. A portfolio of sixty drawings and lithographs printed on the obverse, with titles on opposing pages. Perimeter of leaves slightly toned, the spine is sunned, and the rear board is slightly bowed. Text block and hinges sound and square. Lacks dust jacket. Very good.
John Held, Jr: The Saga of Frankie and Johnny
New York: Walter V. McKee, Incorporated, 1930. Edition of 2,050 copies, quarter red cloth and red felt-covered boards. A wonderful book consisting of woodcuts by John Held, Jr. interspersed with the lyrics of the traditional ballad"Frankie & Johnny", as recollected by the artist from his days as an impressionable lad in the unreconstructed mining towns of the old West. The pages show the early stages of brittleness but are uniformly clean and bright; there are a few closed tears which have been stabilized using Filmoplast archival mending tape. The cover is clean and bright, with only a slight bit of wear at the bottom of the spine. The hinges and end papers are darkened by adhesive toning, but the binding is tight and square. John Held, Jr. was the foremost illustrator of the Jazz Age, contributing his work to the old Life magazine when it was a monthly along the lines of the British Puck, and to many other journals. Very Good overall
John Held, Jr: The saga of Frankie and Johnny
New York: Walter V. McKee, Incorporated, 1930. Edition of 2,050 copies, quarter red cloth and red felt-covered boards. A wonderful book consisting of woodcuts by John Held, Jr. interspersed with the lyrics of the traditional ballad "Frankie & Johnny", as recollected by the artist from his days as an impressionable lad in the unreconstructed mining towns of the old West. The pages are uniformly clean and bright. The cover is clean and bright, with only a slight bit of wear at the bottom of the spine. The hinges are moderately toned, binding tight and square. In a hard-living slipcase, missing the lower edge. John Held, Jr. was the foremost illustrator of the Jazz Age, contributing his work to the old Life magazine when it was a monthly along the lines of the British Puck, and to many other journals. Near fine in a Fair slipcase.
John Held Jr: The Saga of Frankie and Johnny
New York: Walter V. McKee, Incorporated, 1930. Edition of 2,050 copies, quarter red cloth and red felt-covered boards. The pages are uniformly darkened; the cover is in much the same condition as the less than genteel ladies of the young Mormon Kid's acquaintance in those palmy days, but like them this book is a charmer. The spine is darkened and frayed, the covers a bit dingy, but overall a good copy.
John Held Jr: The Saga of Frankie and Johnny
New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1972. A reprint of the 1930 McKee classic. Octavo, quarter brown cloth with light red cloth-covered boards. Tan pictorial dust jacket printed in two colors, housed in a Mylar cover. Slight shelfwear to bottom edges of book, else Fine in a Fine dust jacket.
Laurence Hyde: Southern Cross
Los Angeles: The Ward Ritchie Press, 1951. Square duodecimo, 6-3/8" x 7-3/16". A wordless novel depicting the disruption and displacement of Pacific island culture by the explosion of the Hydrogen bomb at Bikini atoll, illustrated with wood engravings by Canadian artist Laurence Hyde. Fine.
Matt Kish: Moby Dick in Pictures
Portland, Oregon and New York, NY: Tin House Books, 2011. Quarto, paperbound, 552 pages. Using the Signet Classics paperback edition, Matt Kish created an illustration for each page of the book, relevant in some way to the content of the page. A most imaginative and entertaining parallel interpretation of Melville. Fine.
Joseph Moncure March: The Wild Party
New York: Pantheon Books, 1994. Octavo, quarter gray cloth with green paper-covered boards, pictorial unclipped dust jacket. 110 pages, text and dust jacket illustrated by Art Spiegelman. First edition, first printing. Fine.
Frans Masereel: The Sun
Boston: Shambhala Redstone Editions, 2000. 12mo 4½" x 6¼", black cloth with silver lettering cover and spine, black endpapers, and 134 pages. 63 woodcuts printed obverse on each leaf. Fine, in a scuffed illustrated box, which also contains three postcards and one poster with illustrations by Masereel. Very good box; Fine everything else.
