LEC/Heritage Press Art Gallery in the works

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LEC/Heritage Press Art Gallery in the works

Edited: Mar 8, 2011, 7:03pm

Hey everyone,

Starting this week I'm going to be compiling a Limited Edition Club/Heritage Press art gallery over at my website (@ http://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com ), and wanted to ask you all what books you would like to see me put up first. I have over 65 books all together, and will be following these guidelines:
Each book will feature:
1) A picture of the book’s cover,
2) 3 illustrations from within (including the title page),
3) A brief discussion about the book’s author, illustrator and, if I can, its publishing history through the LEC/HP.

I am wary of putting too many illustrations per title, mainly because the copyright holders (the still-existent Limited Edition Club, and current owners of the Heritage titles, the Easton Press) may frown upon such behavior. Besides, I’m considering this as a springboard for people to be able to sample what a book contains, and then try to track down these titles on their own if they like what they see. It will also hopefully provide an excellent resource for collectors of these titles, as well.

The titles I own, as well as other books I've found in libraries, can be viewed here: http://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/about/ As I put up new posts, I'll supply new replies with links to them at the end. Feel free to ask me questions here, too. :)

Dec 7, 2010, 12:41am

Very nice! I look forward to seeing the illustrations! Also, I am fairly certain under the Fair Use clause you can put up images for educational-related purposes without fear of consequence. I would strongly encourage you to put a disclaimer noting that you have done this in order to help catalog LEC/Heritage Press books and that the respective images are likely copyrighted (some might not be) by their respective owners (likely EP at this point).

As for which books to put up first? Why not go alphabetically?

Dec 7, 2010, 2:05am

>1 WildcatJF: Droll Stories by Balzac?, etc.

What a great service this will be, WildcatJF. If I can help in any way I'd love to. Incidentally, the illustrator of the Heritage Press Droll Stories was Boris Artzybasheff, and his illustrations were used in lieu of the ornaments W.A.Dwiggins did for the LEC edition several years earlier--and are a decided plus in favor of the Heritage edition. The Pickwick Papers was one of many books illustrated by John Austen for the LEC. Walden was illustrated with wood engravings by Thomas W. Nason for the Heritage Press edition whereas the earlier, very pricy LEC edition was illustrated with photographs by Steichen. Nason went on to illustrate the even pricier Complete Poems of Robert Frost for the LEC a few years later.

The tête-bêche edition of Aristophanes plays were the work of 2 ilustrators, as the plays had appeared in individual LEC editions earlier--The Frogs by John Austen (in uncharacteristic--for him--but decidedly apropos woodcuts), and The Birds with delightful pen and ink drawings by Marion Parry. The Education of Henry Adams, a beautiful heritage edition, is illustrated with gravures made from Samuel Chamberlain's etchings done fot the LEC edition, and The Ring and the Book reproduces Carl Schultheiss' engravings for the LEC edition.

My LEC ediotn of William Tell is illustrated with lithographs by Carl Hug, and I believe the Heritage edition used those as well. The Revolt of the Angels was illustrated with etchings originally done in Paris for France's original publisher Calmann-Levy in a very limited edition by Pierre Watrin--I think this is his only appearance as an illustrator for the Macy publications, but I think these are superb. (This is an anomaly, as the examples of the Macy companies using art NOT commissioned by them for their books can be counted on two hands.

The wood engravings by Tranquillo Marangoni for the LEC Toilers of the Sea are, I'm sure, reproduced for the Heritage edition as are Serge Ivanoff's illustrations for the Heritage edition. I have both and there is almost no distinguishable difference in the reproduction, though the LEC editions are hand-colored.

A Journal of the Plague Year contains black and white engravings and full-page color illustrations: in the LEC edition these are very delicately (if I may use such a term to describe the rather creepy illustrations by Domenico Gnoli) colored, but again, the Heritage Press reproduction is virtually identical.

Dec 7, 2010, 3:57am

>1 WildcatJF: This will be superb! Many thanks Wildcat. I'd like to cast a vote for The House of the Dead please.

Edited: Dec 7, 2010, 10:35am

2) Yes, I intend to focus my page as an educational/reference source for LEC/Heritage Press collectors, so I'm hoping Easton Press or the LEC of today don't jump me for it. XD It's another reason I'm limiting the amount of images for each book to three. I'd be hardpressed to make such an argument if the entire book's art was available to download. As for the order being alphabetical, it's not a bad idea. I'll consider it, but I did want to do my favorites first. ^_^

3) As usual, Django, you are a wealth of LEC/Heritage knowledge. I would greatly appreciate your help, and will likely discuss the specifics of that with you in private once I figure all that out. Thanks!
And you were right on with all of your artists save two - the Heritage William Tell I have has artwork from Rafaello Busoni, and my Heritage Pickwick Papers is by Gordon Ross.

4) House of the Dead is exquisite - I love Eichenberg's work. I was planning on doing the LEC's first, so I'll make House my initial exhibit. ^_^

As a sidenote, I've updated the list above with the books I blanked and with the correct illustrators.

Dec 7, 2010, 12:05pm

>5 WildcatJF:

Well, then I have to jump in and vote for the 2 books where I haven't seen the illustrations! William Tell and The Pickwick Papers. I'm particularly interested in the Pickwick as it seems to me Gordon Ross was the right man to illustrate this, based on the wonderful illustrations he did for the LEC edition of Surtees' The Jaunts and Jollities of John Jorrocks (to give it its shorter name). Austen's illustrations for the LEC Pickwick, like much of his work, is very pretty, but has about as much flavor as a weak cup of orange pekoe--definitely not what you'd expect for this book.

Dec 7, 2010, 12:07pm

6) Sure thing! ^_^

Dec 8, 2010, 4:27am

I would imagine you can include more than 3 illustrations and that certainly would still fall under Fair Use. You might want to decide based upon the number of illustrations. If you wanted to (totally up to you), you could also include how many illustrations are in the book. You might say "5 full-color plates + 10 smaller B&W illustrations" etc... This is much more work for you I understand, but it would be quite nice :)

Also, besides the 3 (or so?) images, will you also include pics of the cover?

Dec 8, 2010, 9:32am

Good cover shots would be nice as I notice that LEC covers are rarely in the user-uploaded covers available to select when I enter them. I usually have to take one myself.

Edited: Dec 8, 2010, 10:49am

8 and 9) Yes, I will be including pictures of the cover. That's a rather crucial part, considering the HP's reprintings after the Macys sold the company.

8) If there are multiple types of illustration (say, for example, in Man & Superman Charles Mozley did some sketches and some paintings), I would likely include two examples of each. I do want to keep the overall number low, though, not only for copyright sake and such but for space. I've only got so much to use, and I plan on letting the images be fairly large in order to see the detail (I'm hoping the camera will be up to the task), and if I do tons of images per book, I imagine I'll be running out of room on my blog in no time. I may make exceptions here and there, but I wanted to stick with a similar format for each book. We'll see, though - I would certainly understand wanting to see more! I'll be starting up tonight, and I'll take a look to see how much space the first couple of books take. I may start this up on its own blog if it's a massive undertaking.

Dec 8, 2010, 11:02pm

All right, folks, I bit the bullet and opened up a whole new blog just for this endeavor - it's early, but it's solid enough to give you all an idea of what my plans are. Comments and suggestions are welcome!


Dec 9, 2010, 1:51am

Very nice Wildcat! Excellent pictures. If I may make some suggestions--these reflect my own personal interests so others may think they are unnecessary.

On the LEC volumes, I'd like to know the number and the limitation. For example, my copy is number 93 out of a total of 2000.

If you have any knowledge of the provenance, this may or may not be interesting. My copy belonged to a doctor in Arcadia, CA, who was a member from about 1979--1985. His daughter sold off his collection--most apparently unread--on eBay over a period of about two weeks, and I bought about a half dozen (I suspect some of my rival bidders on the volumes I didn't win are on this site (chase, do you have any volumes number 93?) A more interesting provenance is that of my LEC edition of Gil Blas, which was owned by early subscriber Frank Capra, the legendary Hollywood director.

