88,  pp. Small 4to, orig. blue cloth, uncut & unopened. Tokyo: Noda Shobo, 1936.
First separate edition, limited to 170 copies, originally published in 1918 in two newspapers. Akutagawa (1892-1927), is today most famous for having written the story “In the Grove” which was the basis for the classic film Rashomon by Kurosawa. The theme of the present story is concerned with artistic obsession. It was dramatized by Mishima in 1953 and made into a movie — Portrait of Hell — in 1969.
Fine copy in the original slipcase. This limited edition is printed on fine handmade paper with...
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88,  pp. Small 4to, orig. blue cloth, uncut & unopened. Tokyo: Noda Shobo, 1936.
Finely colored title & 12 colored tipped-in plates by Ryuichi Oana. 1 p.l., 160 pp., one leaf of colophon. Small folio, orig. yellow cloth with pictorial medallions inset into each cover, orig. glassine wrapper & slipcase. Tokyo: Kaizosha, 1928.
First edition, posthumously published, of this beautiful book, a collection of fairy tales, including the famous story “Kumo no ito” [“The Spider’s Thread”]. Akutagawa (1892-1927), is today most famous for having written the story “In the Grove” which was the basis for the classic film Rashomon by Kurosawa.
Fine copy of an example of luxurious Japanese bookmaking.
127; 140; 104 folding leaves. Five juan & two addenda in three vols. Small 8vo, orig. printed wrappers, orig. stitching. Shanghai: Hong bao zhai shu ju, 1920.
This is an enlarged (zengguang) edition of Shiyun hebi [Combined Jade Disks of the Rhymes of Poetry], first published in 1884. The enlarged edition has a preface dated 1890.
Both editions are representative of an important trend in late imperial Chinese publishing, in which the complexities of the Chinese written language and its literary forms were made more accessible through compendia and reference works. The “combined jade disks” of its title was a....
Author port. on inside of upper cover and 26 black & white illus. (several double-page). 95 pp. 12mo (169 x 120 mm.), geometric softcover, title on spine. Berlin: Merve Verlag, 1983.
First edition, Merve Verlag’s scarce translation of Roland Barthes’s important writings on Cy Twombly. One of a handful of Merve publications on art history, most of its books were devoted to philosophy and radical political theory.
The first essay, “Non multa sed multum,” was originally published in Vol. VI of Yvon Lambert’s Twombly works on paper catalogue raisonné which came out in 1979. “Weisheit der Kunst” [“The Wisdom of...
8 p.l., 164,  pp. 8vo, 19th-cent. red pebbled morocco (minor foxing), a.e.g. London: W. Pearson for T. Osborne, 1730.
First edition in English of Behrens’ Hercynia Curiosa (1703). “Very scarce. A personal narrative of an excursion through northern Germany. The book is interesting for its account of the geology and fossils of the region, and also the author took a special interest in the mineral wealth of the region. Therefore, this work is principally a description of the various mines, quarries, and caves he chanced to visit. Of great value for reporting the state of the mining and metallurgy...
Black & white illus. & color diagrams. 73,  pp. 8vo, pictorial softcover, title on spine. Brussels: Daled & Gevaert, 1977.
—. Reboundings: an essay by Daniel Buren, followed by 7 plates and 7 diagrams. Black & white illus. & color diagrams. 77,  pp. 8vo, pictorial softcover, title on spine. Brussels: Daled & Gevaert, 1977.
The scarce French and English editions of Buren’s polemical text, both printed in editions of 530 copies; both in excellent condition. The artist was driven to write this as a pointed critique of museums and curators five years after the controversy surrounding his contribution to...
 leaves, printed on rectos only. 12mo, lime green printed semi-stiff covers, stitched. Geneva: Boabooks, May 2016.
From the colophon: “(a, b, c) presents a linguistic exercise handwritten in green ink on fifteen pages by Ulises Carrión in 1972.”
As new. WorldCat records only two holding institutions in North America.
