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Gemälde auf Spinnengewebe. Painting on Cobweb. Peinture sure toile d’araignée. “Dein Wohl”, painting by Rudolf Epp

Unterberger, Franz Beautiful ethereal painting of Tyrolean couple, a hunter and his wife, at a small kitchen table, the wife standing a drinking wine presumably to the health of her husband, both in traditional dress. Based on a painting by the German (Bavarian) painter, Rudolf Epp (1834 - 1910) entitled "Dein Wohl", based on a penciled inscribed caption in the lower corner of the matting. This painting, whose present location we do not as yet know, served as the basis for other adaptations, such as the image on a beer stein, and so the painting surely was well-known and highly regarded in its day as a masterful bit of sentimentalism and nostalgia. This is rendered on material woven from actual cobweb. Exquisite, and scarce, with supposedly fewer than 100 paintings of this type (cobweb) paintings ever done. N.d., circa 1870s. This particular cobweb painting is particularly large for the genre. The artwork is about 11.5 by 8.5 cm, the full cobweb, including the border, as exposed by the matting's window, 13 by 10 cm, the full matting, 24 by 20 cm, and finally, the outer folder is 24.5 by 10.5 cm. Also contained in the small folio is a sample of cobweb material. The painter, Franz Unterberger (1838-1902), was a well-known Austrian painter known for his traditional Tyrolean genre artwork. He retained local artisans to render his image on to the cobweb material. Condition: cobweb with a few fine pinprick-sized holes, not seriously compromising the overall picture, as the holes are mostly in the margin. The folder housing the cobweb, and the cobweb's matting or frame, are both quite soiled though. The inside cover, in contrast, is mostly clean. Missing is a small specimen of un-processed cobweb thread which would have originally been housed under a small flap, inside front cover. That flap is still present. The flaps to hold down the artwork itself have some closed tears along folds joining them to the binding. The most important element of this item, though, is the cobweb painting, and given its larger than typical size, we think even with the cavils one could plausibly grade it as Near Fine. Cloth. Paper pastedown on buckram.
  • $6,500
  • $6,500
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A dozen small cards with painted Chinese business signs

The signs and/or markings for Chinese businesses here are quite distinct from the signs represented in the 1931 classic color plate book, "The Shop Signs of Peking", suggesting, among other things, that the signs in that book might have somewhat less generic than one is first led to believe. Unlike that book, the illustrations on these cards are entirely painted, not merely hand-colored. We would assume that these were created for the tourist market, but given their diminutive size and ephemeral nature, combined with our never having seen such cards before, we have to believe they are quite scarce With the pictorial element on all the cards entirely on the left side of the cards, the thought was surely that these would be used as place cards, a common appurtenance to the more formal dining of an earlier era. N.d., early 20th century probably. Short captions indicating the business whose signage is displayed are written in small block letters at the base of the flip side of each card. Businesses represented a fan shop, a Manchu hat button shop, a shoe maker, a hatter, a yellow wine business of some sort, a rug shop, a curio store (which shows other signifying objects presumably placed by an entrance in addition to a sign), a dealer in pearls, a second-hand clothing store, a pipe store (tobaccanist?), a restaurant, and a ginseng herb store. The cards are generally clean, with the most minor of occasional marks.
  • $500
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New-York and New-Jersey Almanac, for the Year 1822 Second after Bisextile, and 46th of American Independence

Young, David Quite rare, with the only institutional copy (of which we can be certain) located on OCLC First Search at the AAS. A few other institutions may have the same or similar from another publisher or in a Sammelbund, if you will, of early American almanacs, and one can find the same title for 1823, but being a different year, the contents would also be mostly different. 8vo. 16.5 by 10.5 cm. Unpaginated, 36 pages, including front and rear. One illustration, under the heading of "The Anatomy of a Man's Body", relates body parts to the constellations. Both bizarre and idiosyncratic to our sensibility. After the usual calendar and astronomical-related material, almost four pages devoted to cures of disease and techniques for getting rid of vermin. In this section, might there be forgotten, possibly effective, treatments balancing the absurdities such as the recommendation of tea as a cure for cancer in the space of three weeks? Then comes a long, anti-Semitic anecdote, meant to be amusing, playing into rancid stereotypes. Some verse follows, among them, a poem entited "The Origin of a Chimney Sweeper". Other curios. Finally a glossary of practical information relating to the two states -- lists of towns and cities, government official, distances, etc. etc. Some of this material would be of interest to history buffs, and as one simple example, the names of the now long-forgotten towns in the Borough of Queens, long before Queens became a part of New York City. Condition: considerable amount of soiling, front and rear page. Scattered soiling besides. Entirely readable, though. Small closed tear, rear page. This copy was bound in a volume with other similar brochures, clearly, and one can see the remnant of that probably calf binding on the spine.
  • $275
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Physical Exercise Training Manual (Japanese Army Gymastics Primer)