Although it is probably evident in the picture, the binding is gray cotton imported from France with the title stamped in, not gold, but pure copper. I don't have the Monthly Letter, but it always provides very interesting information on why certain materials were used for binding. I suspect the use of copper is an illusion to the scene where the little girl thrust a copper coin into Alexander Petrovich's hand, which made a profound impression on him.

Great job! I'm looking forward to the next!

Dec 9, 2010, 8:08am

I would also like to say add my praise. It looks like an excellent beginning to what will be a great site! The pictures look great, although I'm hoping there will be at least 4 pictures per book (cover, 3 pics of various illustrations). Also, if a particular slipcase is noteworthy (many were beautifully made), you might consider posting a pic of the slipcase as well. In fact, now that I think more and more about it, I think a pic of the slipcase (even if not particularly beautiful) is worth it.

I agree with Django that it is worthwhile to note how many of each volume were printed. Although I personally do not care what limitation number you have, rather I just care how many were printed in total. You have quite a few Heritage Press titles, which are reprints of the LEC. It would be nice if you could find out how many of the original LEC were printed even though your pics will be from the HP edition.

As Django pointed out, the monthly letter's are fascinating. One idea I had was maybe scan the letters and paste them on your site? That would be wonderful, and I'm sure others will be willing to help. In fact,, I encourage you to seek assistance. I bet Django and others won't mind sending you pics and/or scans to post on the blog. I will also certainly be willing to help. Great start, looking forward to more :)

Dec 9, 2010, 9:59am

12) I plan on doing the print run and my particular number on the official LEC entries. I can tell you right now that three of my four LEC's are #403 (including this one), and came from Monterey, CA. I don't have any particular history behind the original member, though - I'll have to ask the bookstore owners next time I'm there if they recollect them. The fourth I'll have to double-check. Thanks! I did send you a PM, BTW. :)

13) Aye, I will be following through with my plan for at least 4 pictures per book. What I have up now is merely a teaser of what's to come. ^_^ As for the slipcase, I think having a separate picture for it may not be a bad idea. I tried to place it under the book for the binding shot, but I wasn't satisfied with the result.

I can happily share how many LEC's were printed, too, even on the Heritage books (if they were reprints). I have that info, so it won't be a problem to include.

The letters/Sandglasses I did not plan to include. Personally, I enjoy discovering them on my own, so I likely felt others would, as well. However, I'm open to the possibility of doing that.

And I'm always open for additional assistance! I'd like to get an overall feel for how I'm going to work out the blog's entries first, but any help is greatly appreciated. ^_^ Thanks for all the suggestions!

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 3:17pm

Here's the first "official" entry on the blog.


I've included several of your suggestions. I'm still debating on the Letters being a part of this project, but I'll let you know what I decide upon. If anyone has any other info on the book they'd like me to add, please let me know! These aren't set in stone once I post them up - I can edit them at any time. Thanks, everyone!

Dec 9, 2010, 3:44pm

> 15 Many, many thanks Wildcat! Terrific job; this is going to be a wonderful resource. The House of the Dead looks like everything that I thought it would be - the illustrations are superb.

Who was the publisher for Wuthering Heights?

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 4:39pm

16) That would be Random House. He also did Jane Eyre for them, and make for a nice set. The Poe was also through Random House, now that I'm thinking about it.

And I'm glad you enjoyed the book. As I said, it's one of my favorites.

Dec 9, 2010, 6:54pm

>15 WildcatJF:

Outstanding! What a wonderful service you are performing. (Incidentally, my copy is also signed by Michael Bixler.)

That 2 volume 1943 Random House Bronte set illustrated by Eichenberg, was designed by frequent Macy contributor Richard Ellis, so there is a strong family resemblance to many Heritage Press editions. Although I cherish my Heritage set with Barnett Freedman's lithographs, Eichenberg's image of the schoolgirls marching outside Lowood used on the cover of Jane Eyre is, for me, iconic of that story. One of the all-time great illustrations

Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 8:47pm

Thanks, Django! I did not know about Ellis' involvement, so that makes sense. I need that Jane Eyre, actually...but I agree, it's a stunning cover.

I'll try to get the two books you requested up by end of the weekend.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:10pm

When you get around to Cyrano de Bergerac, I'll be curious to see how the Heritage illustrations compare to the 1954 LEC. I just saw some examples of the LEC illustrations on eBay and they look fabulous.

Dec 10, 2010, 1:15pm

>20 jveezer:

jveezer, I happen to have bothLEC and Heritage editions, and the illustrations are virtually indistinguishable. The LEC are hand-colored, of course, so there may be slight variations in individual copies of the LEC, but when I compare the two side-by-side, I can't detect the difference in saturation or uniformity of color. (The big advantage of the LEC is the lovely tapestry fabric used for the binding--I wish I could reupholster my sofa with that fabric!)

Dec 10, 2010, 2:29pm

>21 Django6924: Interesting because I have a copy of the LEC Jungle Book and earlier I had given my daughter the HP version and one can't help but notice the enormous difference in color quality between the hand-colored vs machine printed illustrations. This case is one of the few times when I have actually viewed comparable HP and LEC volumes side by side.

Dec 10, 2010, 2:56pm

20) I love my Heritage Cyrano. The translation is perfect, and the art is as well. Good to know the LEC is similar, but with a wonderful binding.

I've got my second entry up today (I'm hoping you all won't mind me putting updates up here as I do them!), this one on one of the Heritage Press' Great Masters Novel series (my designation), This is the Hour: A Novel about Goya by Leon Feuchtwanger.


Dec 10, 2010, 6:48pm

>22 kdweber:

kdweber, was the Heritage Jungle Book a New York edition? The later ones from Avon and Norwalk seem to generally be much inferior. One of these days I will put up side-by-side comparisons of the Heritage and LEC versions of Lord Jim, The Innocent Voyage and the 2 Moliere plays. All the Heritage ones are earlier editions from New York and the color reproduction is really, really good.

Dec 10, 2010, 7:24pm

Django, which batch of books were they? Were they auction or ebay? If so, do you have a timeframe and I will check my collection. Part of my problem is that my wife is due with our first child any day now and my wife forced me to relegate some of my books to the dreaded storage unit, but I will do the best I can!

Dec 10, 2010, 7:54pm

>25 chase.donaldson:

They were books with a number of 93. t doesn't really matter--I was really teasing, and it sounds like you have more important things to think about.

Maybe a Christmas baby? :-)

Dec 10, 2010, 7:57pm

>24 Django6924: Django - 1968, New York

Dec 10, 2010, 9:21pm

Due date is 12/29 so definitely a possibility. I will go through a few of the ones I've gotten in the past few weeks and see...

Dec 11, 2010, 10:33am

>23 WildcatJF:

Great addition! I'm glad you chose this as although I have it, I haven't read it, and mine lacks the Sandglass. The information was fascinating.

And yes, there was one more book in this series--I actually mentioned it on one of the Leonardo Da Vinci notebooks thread on the Folio Society group. Dmitri Merejcovski's The Romance Of Leonardo Da Vinci was published in 1938.

Dec 11, 2010, 7:16pm

29) Ah, so Goya's was the last. Good to know - I won't have to look for any others. :)

Dec 12, 2010, 7:07pm

My latest entry is up, on the Heritage Press printing of Richard Hughes' The Innocent Voyage.


I do need some help on this one - As I am lacking a Sandglass, any insights into the Heritage Press creation process of this book would be greatly appreciated. I also need its Volume number printed on the front page of the Sandglass, and I need to confirm if this particular edition was printed in 1944. The LEC original was printed that year, but I'm not sure if the Heritage reprints would follow their LEC cousins so closely in release. Thanks!

