Jonathan A. Hill

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Book 91

Book 91

SMITH, Keith A. Embossed title on first leaf. 24 unnumbered leaves of thick Fabriano Rosaspina Avorio paper. Oblong folio (260 x 370 mm.), orig. cloth boards, linen cords strung through holes in paper. Barrytown: Space Heater Multiples, 1982. A book that commands it be read from beginning to end, then end to beginning. This is one of Smith's masterpieces, also known as the "String Book"; from a numbered edition of 50 and signed by the artist. This work is noteworthy in terms of its structure - thick paper linked by string - and its interaction with light. Book 91 is not a printed book; one finds no ink within. Aside from the blind embossed title-page, the punched holes, which allow light through one leaf onto another, and the strings provide the only "text." It was featured in two recent exhibitions of artists' books: the first at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, entitled Keith Smith at Home (17 February-8 July 2018), the other, Artists and Their Books, Books and Their Artists, held at the Getty Research Institute (26 June-28 October 2018). Book 91 is one of the most highly sought-after American artists' books and is found in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Getty, Harvard University, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the New York Public Library. In his auto-bibliography 200 Books (p. 149), Smith explains this book's interplay with light: "This book deals with cast light and shadows. The light spots are caused by viewing the book with a single light source at a 45° angle and three feet to the left of the book. The opened book reveals punched holes with deep shadows. As each page is lifted, however, dark holes throw circular spots of light across the facing page and the close environment of the book. The focus of these spots varies according to the distance from the page to the surface upon which they are cast. Like my books containing photographic film transparencies the composition of each page is compounded and altered by the addition and the movement of the shadow forms across the page. "The sound, cast light and shadows and their focus and movement are not part of the physical book. They are physical but they only come into existence during the act of experiencing the book, that is, turning the page." In pristine condition, with the original archival box. The "String Book" is rarely available on the market. ? J. Drucker, The Century of Artists' Books (2017), pp. 106-7-"Often referred to as The String Book (Space Heater Multiples, 1982) [it] is constructed of paper and string, without text or images. The structure is such that strings of a set length, knotted and threaded through the paper pages, expand and contract in response to the turning of the pages. The strings are cut to fit the openings and yet to move and breathe with the movement initiated by the reader, sliding with just enough resistance through their paper holes to make a gentle 'shussing' sound as they do so. The perfectly engineered. The simplicity of the materials, linen thread and thick, off-white paper, make the book a field for an ongoing experience of space and light. The cast shadows of the various patterns of the string, laid out in straight and crossing grids, with single and multiple threads interacting in a changing sequence of arrangements, are contained within the field of the page, which holds their image against the suspended taut line of the string forms. The whole is physical, sculptural, and textual - an interplay of material (string/paper/knots) and immaterial (shadow/light/sound) elements - which amount to a full experience of book as structure and significance, sense and experience." M. Reed & G. Phillips, Artists and Their Books, Books and Their Artists (2018), pp. 176-7-"In contrast to those casting their artists as star performers, some books are enigmatic to the point of anonymity, offering no clues as to author or subject. A string book produced in an edition of 50, Book 91 deals with its material and structure in the purest fashion. This is a book about the activity of reading, although without text or images; it is all form, producing a beguiling awkwardness that beckons, then disorients. What could be frustrating in fact becomes calming as we leaf through the pages. The book's structure enforces slow progress through the pages; we experience the added sensory component of noisiness, the sound of cord grating as pages are turned. There is a bit of deliberate trouble as the strings stick. By placing the cords in unexpected places - not sewn into the binding but running through holes in the pages - Smith teaches us implicitly about the structure of books. It is as if we have been ensnared by the book, like a difficult but beloved friend. What makes the viewer respectful and attentive is the elegance of the book's sculptural quality - nothing more, nothing else to distract or detract from our appreciation of the physical book.".
Le Tresor

Le Tresor, les Corps saints, les Tombeaux, et les Raretez qui se voyent dans l’Eglise Royale de S. Denys en France. Avec des Remarques curieuses

