Doubleday Page & Co.: 1926
Black cloth spine and color pictorial boards in orange, white and black. Orange endpapers decorated with industrial cogs. Small, closed repaired tear on front endpaper. Remarkable copy of an exceedingly rare book. (A facsimile was printed in 2009 and is widely held institutionally.) With 62 pages; text and illustrations in sharp primary colors on facing pages tell the story of a little boy robot who grew up out of pieces of a wrecked steam engine, an old trolley car and a broken automobile. He has constructed himself out of the wreckage of technology: drill, saws, wheel, pliers, chisel, hammers, etc.Higonnet, Margaret, "Modernism and Childhood: Violence and Renovation" in The Comparatist, Volume 33 (May 2009), University of North Carolina Press. discusses the brilliantly experimental design of three Modernist children's books: El Lissitzky, Suprematist Story of Two Squares, l922; Kurt Schwitters, Die Scheuche (The Scarecrow), 1925; and Mary Liddell, Little Machinery, 1926. "(Liddell's) text plays with punning fonts, typographic layout, a linear frame through which her protagonist's energies pass, and explosive interactions between text and images that seem inspired by Lissitzky's experiments with visual codes for force . Energetic diagonals invoke the speed and energy of (the boy's) work, while images of his materials spill laterally from one page to the next, into the text. Electric sparks speed across the page in jagged lines, and zigzag cuts by Little Machinery's hyperactive saw run across the gutter into the text. Typography and images are tightly interconnected. Letters are composed of nails, assimilating the work of writing to the work of building In spite of their stylistic differences, and in spite of conspicuously distinct politics, each of these books exploits the visual energy of layout on the page to support an idealizing message centered on the utopian child." A copy is held at Princeton, Cotsen Library 21251.
More from Marilyn Braiterman
Illustrator BASKIN, LEONARD One of 500 numbered copies printed in Centaur type by Harold McGrath at Baskin's Gehenna Press. Six wood-engraved portraits of William Blake printed from the blocks on Japanese Moriki paper. The text is Blake's letter to Thomas Butts dated January 10, 1802. Brook 37. Marbled paper wrappers over flexible boards, paper cover label.
VOLLARD, AMBROISE. Fine copies in original pictorial wrappers preserved in handsome custom clamshell case of black cloth with gilt-lettered spine and front cover in red leather. Vollard has adopted his friend Alfred Jarry?s satirical figure, Père Ubu, in these short plays, mocking the absurdity of World War I. Jarry, dead at the age of 34 in 1907, was a link between the 19th century and the early 20th century avant-garde, influencing the Theater of the Absurd, Duchamp, the Surrealists, Rouault, Max Ernst, and William Kentridge. He coined the term and concept of pataphysics: the science and philosophy of the absurd, using irony and whimsey to examine imaginary phenomena and symbolic truths. LE PÈRE UBU À L'HOPITAL. Two copies: Paris: "Cette Petite Tragédie N?est Pas Mise dans le Commerce", 1917, and Paris: Éditions Georges Crès, 1918. Both with cover, frontispiece, and title page vignette (black in 1917 and red in 1918) by Pierre Bonnard. LE PÉRE UBU À L?AVIATION. Paris: Georges Crès. 1918. Cover illustration repeated on title page and vignette on first page of text by Pierre Bonnard. INSCRIBED BY VOLLARD: AHOMMAGE À L?AUTEUR. LE POLITIQUE COLONIALE DU PÈRE UBU. Paris: Georges Crès. 1919. Cover illustrated by Georges Rouault repeated on title page. LE PÈRE UBU À LA GUERRE. Paris: Georges Crès, 1920. One of 500 copies on holland paper, out-of-series and unnumbered. Uncut and unopened. Shadow of wrappers on endpapers. Cover illustration, title page, and full-page plate by Jean Puy. A GROUP OF FIVE PLAYS WRITTEN BY ONE OF THE GREATEST CONTEMPORARY ART DEALERS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
COLLECTION DES PLUS BEAUX NUMÉROS DE COMOEDIA ILLUSTRÉ ET DES PROGRAMMES CONSACRÉS AU BALLETS & GALAS RUSSES DEPUIS LE DÉBUT A PARIS 1909-1921BALLETS RUSSES Folio, green silk over thick beveled boards with large inset color illustration from Natalia Goncharova's design for "Firebird". Endpapers color- stenciled with names of the dances, dancers, composers, and choreographers, and in the center that of the impresario Serge Diaghilev. Silk faded; a little edge wear to bottom of front board. An exceptionally nice copy of this magnificent book. A compilation of the most important special issues of the theatrical periodical "Comoedia Illustré" and souvenir programs for the 1909-1921 seasons of the Ballets Russes, compiled by the program publishers themselves, Maurice and Jacques de Brunoff, Explanatory forewords by the critic Valerian Svetlov. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and black and white and splendid color plates, some heightened with gilt and silver, of the dancers, costumes and stage decor. Work by Léon Bakst, Valentine Hugo, André Derain, Alexandre Benois, Mikhail Larionov. Natalia Goncharova, José Sert, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. Dancers include Vaslav Nijinsky, Tamara, Karsavina, Michael and Vera Fokine, and Ida Rubenstein. Léon Bakst's brilliantly exotic and vivid designs for costumes and stage design revolutionized theater and fashion in the first quarter of the 20th century, drawing on Neo-Russian, Orientalist, and ancient Greek motifs. The May 1917 issue is devoted primarily to the ballet "Parade". In his introduction, "Parade et l'Esprit Nouveau", Guillaume Apollinaire coins the term "surrealism", laying the foundation for this movement. "Parade" is a collaboration among Erik Satie, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Léonide Massine, and Serge Diaghilev. Picasso's costumes are depicted in two pochoir-colored plates: "Costume de Chinois" and "Costume d'Acrobate". A copy is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (rebound without the original cover plaque by Goncharova) and another copy is featured in the 2019 exhibition "Hymn to Apollo/The Ancient World and the Ballets Russes" at the NYU Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.
LITTLE MACHINERY.: https://rarebookinsider.com/rare-books/little-machinery/