Masatake, Terauchi Near Miniature Book, measuring 11 by 7.5 cm. 114 leaves, all of a very thin, wax-like paper stock, with printing on both sides of most, but not all, leaves. Illustrations, mostly line drawings of men doing various exercises, on 103 pages as well as on the ten folding plates. (The folding plates have printing on one side only.) Demonstrated in the illustrations are everything from marching to balance exercises, rope climbing, the use of the hobby horse, rings, pull up bar, ladder exercises, etc. etc. Also shown are more general calisthenics -- push ups, pull ups, and the like, and more theatrical acrobatics, such as building a pyramid. Text in Japanese. Simple though the illustrations are, they are pleasing and impart in and of themselves valuable content. The issue of the booklet coincides with the Western -- European and American -- embrace of physical culture, and obviously the rigorous physical training required of gymnastics is ideal for military conditioning, and some of the exercises might plausibly be things actually required of a soldier in a zone of combat, such as crossing a river by holding onto a rope as one progresses by alternating the forward hand. We would note that the booklet was issued less than a decade after the first Olympics, and gymnastics, such as propounded in this booklet, constituted a far greater portion of the Olympics in the early iterations than it does today. The credited author is an important figure in Japanese history. Masatake (1852 - 1919) was the Minister of the Army when this booklet was issued, and remained in that position during the Russo-Japanese War, which was decisively won by Japan. In 1916 he became the Prime Minister of Japan, and remained so until 1918. In his earlier adult years, he spent significant periods of time in Europe where he studied French weaponry and tactics. Surely this experience was instrumental in his promoting of the physical training imparted by this booklet. Moderate wear. Cover has soiling. Some leaves creased. Fold-outs have some roughness to their folds.
  • $500
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Concertina of Eight Chinese Paintings on Fabric Depicting Rice Cultivation

A charming depiction of rural Chinese life, depicting the communal or group efforts cultivating rice in all its labor-intensive phases. The depiction romanticizes the activity, with the setting a bucolic paradise by a river and none of the workers showing the least sign of discomfort or strain. The group of paintings mounted onto the sixteen panel concertina are each surrounded by brocade fabric, as typical of such "albums", and a different brocade fabric, one with a more pronounced pattern and two colors as opposed to one, serve on the front and rear cover, with the backs of the panels a blank tan-ish paperof some thickness. The concertina was undoubtedly made with the tourist market in mind. We are aware of the challenges of dating Chinese antiques, given the aptitude of Chinese artisans to "antique" objects recently made, but knowing that this concertina had come from an American source and was in a residence for an indefinitely long duration, we are inclined to date this to the early 20th century, and the fabric wear and toning would certainly suggest this amount of age. Closed, the concertina or leporello measures 34 by 13.5 cm. Each of the mounted fabric pieces, with text covering the top third, the painting, the bottom two-thirds, more or less, is 29 by 22 cm. The painted portions are 20.5 by 22 cm. The paintings have some light scattered foxing, none of which is bothersome or conspicuous, as these marks more or less blend into the brown-ish color of the fabric. The brocade borders are discolored or browned along their edges. A considerable amount of fraying of fabric also has occurred around the edges, including of the cover. Paper pastedown title strip with tear and some wrinkling or blistering.
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Foreign Field Sports: Fisheries, Sporting Anecdotes &c. from Drawings by Messrs. Howitt, Atkinson, Clark, Manskirch &c. Containing One Hundred Plates. With a Supplement of New South Wales Field Sports, of the Native Inhabitants of New South Wales, with Ten Plates, by the Author. Second title page: Field Sports, of the Native Inhabitants of New South Wales, with Ten Plates, by the Author.

