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Fine Bindings

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  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – Trans Edward Fitzgerald

    The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – Trans Edward Fitzgerald

    A Folio Society production from 1970. Their usual lavish production works well in this case – we are not always a fan.

    Edward Fitzgerald had a couple of goes at translating The Rubaiyat – this is his first and best we think.

    Tall octavo, unpaginated, 75 verses after introductions and a page of helpful notes at the end. Nicely, artistically, illustrated by Virgil Burnett. Decorative end paper, gilt and silvered ornate pattern over red cloth covered boards, gold paper covered custom slipcase.

    A nice and attractive Rubaiyat that would make a super gift.


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  • Tibetan Marches – Andre Migot

    Tibetan Marches – Andre Migot

    Translated from the French by Peter Fleming.

    Published by the Readers Union in conjunction with Rupert Hart-Davis , London in 1956. Published first by RHD the year before.

    Octavo, 302 pages, with illustration from original photographs and end paper maps of the route of Andre Migot in his travels between Kunming to Tangar between December 1946 to September 1947.

    A super travel account soon after the end of WWII and just before the Chinese influence altered traditional Buddhist Tibet. Migot loved the Tibetans with a passion despite being robbed during his journey by bandits.

    Frenchman Migot a super travel writer in Tibet and all through it at an important time.


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  • The Seats and Causes of Diseases Investigated by Anatomy – Giovanni Battista Morgagni – 3 Fine Volumes

    Reproduces the 1769 edition for the “Classics of Medicine” – these volumes published 1983.

    Three large volumes thick royal octavo 868, 770 and 604 pages after preliminaries and before indexes. Bound in jet black leather, marbled endpapers, gilt page edges, gilt design to covers, silk page markers. They make quite a statement. Circa 5kgs in weight so postage will vary dependent on customer location – please enquire. Nice presentation and a very good set.

    Morgagni (1682-1771) regarded as the “Father of the Anatomical Concept”.

    The origins and causes of diseases anatomically investigated, contains reports on an extensive series of postmortems performed by himself, his teacher, Valsalva, and other members of his circle. By comparing the clinical symptoms with the postmortem findings Morgagni laid the foundation of pathological anatomy. It is hard to find an area of the human body without something named after him.

    Morgagni – Medical Classic – 3 Volumes


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  • Le Morte d’Arthur – Sir Thomas Malory – Shakespeare Head Private Press Limited Edition 1933

    Le Morte d’Arthur – Sir Thomas Malory – Shakespeare Head Private Press Limited Edition 1933

    Full title … The Noble & Joyous Boke Entitled Le Morte d’Arthur Nothwythstondying it Treateth of the Byrth Lyf and Actes of the sayd Kynge Arthur; of his Noble Knightes of the Rounde Table. Theye Merveylous Enquestes and Adventures. Thachyevynge of the Sanc.Greall and the Ende the Delourous Deth: and Departynge out of this Worlde of Them al. Wyche Boke was Reduced in to Englysshe by the Well Dysposyd Knyghte Syr Thomas Malory.

    Two volumes, quarto, number xxx of 350 copies for sale (a further 20 copies were not for sale) with 22 woodcut illustrations. Original binding in terra cotta half Morocco over ivory buckram, flat spines with gilt titling, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. Other edges untrimmed.

    The revered Shakespeare Head, Saint Aldates Oxford, edition of the most famous of the Arthurian tales, reprinted from and resembling in layout and typeface the 1498 edition of Wynkyn de Worde kept in the John Rylands Library, Manchester.

    Volume I comprises 4 initial blanks; half title; title with limitation on verso; prologus i-iv; table v-xxviii; Fyrste Boke to IX Boke 1-316 with woodcut in each; 3 final blanks. VolI comprises 4 initial blanks; half title; title with note to verso; Boke X – Boke XXI 1-373 with woodcuts to each and a further one in Boke XXI; notes 3; 3 final blanks. All as should be.

    Written in the 15th century by Thomas Malory the sweeping Mort d’Arthur includes the youth of Arthur, the romance of Guinevere and Lancelot, the Quest for the Grail, the tragedy of Tristan and Iseult etc.

    This superb work directly tied to the early days of printing in England, with broad margins, quality handmade paper and the impeccably reproduced typeface … all hallmarks of the Shakespeare Head Press.

