[Japan]: ca. 1898-1912.
Copper mining at Ashio in Tochigi Prefecture began about 1600 and production continued until 1973; in the late 19th century, it produced 39 percent of Japan’s copper output. At the end of that century, it was decided to build a railway connecting the mine to major rail lines to facilitate transportation of the outbound copper ore and inbound supplies (horses had carried or pulled everything before). The engineering problems were considerable: the line runs along the Watarase River through a deep valley subject to frequent flooding. The railway was finished in 1911-12.
The collection contains a series of letters containing reports on design and construction, printed documents regarding the stock company formed to finance the building of the railway (“Ashio Tetsudo Kabushikigaisha”), reports from engineers regarding preparations, further reports regarding expected capacity needs for the railroad line, six photographs of the construction, and a very fine and large (1820 x 760 mm.) manuscript diagram on four joined sheets of tissue paper showing the route through the valley and elevations. This large diagram has been heightened in color (green, blue, red, and brown).
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[Japan]: ca. 1898-1912.
Many black & white illus.  pp. (incl. inside of wrappers & index on lower wrapper. 4to (276 x 213 mm.), orig. printed wrappers. New York: 1977. $400.00 The rare second Backworks catalogue; we locate only one copy in North America, at the Museum of Modern Art. Backworks was a New York-based collaboration between Barbara Moore and Jon Hendricks, specializing in documents and artifacts of avant-garde and experimental art. Located at 488 Greenwich Street, the store was active into the early 80s. In 1981, Hendricks left the partnership to become curator of the Fluxus collection formed by Gilbert and...
Black & white illus. throughout.  pp. (incl. inside of wrappers). 4to (274 x 214 mm.), orig. printed wrappers, staple-bound. New York: 1976.
Scarce and essential early documentation of Fluxus materials and artists’ books. This is the first catalogue issued by Backworks, a New York-based collaboration between Barbara Moore and Jon Hendricks, specializing in documents and artifacts of avant-garde and experimental art. Located at 488 Greenwich Street, the store was active into the early 1980s. In 1981, Hendricks left the partnership to become curator of the Fluxus collection formed by Gilbert and Lila Silverman (now at the Museum of Modern Art, New York), much of...
310 black & white illus., on rectos only.  leaves. 8vo (210 x 141 mm.), orig. semi-stiff printed wrappers, perfect-bound. Paris: CNAC, 1974.
First edition, an excellent copy of Boltanski’s fifth inventory, documenting all the earthly possessions of a randomly selected person, this time a resident from Bois-Colombes, a suburb of Paris. This book was published for an exhibition (15 October to 2 December 1974) at the Centre national d’art contemporain. Earlier versions of this piece took place in Baden-Baden, Jerusalem, Oxford, and Copenhagen.
Boltanski explains the intention of this work in the Avant-Propos (in trans.): “The inventory of objects belonging to a woman from Bois-Colombes is...
An elaborate album of photographs of drawings of the celebrated brewery at Klein-Schwechat, founded in 1632, and today one of the leading breweries of Austria, producing a lager, a light smooth premium beer called Hopfenperle, and a super-premium called Steffl. The album was prepared for the renowned Viennese brewer August Deiglmayer (1827-83), who was at that time, managing director of the brewery and one of the great innovators of 19th century brewing. Deiglmayer spent much of his professional career at the Klein-Schwechat brewery.
The drawings were executed at the request of Georg Wieninger (1832-87), scion of the Schärding family of...
Many illus. Unpaginated. 8vo, stiff pictorial boards, cloth spine. [Mexico City]: Alias, 2013.
First edition, an uncommon book examining Carrión’s De Diefstal van het Jaar “exhibition” at the Drents Museum in 1982. This show entailed Ulises Carrion (1941-89) displaying a large diamond in a small and dark room of the museum, without any visible security or restrictions, as a social experiment. In the last decade of his life, Carrión’s practice involved similar investigations of societal norms and the dissemination of information. The previous year, the artist had delved into the spread of gossip and rumors through social networks in the performance...