Dec 14, 2010, 8:29pm


Man and Superman's LEC edition is up! I plan on doing The Pickwick Papers and William Tell next for you Django, and Cyrano for you, jveezer.

Dec 15, 2010, 8:59am

Thanks Wildcat, I just finished a project with a demanding deadline and haven't had time to respond to the Innocent Voyage posting. I will have to see if I have my Heritage copy in storage to check the Sandglass, but I believe this came out the same year as the LEC. The Monthly Letter for the LEC is very interesting and I will post some of the information from it here later today (Dec 15--I think...it's been a hectic last 2 weeks.)

Dec 15, 2010, 10:38am

That would be great, Django - thank you!

Dec 15, 2010, 6:01pm

Still haven't had time to retrieve the Heritage Innocent Voyage with Sandglass from storage, but according to Michael Bussacco's checklist, an indispensable resource, the Heritage edition is numbered BHP-7-H and was issued 7th in the H series that ran from June 1944--May 1945, so it probably shipped December 1944 or January 1945.

It is virtually identical to the LEC version which was the 1st book in the 16th series. The size and design are the same except the binding on the LEC is full sheepskin pigment-dyed a wine-red. The same portrayal of Emily in a concentric series of ruled lines is stamped in gold on front and back covers. The title on the spine is also gold.

The books' designer (same) was Robert L. Dothard, owner of the E.L. Hildreth printing shop in Brattleboro, Vermont. The IV Monthly Newsletter doesn't say much about him, but he also designed The Oregon Trail for the Macy companies as well as The Short Stories of Oscar Wilde. In the Newsletter for The Oregon Trail, the following information was given:

Born in Philadelphia in 1908, set type in high school, studied literature and printing at Haverford College from whence he graduated in 1930. The following year he published his own edition of Henry Fielding's Tom Thumb the Great, to celebrate the play's bicentennial.

The LEC book's paper is a Worthy white rag sheet and the type is Baskerville. There is a comment by Macy in the Monthly Letter I must quote:

"The page is certainly open and readable, but we do hope that you will find George Miller's who printed the lithographs, more about which later printing and Lynd Ward's lithographs so unusually fine that you will not mind the fact that the Hildreth printing of the open and readable pages is not very good. We tell ourselves and can tell you, that many of our best pressmen are still at the front shooting at the Japs and Germans and, what is tragic for us, sometimes being shot at: so one must be patient."

This is one of those times, which occur more than one might imagine, in the Monthly Letters when Macy--usually accused of only printing panegyrics about his books--is openly critical. He panned the LEC Green Mansions because he didn't care for the airy type of the page (being a staunch and unwavering advocate of crisp, deeply stamped black type), and he had similar reservations about several other of the LEC output, one of which ended in the enmity between Macy and Grabhorn that lasted the rest of his life. It is also indicative, in the comment about shooting at Japs and Germans, of his fervent patriotism which manifested itself most strikingly in the legendary Heritage Press Ink and Blood.

(More about those amazing lithographs later tonight.)

Dec 15, 2010, 7:24pm

That is incredibly useful, Django - thank you so much. I've updated the post with your info. :)

Dec 15, 2010, 9:20pm

The lithos in The Innocent Voyage are amazing in their Technicolor vibrancy and wide range of hues. They mark the first time Ward did other than monochrome lithos for Macy. Each of the five colors had to be done on a separate stone, and then overlaid in register--an incredibly complicated procedure. I quote from the Monthly Letter:

"...he had to draw each color on the flat, not knowing what the finished illustration would look like until he had drawn each of the five brilliant colors and could then possess himself of prints in which each color had been printed on top of the preceding color, or colors, in order to create the final compositions...twenty-five in all. Every one of these (in the LEC, and, I think, in the Heritage version as well), is an original lithograph, an auto-lithograph in color, printed directly from the flats upon which the artist made the drawings, without the interference of a photographic camera or paid operatives to work over the plates."

The printing was done by George Miller, the acknowledged dean of American lithographers, who was honored by an exhibition of his life's work in February, 1976, at the Smithsonian. Longtime Macy favorite Frank Fortney did the binding.

Edited: Dec 15, 2010, 9:48pm

Again, thanks, Django. I'll add that to the original post. That info is...just astounding. Just another example of how the art for these books are just so amazing and unique in the industry.

Something in return for your help:


Enjoy comparing the HP William Tell to your LEC! If you could, I'd like to know if the books share translators and introductions (by Theodore Martin and Thomas Carlyle, respectively).

Dec 16, 2010, 1:56am

>38 WildcatJF:

Yes, the translator and introductions are apparently the same (Martin and Carlyle), though the LEC is illustrated--in a style rather like your posted illustrations--by Hug. The binding is unusual--there is the same crossbow illustration stamped in gold on the front cover, but the front and back boards are--well, boards. A very attractive but fragile-looking wood veneer. I have no Monthly Letter for this edition, can't fill you in on the genus and species of the wood, but is is grayish-green in color and very straight-grained--no fiddleback here.

Why the change in illustrators? I wish I knew. The Hug illustrations are original lithographs, and maybe there were stipulations on reprint usage. I haven't read this book as yet, and due to the fragile nature of the wood, am reluctant to, but the feel of the paper--don't know what it is but is of high rag content and printed in Switzerland (where else?)-- is most marvellous to the fingers.

Dec 16, 2010, 2:16am

> 35-39 What an excellent, informative and timely (given my recent acquisition) way to start the day! Many thanks to you both.

Dec 16, 2010, 11:39am

40) You're welcome! More to come!

39) Hm. Sounds like an exquisite book, despite its apparent frailty. It would be nice to know why the HP went with Busoni - the Sandglass states their choice of him, but not why he replaced Hug's work. Mysterious.

Dec 16, 2010, 9:11pm

A brief diversion today - The Poems of W.B. Yates is my featured post (I'll return to Dickens and Rostand over the weekend).


I am seeking some info for this book – namely, the designer of it, any differences between it and the LEC edition, and the Sandglass volume number. If you happen to have that info, let me know through the comments here. Thanks!

Dec 16, 2010, 11:48pm

>42 WildcatJF:

The LEC edition was the third volume in the 38th Series, which ran from January 1970 to April 1971. The edition was designed by John Dreyfus and printed at The Thistle Press. The full page B&W drawings by jacques were hand-colored in the studios of Walter Fischer (and are lovely), and the book is bound in quarter green morocco leather and green linen boards. A black oval embossed portrait (in what appears to be leather) of Yeats on the front cover is the only decoration on the binding. (I must say, I wish instead of the portrait they had embossed the drawing of the wild swans at Coole that the Heritage book used--frankly Yeats would not have approved the likeness of him.)

By LEC copy lacks the Monthly Letter, so this is all the light I can shed.

Dec 20, 2010, 7:37pm

You're in for a treat today - marvel in the glorious beauty that is the Heritage Press Salome:


Need lots of help on this one! I'd love to know the designer of the book. The Limited Edition Club did their own version of the play, with Andre Derain seemingly responsible for the art (he provided his signature). Beyond that, though, I don't know how much, if anything, the two books share, so if you have that info, I'd be very thankful. The Sandglass number would be ideal, too. If you've got anything of the sort, let me know!

Dec 20, 2010, 8:30pm

I also bought my copy for $8 after listening to Django sing its praises. A beautiful book, illuminated by hand for the Heritage press. Unfortunately, I'm also missing the Sandglass.

Dec 21, 2010, 1:07am

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find..." Matthew 7:7

According to my Sandglass #3NN, Mr Valenti Angelo was the designer and illustrator, as well as illuminating--by his own hand--the gold decorations. The type is Garamond Bold. The black cloth binding was purchased by the Macy companies before WW II and had sat in warehouses until its use in Salome. It was made by Interlaken Mills in Arkwright, RI, a specialist in making cloth for book covers. Salome was issued in October, 1945.