BASILICA OF ST. DENIS) Woodcut royal coat-of-arms on title & three woodcut floor plans. 51, [1] pp. Small 8vo (155 x 102 mm.), 18th-cent. paste-paper boards (spine a little rubbed), red calf lettering-piece on spine, spine gilt, shelf mark at tail of spine. Paris: J. Chardon, 1715. [bound with]: (AMSTERDAM). [Drop-title]: Description de l'Hotel de ville d'Amsterdam, avec les Explications de tous les Emblemes, Figures, Tableaux, Statues &c. qui se trouvent au-dehors, & au-dedans de ce Batiment. Four finely engraved folding plates. 108 pp. Small 8vo. N.p.: n.d. I. A valuable description of the church of St. Denis, its relics, and the crypt, which contains the tombs of French royalty. This is an early augmented edition with meticulous details on the architecture and interior of this iconic building. In 1795, revolutionaries sacked the church, and many of its contents were destroyed or disappeared, making this an important listing of the treasures once found there. Divided into four chapters, this guide proceeds from room to room noting important architectural features as well as providing an inventory of the artworks and relics within. The woodcut floor plans, one of which is full-page, shows the final resting places of France's royalty. II. A nicely illustrated French guide to Amsterdam's famed city hall, a notable example of Dutch Classicism. The building was designed by Jacob van Campen and completed in 1655. It is recognized as his "main work and certainly his masterpiece.van Campen designed both the building and the decoration. The designs were executed in marble by the sculptor Artus Quellien, his principal assistant Rombout Verhulst, and other skilled artists. The size of the building - the street was enlarged to create this city center - and the rich decorations all express the city's glory; the building was simultaneously a monument of the Peace of Munster after eighty years of war with Spain."-Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects, vol. 4, pp. 271-72. The present work consists of lengthy descriptions of the city hall's exterior and interior. It begins with a history of previous city halls, and the process of finding an architect to design a new one to embody the city's importance. The first folding plate is a view of the old city hall structure, the remaining three depict the new building in all its glory, with the fourth being a floor plan showing van Campen's symmetrical design. The third illustration was executed by "A. de Putter," a Dutch engraver active in Amsterdam in the first half of the 18th century who seems to have rendered the city hall on a number of occasions. Two uncommon guides to buildings of great symbolic importance. With the engraved bookplate of Ludwig Friedrich, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, noting that this book was part of the 16,000-volume library purchased from chancellor Carl Gerhardt von Ketelhodt (1738-1814) in 1804 (see CERL Thesaurus). ? Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. 11, p. 484 (A. de Putter).
Catalogue d'une riche Collection de Tableaux des différentes Ecoles anciennes et Peintures en émail

Catalogue d’une riche Collection de Tableaux des différentes Ecoles anciennes et Peintures en émail, Sculptures en bronze, marbre, ivoire et bois; Meubles en laque de la Chine, et en placage de Boule et de Cressant; Dont la vente se fera.les lundi 15, mardi 16 et mercredi 17 décembre 1817.[Expert: B. T. Henry]

AUCTION CATALOGUE: [DIDOT, Marie Antoine]) 38 pp. 8vo (205 x 132 mm.), cont. pink upper wrapper bound in late 19th-cent. maroon sheep-backed paste-paper boards, spine gilt. Paris: Bonnefons de la Vialle & Henry, 1817. A very rare sale catalogue of paintings owned by Marie Antoine Didot (d. 1835), better known as Didot de Saint-Marc. A member of the printing and publishing dynasty, he benefitted from the family's wealth, and was more concerned with collecting pictures. Nearly all prices have been recorded in pencil by a contemporary annotator in the margins, as well as on the upper wrapper which is covered in notes and several names, such as Senave, Mallet, and Dunouy (painters listed in the catalogue). Although Didot is not mentioned on the title-page, a contemporary hand has written his name on the upper wrapper. The Getty Provenance Index entry for the present catalogue suggests that the expert Henry included a number of items from his inventory in this auction. In addition to paintings, we find sculptures, furniture, enamels, prints, and an ornate clock. "Under the guidance of Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun, Didot became a connoisseur, collector and art historian: he began to collect in 1795. His tastes were conventional for the period: 17th-century Dutch artists and contemporary French figures who followed in their footsteps, such as Jean-Louis Demarne, Jean-Baptiste Mallet and Louis-Léopold Boilly; The Fountain by Chardin (priv. col.); and some minor works more particularly in the Didot taste, by Anne-Louis Girodet, Jacques-Louis David, Prud'hon and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres."-Oxford Art Online. The present catalogue, with most prices recorded, has 245 lots, of which the first 194 are paintings or grouped paintings. It includes works by J. Asselijn, N. Berghem, F. Boucher, S. Bourdon, L. Carracci, Champaigne, Chardin, Coypel, David, van Dyck, Greuze, van den Eeckhout, Kalf, Miel, Millet, Netscher, both Porbus, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Steen, Weenix, etc. Didot's collection was constantly in flux, and with incessant purchases came the need for sales. From 1796 until 1819, the contents of a number of auctions (most with anonymous provenance) were consigned by Didot. A fine copy, with useful annotations; we locate no copy in North America. With the amusing engraved bookplate of [H]enry [Pannier] (1853-1935), the Parisian art dealer and collector of early art sale catalogues, on inside of upper cover, and the stamp of the Bibliothèque Heim on verso of title-page. ? Lugt 9258. D. Spieth, Revolutionary Paris and the Market for Netherlandish Art (2018), p. 105-"[Didot de Saint-Marc] had gone through a sort of apprenticeship with Lebrun and labored for over a decade on his magnum opus, Sur la peinture et sur la vie de peintres, which was inspired by his mentor's Galerie des peintres flamands, hollandais et allemands. Since he fancied himself a nineteenth-century Vasari, Didot de Saint-Marc claimed (rather unconvincingly) that the purpose of his buying art was to have his acquisitions engraved for future use in his publication. The whole enterprise was presumably financed by his family's publishing business.".
From upper cover]: Snow Job