96 unnumbered pages. Thick 8vo (210 x 150 mm.), semi-stiff printed wrappers. Geneva: Editions Héros-Limite, 2005.
The scarce second edition of Ulises Carrión’s famous Arguments (1st ed.: 1973, published by the Beau Geste Press). In the Getty Research Institute exhibition catalogue Artists and Their Books, Books and Their Artists (2018), Zanna Gilbert writes (about the first edition): “Carrión humorously interrogates the structure and content of books and the literary devices used by authors and playwrights. The titular exchanges in Arguments are indicated only by the names of the participants, with no reference to the actual content of their disagreements. The...
159 pp. & one leaf with index & colophon. Small 8vo (180 x 115 mm.), orig. printed pictorial wrappers (spine slightly worn). Guaymas, Mexico: Joaquín Mortiz, August 1970.
First and only edition of Carrión’s second book, a collection of six short stories, printed in a numbered edition of 3000 copies. In the 1960s, Carrión (1941-89) was one of Mexico’s emerging literary talents; a number of his short stories had been published in leading journals, and his first play, El Gran Espectáculo, was performed at the Casa de la Cultura de Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, to rave reviews. Following his studies in philosophy...
105,  pp. Small 4to (200 x 146 mm.), orig. printed pictorial wrappers, title on spine. [Mexico]: Ediciones Era, 1966.
First and only edition of Carrión’s first published book, one of 1000 numbered copies and now seldom seen on the market. In 1966, Carrión (1941-89) was one of Mexico’s emerging literary talents. A number of his short stories had been published in leading journals, and his first play, El Gran Espectáculo, was performed at the Casa de la Cultura de Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, to rave reviews. Following his studies in philosophy and letters at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, he...
Unpaginated. Square 4to (247 x 204 mm.), printed covers with flaps as issued. Mexico City: Taller Ditoria, 2007.
First printed edition of Ulises Carrión’s typewritten manuscript of the same name. Carrión (1941-89) added handwritten punctuation to this work, but it was never realized during his lifetime. Entirely letterpress-printed, this book is now scarce on the market. It was co-produced by Martha Hellión, one of the founders of Beau Geste Press.
Near fine. This is a beautifully designed book printed on several special papers, from a numbered edition of 600.
❧ Juan J. Agius & Ricardo Ocampo, eds., Ulises Carrión: Books...
Several illus. , 133 pp. 8vo, blue printed softcover, perfect-bound. Brooklyn, NY: Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020.
Handsomely printed re-publication of Ulises Carrión’s 1972 classic Sonnet(s). Fully reprinted here, in the 1972 bookwork Carrión devised 44 variations on Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s sonnet “Heart’s Compass.” With insightful essays and contributions by Veronica Gerber Bicecci, Annette Gilbert, Monica de la Torre, Michalis Pichler, Heriberto Yepez, India Johnson, and Felipe Becerra.
As new. Published through In-Out Productions in an edition of 200 copies, the first edition of Sonnet(s) is now very rare.
Engraved vignette on title & one large folding engraved plate (a little frayed at inner margin). xxxx, 78 pp. 8vo, cont. half-sheep & speckled boards (two corners a little worn, a little worming to covers), spine gilt. Moscow: “bey der Typographischen Gesellschafft,” 1785.
First edition of this translation, printed in Moscow, and edited anonymously. Cebes of Thebes (ca. 430-350 B.C.E.) was a member of Socrates’ inner circle. One of the speakers in the Phaedo of Plato, he was represented as an earnest seeker after virtue and truth, keen in argument and cautious in decision. One of the dialogues that has...
Engraved frontis. port. of Cervantes by Virtue, several engraved head-pieces, & 67 engraved plates. xxiii, , [xxv]-xxxii, vi, , 90,  (first leaf a blank), 355 pp.; xii, 388 pp. Two vols. Large 4to, cont. speckled calf (joints very expertly repaired), spines gilt, brown & green morocco lettering pieces on spines. London: J. & R. Tonson & R. Dodsley, 1742.