Black & white illus. Single sheet of thick, coated paper (folded: 196 x 150 mm.; fully unfolded: 196 x 600 mm.), folded into four panels, (= pp.). Cologne: Galerie Haro Lauhus, 1961.
The very scarce catalogue for Christo’s first exhibition, held at the Galerie Haro Lauhus in Cologne. Christo (1935-2020) and Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009) had met only three years previous; therefore this is one of the earliest pieces of documentation for their budding collaboration under Christo’s name, which endured until Jeanne-Claude’s death.
This catalogue reproduces eight individual photographs of the wrapped works presented at this exhibition. The critic Pierre Restany contributes a short essay on...
Color illus. throughout. 60 unnumbered pages. 8vo (210 x 150 mm.), white wrappers, stitched, title blind-stamped on cover. Brooklyn: Trying to Press, 2017.
A rare artist’s book, signed by Spencer Finch on the title-page in pencil; WorldCat locates only three institutional copies in North America.
From the artist: “Sunlight in a Room is a book documenting interesting natural sunlight and optical effects occurring in my Brooklyn studio throughout the day. The cover picks up on the idea as well, it was blind stamped and catches the light, which is necessary in order to be legible.”
26 (of 30?) albumen photographs (all ca. 215 x 160 mm.), mounted on boards within frames printed in red, all images with printed titles on the boards (410 x 320 mm.). Numbered 501 to 530 but lacking (?) nos. 506, 507, 511, & 525, signed: “Photographie des H. Gruson’schen Ateliers.“ Oblong folio, orig. green leather portfolio, panelled in gilt with leather wreath, with metal crest in center of upper cover. Buckau, near Magdeburg: n.d. [but 1872-76].
From the collection of Otto von Bismarck, the German statesman and unifier of Germany. This deluxe portfolio of original photographs was presented by the Grusonwerk, a leading member of Germany’s defense industry, to Bismarck and comes...
Circular silver photographic print, 92 mm. in diameter, mounted on paper incorporating a printed title and descriptive letterpress dated August 1890 with the signatures of two of Herschel’s sons, mounted on card. Some small areas of abrasions to the paper surface. In the original frame, by Ryman & Co. of Oxford, made from the rungs of the ladder to the telescope. With a fragment of an original (?) printed descriptive notice on the back.
This is the earliest photograph of a scientific instrument and the first photograph deliberately taken to record an object prior to its disappearance (the earliest “record” photograph). It is...
Portfolio of original photographs (mainly from 210 x 300 mm. to 240 x 330 mm.) depicting artillery, field guns, howitzers, cannons, ammunition wagons, etc., produced by Friedrich Krupp. 53 mounted photographs (some partly faded) on 51 stiff boards (640 x 480 mm.), all boards signed “Photogr. Atelier des Krupp’schen Etablissements.” Large oblong folio (645 x 500 mm.), orig. red cloth folder (a little rubbed & soiled) with title printed in gilt on cover, metal protectors at corners. [Essen]: dated 1869-76.
A very rare portfolio issued by the Krupp Steel Works with 53 original albumen photographs. A sort of trade catalogue showing the different cannons, other weapons, and military equipment manufactured...
Six albumen prints from wet collodion negatives (each 430 x 430 mm.), each mounted on stiff card stock panels (each panel measuring 620 x 430 mm.), joined together with the orig. linen, with the lithographed title at foot of the two middle panels. Preserved in the orig. green cloth-backed board portfolio, ties gone. [Essen: F. Krupp, ca. 1872-73].
A magnificent and rare photographic panorama of the Krupp Steel Works in Essen, consisting of six albumen prints, each mounted on paper board panels, measuring altogether 430 x 2480 mm. The industrial steel manufacturer Friedrich Krupp AG was the largest company in Europe at the beginning...
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...