The Sandglass gives much biographical information about Mr. Angelo, but what will be of particular interest here is that he got his start in the book business illustrating books for the Grabhorn Press in San Francisco, and did indeed illustrate a Salome for them years before--an exceedingly rare edition, obviously, as I have never seen a copy of it online or in any bookstore.

Also interesting is the considerable space given in the Sandglass to the LEC Salome, which was, in fact, two books--the one illustrated by Derain (most unusually on black paper) and printed in French (which is how Wilde wrote it). The second Salome (housed in the same slipcase), featured Lord Alfred Douglas' translation into English--the version by which the play is most familiar to we English-speaking types. This volume is illustrated with the well-known drawings Aubrey Beardsley had made for the English publication of his translation.

The Introduction by Holbrook Jackson was used in both LEC and Heritage Press editions.

The Sandglass goes on to point out that this Salome resulted from the success of the similar hand-illuminated Heritage Press Song of Songs, that was one of the first 6 books issued by the Heritage Press. That book, too, is a treasure, especially if you find one of the earlier editions bound in red leather.

Dec 21, 2010, 11:38am

Post updated - once again, your input is invaluable! Now I have another book to track down! ^_^

Dec 21, 2010, 1:06pm

It looks like there are a lot of cheap copies ($10 or less) available online.

Dec 21, 2010, 1:06pm

The Grabhorn Salome was just on sale 2 weekends ago at an auction in DC. Unfortunately, I was unable to procure it, but from the photos it looked marvelous!

Dec 22, 2010, 10:33am

>49 chase.donaldson:

Do you know what the Grabhorn Salome sold for, chase?

Dec 22, 2010, 11:58am

Ya know, I just spent about 20 minutes trying to find it, but can't. I use liveauctioneers and artfact, and I'm pretty sure it was on artfact, and they don't let you search past auctions without a paid account. I think it was bundled with 3 or 4 others, and I think it was in the 300-450 range.

I also know that it was also sold in June of this year bundled with 10 other grabhorn titles for 575

Dec 22, 2010, 3:01pm

50> I saw an auction last year where the Grabhorn Salome sold for $240.

Dec 22, 2010, 8:17pm

Today I've got some Dickens up for you all - The Pickwick Papers.


It's a nice book, with some nice illustrations. Gordon Ross seems to be a good fit for Dickens.

Dec 22, 2010, 10:23pm

Thanks for all the hard work! I look forward to seeing more.
On a personal note, I'm not a fan of the LEC/HP Salome. I personally far prefer the Beardsley illustrations, but it is merely matter of taste after all :)


Dec 22, 2010, 11:21pm

Thanks for the link, I like the Art Nouveau prints.

Dec 23, 2010, 12:00am

>54 astropi:

Indeed a matter of taste--I find Beardsley's illustrations too self-consciously decadent (as well as being a little on the grotesque side). Wilde himself did NOT like them. I have to say that the best thing about the Heritage Salome is the design and ornamentation by Angelo, which I personally find exquisite (my taste). The play itself, at least in Lord Douglas' translation (I can't read Wilde's French), I find a little too, too (if you know what I mean).

Dec 23, 2010, 12:08am

56) Yes, yes I do get what you mean. ;)

I plan on getting Cyrano up tonight or tomorrow, and then I'll be taking a Christmas break.

Dec 23, 2010, 1:23am

56: ah indeed, I think "grotesque" is a good adjective for Beardsley's illustrations. However, I do not consider it to be demeaning in any way in this case. I tend to love his illustrations because they are slightly horrific and surreal. His illustrations for Poe are fantastic, and I do think they completely changed how I read Salome. I find Angelo's work a little too ornate for my taste in general. However, I've only seen the images from Salome and The Book of Job (I had the EP reprint).

Dec 23, 2010, 9:58am

>58 astropi:

If the EP reprinted the LEC/Heritage Book of Job, that was illustrated by Arthur Szyk--not Valenti Angelo. Many find Szyk's art too exuberant (I think chase said "cartoonish"). I happen to think Angelo's work, while ornate in some respects, always perfectly suited to the work and never drawing attention away from the text (which Szyk's work certainly can do--and Beardsley's is frankly intended to do).

>57 WildcatJF:

Looking forward to Cyrano--I have been so far behind in my work--and fighting a cold--that I haven't followed through on taking pictures as I had promised, of the Ricart Don Quixote, the Hug-illustrated William Tell, and probably others I can't remember at the moment, but I will do my best to get some shots of the LEC Cyrano posted for comparison, per my previous exchange with jveezer.

Dec 23, 2010, 10:56am

59) Don't worry about it - get better first! I can update my blog at any time. ^_^ I do look forward to those comparison shots, though - feel free to cover any of the books I've done. Cyrano will hopefully get up today, depending on time.

Dec 23, 2010, 5:32pm

59: my apologies, I meant to say Book of Psalms. I think EP did in fact reprint Szyk's Book of Job as well. I absolutely love Szyk, however his LEC books tend to go for a great deal of money. Money well spent, but more than I have at the moment.

Dec 23, 2010, 7:53pm

My final book before the Christmas holiday is one of my favorites, the immortal classic Cyrano de Bergerac.


This is the second version put out by the Macy companies, with Pierre Brissaud's wonderful illustrations. Enjoy, and a Merry Christmas to you all!

Dec 23, 2010, 9:52pm

I do indeed find Szyk sort of cartoonish, but I do think that his one redeeming characteristic is that his illustrations are often complex, with many characters and symbology, which I just love. Speaking of symbology, might I suggest the Arion Christian Symbols text which is generally discounted at the end of the year. I also think you can find a copy for $50 on ebay right now. I have been sort of slowly collecting Koch and Kredel's typography and symbology, and have built up quite a collection, the most famous of which are the First Edition Club Book of Symbols by them, as well as their first edition portfolio that I found for a paltry 40 dollars or something like that on ebay. Score. The Arion one is very nice and I would recommend it to anyone interested in that sort of thing

Edited: Dec 23, 2010, 11:13pm

>62 WildcatJF:

Very nice page, and very interesting personal notes--especially reading that you essayed the role of De Guiche yourself!

The designer of the Heritage edition--and of the LEC version with Brissaud's illustrations--was none other than George Macy himself. Again, aside from the binding, the printing for the LEC being done at the Marchbanks Press, and the plates being hand-colored by Walter Fischer, I can see virtually no difference in the pages when I compare my Heritage copy to my LEC copy. Both are wonderful.

The older LEC wasn't as nicely bound, to my taste, anyway, but the reproductions of Sylvain Sauvage's illustrations I've seen make me wish I owned a copy of it as well! I don't know a thing about the translation used for that one--by Brian Hooker--but I bet I'd prefer Untermeyer's.

Dec 24, 2010, 1:42pm

Thanks are due once again! I'll update my post with that info later on.

Dec 27, 2010, 10:12pm

Today brings the dark poem from Oscar Wilde's imprisonment - The Ballad of Reading Gaol.


Another favorite of mine. I could use some help with the designer of the book - I'm assuming it's George Macy, but I'd like to know for certain. Enjoy!

Dec 28, 2010, 9:53am

>67 Django6924:

Another excellent page, and of a book that I think is often overlooked in the Macy canon.

The book's designer is John S. Fass, who in 1950 founded his own Hammer Creek Press which produced very small numbers of exceedingly well-printed books. Prior to the Wilde, he had designed two of my absolute favorites for the LEC--Apuleius' The Golden Ass and Melville's Typee. Macy's note on The Ballad of Reading Gaol is that the "association" binding--using the blind-stamped and embossed cover to suggest prison walls and a barred window--is beautifully executed and is something few designers have the skill and design savvy to pull off. Fass used it on all the LEC books he designed, here, in the tapa cloth binding for Typee and the genuine ass's skin binding for the Apuleius.

Dec 28, 2010, 3:41pm

66> Wildcat, looks great. I was already considering buying the LEC version for $50 but after looking at your pictures I decided to pick up the HP version for $6.