Howitt, S.; Atkinson; Clark; Manskirch; etc. 4to. 28 by 22 cm. Unpaginated. 110 hand-colored plates. 107 of these are aquatints, two are line engravings, and one, a stipple and line engraving. Second title page for the New South Wales section. Each plate accompanied by one to four pages of explanatory text -- most are one or two pages long, though. The plates and the stories they tell are immensely varied in both the geographic location of the scenes and the type of hunting depicted. Not only are all continents represented, but also, such activities as whalehunting are included. Animals are shown in their own hunts, and even pursuing humans as well. One such plate, for instance, shows men desperately climbing a tree to escape a rhinoceros and as their horses panic. These plates were justly celebrated for their exciting drama and dynamism. A small sampling of other scenes: South American peons capturing bulls, then horses; Russians fishing in winter; Mamalukes wielding the sabre; sailors shooting wild deer; elephants in a pitfall; a Hindu elephant trap; shooting a leopard; wild boar shooting in Germany; hunting antelopes with a panther; taking vipers; seal catching in Greenland; and on and on. The New South Wales plates concern aborigines, and they show aborigines as warriors as well as hunting and fishing. Binding: contemporary diced Russia calf. Tooled in gilt. Edges marbled. Condition: rebacked, with original spine pasted on -- binding comes off as original throughout. Heavy rubbing along edges. Still attractive full calf. Tissue guards are heavily foxed. Some scattered light foxing and soiling on the text and plate leaves, but overall, these read as clean.
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[Promotional Box and Scroll] Combination of Colors of New Era High-Grade Prepared Paint

Acme White Lead and Color Works Rare, unusual paint company promotional and customer aid tool with 22 color plates which one can scroll up or down with two side roller handles. Houses are generally rather grand shingle houses such as one finds still in old upscale (and formerly upscale) suburban communities or old-time seaside resorts such as line the New Jersey shore. The houses today are widely known by the over-general label of Victorian, or just slightly more specificet also somewhat inaccurately, as Queen Anne-style homes, but regardless, have sprawl, a charming assymmetry, large windows promising sun-drenched rooms, and expansive porches or verandahs typically. N.d., circa 1890s. The oak box measures about 40 cm in height, 46 cm wide, and about 13 cm deep. The window, which reveals the scroll's panels in the front, is an oblong 29 by 37 cm, and of course, these are the dimensions of the individual panels. The Acme company was incorporated in 1884. The paints being promoted here became popular; they were appreciated for their fast drying properties. The company later became known as Acme Quality Paints. It was acquired, or absorbed, by Sherwin-Williams in the 1920s or 30s. This contraption is a rare survivor. The only institutional copy of which we are aware is at the Athenaeum in Philadelphia, but this copy has only 15 of the 22 plates that we have here. We believe that the same plates may have been issued in book form, and in that form may reside also at the University of Pennsylvania. Condition: some side chipping or tearing of the scroll. The scroll turning becomes somewhat sticky around plate 15 -- this we believe can be ameliorated. And any user should operate the turning with great prudence and care
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[Antiphonal Manuscript] Antiphonarium ad Usum Parochiarum