From upper cover]: Snow Job, Book 115

SMITH, Keith A. Offset printed black & white illus. throughout. Leporello format (162 x 112 mm. closed, fully extends to 2.5 meters), stiff paper boards, printed pictorial label on upper board. Rochester: Visual Studies Workshop, 1986. One of Smith's works in leporello format, featuring a poem by the artist; printed offset in an edition of 300 and signed by the artist on the title-page. This work is dedicated to the book artist Philip Zimmerman. In his auto-bibliography 200 Books, Smith (b. 1938) explains the origin of this piece, "I was not speaking of snow, but the snow job of governments spouting the safety of nuclear power plants. I was driven by the Three Mile Island incident. The poem was written in January 1986, shortly before the Chernobyl melt down. Books 114 and 115 went to press on March 26th, the day of the Challenger disaster." The text of the poem is reproduced in 200 Books. In excellent condition, Smith's books are now very scarce on the market. Signed by the artist. ? K. Smith, 200 Books (2000), p. 200-"For printing economy, Books 114 and 115 were printed on two sheets of paper, cut into three equal horizontal pieces and then glued into strips. The two sheets were printed on only one side. The first book required four strips and the second only two. To fill out Book 115, a strip of black Fabriano paper was added at each end to make the books the same width when fully extended. I also like the extent of black considering the subject matter.".
Catalogue d'une riche et agréable Collection de Tableaux

Catalogue d’une riche et agréable Collection de Tableaux, Et la vente.le lundi 26, mardi 27, et mercredi 28 dudit mois [November].

AUCTION CATALOGUE: LANEUVILLE, Jean Louis, expert 2 p.l., 60 pp. 8vo (189 x 131 mm.), late 19th-cent. marbled boards, red sheep lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Laneuville, Henry & Bonnefons de la Vialle, 1821. A scarce sale catalogue of paintings and several drawings, with nearly all prices in a contemporary hand and several marginal notes, along with a curious letter bound-in at the end. The contents of this sale were probably drawn from the stock of Laneuville (1748-1826) and Bon Thomas Henry (1766-1836). One hand, in ink, has recorded all but a few prices, while another, possibly later and in pencil, has noted the provenance of one picture and several occasions when lots have been combined by the auctioneer. The added letter, addressed to a prince from "Gauthier," mentions the sale and discusses Laneuville's purchases. "Gauthier" apologizes for belatedly sending this catalogue to the addressee. This catalogue describes 165 lots, nearly all of which are paintings. It offers works by Murillo, Ant. Carracci, da Cortona, L. Bakhuizen, N. Berchem, Bol, Cuyp, Dou, den Eeckhout, Dujardin, Metsu, Moucheron, Rembrandt, Rubens, Weenix, Wouwerman, Wijnants, S. Bourdon, Drolling, Claude, Leprince, J. Vernet, etc. The entries are fairly extensive and provide notes on provenance, the rarity of an artist's work, and measurements. An interesting copy of this rare catalogue; in North America, we find only the example at the University of Texas, Austin. Minor foxing in a few places. With the engraved bookplate of G[eorges] P[annier] (1853-1944), the Parisian art dealer and collector of early art auction catalogues, on the front paste-down, and the stamp of the Bibliothèque Heim on verso of title. ? Lugt 10134. Oxford Art Online (Henry)-"He studied under Charles Landon and Jean-Baptiste Regnault. In 1793 he began to deal in pictures and until 1812 spent part of his time travelling abroad (mainly in Italy) to increase his knowledge of art. In October 1816 he was appointed Commissaire-expert des Musées Royaux, a post he held until his death. Between 1810 and 1830 he assembled an eclectic collection, purchasing either privately or at sales, among them the posthumous sales (1826 and 1827) of Vivant Denon. His tastes in Italian art ranged from the work of Fra Angelico to that of the 17th-century Bolognese masters.In 1834 Henry offered a large part of his collection to the town of Cherbourg, and on 29 July 1835 a museum to house his works was opened on the second floor of the Hôtel de Ville; it was later named the Musée Thomas-Henry.".
Catalogue de Tableaux

Catalogue de Tableaux, Dessins, anciens et modernes, Estampes et Recueils, et Objets de curiosité, dont une grande partie provient du Cabinet de feu M. de Boissieu, de Lyon. La Vente aura lieu le Lundi 2 Avril 1821.