Dec 28, 2010, 5:42pm

> 66 Thanks Wildcat, your page encouraged me to fetch out my own copy which I have just read through, having been meaning to for some time. The writing is seemingly effortless and simple, yet so beautiful and so sad. And Gay's illustrations are perfect.

My copy was advertised as 'unopened' and I can believe it too, as when I did open it up, the leatherlen along one edge of the spine cracked right along its length. Hm, not sure about that two centuries claim!

Dec 28, 2010, 9:20pm

69) Oh, that's terrible! I suppose that claim would be a little dubious if it split like that! My apologies! At least you enjoyed the contents!

68) Congrats, and hopefully Huxley's situation doesn't spread! Mine didn't crack like his did - we're 1 for 2!

Anyway, today's post is on the Heritage version of Leaves of Grass, with Rockwell Kent providing the art. The Press did a special 1000 copy limited edition with a Moroccan leather binding and Kent providing his signature, but alas, mine is merely the standard edition.


I'm in the dark on a lot with this one - I could use info on when it was printed, who designed it, and the Sandglass number. Thanks!

Edited: Dec 29, 2010, 1:42am

>69 HuxleyTheCat:

Odd--I have 2 Heritage Press leatherlen books--the Wilde and the Angelo-illuminated The Book of Proverbs. The binding on both is like new, and the books have been opened frequently. Must be that Welsh air...

>70 WildcatJF:

Wildcat, the Sandglass number is 11N. Mine also has an inked stamp--possibly put in by the original owner--with a date of May 2, 1950. This coincides nicely with the information in Bussacco's Checklist that it was the next-to-last book in Series N which ran from June 1949--May 1950. The Checklist is less helpful when it comes to determining if this edition is a reprint of the FIRST Heritage Press Leaves of Grass which was the 2nd book in Series A, which ran from June 1937--May 1938. The Sandglass in my copy (which is very interesting as it opens with a sombre section describing the anxieties of the times what with the threat of Communism and the fresh memories of WW II), mentions that the co-designer of the book, William A. Kittredge, had already "met his reward in heaven," which makes me believe the book may have been produced some time before the 1950 date. (A quick Google search revealed Mr. Kittredge passed away in 1945.)

The book was designed by Kent himself in collaboration with typographer Kittredge of The Lakeside Press. It is set in Bodoni and the grass-green linen binding, the cloth originally made for window shades, was chosen by Kent who also designed the monogram on the front board--the initials "WW" drawn to resemble blades of grass. A great book.

Edited because I forgot to include!: The four dates buried in the earth on the title page are 1492 (Columbus landed), 1607 (the founding of Jamestown), 1776 (of course), and 1861, the outbreak of the War Between the States.

Dec 29, 2010, 5:33am

> 70 Absolutely no need to apologise for anything Wildcat!

> 71 I'd think that the culprit would more likely be the dry, dry air of Texas than the decidedly soggy air of Southern England (this vol has never been 'across the bridge'). I can perfectly well imagine that the binding of a book unopened for seventy-odd years in a very dry atmosphere could become a little brittle.

It is a pity though, because it is such an interestingly designed and produced book (and otherwise pristine). I'm sure that a replacement can be procured at little cost if the split becomes too aesthetically displeasing.

I have the Easton Leaves of Grass, which is based upon the HP edition (the HP copyright date for this version is given as 1965), and was my first proper introduction to Whitman's poetry, having read only brief sections previously. Oh, what a wonderful discovery it has been!

Dec 30, 2010, 10:59am

71) Thanks, Django! I've added all that to the main post.

Today's book is another Great Master title, but this particular copy is interesting. This is R.v.R. - The Life of Rembrandt van Rijn by Hendrik Van Loon.


I don't have time to explain its uniqueness here, but please comment on it if you have any questions or answers! Enjoy!

Jan 1, 2011, 12:03pm

Took a little longer than I had planned, but here's a new post showcasing the first work of Anthony Trollope's either club published - The Warden.


I think Fritz Kredel was a good choice for this one. I may get another one up today, depending on time.

Jan 4, 2011, 6:46pm

Today brings us Robert Browning's epic, The Ring and the Book.


I'm without a Sandglass, so I could use all kinds of help. I need the designer of the book, any comparisons to the LEC version (which came in 2 volumes), the Sandglass number, and any other insights, all of which would be fantastic. Thanks in advance!

Edited: Jan 5, 2011, 9:02pm

Here's the Heritage version of Virgil's The Aeneid, with artwork done by Carlotta Petrina.

It was my very first Heritage Press book, so I have some sentimental feelings for it. Enjoy!

If you have a Sandglass, I could use some info - who designed it, the number itself, and any comparisons to the LEC original. Thanks!

Jan 5, 2011, 11:29pm

>76 WildcatJF: WildcatJF, Love the cover, hate the translation.

Jan 6, 2011, 10:13am

>77 kdweber:

I realize I'm in the minority here, but I think the Dryden translation is my favorite--although I also like the Rolfe Humphries translation. The heroic couplets which seem to be such an impediment in Pope's Homer translations, seem to work just fine for Virgil (to my taste, anyway).

Wildcat, the Sandglass number is 5H. The designer was Robert L. Dothard of the Hildreth Press, whom we last encountered as the designer of the Heritage/LEC The Innocent Voyage. The text is set in a linotype face--14 point Old Style, on a laid, toned paper that the Sandglass mentions was difficult to acquire during the war rationing situation. The cover (and I agree with you Ken, that even if you don't like the translation, the cover is hard to beat) was unusual in that instead of the usual "blind-stamoing," which impresses a design into the cover, this cover features one of Ms. Petrina's designs embossed as a sort of bas-relief. This is one of those occasions where the design of the Heritage Press edition is far superior (as a design) to the rather staid LEC version.

Jan 6, 2011, 2:35pm

77) Thanks, Django! Do you have any info on some of the other books I've posted - The Warden, R.v.R. and The Ring and the Book? If not, then don't fret it. I'll get stuff up on the Aeneid shortly. Again, thanks for the info!

Jan 6, 2011, 3:29pm

I'll have to check on The Warden and R.V.R. tonight. Perhaps I do on the Trollope, as I have both the Heritage and the LEC editions. Not sure on R.V.R as this is one I haven't read since I acquired it. My LEC of the Browning doesn't have the Monthly Letter and I can't remember whether my Heritage edition, packed in storage, has the Sandglass or not. Will check on it next week when I have to go there.

Jan 6, 2011, 7:38pm

80) Thanks in advance!

Today brings one of the more famous books of the Limited Editions Club, although it's merely the Heritage Press reprint - Aristophanes' Lysistrata, known for featuring the artwork of Pablo Picasso.


I'm trying to zip through my Sandglass-less books, so I've got another need to fill. If you have a Sandglass, I could use the number and any designer/production notes it contains. I'd be quite surprised if anyone here has the big-bucks LEC original, but comparisons would be most welcome if you do! Thanks!

Jan 6, 2011, 9:14pm

Easton Press also reprinted Lysistrata as part of their Famous Editions. They did quite a nice job with it. As for the LEC edition, I saw one on ebay a few days ago sell for slightly over $4000! It's quite amazing what a signature can do.

Jan 6, 2011, 9:20pm

82> Thanks astropi, I also saw that LEC Lysistrata on eBay but forgot to put it on my watchlist so I could see the final price. I'll have to be content with my EP copy; although, as usual, the Heritage illustrations look superior.

Jan 6, 2011, 11:05pm

>81 WildcatJF:

I'm not sure whether my Heritage Lysistrata has the Sandglass--I'll check tonight. I do know the designer--George Macy. In the LEC retrospective Quarto-Millenary, Macy tells an interesting story of dealing with Picasso which I will relate when I have a bit more time.

Jan 6, 2011, 11:25pm

"It required a great screwing-up of courage on my part", Macy admitted. " It also required much cash, much manipulation, much pulling of strings, and a great deal of heartache and headache in getting the work out of him after we had agreed to do it. He is a charming person to talk with, a horrifyingly difficult person to do business with. It is probable that only the fact that we suggested a book he liked caused him to agree to undertake the commission."

