W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera Archives - Rare Book Insider

W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera

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Glover, E[mmanuel] Ablade Broadside, 20 1/4 x 14 1/2 inches. Lithograph mounted to board. Mild rubbing and toning and moderate warping; 3/4-inch abrasion from apparent sticker removal in lower-left corner, affecting border. Good to very good. A visual guide to the symbolism of the Ghanaian linguist's staff, showing and describing 30 different finial motifs. In traditional Akan societies, linguists are the most important non-royal court officials, serving mixed roles as counselors, ambassadors, legal experts, and historians. Every linguist (okyeame) carries a wooden staff (okyeame poma), topped with a carved finial of a symbolic figure. "The symbol he carries is the symbol (usually proverbial) of the state he represents. Some depict animal or human forms while others depict just simple abstract forms. Whatever stands on that staff or stick represents the beliefs and aspirations of the entire state or clan. The staff itself is made of wood wrapped with either silver or gold leaf, or sometimes of solid gold or silver." The poster's artist, Ablade Glover (b. 1934), is one of Ghana's most celebrated artists, known chiefly for his dynamic, semi-abstract paintings of urban and market scenes. At the time of the present publication, Glover was serving in the Faculty of Art at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana (now, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology), where he retired in 1994 as Head of the Department of Art Education and Dean of the Department of Art. OCLC records one copy, at Northwestern University.
  • $400
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Moreno, J[acob] L. xvi,440 pp., including numerous in-text charts, many printed in red and black. Original publisher's cloth, stamped in gold. No dust jacket, as issued. Head of front board bumped, else fine. First edition of the magnum opus of Romanian-American psychiatrist Jacob Levy Moreno (1889-1974), the pioneering work of sociometry that introduced the use of sociograms. The work, an answer to the dehumanizing promises of eugenics and technocracy, contains studies of voluntary interpersonal relationships formed at schools and other institutions, including the famous "Hudson study," conducted with Helen Jennings at the New York State Training School for Girls, a reformatory near Hudson, New York. Moreno dedicates the book to the school's superintendent, Fannie French Morse, "Educator and Liberator of Youth." "Moreno founded psychodrama, and pioneered group psychotherapy.Apart from its psychiatric and sociological significance, this work contained some of the earliest graphic depictions of social networks - data visualization methods later applied to numerous other disciplines. These images were later called sociograms" - Garrison Morton Norman 7700. "The weakest point in our present day universe is the incapacity of man to meet the machine, the cultural conserve, or the robot, otherwise than through submission, actual destruction, and social revolution. The eugenic doctrine, similarly to the technological process, is another promiser of extreme happiness to man. The eugenic dreamer sees in the distant future the human race so changed through breeding that all men will be born well, all accomplished by certain techniques through the elimination and combination of genes. The eugenic dreamer and the technological dreamer have one idea in common: to substitute and hasten the slow process of nature. In the face of the two vehicles of thought and power, eugenic rule and machine rule, man ought to call to mind their meaning: that they both aim to remove the center and the rule from within him, the one into a process before he is conceived, the other into a process which is conserved, both aiming to make him uncreative. Technology may be able to improve the comfort of mankind and eugenics may be able to improve the health of mankind, but neither is able to decide what type of man can and should survive. However, the acknowledgment of social attitudes and behavior, of the unity of mankind, and of the importance of social planning, may serve the survival of humanity" (p. 363).