A magnificent "Folk Art" antiphonal manuscript, the Latin words written in a calligraphic hand beneath the bars of music, with letters, words, etc. throughout highlighted in red ink to contrast with the predominant black ink used, and with touches of Folk Art ormentation in key locations. But the beauty of this antiphonal isn't conveyed by a mere recitation of its features, in our view, and we also believe as a manuscript antiphonal, it is quite unusual because of its smaller size, and the likelihood it was done by an amateur hand, but by a most meticulous and assured amateur hand, which allows it to transcend its genre. 8vo. 18.5 by 13 cm. [3]. 322, xlviii pp. Up to nine lines of music per page -- as the pieces are short in length, there are many titles which cuts down on the number of music lines on the page. Frontis and behind title are two mounted or pasted prints, both 18th century, to which the artist of this manuscript added border ink ornamentation, with some touches of red to his contributions. The music rendered here is comprised mainly of that serving winter services, whether for the Sabbath or Vespers. (Pars Hiemalis is a subtitle of the main body of the manuscript, and this translates as "part of Winter".) The smaller second section, paginated with Roman numerals, is entitled "Commune Sanctorum", which we are assuming presents music that is less specific to the time of year when it is prescribed. Decoration includes a floral band and small decorative vignette or illuminated letter at the start of the music on the first page, a few other rusticated illuminated letter devices scattered through the body of the work, and a number of Folk Art vignettes at the base of pages where a section ends, among them, bouquets, birds, a God or Gorgon head, and a few other floral friezes. Condition: Calf has a considerable amount of craquelature or crack lines, with some abrasion and rub spots. A large repair, with the laying on or replacement with calf at a later date, is glaringly obvious on lower right rear cover and lower part of spine. This is a very old, awkwardly executed repair, as the newer calf looks 18th century as well and is worn similarly to the rest of the calf. The repair is conspicuous, nonetheless, because the shade of brown is lighter than the rest, and the newer calf is raised over the rest at its boundaries. Also a small crater rear cover. Best to look at photos to get a sense. And despite this issue, we still consider the contemporary binding worth keeping and would recommend no further action. Interior-wise, some marginal soil early blanks, frontis, less on early leaves following, and otherwise, mostly clean. Rear blank with extensive ink marks from probably testing a nib. Overall, this is easily Very Good, with a still attractive contemporary binding and internally, no loss and appealing to the eye, even if one doesn't read music!
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Die Öffentliche Maskerade in Bamberg Fastnachts Montage 1833 in kolorirten Abbildungen

A spectacular, and scarce, festival processional or parade book. Only copy showing on OCLC First Search located in Berlin. There are two copies of what seems a somewhat similar Bamberg procesional from four years later, but not only does this other work memorialize a different year's festivities, but also it is of a different size and format. Oblong, 22 by 24.5 cm. 28 hand-colored lithographic plates, eleven of which are double paged. The plates are here not in numerical order, but all are present, most importantly. And the coloring is especially rich and appealing. Among the participants in this procession depicted here are a band compreised of both men and women, all on horseback, the women, side saddle, with elements of costume added to the band member's conventional dress (their regular clothing), and curiously including two black men; the mandatory Harlequin, here also on a bedizened horse rearing up; preposterously dressed riders supposedly representing a traveler, with a crosswalk sign, and a London horse master with all sorts of absurd gear piled up; a commander of the Kraehwinkler, a word we are uncertain how to translate, but possibly, Crow Merchants; a Sunday rider dressed as an effiminate dandy; etc. etc. There are men in drag, women with giant pipes, and endless silliness. The characters being played are obviously meant to be absurd. Condition: film of soiling, and some scratches on paper pastedown cover and cloth spine. Corners and edges rubbed. Leaves within with light age toning evident along their edges, and some occasional light foxing, but overall, the imagery is bright, and the paper reads as mostly clean. Hardcover. Paper pastedown on boards. Cloth spine. Modern cloth clamshell box.
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[Trade Catalogue] Rongalit. Badische Anilin- & Soda-Fabrik Rongalit C fur Cattandruck.

Large fabric swatches that are suggestive that the pared down, more abstract aethetics associated with Art Deco are actually ones that significantly pre-date, by more than a decade, what is understood as the Art Deco era. The swatches are also fairly large, measuring 16.5 by 8.5 cm. The swatches' purpose, of course, was to show the variety and richness of the company's dyes, which heightened the blues, indigos, reds and crimsons, among other colors. Especially eye-catching are the swatches with paisley designs and thosewith Middle Eastern or Asian roots, such as one might find on a Turkish or Persian rug. These swatches offer a feast of juxtaposed rich colors. N.d. but circa 1910. There is a single listing of a booklet similar to this one, same source, on OCLC First Search, with no ownership given, with the date of 1910, but the description is such as to distinguish it from this. However, the 1910 dating fits well with all the attributes of this catalogue or company promotion. From OCLC First Search, we know this is also scarce, with no copies found there at all, and only a few issued by this company that are mostly quite different. 4to. 26 by 19 cm. Title, blank, [4-list of plates and text pages], two fold-out color plates of equipment, followed by 14 numbered cotton fabric swatches. Rongalit, or Rongalite, is a salt compound used by the dye and printing industry. Condition: minor dog earing and a chip of wrap covers. Moderate wear evident. First leaf foxed, with less of this on the subsequent leaves. Still VG.