AUCTION CATALOGUE: PAILLET, Charles, expert 24 pp. 8vo (199 x 125 mm.), late 19th-cent. aubergine calf-backed marbled boards (spine a little rubbed), spine gilt. [Paris]: Charriot & Paillet, 1821. A rare auction catalogue of paintings, drawings, prints, and miscellaneous curiosities; we locate no copy in North America. The Avertissement explains that the owner of the present collection purchased most of these items in the course of his travels and a number of drawings and studies were acquired directly from a "Mr. Deboissieu" (noted on the title-page), presumably the artist Jean Jacques de Boissieu (1736-1810). Paillet, this sale's expert, also underscores that this collector purchased many pieces from the artists themselves, and notes that many are appearing on the market for the first time. This catalogue presents 182 lots, including paintings (lots 1-52) by Bertin, Boilly, Naudou, Swagers, Netscher, etc.; and drawings (53-166) by N. Berchem, de Boissieu, Isabey, Lantara, Vigée Lebrun, Leprince, N. Pérignon, F. Swagers, Topffer, J. Vernet, etc. A fine copy of a very scarce catalogue, with the original printed upper wrapper cut-out and pasted on thick paper. With the engraved bookplates of [H]enry [Pannier] (1853-1935), the Parisian art dealer and collector of early art auction catalogues, on the front paste-down, and Charles Sauvageot (1787-1860), the violinist and collector of medieval and Renaissance antiques, on the second free-endpaper, and the stamp of the Bibliothèque Heim on verso of title. ? Lugt 9992.
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Catalogue de la précieuse Collection d’Estampes, des Tableaux, Dessins, Marbres et autres Objets curieux, Qui composaient le Cabinet de feu. Par F. L. Regnault Delalande. La Vente de cette Collection se fera le lundi 20 Mars et les cinq jour suivans.

AUCTION CATALOGUE: PALLIÈRE, Etienne) viii, 104, 7 pp. 8vo (213 x 138 mm.), modern cloth-backed marbled boards, red sheep lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Coutellier & Regnault-Delalande, 1820. An uncommon auction catalogue describing the artist's vast collection of prints, paintings, and drawings, with the printed price-list bound-in at the end. Pallière (1761-1820), born in Bordeaux, studied under Vincent and exhibited portraits at the Paris Salons from 1798 to 1804. This is an especially large catalogue published by the expert Regnault-Delalande (1762-1824), with 378 lots. Lots 1-288 & 367-78 consist of prints and large groups of prints by contemporary and Old Master artists. Regnault-Delalande has prepared particularly informative descriptions that note the state, provenance, and rarity. This is followed with paintings by Claude, Pallière, Rembrandt, Vincent, Greuze, Le Brun, Nanteuil, and drawings by Guercino, Bouchardon, Glauber, Lairesse, Moitte, Nicolle, Suvée, Vincent, etc. Lot 367 is an exhaustively detailed set of tarot cards by a "Maître Italien." A fine copy. With the amusing engraved bookplate of [H]enry [Pannier] (1853-1935), the Parisian art dealer and collector of early art sale catalogues, on inside of upper cover, and the stamp of the Bibliothèque Heim on verso of title-page. ? Lugt 9751. Oxford Art Online.
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Catalogue de Tableaux précieux des Ecoles de Flandre, de Hollande et de France, composant le Cabinet de. Par A. Perignon.La Vente s’en fera.le 26 Mars 1816.