Unpaginated. Numerous text illus. Tall 8vo (207 x 101 mm.), orig. pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. [Paris: 1991].
A rare bookseller’s catalogue offering important artists’ books and publications. It includes 173 works by Alechinsky, Beuys, Buren, Dubuffet, Filliou, Gilbert & George, Haring, Jenny Holzer, Ilizad, Kaprow, Kounellis, Barbara Kruger, LeWitt, Miró, Nevelson, Paalen, Picasso, Arnulf Rainer, Roth, “Rusha,” Turrell, Warhol, etc. For each item, measurements, publication information, printing method, and edition size are provided, and for some there is a concise description of the content.
Near fine copy. Photography by Caroline Duglos from her series Sculptures Imaginaires (1991) adorns the wrappers.
Numerous text illus. 64 unnumbered pages. Tall 8vo (210 x 100 mm.), orig. semi-stiff pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. [Paris: 1991].
An uncommon catalogue featuring a close-up portrait by Robert Barry of Florence Loewy on the covers. The catalogue describes 224 items, including the works of Jean-Michel Alberola, Carl Andre, Seth Siegelaub, Enrico Baj, Baldessari, Robert Barry, Beuys, Boltanski, Broodthaers, Sophie Calle, Christo, Jean Degottex, Hans Haacke, Haring, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, LeWitt, Long, Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Prince, Dieter Roth, Edward “Rusha,” James Turrell, Tristan Tzara, Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, Christopher Wool, etc. For each item, measurements, publication information, printing method, and edition size are provided...
Five plates each with a mounted orig. salt print within gilt borders forming lancet windows. One leaf of printed text in German, French, and English. Folio, orig. publisher’s printed boards (extremities a bit worn), cloth spine. Cologne: F.C. Eisen, 1854.
First edition of this early photographically illustrated book depicting the new stained-glass windows, created by J. Fischer and Hellweger, and donated by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. In the mid-19th century there was a great effort to complete the Cathedral of Cologne, begun in 1248 and finally finished in 1880.
“From the mid-1850s the photographically illustrated books, with widely differing subject matter including paintings, engravings,…sculpture, architecture, and the decorative and minor arts, were being produced in modest but ever increasing numbers throughout Europe. This type of publication mirrored the art book illustrated with engravings or lithographs which was prevalent during this period. In some cases photographic publishers ambitiously aimed at a European market which was being developed through burgeoning tourism. One such publisher was Franz Carl Eisen of Cologne who from 1853, in collaboration with the photographer J. F. Michiels produced a series of trilingual (in German, French and English) photographically illustrated publications. Most of these were on works of art and architecture.“–A. J. Hamber, A Higher Branch of the Art. Photographing the Fine Arts in England 1839-1880, p. 155.
Oblong thick 8vo, orig. padded silk cloth binding. [Japan]: 1898.
A rare collection of 32 albumen photographs taken by Toshimo Mitsumura (1877-1955), the famous commercial photographer and printing entrepreneur; one of the greatest industrialists of the Meiji period, he is also highly esteemed today as a photographer. These photographs represent some of his earliest efforts. Mitsumura’s photographs have always been highly regarded and are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
A native of Kobe, Mitsumura purchased his first camera at the age of 14 and quickly became...
Color illus. throughout.  pp. Small 8vo (190 x 117 mm.), orig. printed dust-jacket (scuffed at spine), perfect-bound. Toronto: Art Metropole; Aachen: Ottenhausen verlag, 1987.
First and only edition; a scarce artist’s book by Maurizio Nannucci (b. 1939). The artist introduces a series of direct photographs of buildings artists once lived in, with the following: “The art community is distinguished by continuous movement, by a sort of visceral nomadism. The images collected here are travel notes taken between 1975 and 1985. Consequently although some things may have changed down through the years, the initial project remains substantially unaltered.”
