Rare Illustrated Books Archives - Rare Book Insider

Rare Illustrated Books

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Katei no Hana (Flowers at Home)

Katei no Hana (Flowers at Home)

Mizuno Hidekata Tokyo: Kokkeido, 1920. First Edition. A rare work by a celebrated female Japanese artist, Mizuno Hidekata (1875- 1944). Hidekata was one of the first popular professional female ukiyo-e artists, specialising in genre scenes and the reappraisal of Bijin (pictures of beautiful women), also working on illustrations for Sh jo Sekai, Jogaku Sekai, among other magazines. Hidekata studied under Mizuno Toshikata, whom she later married. Despite being a forerunner for professional twentieth century female artists in Japan, it is hard to find her works today. The woodcuts in this attractive album are beautiful, balanced, executed in lovely colours, several highlighted with silver. Prints depict scenes with kimono-attired women and girls in various sensitive settings titled: as, at springtime; a slight token of esteem; sudden shower; the beginning of the year; the odour of the plum blossoms; after school, with captions in Japanese and English. Worldcat offers the location of only one copy in the National Diet Library in Tokyo, with not a single copy found in Western institutions. Japanese binding in original cushioned decorated cloth with printed title label, double-sided folded book measuring 7.5 x 24 cm, twelve coloured double-page woodblock prints + one colour double-page woodblock-printed title page, some light browning at outer edges in a few cases, one plate with small repair at margin, near fine.
  • $5,067
  • $5,067
The Merry Piper

The Merry Piper

GAZE, Harold London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1925. First Edition. The Merry Piper is an exuburant and rambling adventure by Harold Gaze (1885-1962). Born in New Zealand, Gaze came to Melbourne in 1918 and stayed until 1921, producing a vast quantity of high quality work during a short space of time. He published four books in 1919 alone. Many of the plates that adorn his books were probably produced before the Melbourne publishing period, and a few clearly date as far back as 1910. One of the most enigmatic Australasian juvenile illustrators, little is known of his early life or artistic training. Commercial publishing success in the United States eventually led Gaze to settle in Pasadena where he continued his dual career as a munitions expert, truly an odd blend of violence and sensitivity. Gaze is a confident and skilful watercolourist, a master of the opaque application technique that gives his work a feel of magical translucence. The plates and vignettes are reminiscent of the work of Arthur Rackham and Charles Folkard although Gaze's work seems to lack their underlying sinister qualities. Many images are bizarre, but never macabre. Solo shows of his fantasy paintings in Los Angeles earned him the appellation of ‘The Bubble Man'. It is said that Gaze worked with the Disney studios on Fantasia. Work by Harold Gaze is held in the National Museum of American Illustration, the Pasadena Museum of History, and the San Diego Museum of Art, among others. First English edition. Small quarto, original decorated cloth (spine rubbed), frontispiece and seven full-page colour plates, numerous line drawings, illustrated endpapers; localised tide-mark affects the top-edge margin of the frontispiece, otherwise this book is in very good order. Contemporary ownership inscription on half-title page.
  • $355
Reminiscences of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition

Reminiscences of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition

Cundall, Frank (editor) London: William Clowes & Sons, 1886. First Edition. Thomas Riley. With sections on the individual states of Australia, promoting Victorian gold and wine, the minerals of Queensland and New South Wales, pearls from Western Australia, and the goats and merino sheep of South Australia. Also includes a study of the architecture of India, and with mentions of 16th century Maltese armour from the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, silk weavers from Cyprus, Chinese embroidery from Hong Kong, tea from Ceylon... The diamond exhibition in the African court was said to be the most popular. "It is hoped that this volume of Reminiscences may prove acceptable to four classes of persons: firstly, to those living in Great Britain and Ireland who take an interest in the progress made by their brethren beyond the seas; secondly, to those who, coming from India and the Colonies to participate in the imperial gathering and to judge for themselves of the results of colonial labour and enterprise, may wish to take home with them a souvenir of their visit; thirdly, to those in the Colonies and India who have heard of the exhibition and who, perhaps, played their part in its organisation, and have yet been unable to visit it; and fourthly, to foreigners who, together with British subjects, have now for the first time had an opportunity of becoming fully acquainted with the exhaustive and varied resources of the British Empire." - Preface, Frank Cundall. Quarto, bound in decorative boards with bevelled edges, all edges gilt, decorated 'cor unum via una' endpapers, 116 pages, fading to spine and mild wear to corners, a very good copy.
  • $169
How Columbus Discovered America

How Columbus Discovered America

[Children's Pop-up Book] Kubasta, Vojtech London: Bancroft & Co, no date. A delightful example of the work of renowned Czech illustrator and paper engineer, Vojtech Kubasta (1914 -1992). Originally born in Vienna, Kubasta trained as an architect in Prague yet barely practiced, his career interrupted by the invasion of Nazis in the Second World War. Kubašta turned his fine engineering skills towards the creation of pop-up books for children, revitalising three dimensional paper craft techniques that had drifted out of print, in part because of the bombing of the German printing presses but largely due to their expense. Kubašta's leadership and influence in the field secured his reputation and penetrated the difficult and complex politics of his era. He was granted permission to work for Walt Disney and inspired a resurgence of the ‘pop-up' format in both England and America. 'How Columbus Discovered America' was his first book. Said to be the first movable book published in Vojtech's Panascopic Model Series all of which were presented in the same format: a single story bound in illustrated heavy triptych boards, the back covers unfolding to reveal pop-ups standing as high as 25 centimetres. Vojtech's work is among the most highly sought after in this genre. Quarto, bound in illustrated colour boards with cloth-backed spine, rotating ship's wheel volvelle revealing a map of Columbus' First Voyage on back cover, 8 pages of text, double-page pop-up diorama with three ships - the Santa María, the Pinta, and the Niña -  set against a tropical backdrop, small crease to upper right corner of the front board, a very good copy.
  • $169