folded leaves, printed letterpress. Large 4to (320 x 340 mm.), orig. bright orange dust-jacket pasted to semi-stiff covers, plastic spiral-bound. Stuttgart: Edition Hansjörg Mayer, 1967.
First edition of this scarce letterpress transcription of Harig’s original stereophonic soccer radio play. A devoted soccer fan, Harig (1927-2018) composed this play to capture the ups and downs of a frenetic soccer match. He was a close associate of Max Bense and other members of the Stuttgart school who experimented with Concrete poetry. Partnering with the publisher and typographical artist Hansjörg Mayer, the author transformed his groundbreaking radio play into a beautifully presented visual poem...
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 folded leaves, printed letterpress. Large 4to (320 x 340 mm.), orig. bright orange dust-jacket pasted to semi-stiff covers, plastic spiral-bound. Stuttgart: Edition Hansjörg Mayer, 1967.
Numerous black & white illus. throughout.  pp. Large 4to (261 x 262 mm.), orig. printed wrappers & orig. glossy pictorial dust-jacket, price unclipped. New York City: Multiples, Inc., 1980.
First edition of LeWitt’s celebrated book, in which he meticulously records with photographs the possessions in his studio and home; this is a superb copy with a signed and dated original drawing inscribed by LeWitt “for Richard Wr—? / Sol LeWitt / Las Cruces / Nov. 20, 1981” on the recto of the front free endpaper. Nearly every page in this work comprises, in a 3 x 3 grid, nine photographs taken by LeWitt of his...
Many illus. Unpaginated. Four vols. Large 4to (280 x 215 mm.), orig. gray printed wrappers, titles on spines, housed in publisher’s cardboard box with orig. printed labels on outside & inside. Köln: Buchhandlung Walther König, 1992.
The scarce facsimile of On Kawara’s I Went, I Met, I Read, and Journal series for the year 1969, published by Walther König on the occasion of Kawara’s receiving the Kunstpreis Aachen. Kawara (29,771 days, i.e., 1932-2014) centered his artistic practice on the documentation of daily life: where he went, the people he met, and what he read. These notes were then compiled into three...
Text illus.  pp. (incl. inside wrappers). Small 8vo, pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. [Toronto]: 1983-84.
Scarce trade catalogue distributed by Art Metropole. Begins with their essential self-published reference works Museums by Artists, Performance by Artists, Books by Artists, and Vide by Artists. It also offers a nice selection of artists’ books.
In near fine condition; edge of lower wrapper sunned.
Many illus. 131,  p. Small 4to, orig. semi-stiff pictorial covers, title on spine, perfect-bound. London: British Council, 1975.
The uncommon catalogue for this important exhibition hosted by the British Council, with the essays printed in parallel English and German text. Somewhat overshadowed by the exhibition Artists’ Books of a year later, this show consisted of an impressive presented 120 bookworks and reference books. As is explained on pp. 18-23 (and shown by several illustrations of the exhibition space), each book was displayed on a book shelf and could be handled by visitors. “Art works” were denoted with red stickers and “reference works”...
Many black & white illus. 32 pp. Small folio, orig. silk-screened wrappers by Al Hansen, staple-bound. Berlin & Köln: .
A very scarce exhibition catalogue presenting the editions produced by Armin Hundertmark’s publishing firm. It was founded in 1970 and collaborated with artists such as Beuys, Filliou, Knowles, Takako Saito, Hansen, Higgins, Emmett Williams, Wewerka, Knizak, Corner, Chopin, Vautier, Maciunas, Rainer, etc. on postcards, Fluxus materials, books of concrete poetry, and multiples. This catalogue contains valuable (and elusive) details on Hundertmark’s numerous publications. The exhibition took place from 22 September 1984 to 22 December 1986.
In near fine condition; minor wear to the edges. Signed and dated by Al Hansen on the lower wrapper.
Many illus. 64 pp. 8vo, orig. pictorial wrappers, perfect-bound. London: Goethe Institut London, 1981.