"When I first got in touch with Picasso in Paris, he said he was willing to illustrate the book for a very stiff price. I agreed. I was in Paris again when Picasso had finished the plates, and I sought to take them from his apartment. But he insisted on treating the transaction on a no-trust basis: He made me hand him the actual cash with my left hand while he handed me the plates with his left hand."

Edited: Jan 7, 2011, 2:09pm

Thanks, Ken for relating this funny story.

wildcat, my Sandglass doesn't have a number as it is not the original Sandglass, but one that was issued from the period when the Heritage Club was in Norwalk. By the time of this reissue, Picasso was dead, as was Gilbert Seldes, the translator and author of the Introduction. and, of course, George Macy, the book's designer. Macy chose the type, Caslon, in 18 point size, and specified black for the the text with the drawing reproduced in sanguine.

In the Monthly Letter for the LEC edition, Number 61, June 1934, there is a paragraph on the paper--one of those elaborations which make the LEC/Heritage Club such a pleasure to collect (and which I wish the Folio Society would emulate)--which is worth quoting as it reveals the pleasure taken in the Art of book production:

"The type is printed on a paper imported from France. It is made on moulds at the Rives paper mills, and is called Valfrey. It is made completely of rags, and has a warm deep tone in its color. (DJANGO'S NOTE: In a different Monthly Letter, it is mentioned that the Rives company obtains most of its rags from discarded cotton underwear--a perhaps irrelevant point, but in light of the subject matter of this particular book, it seems drolly apropos.) Across the surface, the devilishly clever French have managed to place a pleasant glaze which is the despair of American makers of machine papers."

The six etchings which Picasso did for the edition were printed by hand, by Charles Furth of New York--who also printed the Ruth Reeves etchings in the LEC Daphnis and Chloe. The binding was of heavy boards covered with a three color patterned paper with a design made by LeRoy Appleton from the Picasso drawings, and the book itself housed in a double, or chemise slipcase.

Whereas the Sandglass spends a fair amount of time talking about Picasso's achievements during his life--the "Guernica" which has just been returned to Spain by MOMA, following Picasso's wishes with the end of the Franco regime, and Picasso's famous UN Peace dove--the Monthly Letter spends half of its four pages selling the subscriber on how he should not be outraged by Modern Art in general, Picasso's work in particular, and that the Lysistrata illustrations are not only great illustrations, but "will continue to bring you pleasure and joy long after you have tired of looking at the pretty-pretty, stiff and formal pictures in many of our own books." (I wonder if he wasn't thinking of John Austen's illustrations when he made this criticism--a frequent and very popular LEC illustrator whose illustrations are perfectly described as "pretty-pretty, stiff and formal"?) Macy was quite aware that Picasso, though even then recognized as probably the pre-eminent living artist, was also widely hated by many conservative Americans, including a large percentage of LEC subscribers. He was right--in the section of the Monthly Letter called "Files on Parade," where he prints comments received from Club members, he prints several diatribes by members who were outraged by Lysistrata--which most critics agree now is one of the half-dozen greatest achievements of the LEC.

Edited: Jan 7, 2011, 8:20pm

85, 86) Wow, that was some fascinating history behind the book! I added both of your anecdotes to the post. Thanks!

I'm going to be swamped between digging a trench and work tomorrow, and will be off shopping in Berkeley for more books on Sunday, so I'll cap the week with a curious book - The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.


The LEC never did this particular Hardy novel, so it would seem that the Heritage Press commissioned Agnes Miller Parker, who did all of the LEC Hardy illustrations, to contribute to this one, as well...but I'm merely speculating. I don't have a Sandglass, so this is a mystery to me as to why it never got a LEC release. Any insights would be great!

Jan 7, 2011, 11:50pm

In answer to your question about why the LEC didn't do The Return first...I don't know, and the Sandglass (Number 5LX in my copy) offers no help either. (Hardy had not yet achieved the popularity that he was to have in the late 1950s and 1960s that was to result in the LEC doing all the other Wessex novels--as well as acclaimed film versions of Far From the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d'Urbervilles--so when this first Hardy novel was conceived and published in the early days of WW II, it may have been Macy feeling a wave of pro-British feeling and wanting to publish something "English," but feeling that it might not be acceptable to the subscribers of the LEC, who were still grousing about the LEC publishing works not in the canon of accepted classics.)

The Sandglass spends the first half of its length praising Agnes Miller Parker--and rightly so. The Sandglass calls The Return the "best" of Hardy's novels, because in addition to hardy's usual pessimism and gloom, there is "romance and excitement"--two qualities caught amazingly in Parker's wood engravings.

The book's designer was A.G. Hoffman, who died after completing the layouts for this book. He chose Caledonian as the type--an adaptation by W.A. Dwiggins of the old Scotch font.

The plainness of your binding brings up one of those interesting conundrums that make the Heritage Press a never-ending source of research. My copy, which bears a copyright date of 1942, and was printed in the Netherlands, has the same design characteristics as the other Heritage Hardys. To quote the Sandglass:

"There is a decorative pattern printed on the covers, built up out of a recurring motif engraved in wood by Mrs McCanse (Parker's married name--the motif is made of Egdon Heath butterflies and snakes). The sheets are...stitched into a binding case which is covered with a staunch linen upon which this pattern is printed in a kind of earth-green. The title is stamped in gold on a bright green label."

The Sandglass says the page tops are dyed green, but my copy has green-speckled page edges all around. This is one example of the amazing variety of bindings in which a single title from the Heritage Press may be found. One could have a very interesting library by collecting all the variants! The binding on my copy is handsome in the extreme, and when I get some free time next week I'll try to put a picture up.

Jan 8, 2011, 6:48am

> 87 I didn't know that HP had published this, so it has just gone to the top of my 'must buy' list!

> 88 "The binding on my copy is handsome in the extreme, and when I get some free time next week I'll try to put a picture up."

It sounds lovely - would very much like to see an image when you have the time to take one.

Edited: Jan 8, 2011, 11:52am

88) Curious - yours sounds just like the other two Hardy's I have, with the repeating piece of art for the binding. Mine has green speckled page edges as well. A picture of yours would be most welcome. :)

89) It is a nice book indeed - hope you find one that looks more like Django's!

Update - Two things - First, my book at the end has the publishing information, saying where it was binded (Russell-Rutter Company), who printed it (The Quinn & Boden Company), and that this one was also designed by A.G. Hoffman. But what just struck me was the mentioning of the war. I would bet that the Press wanted to put out nice editions like yours, but due to rationing, they had to compromise and put out some with generic bindings like mine. The endpapers have the repeating piece with the snake and butterfly your copy has on the binding, Django, so I have a strong feeling that may be why we have such differing copies. Perhaps mine didn't come with a Sandglass, which may explain the process of how it was made at the end (if you have the same, then that's a lost point).

Jan 8, 2011, 12:28pm

>89 HuxleyTheCat:, 90

OK, here it is. Not the best picture as the book when I bought it was enclosed in a plastic Brodart protector that was taped in a long time ago, and I am reluctant to remove it for fear of doing harm to the endpapers.


I wonder if your volume was the first or mine. Since mine was printed in the Netherlands, I suspect that mine was issued after the war, and that yours was issued first with the plain binding a stopgap measure.

Jan 8, 2011, 1:13pm

90 - 91 Oh yes, I must find one of those for myself!... ... and a quick trip to abe shows plenty available at pocket money prices, so now just to select a nice one.

Thanks for the pic Django.

Jan 11, 2011, 2:42pm

92) Yay! My goal is being fulfilled! :)

91) I'll add that pic to my post for comparisons, as well as update it with your info. Thanks!

Here's some poetry for you - Shakespeare's, with Agnes Miller Parker's artwork.


