Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2020 Issue

The Modern Age from Shapero Rare Books


The Modern Age from Shapero Rare Books.

Shapero Rare Books recently issued a catalogue entitled The Modern Age. To a large extent you could substitute for “Age” another three letter “A” word - “Art.” The subtitle is Artists' Impressions of the 20th Century. It is filled with twentieth century artwork, in the form of prints, books of illustrations, a few sets of periodicals, a few photographs. Depending on your taste, you will probably either love or hate these works, most likely some of each. Realism is not the watchword, and subjects are not always beautiful. The mundane are often found, children (or ancestors) of Andy Warhol's soup cans. Some make you think, some fill you with surprise and awe, and others make you say “what the..” This is modern art, and it does what it is supposed to. Here are a few examples.


We begin with the aforementioned Mr. Warhol but in his pre-Campbell's Soup days. This one is quite early, circa 1955, but you could see what direction he was going. It is called Tattooed Woman Holding Rose. The lithograph (and consequently the woman and the rose) is printed in orange. What is interesting is the woman's tattoos. In Warhol soup fashion, they are all brand logos. She is a walking billboard for brands such as Wheaties, Kelloggs, Schweppes, Lucky Strike, Pepsodent, Greyhound, GE, Ford, Plymouth, Clairol, Dow, Dupont, Rinso, Chanel No. 5 and many others. My parents had a 1955 Plymouth and to be honest, Andy's drawing doesn't much look like a 1955 Plymouth. Item 40. Priced at £22,500 (British pounds or approximately $28,278 in U.S. currency).


Come the 1970s. Warhol started painting portraits of famous people. He was again focused on popular culture, celebrities instead of famous brands. Warhol was by now well familiar with the business side of painting and knew what would sell. Among those portraits was this print from 1972 with the most read author in the world at the time, though he was not best known as a writer. The man was Mao, Mao Zedong, also known as Chairman Mao, leader of the Chinese Communist Party. He was worshiped by the masses in China, some undoubtedly because they admired him, others because they knew their lives were at risk if they didn't. So, everyone carried a copy of his “Little Red Book” of the Quotations from Chairman Mao. By this time the horrors of Mao's Cultural Revolution had overtaken the country, and how ever much he was once much loved, the country moved on quickly and sharply from Maoism when he died four years later. The Mao image is one of Warhol's best known portraits, perhaps second only to his earlier one of Marilyn Monroe. Item 63. £67,500 (US $84,835).


Staying with the subject of popular brands and popular culture, how about a cup of Savarin coffee? Savarin was promoted by El Exigente, “the demanding one,” a fictional Latin American character who went to Colombian villages to test their coffee beans. He selected only the best, for Savarin, of course. Item 71 is a 1978 lithograph by Jasper Johns. It shows his paintbrushes, stacked in a Savarin coffee can. It is signed and numbered by Johns. Savarin was quite popular back when Johns was evidently brewing it and saving their cans for his paintbrushes, but it is no longer available and despite searching, I was not able to determine what happened to the brand. Perhaps El Exigente got lax in enforcing his standards. £20,000 (US $25,136.


Next we have an unusual combination of surrealism with commercialism, two concepts not often associated. Man Ray was the most notable of surrealist photographers, an American living in Paris in 1931. That was when a Paris electric company commissioned him to create some photographs that would promote the benefits of electricity. Electricity was still not that widely used in Paris at the time, gas being the preferred energy source. So Man Ray set about creating photographs that would show the many appliances and other uses of electricity for the average homeowner. Of course, Man Ray was not hired to create typical commercial photographs. The electric company wanted to use his creativity and originality to show that electricity was needed by the modern homeowner. Man Ray made use of his “Rayographs,” photos made without a camera, but by shining a light in a darkroom which created shadows of objects directly on photographic paper. He then added some traditional photographs, such as nude female bodies (his audience was French), and some wavy lines that make you think of electricity. His portfolio is of photogravures taken from his original photographs. The title is Electricité, and it features images of such objects as toasters, light bulbs, a fan, a chicken dinner, an iron, and a power cord with the moon as a backdrop. Item 34. £40,000 (US $50,210).


