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Einstein Letter Defending his Jewish Heritage to be Auctioned

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2015 Bookseller Resource Guide
Feature

Booksellers’ Best

Courtesy of Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co.

Psalms on Vellum

A letterpress facsimile of the Psalms from the British Museum’s Codex Alexandrinus—and one of only seventeen copies on vellum—was the “hands down” favorite sent in by Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co. It was printed in 1812 and bound in full English crushed dark blue morocco over heavy pasteboards, “almost certainly” by prominent English bookbinder Charles Lewis said the booksellers at PRB&M, who sold it to Princeton University earlier this year. The Greek type used was originally cut, in imitation of the Alexandrine uncials, by Joseph Jackson, a former apprentice of Caslon’s, for Dr. Woide’s 1786 edition of the Greek New Testament.

Courtesy of Bay Leaf Books.

Pittsburgh Printer’s Archive

This visually striking collection of sample books and printing plates for J. R. Weldin & Co. Printers and Stationers, one of Pittsburgh’s oldest businesses, was recently sold for $3,500 by Michigan’s Bay Leaf Books. The two albums are positively packed with about three thousand printing examples, including late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century menus, calling cards, letterhead, bookplates, and the like, while two jeweler’s trays contain more than one hundred metal printing plates depicting logos and other decorative elements. One hopes the buyer, a Midwestern university library’s special collections, sees the archive’s potential both for research, as well as for print crafts.

Extremely Fine Binding

The sumptuous red morocco binding pictured here (and recently sold for $12,500) was designed and executed by Helen Schofield of the Guild of Women Binders. The book is a first edition of More English Fairy Tales (London: J. D. Batten, 1894), which she choose to depict with a stylized butterfly motif, both in 198 inlays and in full gilt-tooled doublures. The binding was pictured in G. Eliot Anstruther’s The Bindings of Tomorrow (1902), thus dating it early in the pantheon of Guild production. The seller, Seattle’s Nudelman Rare Books, noted its “forward-thinking design, blended with technical expertise,” adding, “The importance of this stellar Guild binding cannot be minimized.” A private collector in the UK is the proud new owner.

Courtesy of Nudelman Rare Books.

Extra-Illustrated Muir

Here we have the ten-volume “Manuscript Edition” of the Writings of John Muir in its most deluxe, made-to-order form, containing ten (fragmented) manuscripts in Muir’s hand and bound in full crushed green morocco with gilt tooling. Surprisingly, it is also extra-illustrated with more than 260 added plates, mostly photographic, by Muir’s photographer, Herbert W. Gleason, some reproducing Muir’s drawings—and that’s on top of the original 114 photogravure plates made for the regular edition. Jeff Weber Rare Books in California sold the set to the Huntington Library, together with The Life and Letters of John Muir by William Frederic Badè (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin and Co., 1916-1924), for $45,000.

Book Image Courtesy of Jeff Weber Rare Books.

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