Since I’m without a Sandglass, I could use all kinds of help. The designer of the book, comparisons to the LEC version, the Sandglass number, the year it was printed, and any other insights would be fantastic.

Jan 12, 2011, 4:16pm

Hey Wildcat, I love your blog of course, and I was wondering if it's possible to post a list of the book pages you created on the right hand side? It would allow for easy navigation to previous entries.

Jan 12, 2011, 5:24pm

WildcatJF, the Shakespeare Poems is a real gem--and no corresponding LEC volume. It shows how undervalued the Heritage Press books are--superb paper, binding, original wood engravings by Agnes Miller Parker, and literature that is worth the special treatment. I daresay if Folio or another fine press brought this out today, they'd want at least $50 dollars for it.

I don't have a Sandglass for this one, so I'm afraid I can't help much with information.

Incidentally, I don't know if you are aware that the Heritage Press also published an edition of just the sonnets, in a volume illuminated by Valenti Angelo in a similar style to his Sonnets from the Portuguese, and that there is no corresponding LEC volume for this, either. Another treasure from this sadly neglected press.

Edited: Jan 12, 2011, 5:58pm

94) I had that thought earlier today. I tinkered around, but unfortunately the best I could do is a Recent Post or Top Post list. I do have a Table of Contents page that I keep up-to-date, though, which is here:


95) I did see Sonnets from the Portuguese on my last Berkeley excursion, and it is a nice book. I wasn't aware of just the Sonnets of Shakespeare though, and in a similar style! - more to find, more to find! ^_^

However, it seems that there is a LEC volume. Bill Majure's list of LEC's includes a Poems of Shakespeare with Parker's illustrations that came out in 1967 in the 35th series, #398.


Are they different some how?

Jan 12, 2011, 5:49pm

>95 Django6924: Amazing press, yes. Unfairly neglected, yes. Sadly neglected? No, I beg to differ, this neglect means we can pick up wonderful editions for less than $10 a copy. Since the HP is out of business, we can only hope that the world continues to turn a blind eye to this treasure trove.

Jan 12, 2011, 6:29pm

>96 WildcatJF:

Of course you're right--my mind played tricks on me about that volume (which I've never seen, but when I think back on it, I seem to remember reading was a 2 volume affair). I'm at work now, or supposed to be, so I'll have to wait until later tonight when I can check in my LEC bibliography. I think I must have been thrown off by the fact that the LEC published a 2 volume edition of the sonnets and poems back in 1940 or 1941 in a design matching their 39 volume edition of the plays. These had no illustrations and were designed by the designer of the Plays--Bruce Rogers.

Jan 13, 2011, 9:43am

OK, thanks to my LEC bibliography, I can supply the name of the designer of the A.M. Parker-illustrated Poems of Shakespeare--John Dreyfus, who would also have been responsible for the design of the Heritage edition. The LEC version was printed at the Cambridge University Press in 1967. It was in a single volume, like the Heritage volume. It was quarto-sized, with quarter red maroon cowhide binding, gold-stamped black spine label, henna cloth sides inlaid with a black leather embossed portrait of Shakespeare on the front cover.

Jan 13, 2011, 10:53am

99) Thanks, Django. I need that Bibliography - I saw one the other day, but I didn't have the $300 asking price to fork out for it. :(

Jan 15, 2011, 8:42pm

Sorry for the lack of posts - I've been fairly busy with digging a trench the last couple of days, but I've finished that task, and today's my last scheduled day at work (*sigh*), so I'll be kicking up the posting regularity next week.

I did get one last post done for this week, though, covering the Heritage Beowulf, with stunning art from Lynd Ward:


There's some questions about this one - my book says the copyright is from 1939, but my Sandglass lists off some other books Ward illustrated, including The Innocent Voyage, which was printed in 1944. Anyone have a definitive release date for this? Also, any comparisons to the LEC that was printed in 1954 would be awesome. Thanks!

Jan 16, 2011, 1:24am

I don't have my Heritage edition at home--it's packed in storage and I don't remember whether it had a Sandglass. I can say that the Ward-illustrated Beowulf was an original Heritage Press publication, done in response, perhaps, to Rockwell Kent's wonderful Beowulf for the Lakeside Press--which was the first to use Leonard's translation. Kent's work is justly famous, so I expect Macy felt he needed to go one better by having Ward do his illustrations in color. This original edition was in 1939, but from everything I have read or seen, that edition was exactly like yours--same binding, illustrations, production details--which was probably a later reissue.

The Monthly Letter for the later LEC mentions Kent's work:

""There are pundits who go so far as to say the Lynd Ward's illustrations for Beowulf are as good as those truly remarkable lithographs which Rockwell Kent made for Beowulf in the year 1928."

The designer of the LEC Beowulf was Eugene Ettenberg. It is a largish book--bigger than the Heritage Press edition--8.5" x 12"--and it is set in 14 point Janson while the chapter heads are set in "an utterly new typeface imported from Amsterdam called Libra." The quarter binding on the spine is blue linen and there is a design of a spear by Ward stamped in gold. The boards are covered in a handmade paper from Sweden featuring a wavy pattern of browns, beiges and blues. The Monthly Letter says Ward "revised" the original illustrations, drawing directly on the lithographic plates. In addition to the size increase, they are also much more delicate in color than the saturated blues and golds of the Heritage edition (but with none of the muddiness you see in the reproductions for the Easton press edition, as was pointed out by EP collector Lucas Trask in an informative side-by-side comparison:


In addition to these "revisions" Ward also adapted one of the illustrations for a two-page black & white spread for the title treatment, and numerous little designs--battleaxes, meadcups, etc--reproduced in brown and sprinkled throughout the text. I would not say that the LEC is inferior--just subdued whereas the Heritage original is exuberant.

Jan 16, 2011, 3:38pm

102) Thanks, Django - I've added that to the post.

Jan 19, 2011, 8:30pm

Sorry for the brief delay - been a little busy. To make up for it, here's the LEC take on Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, with Reginald Marsh's drawings.


I'm missing the letter, so any help with the book's designer and comparisons to the Heritage Press original would be great! Thanks! I'll try to get up more LEC posts tomorrow.

Jan 19, 2011, 9:10pm

I'll check on my LEC when I get home--I can't remember it having a Monthly Letter, but it may. To console you, the foil on my slipcase is also torn, and my relative's copy--never read--is in tatters. A very fragile covering--though it must have looked stunning when new.

As a side note, I don't know if anyone was bidding on the Heritage Press The Count of Monte Cristo on eBay today, but I see the winning bid was $77. This is a very much desired book, and brings prices far above other Dumas Heritage books. Even then, that it went for $77 surprised me.

Jan 20, 2011, 12:24am

I didn't have a Monthly Letter for Moll Flanders, but perhaps I can make some deductions from what I know.

The book was undoubtedly designed by Peter Beilenson and printed at his Mt. Vernon press, which was the home of his own famous press, The Peter Pauper Press. Beginning in the Thirties and continuing to his death in 1962, the Peter Pauper Press printed many beautiful letterpress editions of classic works--nothing monumental in scope, but made with wonderful design sense and beautiful materials. The press also designed and printed several special editions for Random House and for the LEC.

Reginald Marsh is one of the half-dozen famous "regional artists" of 20th century America, along with the 3 Midwestern painters Benton, Wood and Curry, and in the East, his contemporary Edward Hopper. Although he did several works for the LEC, Moll Flanders would seem to be an unlikely choice of assignments for the famed chronicler of Coney Island, the Bowery and the burlesque houses and movie theaters on the Lower East Side. But, I think he did a remarkable job, and as WildcatJF pointed out, the burlesque queens he depicted so memorably are distant cousins of the scandalous Ms. Flanders. Marsh's more typical jobs for Macy were Sister Carrie and his final illustrated book for them, Dreiser's An American Tragedy, completed just before his death and, as a result, one of the unsigned LECs. The Dreiser work, along with the illustrations he did for Dos Passos's U.S.A. Trilogy, are his masterpieces of book illustration. Here is a link that tells a little more about him and shows some of his fine art:


Jan 20, 2011, 8:35am

>106 Django6924:

Erratum: Checking my LEC Bibliography, I see that Mr. Beilenson printed the book, but Moll Flanders was designed by George Macy. THe binding is padded silk--"like a lady's private diary."

