Two illus. Green coated paper with three folds. [Paris: A L’Etoile Scellée, 1954].
A very rare exhibition announcement from A L’Etoile Scellée, the art gallery directed by André Breton. Located on rue du Pré aux Clercs in the 7th arrondissement, the gallery served as an influential center of Surrealism from 1952 to 1956. Thanks to financing by the gallerist Sophie Babet, Breton was able to launch a bold program, inviting young abstract and Surrealist artists.
This invitation, with a checklist of the 24 works exhibited, advertises Falzoni’s (1925-98) solo show. It also features a text by Robert Benayoun, “L’Oasis,”...
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Two illus. Green coated paper with three folds. [Paris: A L’Etoile Scellée, 1954].
Black & white illus. throughout Vol. II. 78;  (incl. inside of lower wrapper) pp. Two vols. 8vo (216 x 140 mm.), orig. printed wrappers (spines sunned), staple-bound, housed in a slipcase. [San Francisco]: 1996.
An important catalogue (no. 21) issued by Leiber in association with Louisa Riley-Smith’s 20th Century Art Archives. The majority of items offered came from the collection of Leif Eriksson, the great Swedish collector and champion of artists’ books, who in 1978 created the Swedish Archive of Artists’ Books. The present set imitates Christian Boltanski’s artist’s book Inventaire des objets appartenant à un habitant d’Oxford… (1973).
The two volumes, the first with descriptions and the second with photocopied illustrations of the listings, present works by artists such as Kathy Acker, Armleder, Boltanski, Carrión, Helen Douglas, Felipe Ehrenberg, Filliou, Gibbs, Higgins, Hompson, Jacks, Knowles, Kostelanetz, Kruger, Messager, Nannucci, Ono, Rot, Joyce Cutler Shaw, Keith A. Smith, Buzz Spector, Spoerri, Stokes, Tuttle, Vautier, Warhol, Emmett Williams, Zweig, etc. There is a photocopied image of each book’s cover in the second volume, mimicking Boltanski’s clinical presentation.
Many black & white illus. 10 folded newsprint sheets (489 x 330 mm. unfolded). [San Francisco]: October 2008.
Steven Leiber’s rare catalogue for the third iteration of the New York Art Book Fair, in 2008. His 49th catalogue imitates the first issue of Hans-Peter Feldmann’s periodical Image (1979). The first four leaves and the final four are illustrated with numbered images corresponding to the materials described on the middle two leaves. The catalogue presents publications and ephemera by or related to Abramovic, Acconci, Baldessari, Boltanski, Feldmann, General Idea, Huebler, Kusama, Matta-Clark, Messager, Nauman, Pettibone, Richter, Ruppersberg, Ruscha, Ulay, Wool, etc. A total of 104 items...
Many black & white illus. xii, 377 pp. 8vo, pictorial semi-stiff wrappers, perfect-bound. New York: Granary, 1995.
First softcover edition of Johanna Drucker’s invaluable contribution to the literature on artists’ books/artists’ publications/bookworks. This book is largely based on her research of artists’ books in the New York Public Library collection.
Near fine copy.
Many black & white, full-bleed illus. Unpaginated. 4to, printed stiff wrappers, plastic spiral bound. Paris: 2007.
A very rare bookseller-exhibition catalogue. It closely mimics Seth Siegelaub’s 5-31 January, 1969 exhibition catalogue. A fine range of artists’ books and photobooks are offered (without prices), including work by Acconci, Baldessari, Barry, Calle, Christo, Feldmann, Graham, LeWitt, Messager, Monk, Nauman, Pierson, Ruscha, Ulay, Sugimoto, Warhol, Wool, etc. Most of the items are illustrated. “Thanks to sjleib” is printed on the final page, indicating that Steven Leiber played some part in the compilation of this catalogue.
Near fine copy; extremities the slightest bit worn.
Many text. illus.  pp. 8vo, printed wrappers, staple-bound. Alsbach: 1978.
Scarce catalogue issued by an important publisher of artists’ books. We note works by Ulises Carrión, Fritz Schwegler, George Brecht, Alexander Schleber, Günter Uecker, Servie and Janssen. Carrión’s The Muxlows (1978) is offered for 12 DM. It is interesting to note that Carrión’s partner Aart van Barneveldt is listed as one of the distributors of the company’s publications.
The catalogue also presents the first four issues of Leaman’s Reaktion periodical, with contributions by Gibbs, Thomkins, Spoerri, Rainer, Carrión, Nannucci, Morellet, de Vries, etc. Each...
Paper cutout in the shape of two hands. [Paris: A L’Etoile Scellée, 1953].
The scarce and delightful invitation — in the shape of two hands — for a Toyen exhibition held at A L’Etoile Scellée in May 1953. Managed by André Breton, the gallery was financially supported by the gallerist Sophie Babet. Located on rue du Pré aux Clercs in the 7th arrondissement, the gallery served as an influential center of Surrealism from 1952 to 1956. Breton was responsible for a bold program, inviting unheralded abstract and Surrealist artists.