Next we have La Femme Visible from Salvador Dali. It was his first book, though a compilation of pieces previously written. It was a landmark work for him as it placed him firmly in the surrealist camp, which style he is indelibly associated. Dali started out as a realistic painter, then moving into cubism. In the late 1920s, he became associated with various surrealist artists, joining their group in 1929. This book was published in 1930. Dali is known primarily for his paintings, of which there are six plates in this book, but he also engaged in other art forms including writing. The images combine the eroticism of some of his works of the time, but the human forms are often jumbled together or their parts disembodied. It was only a year later that Dali produced his most famous painting, the Persistence of Memory (the melted watches). There is one realistic photo in the book, that of his wife, Gala, the “femme visible” to whom the book is dedicated. This copy was signed by Dali. Item 26. £5,000 (US $6,255).


Shapero Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)20 7493 0876 or rarebooks@shapero.com. Their website is www.shapero.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [CIVIL WAR] -- [SHERIDAN, Philip Henry]. Personal headquarters flag of Philip Henry Sheridan used when he led the 2nd Michigan Cavalry. Spring - Summer 1862. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY]. Half plate daguerreotype of firefighter Walter Van Erven Dorens. [San Francisco]: n.p., [ca 1854-1856]. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [LINCOLNIANA]. Abraham Lincoln banner possibly made for the 1864 presidential campaign. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [REVOLUTIONARY WAR - CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. [HOLTEN, Dr. Samuel]. An archive of letters related to Danvers, Massachusetts, physician and statesman Dr. Samuel Holten. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD]. CARBUTT, John, photographer. Exceptional collection of 27 stereoviews from the series, "Excursion to the 100th Meridian, October 1866." Chicago, [1866]. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [ALASKAN GOLD RUSH]. William Steele West and family, extensive archive of photographs, diaries, correspondence, and personal items. [Ca 19th - 20th century]. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [TAYLOR, Zachary]. Quarter plate daguerreotype featuring the 12th President of the United States. N.p.: n.p., [ca 1845]. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [WASHINGTON, George]. Signed Society of the Cincinnati document. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed ("A. Lincoln"), as President. [Washington], 29 September 1862. 1 page, 4to, old creases. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <center><b>Cowan’s<br>American Historical Ephemera<br>& Photography<br>June 25, 2021</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> JEFFERSON, Thomas. Autograph letter signed ("Th. Jefferson"), as United States President, to Robert Patterson. Washington DC, 2 July 1805. 1 page, 4to, evenly toned, small tear from seal. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY] -- [ALCOTT, Elizabeth Sewall]. Ninth plate ruby ambrotype attributed to Elizabeth Sewall Alcott. N.p., [ca 1856-1857]. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Cowan’s, June 25:</b> [WESTERN AMERICANA]. RUSSELL, Andrew Joseph, photographer. <i>Salt Lake City, From the Top of the Tabernacle.</i> [1869]
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits :<br>de Cervantès à Houellebecq<br>18 – 25 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 18 – 25 June:</b> Jouve, Paul -- François-Louis Schmied -- Rudyard Kipling. <i>Le Livre de la Jungle,</i> 1919.<br>€ 80,000 to € 120,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 18 – 25 June:</b> Cervantès Saavedra, Miguel de. <i>El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha.</i> Bruxelles, 1607.<br>€ 30,000 to € 50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 18 – 25 June:</b> Buren, Daniel - Aimé Césaire. Cahier d'un retour au pays natal. Solstice, 2004. 1/140 ex. Avec 1/20 suites d'œuvres originales.<br>€ 4,000 to € 6,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 18 – 25 June:</b> [Musique] - Gioacchino Traversa. Six sonates à violon seul. [Vers 1770].