First edition of this esteemed translation and a wonderful association copy; this set belonged to Edward Gibbon and bears his bookplate in each volume. Gibbon was known for the wide range of his reading and he refers to this work...
Two parts in one vol. Small folio, orig. wrappers (somewhat tired & a little soiled, some light staining & soiling here & there), manuscript title on upper cover, later stitching. [Hansong (Seoul): Kyujanggak (the Royal Library), Preface dated 1793 & 1796].
First edition of this handsome and large-format (323 x 217 mm.) royal publication. King Chongjo (1752-1800), was one of the most intellectual and enlightened of the Korean monarchs. Perhaps Korea’s greatest bibliophile, as royal patron he supported all aspects of the book: typographers, printers, authors, librarians, and lexicographers. A number of “royal” editions were published under his auspices. He...
Three vols. 12mo, bound in cont. German brown morocco for Duke William of Brunswick (1806-84), with his elaborate arms inlaid on all six covers, sides elaborately gilt, spines richly gilt, a.e.g. Paris: Baudry, 1825.
First edition to be printed on the Continent. Certainly no other copy of The Spy has ever been bound in such an “over the top” fashion.
Very fine set with the elaborately gilt bookplate of Duke William [Wilhelm], nephew of King George III of Britain, in each volume. The first volume lacks the half-title.
viii, 370 pp.; 2 p.l., 314 pp. Two vols. 8vo, cont. half-calf & marbled boards (minor foxing), spines stamped in blind & gilt, green leather lettering pieces on spines. Paris: Charpentier & Dumont, 1833.
First edition. Desbordes-Valmore (1786-1859), poet, novelist, actress, and singer, is one of the founders of French romantic poetry. Her friend Balzac used her as the model for the title character of La Cousine Bette. She had a difficult and complicated life which is reflected in this autobiographical novel based on her stay, in 1808, with her uncle, the painter Constant Desbordes, in the old Capuchin monastery...
2 p.l., 310 pp.; 2 p.l., 315 pp. Two vols. 8vo, cont. green sheep-backed green boards maroquiné, single gilt fillet round sides, flat spines gilt. Paris: G. Barba, 1842.
First edition in French of Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop. Rare.
Fine set, signed by Prince Dietrichstein on the free front endpapers.
[Jerusalem & London: ca. 1832].
The complete autograph working manuscript of Alroy, containing numerous authorial corrections, revisions, and deletions throughout. Disraeli (1804-81), politician, prime minister, and novelist, had spent the years 1830-32 on a tour of the Middle East, including a seminal week in Jerusalem. It was on this tour of the Holy Lands that Disraeli developed a strong sense of cultural relativism. While Disraeli was baptized into the Christian church at age 13, at the request of his father, a Voltairean sceptic, this was done mostly for practical reasons (Jews still faced significant legal discrimination in England at the...
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.
❧ A. Desjardin, The Book on Books on Artists Books (2nd ed.: 2013) 164.
Four vols. Small 8vo, cont. green sheep-backed green boards maroquiné, single gilt fillet round sides, flat spines gilt. Paris: P. Baudouin, 1835.
First edition in French of this collection of four short novels by Edgeworth (1767-1849). Élise Voïart (1786–1866), translator of many English and German works into French, was also a novelist.
Fine set, signed by Prince Dietrichstein on the free front endpapers. WorldCat locates no set in North America.
Color illus. throughout. 220 unnumbered pages. Oblong 4to (222 x 305 mm.), orig. cloth covered boards, title on spine & upper cover. Brooklyn, NY: Trying to Press, 2016.
An uncommon artist’s book based on Finch’s 2015 Marfa Contemporary exhibition of the same name; printed in an edition of 500, and signed by the artist in orange pencil on the first blank leaf.
Referring to Leopold Bloom’s journey around Dublin, Spencer Finch recounts his peregrinations in New York City on 19 September 2014 through a selection of ca. 1400 Pantone color swatches. Each swatch, with adjacent text revealing what is evoked...