Audrey Niffenegger: The Three Incestuous Sisters
New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005. First edition, first printing. Hardbound, quarter dark red leatherite with pictorial boards, unnumbered pages with text and beautiful illustrations by Audrey Niffenegger. Text is clean and as new, the binding is tight and square. Signed by the author/artist on the title page. The boards have losses and scrapes. Marker line on bottom edge of text block - likely a remaindered copy. A beautiful book with an Edward Goreyesque feel.
Otto Nückel: Destiny
New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1930. Square octavo, tan boards with title in black on spine and on front cover together with image from text. First American edition, pages clean, binding tight, minor shelfwear to bottom edges of cover and text block, otherwise VG+. This may be a review copy distributed in advance of publication, since the color of the binding is at variance with the red cloth used in the trade edition and is far too uniform to have simply faded. Lacks dust jacket.
James Reid: The Life of Christ in Woodcuts
New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1930. Unpaginated octavo, containing seventy-eight illustrations and section titles engraved by James Reid. Quarter black cloth with decorative parchment boards. First edition, first printing. Spine slightly faded and rubbed, with two small tears at the right edge about 3" from the bottom. The bottom of the spine has a spot of abrasion. The boards are moderately soiled; almost all of the silver lettering and cover stripes are surprisingly present. Small hole in the front free end paper and half-title. The pages are mildly age-toned and except for a small stain at the edge of one of the leaves are generally clean and free of wear. The top edge of the text block is darkened but otherwise sound and slightly cocked; slip case lacking.
The Life of Christ in Woodcuts was Farrar & Rinehart's entry in the genre of the wordless book arising from the publication of Lynd Ward's iconic Gods' Man by Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith in 1929. The Life of Christ in Woodcuts was well received and favorably reviewed; it had a second printing was issued in an English edition. Good+ overall.
Spine is sound but badly faded; silver lettering and decorative stripes almost completely missing. Boards are very clean and mildly toned.the rear hinge is starting at the bottom. The interior of the book is about fine, the top edge only slightly darkened, and the slip case is absent.
James Reid: The Song of Songs
New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1931. Quarto, First edition, first and only printing. Unpaginated text, divided into eight chapters containing thirty excerpts from The Song of Solomon, each paired on facing pages with a wood engraving by James Reid. Printed in black on light green text. "This edition has been set by Bertha M. Goudy in the "Newstyle" type designed by Frederic W. Goudy and printed in the United States of America at the Walpole Printing Office, New Rochelle." Green cloth binding, badly faded along top edge, with black lettered spine and black lettering and decorative vignette on front panel. The green dust-jacket has losses at its edges, the spine is missing, and it has been stabilized with a backing of acid-free paper and a clear Mylar protective cover. The text block is tight, square, and in fine condition.
James Reid: The Song of Songs
New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1931; later binding in half green Morocco with marbled boards and dark green endpapers by Gray Parrot, Hancock, Maine, with his label on the rear paste-down. Unpaginated text, divided into eight chapters containing thirty excerpts from The Song of Solomon, each paired on facing pages with a wood engraving by James Reid. Printed in black on light green text. "This edition has been set by Bertha M. Goudy in the "Newstyle" type designed by Frederic W. Goudy and printed in the United States of America at the Walpole Printing Office, New Rochelle."
The Song of Songs is arguably one of the most beautifully designed trade books of its era in its trade binding, and even more so in its re-bound form here. Fine.
Lynd Ward: Gods' Man
New York: The Aldus Printers and J. F. Tapley Company for Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith, 1929. Hardcover, octavo, 6-1/2" x 9-3/4". "Special edition, 409 copies (of which 376 are for sale)", printed directly from Lynd Ward's original wood engravings. This is number 49. Black cloth with black end papers in exceptionally good condition, with paper labels on spine and front board. One small spot on the spine visible in the accompanying photograph and two light scratches on the front cover. T.e.g.; a few pages have been carelessly opened, resulting in minor tearing to their edges. The binding is tight and square; the pages are crisp and clean; bookplate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. on the front paste-down. Signed by Ward on the copyright page. Lacks slip case.
Lynd Ward: Gods' Man
New York: Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith, 1929. Octavo, 6-1/8" x 8-5/16". First trade edition, printed and bound by The Plimpton Press, Norwood, Massachusetts. Quarter black cloth with decorated boards and paper label on back strip. Covers are generally clean with shelf wear to bottom edges of the boards. The spine is sound and the label is darkened and discolored. Binding is square and tight, slightly cocked; pages are crisp and clean with black publisher's stain to top edges. Overall very good condition.