An uncommon English translation of this profusely illustrated exhibition catalogue. It begins with Hundertmark’s recounting of his first ten years as a publisher of editions. The exhibition was staged at London’s Goethe Institut.
In near fine condition.
Many illus. 61,  p. Large 4to, orig. printed semi-stiff covers. Leeds: Wild Pansy Press, 2007.
Scarce catalogue for the wide-ranging exhibition at the University Gallery, Leeds juxtaposing books from across the centuries. Books and publications by Ruscha, Sugimoto, Helen Douglas, Richard Long, Dieter Roth, Boltanski, Lippard, Joan Lyons, Jonathan Monk, etc., were shown alongside Kitao Masayoshi, Hokusai, Sukenobu, Duchamp, and several other antiquarian materials. This volume includes essays by the curators, Ellis Tinios, Gaye Smith, Yann Sérandour, Sharon Kivland, and Chris Sheppard.
In near fine condition; faint wear to the edges.
30; 32; 38; 40 folding leaves. Four vols. Large 8vo, orig. dark green patterned wrappers (some worming touching but not obscuring text), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Kyoto: Fushimiya Toemon, colophon dated “1683.”
First edition to be published in Japan of this important encyclopedic work, printed in Chinese with Japanese reading marks. One of the first encyclopedias compiled in China, it was written by Hua Zhang (232-300), statesman, book collector, scholar, writer, and protoscientist, who also wrote, with Xu Xun, the famous catalogue of the imperial library known as Zhongjing bu [Catalogue of the Palace Texts].
Bo wu zhi was first printed in China in 1505. “The Bowu zhi is a collection of 322 items divided into 37 subject headings. Most of the material consists of short anecdotes that are more descriptive than narrative. The first juan of the Song edition gives an account of the geography of the realm, including mountains, oceans, rivers, lakes, and unusual phenomena, ending with a rhymed zan (appraisal). The Bowu zhi is attested as early as the sixth century.”–Knechtges & Chang, Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature, I, pp. 50-51 & see III, pp. 2156-63 for a biographical account of Zhang.
Many illus. Numerous printed sheets laid-in, some folding. 4to, coated paper portfolio, orig. pictorial covers. San Francisco: 10 November 2000.
Steven Leiber’s rare 39th catalogue, complete with all of its components present. Leiber (1957-2012), a dealer, collector, and esteemed scholar of art ephemera and artists’ publications, modeled this after two well-known pieces: Dieter Roth’s Copley Book (1965) and the exhibition invitation for Marcel Broodthaers’s performance at Galerie Smith, Brussels, entitled Sophisticated Happening: Peinture Sculpture Musique Nature Critique Poésie Instinct Clarté Dada Pop Trap op (1964). The contents of this copy have been checked against those exhaustively pictured in Steven Leiber Catalogs...
Several small woodcuts in the text. 52 folding leaves. Three parts in one vol. Large 8vo, orig. wrappers stained dark brown with fermented persimmon juice (well repaired). [Japan]: from the final leaf: “mid-Autumn 1622.”
Second edition to be published in Japan (1st ed.: a movable type edition printed ca. 1600-15), printed in Chinese with Japanese reading marks. Shi was a Southern Song dynasty doctor who wrote this work on the pulse and diagnostic methods. It was first published in China in 1241. WorldCat lists only one copy outside of Japan, at the BSB in Munich.
Shi describes the classic methods of diagnosis: the general observation of the patient and his skin color; the shape, color, and markings of the tongue; unusual odors of the body, mouth, and urine; listening to the patient’s speech, respiration, and other sounds for illness; and inquiring about the patient’s medical history.
Large illustrated poster (424 x 300 mm., unfolded), offset-printed in violet, printed on recto only, median horizontal fold. Lund, Sweden: .
An iconic poster promoting Ulises Carrion’s two lectures at Jean Sellem’s Galerie S:t Petri Archive of Experimental and Marginal Art in Lund. It depicts a King Kong-like gorilla facing a city, while a bird with a letter secured in its beak flies above.
The first of these lectures, “Mail Art and the Big Monster,”one of the artist’s most celebrated essays, was delivered on 14 February 1979. This paper was originally prepared for the April 1978 Artists’ Meeting at the...