  • $700
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11 x 8 1/2-inch leaves in an 11 1/2 x 9-inch folder. [4],58,[3] pp. Leaves in printed blue metal tab folder. Fine. PASSAGES FROM JAMES JOYCE'S FINNEGANS WAKE was the final film produced and directed by Mary Ellen Bute (1906-1983), a pioneer in experimental film and animation. Bute spent much of her early career developing a style of "visual music" in film, synchronizing abstract images and music. PASSAGES, a film treatment of FINNEGANS WAKE using Joyce's original language, was largely a live-action piece but incorporated animation, double exposures, and various other unconventional visual methods. UbuWeb describes it as follows: "A half-forgotten, half-legendary pioneer in American abstract and animated filmmaking, Mary Ellen Bute, late in her career as an artist, created this adaptation of James Joyce, her only feature. In the transformation from Joyce's polyglot prose to the necessarily concrete imagery of actors and sets, Passages discovers a truly oneiric film style, a weirdly post-New Wave rediscovery of Surrealism, and in her panoply of allusion - 1950s dance crazes, atomic weaponry, ICBMs, and television all make appearances - she finds a cinematic approximation of the novel's nearly impenetrable vertically compressed structure. With Passages from Finnegans Wake Bute was the first to adapt a work of James Joyce to film and was honored for this project at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965 as best debut." The film was shown in limited capacities until its final release in 1967. Its screening of its first rush print, for which the present volume was produced, took place February 16, 1965, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before an audience of the James Joyce Society in celebration of Joyce's birthday. The James Joyce Society was inaugurated in 1947 at the Gotham Book Bart. Bute dedicates her film to Gotham's founder and owner, Frances Steloff.
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Small quarto. Single sheet folded twice. [4] pp. Lettered "HC" in contemporary red ink in the colophon. Near fine. The "deluxe" edition of a satirical poem composed by Christopher Morley and designed and printed by Lew Ney to help their friend and patron, Frances Steloff, founder and owner of Gotham Book Mart, during a moment of financial insecurity at the store in the mid-1930s. It "has been printed in this limited edition of 350 copies from Inkanabula type, imported from Italy. It was set by hand, and the type has been distributed." In the 1975 "Special Gotham Book Mart Issue" of JOURNAL OF MODERN LITERATURE (Vol. 4, No. 4), Frances Steloff describes the origin of the poem and its publication. One day in 1935, Steloff was dictating correspondence in the back of the shop, unaware that her friend and Gotham Book Mart regular Christopher Morley had stopped by. "He asked why I looked so glum, and I told him that I had been dictating dunning letters with the remark that if I could collect half of the outstanding accounts I could pay my rent and most of my bills. He asked if he could see a few of the letters, and I handed him the carbon copies. He then asked if he could borrow them. I was uneasy and thought that he might turn them over to an attorney, causing my customers embarrassment. He assured me that he just wanted to look them over and would return them on his next visit. In a few days he called up, 'Frances are you there?' Of course I was, and in a few minutes he was also, holding a page of manuscript. He asked excitedly, 'Are you familiar with the meter of the Rubaiyat?' I was, of course, as it had at one time been a favorite. He then read aloud the 'Rubaiyat of Account Overdue.' . . . Delighted with it, I decided to have it printed in two formats: a single page, to be sent with bills to all past due accounts, stating that a deluxe, autographed edition would be forthcoming on receipt of a check by return mail. That not only brought good results but also a problem - our prompt paying customers then felt it was more rewarding to be delinquent" (pp. 791-792). The present example of the poem was printed in its deluxe format, but not signed, and lettered, "HC" ("hors commerce"), rather than numbered, in the limitation statement. A fine survival from a touching and memorable chapter of the history of Gotham.
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16 pp. plus 11 wood-engraved plates on 10 leaves (2 folding). Original printed self-wrappers. Light wear in outer leaves, half-inch closed tear at head of first leaf near fold, stitching largely absent, some toning. Near fine. Illustrated catalog of the Mechanical Museum of Georges Tietz, who exhibited his collection of automata (and, sometimes, wax anatomical figures) throughout Europe from the 1830s to the 1850s, with a visit to the U.S. in 1846. The catalog describes twenty exhibits of figures and tableaux, from marvels like a mechanical sun and a turbanned prestidigitator to scenes from the Bible, classical antiquity, and modern history like the behading of St. John the Baptist, Androcles and the lion, and the death of Marshal Lannes with Napoleon at the Battle of Aspern-Essling. The great centerpiece of the museum is the Elephant of Henri Martinet, which survives today at Waddeson Manor in Buckinghamshire. OCLC records three copies of a 23-page French edition supplied with a date of 1853, each copy bearing an imprint from a different city. Of these, the Reims imprint is available for view online at the website of the Bibliothèque nationale and shows twenty numbered tableaux and the same ten illustrations as the present edition. With fewer listed items and stronger plate impressions, the present edition (unrecorded on OCLC) appears to be earlier. Rare. From the collection of Ricky Jay.