Lynd Ward: Gods' Man
Cleveland, World Publishing Company; first printing thus, 1966. Octavo, 6" x 8-9/16". Black cloth with gilt lettering on back strip and blind stamp on front cover. Decorative price clipped dust jacket in overall very good condition with some scuffing at edges, very minor losses and repaired tears at upper left and lower right corners of the front panel.
Lynd Ward: Madman's Drum
Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, New York, 1930. Octavo, 6-1/16" x 8-5/16". Quarter black cloth with decorative boards and paper label on back strip, publisher's black top edge and black end papers. Very good condition with minor shelf wear. Binding is tight and square; pages are crisp and clean; lacks dust jacket.
Lynd Ward: Madman's Drum
Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, New York, 1930. Octavo, 6-1/16" x 8-5/16". Quarter black cloth with decorative boards and paper label on back strip, publisher's black top edge and black end papers. Very good condition with minor shelf wear and darkened label. Binding is tight and slightly cocked; pages are crisp and clean; lacks dust jacket. Bookplate of Frances Rockwell Kent with subsequent bookplate of Shirley and Rockwell Kent, who were married in 1940 after his divorce from Frances.
Lynd Ward: Wild Pilgrimage
New York: Harrison Smith & Robert Haas, 1932
First edition. Hardcover. Octavo, 7-1/8” x 9-3/4”; rust colored cloth with paper labels on the front board and the back strip. Very good condition; endpapers toned and hinges darkened but intact. Binding is square and tight. Dust jacket is toned and moderately soiled, with a number of very small chips along the upper and lower edges.
First edition. Hardcover. Octavo, 7 1/8” x 9 3/4”; rust colored cloth with paper labels on the front board and the back strip. Overall very good condition, except for staining on front cover not affecting the label. Bookplate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. The pages are clean and bright; end papers slightly darkened. Lacks dust jacket.
First edition. Hardcover. Octavo, 7 1/8” x 9 3/4”; rust colored cloth with paper labels on the front board and the back strip. Spine faded and frayed at top, covers discolored and scuffed. Owner's name in ink on front paste-down. Both endpapers are also mottled and have a few small darker spots; The binding is in overall sound condition The unnumbered pages are slightly darkened and show occasional staining and spotting, but the images themselves are clean. Lacks dust jacket.
Lynd Ward: Prelude to a Million Years
New York: Equinox Cooperative Press, 1933. Octavo, 5-1/2" x 8-3/4" Hand-sewn binding with blind stamped foil spine and decorative black boards imaged on both sides. Faint offset of cover board image to the text block. Signed by Ward and numbered 757 of a total edition of 920 copies printed directly from the thirty original engravings on Vidalon velin by Canson et Montgolfier. Binding is in very good overall condition; the initial text leaves show slight foxing. The text is clean, with minor creasing to a few pages. Near fine.
Lynd Ward: Song Without Words
New York: L. F. White Company and H. Wolff for Random House, 1936. Octavo, 6-7/16" x 10". Quarter parchment back strip with red lettering and copper foil boards. Binding tight and square; boards are scuffed and spine is moderately toned. Bookseller's label on rear paste-down. Hinges darkened but intact; text block is clean and bright, with twenty-one narrative wood engravings and the Random House logo printed directly from the artist's original blocks. Parchment covered slipcase with copper foil band, lightly worn with soiled back strip.
Lynd Ward: Vertigo
New York: Random House, 1937. Quarto, black cloth with pale gold decorative binding and publisher's black coloring to top edge. The book is in very good+ condition, showing modest shelf wear. There is adhesive toning to both paste-downs (more pronounced in the rear), mildly offset to the free end papers. Presentation inscription in ink on free sheet preceding the half-title. The binding is square and tight; text block is uniformly clean. The scarce dust jacket is in fair condition, with small losses at the upper outside corners, ¼" x 2" loss parallel to the top of the spine, and a ½" triangular loss on the spine affecting the letter "G" in the title. There is a 1" closed tear at the top center of the front panel and a long irregular closed tear on the rear panel. The dust jacket has fulfilled its intended purpose nobly, and has survived battered but unbowed.