Toyen (1902-80), born Marie Cermínová, was one of the earliest Surrealists in Czechoslovakia, and from 1935 developed a close relationship with Breton. For much of their life, Toyen preferred the gender-neutral name “Toyen,” taken from the French citoyen. They had two solo exhibitions at A L’Etoile Scellée; this piece marks the first, and the second took place in May 1955. Galerie Denise René had given them their first postwar solo show in June-July 1947.
29 leaves & a number of blanks. Large 8vo (267 x 190 mm.), orig. semi-stiff wrappers. From the Preface: “Kyoto: January 1800.”
The Preface is signed by Jungo Kato, whose grandfather must have been a well-recognized Kyoto physician. Presumably, he was also named Kato. We learn here that the grandson regularly received disciples who wanted to gain the secret medical knowledge which had been passed down from his grandfather. Because of the precious nature of this knowledge, it was prohibited to reveal any of it to outsiders unless the recipient was a direct descendant of the disciple or a close family member.
There follows 108 entries of the names of disciples who came to Kato in Kyoto to receive instruction in this knowledge. The visiting dates range from 1802 to 1834. The regions or towns of the disciples are given and, for some, their medical affiliation is provided. The visiting doctors’ home towns ranged throughout the main island and Kyushu. For almost all the entries, the hand-written seal of the doctor is added.
Color illus. throughout, printed with 4-color offset lithography.  pp. Square 4to (200 x 200 mm.), orig. printed wrappers, perfect-bound. New York: Multiples, Inc. & Colombes, France: Générations, 1977.
First edition of LeWitt’s first artist’s book published with Marian Goodman’s Multiples, Inc. Up to this point the artist had produced a number of prints and portfolios through Goodman, but this was the first “multiple” made in book form. This work consists of 78 combinations of the components listed in the title.
Fine copy. Printed in an edition of 2000 copies.
Many illus. 77 pp. & ads. 4to, orig. pictorial wrappers, upper wrapper by C. Andre, staple-bound. New York: 1977.
A celebrated issue of the intrepid New York newsprint art magazine, which ran from 1973 to 1978. This issue was devoted to the subject of “artists’ books” and introduced many to the then embryonic concept. It opens with an “Idea Poll” that solicited responses to the relevance and potential of artists’ books. Responses from Acker, Baldessari, Carrion, Buren, Denes, Hoffberg, Huebler, Kaprow, Kostelanetz, LeWitt, Lippard, Nannucci, Piper, Schneemann, Steir, Tuttle, Weiner, are recorded. They project a mix of optimism and fatalism about the future...
Many black & white illus. 173,  pp. Oblong 4to (291 x 221 mm.), orig. pictorial covers (spine a bit creased). Tehran: .
An important exhibition catalogue, and rare example of a show of artists’ books that took place outside of the United States of America or Western Europe. This show was staged at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in affiliation with the Shabhanou Farah Foundation. The great collector of artists’ books and book objects Rolf Dittmar composed the catalogue’s text in German, which is then presented in parallel English and Persian text. It was translated from German into English by Thekla Zachrau, and the...
Many text illus. Unpaginated. Large 4to, pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. Antwerp: 1994.
Scarce bookseller’s catalogue: 506 books, exhibition catalogues, ephemera, etc. offered. It is divided into three sections: “The Isms of Art and Literature,” “Marcel Broodthaers,” and “Art after 1945.” The Broodthaers material listed is outstanding and ample.
In fine condition. Laid-in advertisement for books published by Marcel Marien’s Les Lèvres Nues.
Black & white illus. & folding map laid-in.  pp. 4to, orig. gray wrappers, pictorial end-papers, staple-bound. Bremen: 1993.
Uncommon exhibition catalogue on Downsbrough’s books. With an essay by Guy Schraenen, biography of the artist, and exhibition history at the end. The folding map of the exhibition is present.
Near fine; slightest wear to the extremities. From an edition of 1000 copies.
Black & white illus. 23,  p. 4to, orig. pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. Bremen: 1992.
Scarce catalogue of a show devised by Schraenen (1941-2018). It consists of illustrations of some of the exhibited artists’ books, one of them is a printed leaf reproducing Jiri Valoch’s “Fragment of a book that does not exist” (?1972), which is laid-in. The catalogue begins with a Schraenen essay, entitled “Das Buch in Frage gestellt”(“The Book Questioned”), there is a list of works at the end.
A fine copy. From an edition of 1000 copies.
Fine calligraphic lithographed presentation title to Otto, King of Greece; manuscript dedication leaf; four leaves containing 48 gilt-edged mounted silk swatches; 83 manuscript leaves describing the machine & weaving techniques, with depictions of different weaving effects, 12 gilt-edged mounted silk swatches along with representations of the punched cards for each swatch, & five full-page diagrams of the Jacquard machine & the machine to produce the cards; and a final section of 46 weaving patterns, each drawn on thin card with grids, laid-down, many on large folding sheets (as large as 570 x 870 mm.), many with silk swatches & captions...