We see the front doors of buildings where artists like Laurie Anderson, Giovanni Anselmo, Joseph Beuys, Alighiero Boetti, Daniel Buren, Christo, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ian Hamilton Finlay, General Idea, Hans Haacke, Keith Haring, Dick Higgins, Donald Judd, Joseph Kosuth, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Giulio Paolini, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Michael Snow, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, etc., once lived. Only a few women artists are included.
Many black & white illus. Unpaginated, with price-list. 8vo, orig. semi-stiff pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. [Paris: 2000].
A scarce bookseller’s catalogue offering photobooks and photographs by Araki, Frank, Hosoe, Kawada, Moriyama, etc. Lists 52 items, with the price-list laid-in. WorldCat records no copy in North America. In fine condition.
81 black & white portraits of the artists. 159 pp. Small 8vo (146 x 105 mm.), semi-stiff printed wrappers. [Kassel: 1977].
A very scarce book printed for documenta 6, with amusing portraits of artists (and their signatures) who presented works or performances at the exhibition in Kassel. The photographer Pfaffe has captured intimate photographs of Abramovic, Acconci, Beuys, Christo, Korot, Kounellis, Kubota, De Maria, Matta-Clark, Muntadas, Paik, Potts, B. & G. Schmidt-Heins, Serra, Vostell, etc. Facing each portrait is a reproduction of the artist’s signature, as well as their biographical information.
Many full-bleed black & white illus. throughout. 260 pp. (incl. wrappers). 12mo (160 x 117 mm.), orig. printed semi-stiff wrappers, pictorial flaps, perfect-bound. Paris: C. Daviet-Thery, September 2011.
An exhibition catalogue mostly unrelated to the exhibition for which it was published. This volume originates from Christoph Schifferli’s show Books on Books (2009) which he curated at the invitation of gallerist Christophe Daviet-Thery. He displayed 26 artists’ books that concern books and their representation. Daviet-Thery then commissioned book designer Saint-Loubert Bié to create the show’s catalogue. The designer invited artists Yann Sérandour and Jonathan Monk for a conversation about 12 artists’ books he selected. That conversation...
Black & white illus. throughout, offset-printed.  leaves. Oblong 4to (205 x 315 mm.), orig. three-color silk-screened dust-jacket (minor wear to the extremities), stiff boards, saddle-stitched & case-bound. Rochester, NY: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1977.
First edition. This is an excellent demonstration of Keith A. Smith’s virtuosity with the manipulation of photographic processes to create intricate and vivid imagery. One of Smith’s frequent motifs, a “tumbling block” quilt pattern, appears several times in this work. In the 60s and 70s, the artist experimented with adding images to quilts by photo silk-screen, etching printed directly onto cloth, and even gum bichromate. The present book was printed at...
Signed & numbered photoetching tipped-in on recto of first blank leaf, black & white illus. throughout.  leaves. Oblong 4to (205 x 315 mm.), orig. three-color silk-screened dust-jacket, stiff boards, saddle-stitched & case-bound. Rochester, NY: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1977.
First edition, one of 50 special copies with a large, tipped-in photoetching, signed and numbered by the artist, captioned in pencil: “I was born at twenty but died at twelve, 6/50 Keith, October 1977.” This striking photoetching, depicting Smith and various representations of his younger self, was executed for the present work. Smith’s photoetchings are extremely rare on the market. The artist has also signed and dated...
Complete set of 20 original albumen photographs (image sizes: 170 x 250 mm. & 230 x 190 mm.) by Charles David Winter mounted on card boards (440 x 350 mm.). Folio, orig. portfolio with large printed title pasted on upper cover (cloth spine a little worn, some rubbing to boards), orig. cloth ties. Strasbourg: Winter Fassoli, 1870.
A fine set of this extremely rare portfolio of 20 albumen photographs by the Strasbourg photographer Charles David Winter (1821-1904). These photographs reveal the devastation that took place during the siege of Strasbourg in August and September 1870 by Germany in the Franco-Prussian War. This siege was the first example of “total...