AUCTION CATALOGUE: DUFRESNE, Simon François, agent de change) 2 p.l., ii, 20 pp. 8vo (202 x 127 mm.), modern marbled boards, red morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Pérignon & Chariot; Amsterdam: Coclers; Antwerp: Beckmans; Brussels: Marnef; Ghent: Spruyt; Manheim: Artaria; London: Wood Burn, 1816. A scarce auction catalogue issued by the expert Alexis Nicolas Pérignon (1785-1864), who presided over a number of important sales - Constantin, Denon, J.L. David - in the 1810s and 1820s. He was also appointed the commissaire-expert des Musées Royaux, a prestigious title once held by the leading dealer and taste-maker Jean Baptiste Pierre Lebrun (1748-1813). Dufresne, the consignor to this sale, was a wealthy stockbroker. This catalogue describes 65 lots, including paintings by Bega, N. Berghem, Brauwer, B. Breenbergh, Dou, Dujardin, Metsu, A. & I. van Ostade, Steen, Teniers, Ph. & P. Wouwerman, etc. Some of the entries have extensive notes, and measurements are provided for most pictures. A nice copy. Sporadic and inoffensive foxing, and the half-title is a bit soiled. With the engraved bookplate of the Parisian art dealer and collector of early art auction catalogues G[eorges] P[annier] (1853-1944), on the front paste-down, and stamps of the Bibliothèque Heim on half-title and title. ? Lugt 8847.
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Catalogue d’Estampes anciennes, Oeuvres et Recueils de Maîtres d’Italie et de France; Galeries, Cabinets, Vues, Antiquités, Pierres gravées, etc.; quelques Tableaux et Dessins, Corps de Bibliothèque, genre de boule; Après le Décès de Mme de la Michodière, veuve de M. Thiroux de Crosne d’Arconville.Par F. L. Regnault-Delalande. Cette Vente se fera les lundi 18 et mardi 19 Janvier 1813.

AUCTION CATALOGUE: LA MICHODIERE, Anne Adélaïde de) 30 pp., 1 leaf. 8vo (193 x 120 mm.), modern aubergine cloth, title on upper cover. Paris: Fleuriau de Ponfol & Regnault-Delalande, 1813. A very scarce sale catalogue of the collection of La Michodière (ca. 1745-1812) and her husband, Louis Thiroux de Crosne d'Arconville (1736-94), who was guillotined during the Terror. She was the daughter of the politician Jean Baptiste François de la Michodière (1720-97). As the chief of police in Paris, Thiroux supervised the pre-Revolutionary transformation of Paris's urban landscape with the redesign of the Catacombs as an ossuary, clearing the city's bridges of housing, and constructing workshops to employ the poor. Not much is known about his wife, but they were married in 1763. 81 lots. The auction included prints by Audran, de la Tour, Edelinck, Nanteuil, Wille, etc. There are also a number of important print suites after paintings, along with famous books on da Vinci, antiquity, Italian architecture, views of Rome (by Piranesi), Florence, Verona, and Venice, etc. In fine condition, with the leaf of vacations. Based on the inscription on the half-title, it seems that this copy was addressed to a professor at the Sorbonne, however the name has been cropped away. In a characteristic Heim binding, with the library's stamp on verso of half-title. ? Lugt 8282.
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Catalogue de Tableaux, des Ecoles d’Italie, de Flandre, de Hollande et de France; Dessins, Recueils d’Estampes, Futs de Colonnes en granit, en marbre blanc, en Albâtre, en Porcelaine de Sèvres ou en bronze, et autres Objets, Du Cabinet de feu Mme. *** Par F. L. Regnault-Delalande. Cette Vente se fera dans la maison de feu Mme. ***, le mercredi 27 et le jeudi 28 novembre.rue de Cléry, no. 40.

AUCTION CATALOGUE: [FORESTIER, Elisabeth Angélique de]) 1 p.l., iv, 24 pp. 8vo (191 x 123 mm.), modern aubergine cloth, title on upper cover. Paris: Le Normant & Regnault-Delalande, 1816. A scarce sale catalogue offering a woman's fine collection of paintings and other curiosities; this copy is partially priced in a contemporary hand. Several institutional copies have been inscribed with the surname "Forestier." The Getty Provenance Index attributes this sale to de Forestier, born Godin, who was the wife of Augustin de Forestier (1729-1817), the trésorier général of the Swiss Guards. She assembled a choice group of pictures, and, as described in the Getty Provenance Index entry for this catalogue, the leading experts of the day attended this sale and bought many of the lots. The present catalogue describes 49 lots of paintings (by G. Allegrain, A. Bloemaert, Bronzino, Cazes, Demarne, Dujardin, Giordano, Lépicié, C. Poelenburgh, Salvator Rosa, Steen, Teniers, J. Vernet); drawings, print suites, and ceramics. According to the pencil annotations, the winning bid for lot 61, a group of three vases of Sèvres porcelain, was 2910 francs. The painting entries are especially detailed, with lengthy technical descriptions and notes on exhibition history. There is a total of 64 lots. In very good condition. A few of the annotations have been trimmed. In the characteristic binding of the Bibliothèque Heim, and with the library's stamp on the verso of half-title. ? Lugt 8999.