Seven full-page illus. 31 folding leaves. Large 8vo, orig. blue wrappers (rubbed), orig. block-printed title label on upper cover (label partly rubbed away), new stitching. Kyoto: Hishiya & Katsumura, 1796.
First edition of this very rare book on the pulse; it is a revision of the book — known as “the pulse classic” — written by Wang Shuhe in the third century. Composed of ten volumes and 98 chapters, it is the first work entirely devoted to pulse study in ancient China. It categorized all the pulse conditions into 24 types and described each in detail.
“The pulse lore of Chinese medicine is famous. Among the many treatises on this subject, which found its application in so much of Oriental medicine, was the well-known work entitled Muo-ching, on the theory of the pulse, by Wang Shu-Ho who lived in the Tsin era (265-317 A.D.) compiled from earlier writings, principally those in the Nei Ching, the Nan Ching, the Shang-han-lun and the Chia-i-ching. Wang pretty well summed things up when he said, ‘The different kinds of pulse are easy to understand for the intellect but not so for the finger’…The Muo ching was revised several times by later authors, and was even translated into German by Franz Hubotter.”–Mestler, A Galaxy of Old Japanese Medical Books, Part II, p. 469, note 3.
113 folding leaves. 12mo, orig. wrappers, manuscript title label on upper cover, new stitching. From the colophon: Osaka: Kashiwaraya Seiemon & Surugaya Kyubei, 1715.
Second edition (1st ed.: 1696) of this rare medical vocabulary; these kinds of useful manuals were consulted to death and rarely survive. As is customary with Japanese dictionaries, terms are arranged by the number of strokes of the first kanji character. Explanations are written in katakana. A number of icons — early-day emojis — are also used throughout.
The small format of the book — shuchinbon [“easy to carry in the sleeve book”] — was designed for easy transport and ready availability.
13 folding leaves. 8vo (240 x 173 mm.), orig. wrappers (wrappers repaired, some minor dampstaining), new stitching. [Japan]: on final leaf of text: “mid-January 1806.”
A most interesting manuscript providing recipes for seven types of herbal sake-based liquors, including jurokumi homeishu, a drink still manufactured today that contains 13 herbs. Homeishu was served to both Perry and Harris at official occasions.
Other medicinal drinks include a liquor using chrysanthemum flowers, mirin (a rice wine similar to sake but sweeter and with a lower alcohol content), another distilled drink using cherry blossoms, a liquor with both mirin and shochu, and a liquor employing fennel. At the...
Large silk-screened poster (270 x 412 mm.), printed on recto only, median horizontal fold. Amsterdam: 1978.
A rare poster, in fine condition, produced for Ulises Carrion’s performance at Ecart gallery in Geneva. Artists John Armleder, Patrick Lucchini, and Claude Rychner, all Geneva-based, founded Ecart in 1969. By 1972, the group managed a space on 6 rue Plantamour as a bookshop and gallery, where they hosted numerous artists for exhibitions and performances. For this event on 10 May 1978, Carrión performed a five-part program: 1. “Hamlet for 2 voices”; 2. “3 Spanish Lessons”; 3. “45 Revoluciones por minuto”; 4. “Videotape A Book”; and 5...
32 fine full-page woodcuts. 42 folding leaves. Large 8vo, orig. blue wrappers (wrappers rather rubbed, minor soiling), modern manuscript label on upper cover, new stitching. [Japan]: from the Japanese colophon on the penultimate leaf: “Nakano Zesui had the woodblocks carved & published this book mid-July 1655.”
First edition to be published in Japan, printed in Chinese with Japanese reading marks. Yongming Yanshou (J.: Eimei (or Yomei) Enju, 904-75), was a Chan master who had a profound impact on the development of Buddhism in East Asia. Yanshou was a widely influential proponent of a scripture-based Chan, in opposition to the rhetorical and iconoclastic Chan of...
[China: ca. 1862-74].