    The Shakespeare Head Press was started in 1904 at Stratford Upon Avon by Arthur Bullen after he had had a dream about finely printing all of Shakespeare’s works at his birthplace, something that had not been done before. Much of his equipment and initial typeface came second had from William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. After Bullen’s death in 1927 the business was moved to Oxford under its new owners Basil Blackwell and Bernard Newdigate who was the typographer. They continued in the Morris tradition. The building in which they operated was commandeered by the American allies in 1942.

    King Arthur and his Legends and Death – Shakespeare Head Private Press edition.


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  • Private Presses and Their Books – Will Ransom

    Private Presses and Their Books – Will Ransom

    A fine copy of the reissue of this special book first printed in 1929.

    Published by James Cummins Bookseller, New York in 1992. Octavo, 493 pages. Original orange cloth covered binding with gilt title, no dust jacket as issued.The book contains some delightful illustrations of woodcut image and “Press Marks” and examples of the unique fonts used in the printing process.

    A thorough piece of work by Ransom who was expert in the private press movement in America and England. Starts very early with Caxton etc. Includes Kelmscott, Doves, Village, Ashedene, Merrymount, Brice Rodgers, Nonesuch etc.

    A book lovers delight to read … not at all dry ..

    James Cummins was established in 1978 and is at 699 Madison Avenue. A really super bookstore which has a number of specialities including not surprisingly Private Press. You must take time to go there when in the Big Apple.

    Super reference on the Private Press movement rejuvenated.


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  • Two Letters of Norman Lindsay – Richard Pennigton Private Press – Signed Number 5 of a Limitation of 75 Copies

    Two Letters of Norman Lindsay – Richard Pennigton Private Press – Signed Number 5 of a Limitation of 75 Copies

    Extended title … Two Letters from Norman Lindsay to Francis and Betty Crossle here printed for Members of the Christopher Brennan Society.

    Privately printed signed and numbered by Richard Pennington, limited to only 75 copies this number 5.

    The letters, in the possession of Richard Pennington printed for the first time – he received the permission of Janet Glad, Norman Lindsay’s daughter.

    Octavo, 24 pages, limitations page, bound in decorative string bound wrappers. Printed in Stephenson Blake’s Perpetua type on Barcham Green hand-made “Tovil’ paper by Richard Pennington at Presse de l’Abricotier Abatuu Blanzac France in September 1980.

    Richard Pennington was born at Rugby, England but spent a large part of his adult working life in Australia. He was Librarian at the University of Queensland for eighteen years from 1946. He retired to France where he purchased a hand printing set-up and operated first in Normandy then later in Blanzac. Ten years before this work he was involved in the printing of a special memoir on the Australian poet Christopher Brennan. Lindsay did a portrait sketch of Brennan for the memoir .. so you can begin to understand the connection.

    Pennington provides a lovely six page introduction. Pennington knew the recipients, who had introduced him to Brennan’s poetry. He describes the recipients interest in the arts and their rather metaphysical view of life and the world … something they had in common with Lindsay. Good content regarding their conversations about Lindsay and how Pennington came to receive the letters from Betty.

    The letters are most interesting a particularly that to Francis which runs to over 1,200 words. Lindsay clearly respects Francis as a Doctor and close friend .. as a consequence the content is extremely personal .. allowing one to understand this genius of man better. Lindsay struggles with over-reaching in his work and finds that whenever he tries to control this “problem” he usually turns to some other form of “work’. In the evenings he listens to classical music but that does not help as it stimulates his mind into thinking of many new elements of work yet to be done. Many rather complex metaphysical views are shared which seem to stem from deeper anxieties. He references Newman’s book .. the best revelation of the critical mind that I have come across, but read it with considerable disgust also. Critic Newman’s book on criticism was published in 1925 .. so dates the letter better than Pennington’s suggestion of the year before [Pennington references the wrong book].

    The letter to Betty is less wordy … just over 500 words … but perhaps more intimate. Lindsay obviously does not like Rousseau .. one of the most evil minds that ever appeared on earth in the disguise of a Good man. Lindsay adores Beethoven, Turner and Byron. He is close to finishing his novel Madame Life’s Lovers … which he will send shortly.

    Special Very Limited Private Press Lindsay Item – with an interesting series of connections


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