<br>€ 3,000 to € 5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> C.F. Payne, <i>Micawber, Imitating Norman Rockwell’s “Triple self-portrait,”</i> mixed media, 2002. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Brian Froud, media illustration published in <i>The Land of Froud,</i> 1977. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Haddon Sundblom, <i>All a Girl Needs,</i> oil on canvas, published in <i>The Ladies’ Home Journal,</i> 1942. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Adrianne Lobel, <i>My One and Only,</i> 26 scenic concept collages for the Broadway musical, 1983. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Charles Schulz, original four-panel pen and ink <i>Peanuts</i> comic strip, 1971. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b>Jack Davis, mixed media cartoon for <i>Playboy,</i> 1959. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jun 24:</b> Charles Addams, mixed media cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1937. $6,000 to $9,000.
  • <center><b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé<br>Sales Exhibition Catalogue 47<br>Part III<br>Antiquarian Temptations:<br>Rare Books, Atlases & Maps,<br>Photos & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> PIETER MORTIER. “Le Neptune Francois ou Atlas Nouveau des Cartes Marines. Levées et Gravées par ordre Exprés du Roy…” Paris, 1693.
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> MARC CHAGALL illus. SHAKESPEARE. “The Tempest.” Large folio. Monte-Carlo, 1975. Signed by the artist.
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> JOHN SPEED and followers. “A New and Accurate Map of the World.” Hand-colored engraving. London (1626 – 1627 – circa 1650) – 1676.
    <center><b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé<br>Sales Exhibition Catalogue 47<br>Part III<br>Antiquarian Temptations:<br>Rare Books, Atlases & Maps,<br>Photos & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> MATTHÄUS SEUTTER. “The Colossus Series.” Set of 4 prints, contemporary hand-colored engravings, each c. 57x49cm. Augsburg c. 1730
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> (CHARLES LE BRUN). “La Grande Galerie De Versailles, et Les Deux Salons qui L’Accompagnent, peints Par Charles Le Brun premier Peintre de Louis XIV…” Paris, 1752.
    <b>Galleri Bygdoy Allé:</b> G. BRAUN – F. HOGENBERG. “Danorum Marca.” Contemporary hand-colored engraving, 33x48cm. Cologne, 1588.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> LIFE OF OSLER, PRESENTATION COPY TO NEPHEW NORMAN GWYN. CUSHING, HARVEY. 1869-1939. <i>The Life of Sir William Osler.</i> Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1925. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> OSLER TO HALSTED MENTIONING CUSHING AND WELCH. Autograph Letter Signed ("Wm Osler") to William Stewart Halsted on medical matters, 2 pp, January 19, 1919. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> CUSHING PRESENTATION COPY TO LUCIEN PRICE. CUSHING, HARVEY. <i>Intracranial Tumours.</i> Springfield, 1932. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> OSLER ON HIS CHILDHOOD. Autograph Letter Signed ("Wm Osler") to Mabel [Brewster] on returning home to Staplehurst. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> SCULTETUS, JOHANNES. 1595-1645. <i>Cheiroplotheke, seu armamentarium chirurgicum XLIII.</i> Ulm: Balthasar Kühnen, 1655. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> VICQ D'AZYR, FELIX. 1748-1794. <i>Traite d'anatomie et de physiologie.</i> Paris: Didot l'aine, 1786. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 29:</b> TAGAULT, JEAN. C.1499-1546. <i>De chirugica institutione libri quinque....</i> Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé, 1549. $400 to $600.
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). Autograph Logs and Journals from his 1927 Alaska Expedition. $7,000 to $ 9,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). Cañon de Chelley, 1904. Oversized orotone, 17 x 22in in original Curtis Studio frame. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). 26 cyanotypes, featuring images of Cheyenne tribes from Volume VI of <i>North American Indian,</i> c.1907, made by Curtis in the field. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, June 30:</b> EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952). The Vanishing Race, 1904. Oversized orotone, 18 x 24in in original Curtis Studio frame. $20,000 to $30,000.

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