Title printed in red & black. 7 p.l., 104 pp. Small 4to, cont. vellum over boards. Leipzig: T. Schürer, 1614.
—. Güldenes Kleinod menschlicher Gesundheit: Darinnen die Lehr von des menschen Gesundheit, als welche unter andern Gütern und Kleinodien dieser Welt das allerfürtrefflichste ist, weitleufftig erkläret… Title printed in red & black. 20 p.l. (of 21?), 879,  pp. Small 4to. Leipzig: Z. Schürer, 1626.
Ten columns per page, 20 characters per column. 71 folding leaves. Two parts in one vol. 8vo (270 x 180 mm.), orig. wrappers stained dark brown with fermented persimmon juice to prevent worming (nevertheless wrappers a little wormed), new stitching. [Japan]: ca. 1600-40.
A rare movable type edition, unrecorded by Kawase or Sorimachi and not in WorldCat. The copies at the National Diet Library and Bukkyo University Library are different movable type editions. We learn from the final paragraph on the last leaf that this edition is an exact copy of the Chinese printed edition
Zhili (960-1028), was a Chinese monk of the Tiantai tradition. “In 991, he became the abbot of Ganfusi, and four years later he began his residence at the monastery Bao’enyuan on Mt. Siming, whence his toponym…Zhili later found himself at the center of the Shanjia Shanwai or ‘Home-Mountain/Off-Mountain’ debate that racked the Song-dynasty Tiantai school.”–Buswell & Lopez, The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, p. 825.
13 columns per page, 18 characters per column. 43; 49; 55 folding leaves. Three vols. 8vo (279 x 195 mm.), orig. wrappers stained dark brown with fermented persimmon juice to prevent worming (nevertheless wrappers a little wormed, with careful repairs), cont. manuscript title labels, with “Kongen” written on each cover, new stitching. [Japan]: ca. 1630-40.
A rare movable type edition, unrecorded by Kawase or WorldCat. Sorimachi, in his wonderful Catalogue 42 (1972) of movable type books, describes a copy (item 419) and gives a date of “mid-Kan’ei” (ca. 1630-40). In his description, Sorimachi states that the full title of this work is Jippunimon Kongensho or Jufunimon Kongensho...
More than 2150 folding leaves. 45 vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. From the final two pages of the final volume (in trans. & in a different order): “Mt. Koya: printed at the Kongobuji Temple, the owner of the woodblocks is the Kangakuin Temple, & Yamamoto Heiroku is the general manager of the Eineibo, early spring 1657.”
A very rare and massive Shingon text in 45 volumes with more than 2150 folding leaves, privately printed at the Kongobuji Temple on Mt. Koya. This is an example of a Buddhist work that was not commercially marketable, putting in company with...
40 folding leaves. Large 8vo (275 x 180 mm.), orig. wrappers stained dark brown with fermented persimmon juice to prevent worming, new stitching. From the final leaf: “Nijo tamaya cho Murakami Heirakuji” [this is a town within Kyoto known as Nijo tamaya cho; the publisher was Kanbee Murakami, and his shop’s name was Heirakuji], “1632” & “1634” [the final leaf gives these two dates based on the zodiac].
Second edition to be published in Japan, printed in Chinese with Japanese reading marks. This is a very rare book, and we find no copy in WorldCat. Kawase records an extremely rare gozan ban edition printed in...
Ten columns per page, 18 characters per column. 49; 55 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo (280 x 198 mm.), orig. brown wrappers (upper cover of Vol. I somewhat soiled, wrappers of Vol. II a little wormed), new stitching. [Japan, perhaps on Mount Hiei: ca. 1600-40].
An extremely rare movable type edition; not in Kawase or Sorimachi. WorldCat locates only a copy, at Kyoto University. Our copy comes from the famous collection of Toshie Obama with his seal at the foot of the first leaf of Vol. I.
Chih yun was a disciple of Tiantai Zhiyi (538-97), one of the most influential monks in Chinese Buddhist...
Full-page woodcut of a mathematician teaching two students & many woodcut diagrams in the text, including an abacus. 12 parts in six vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers (a little frayed), new stitching. [China]: Sao ye shan fang, 1883.
A late edition (1st ed.: 1592) of this important work on mathematical computation and the abacus; it contains 592 problems in 12 chapters. Cheng (1533-1606), was a government official and an avid collector of books on mathematics. The present work, while not particularly original, is important for its compilation of problems from earlier works. It is a practical book aimed at assisting those who need to calculate.
The original edition of this book is the “oldest now extant that contains a diagram of the form of the abacus, called suan-pan, and the explanation of its use…[and is also] famous for containing some magic squares and magic circles.”–Cajori, A History of Mathematics, p. 76.