A rare and notable survival: a collection of ca. 1470 pieces of wooden movable type of the late Qing dynasty. These three cases of wooden movable type of Chinese characters come from the collection of retired Prof. Shiro Nakabayashi of the Daito Bunka University in Tokyo, where he taught Chinese literature for many years. On his website (see below), he describes and illustrates the largest font case, which contains the larger type (each 16 x 16 x 20 mm.), as having been cut ca. 1862-74. The smaller type measures 7 x 7 x 17 mm. and appears to be of the same period.
By the middle of the 19th century, Western printing technologies had completely replaced any need for wooden type in China. Its use was limited to print runs of 100 copies or fewer, mostly of privately published or forbidden books.
Many black & white illus. Ca.  pp. 8vo, orig. printed wrappers, perfect-bound, title on spine. Frankfurt: 1981.
A rare exhibition catalogue of artists’ books. It contains a country by country survey of artists’ books and their creators. This is an extremely useful resource for the early popularization of the genre. With contributions from Guy Schraenen, Tim Guest, Simon Cutts, Maurizio Nannucci, Leif Eriksson, John Armleder, Jiri Valoch, Jennifer Phipps, Printed Matter, and Marijan Susovski.
In fine condition; WorldCat records no copy in North America.
Many illus. throughout. 159 pp. 4to, orig. printed semi-stiff wrappers, perfect-bound. London: Book Works, 1996.
A wonderfully illustrated account of Book Works, the publisher of artists’ books founded by Rolo and Rob Hadrill in 1984. It features two essays, by Pavel Büchler and Ann Gallagher.
In fine condition. Printed in an edition of 2000 copies.
42 photographic plates pasted-on & poster laid-in. Unpaginated. Large 8vo, orig. boards & orig. printed dust-jacket, perfect-bound. London: The British Council, 2001.
Scarce catalogue for the British Council’s exhibition of artists’ multiples. It begins with an insightful survey of the medium by Bury, then Head of the Modern English division at the British Library. Many of the items exhibited are illustrated, and there is a check-list at the end of the catalogue. The contents of the exhibition were selected by Diana Eccles, Brett Rogers, and Sarah Staton.
A handsomely designed and important catalogue, in fine condition (slightly warped due to the plates).
Numerous woodcut illus. (some folding), in Vol. III. Text vols.: 73; 45 folding leaves. Three vols. 8vo, orig. brown wrappers (several wrappers somewhat defective), new stitching. [Hang Xian: 1933].
First edition of “the first book on traditional Chinese architecture by a Chinese author.”–Shuishan Yu, “Chang’an Avenue and the Axes of Beijing” in Chang’an Avenue and the Modernization of Chinese Architecture (University of Washington Press), p. 261.
This is a pioneering work in Chinese architectural historiography. Yue (1867-1944), was a revolutionary turned literati scholar and served on the faculty of Beijing University’s Department of Architecture. The third volume contains a number of...
42; 26; 31; 38 folding leaves. Four vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, new stitching. [China]: on title-page & at end of Preface: “1717.”
First edition of this well-regarded standard history, finished in 1717, which “narrates the history of Prince Fu (reigned 1644-1645) in Nanjing, as the successor of the Chongzhen Emperor (reigned 1628-1644), and the short reigns of Prince Tang (reigned 1645-1646) and Prince Gui (reigned 1646-1661) that tried to resist the conquest of China by the Manchus. It ends in 1683 with the submission of Zheng Keshuang (1670-1707), the last supporter of the Ming (1368-1644), to the Manchus. The Sanfan jishi benmo is a very concise...
40 folding lithographed plates. Prefaces by emperors Yongzheng & Qianlong printed in red. 75; 49 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers. Tianjin: [on verso of title-page]: Shi yin shu wu, 1887.
An excellent lithographic facsimile of this famous book, containing poems by Emperor Qianlong, complementing the 40 illustrations of the most beautiful views of the now destroyed gardens of the Yuan Ming Yuan, known in English as the “Garden of Perfect Brightness” or the “Perfect and Brilliant Garden.” This imperial estate, also known as the Old Summer Palace, was the favorite dwelling of Emperor Qianlong. In the...