Jan 20, 2011, 9:28am

105, 106) Thanks for the info! I've added it in.

Quick question time - what LEC would you like to see next?

The Oresteia by Aeschylus/Michael Aryton
Tartuffe or the Hypocrite by Moliere/Hugo Steiner-Prag
The Innocent Voyage by Richard Hughes/Lynd Ward
Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius/A. Tassos?

Jan 20, 2011, 11:33am

Tartuffe for me!

Edited: Jan 20, 2011, 2:19pm

Your wish is my command!


If you know who designed this beauty, and if there's a Heritage Press edition somewhere or not, let me know! Thanks, and enjoy!

Jan 21, 2011, 12:43am

>110 WildcatJF:

Tartuffe, designed as well as illustrated by Herr Steiner-Prag, lithos pulled by Meissner & Buch: Leipzig. The binding is half natural linen, with mould-made Japanese paper sides. No Heritage Press edition exists of this (again, of the first 10 years of the LEC, maybe only half ever had reincarnations as Heritage press books (using the same illustrator, designer, etc.), although many years later the LEC, and then the Heritage Press did a 2 play Moliere volume containing Tartuffe and The Would-Be Gentleman, in translations by H Baker and J Miller, and illustrations in color by Serge Ivanoff. I can't offer any comment on the merits of this translation as opposed to the one by Page, but I have to say I think Steiner-Prag's black and white lithos far superior to Ivanov's beautiful, but somewhat characterless illustrations for Tartuffe--although Ivanoff's work seems better suited to The Would-Be Gentleman.

In the Quarto-Millenary, Macy has this to say about the Steiner-Prag edition: "This is one of the ten finest books we have ever issued to our members, yet it is one of the ten least popular. O tempora, o mores!"

Jan 21, 2011, 9:22am

111) Thanks, Django! I'll plug that info in later on today, and try to have another LEC post up as well!

Jan 22, 2011, 1:42am

Wildcat, I went down to my storage unit where some of my books have been exiled by my wife and dug up my Moll Flanders which did have the monthly letter with it. If you give me your email, I can take a few photos of the text and send it to you if you would like.

Jan 22, 2011, 6:19pm

113) I'll PM that to you when I have the time, Chase. Thanks!

My surprise is my stumbling upon The Canterbury Tales w. Arthur Szyk miniatures LEC during my tour of a UC's library. I had the Heritage edition checked out from my own local library, so I was able to properly compare the two for a post. And the LEC HAD THE LETTER INSIDE. O_O So I scanned it for you to read, as well. Enjoy!


Jan 22, 2011, 7:27pm

>114 WildcatJF: Wow, a signed LEC on open shelves! Do they have a copy of Ink and Blood on the shelves perchance?

Edited: Jan 22, 2011, 7:44pm

114) LOL, no, I haven't seen it. If I find it, I'll upload pics!

Edited: Jan 24, 2011, 7:54pm

I've got John Brown's Body (the poem :p ) for you today. It's the Heritage printing.


John Steuart Curry provides the art, but I'm not too big on his work.

Secondly, here's the Heritage Lewis & Clark's Journals.


Enjoy! I'll see you later on this week. I'll be out all day tomorrow.

Jan 25, 2011, 11:57pm

I'm on a crazy schedule with a Thursday morning deadline, so I can't add anything right now, but will add information Thursday evening.

(I will say I'm surprised you don't care for Curry's art in this, which I think is great, though I am a big fan of Curry anyway. The John Brown praying frontispiece is wonderful, and an interesting companion piece to his mural in the Kansas State Capitol--as you pointed out.)

Jan 27, 2011, 6:58pm

Here's another of my LEC's - The Oresteia, with interesting art by Michael Ayrton:


I'm missing the letter, so if you have some insights, I'd be very thankful!

Jan 27, 2011, 8:28pm

Printed by Photogravure and Color Company; designed by Adrian Wilson; printed by A. Colish; set in LEC special Janson and American Uncial; Curtis antique paper; bound by Russell-Rutter Company in quarter crimson cowhide, brown natural-finish cloth spine label and sides.

Jan 27, 2011, 9:15pm

Thanks, kdweber! :) I'll add that info.

Jan 29, 2011, 11:26am

Well, sorry to have taken so long, but my last project was exhausting and my son's class put on a play of Noah and the Flood last night which I volunteered to video, so this is the first opportunity I've had to catch up on this site.

The Heritage Lewis and Clark is one of their triumphs, in my opinion. This is not an easy set to find in Fine Condition, and these books usually sell for more than the usually undervalued Heritage Press books of the same vintage. A quick search online shows that the majority of copies in the Good + to Near Fine condition are being offered from around $50 to well over $100.

There's not much I can add to WildcatJF's information from my Sandglass pamphlet (Numbers iv & v: 27, as the books were sent in separate months but with the one Sandglass to cover both so "you will have to go without, roll your own, or read this one over again" as the Sandglass author says). The designer was Eugene Ettenberg, who also designed the LEC Beowulf, Reynard the Fox and the two Melville classics, Billy Budd and Benito Cereno.

The illustrations, which are, as the Sandglass says, "super-extra-special," are culled from the many that the Swiss artist Carl Bodmer did, eighty-one of which were reproduced as engravings from Bodmer's watercolors in Prince Maximilian's own book, Travels in the Interior of North America. Prince Maximilian's work is famous in its own right, and I first read about his own fascinating journey many years ago in Bernard DeVoto's classic history of the Mountain Men, Across the Wide Missouri. As the Sandglass points out, this tour was no dilettante's pleasure trip--Maximilian was a trained naturalist and was determined to record as much of the unspoiled New World as he could before it was changed by the already-ongoing westward expansion--for which Lewis & Clark's Journals were greatly responsible. He hired Bodmer to provide the "Kodak Moments."

One of the many pleasures of the Heritage edition is the paper, which is wonderful to the touch--"a suede-finish paper made to our specifications by the Meade Paper Company." The printing was done by The Connnecticut Printers in Hartford, and the illustrations printed by the Meriden Gravure Company (also in Connecticut). The map on the cover is a reproduction of Clark's own drawing of the route and was printed by The Crafton Graphic Company of NY. The book was bound by the usual suspects, Frank Fortney and the Russell-Rutter Company

Later today, I will provide information on John Brown's Body from my copy's Monthly Letter, and from other related LEC ephemera. There is a fascinating story behind this edition, and it revolves around the book's designer, Sir Francis Meynell.

Jan 30, 2011, 9:48pm

Well, I think the Lewis and Clark is the fourth or fifth volume I've picked up because of this thread (I'll have to stop reading it). I managed to find a copy for only $20 with slipcase and a decent description but it hasn't arrived yet so I can't be sure of the quality.

Jan 30, 2011, 10:57pm

122) Thanks, Django - I'll add that in ASAP.

123) Heh, that's great to hear that the blog is doing what I intended it to be - a resource to help collectors determine if they want to buy a book! Although, I do hope you do continue to read it, as you've been a great help. ;)

Feb 4, 2011, 1:19am

John Brown's Body--better late than never, I suppose, but there is a considerable story behind this book that I haven't had time to go into until now.

Along with the Monthly Letter, in my copy was an additional mailing from the LEC which went out with the Monthly Letter which mentions it thus:

"What he {Francis Meynell} did, in making a typographic plan for this American edition of a great American book, at this moment seems to us an object lesson in the work of a typographer. So we have decided to print, as a separate leaflet for inclusion with this issue of this not-always-Monthly Letter, the letter which Francis Meynell sent us on the twentieth of August in 1946; and, in addition, the forward which he later prepared for inclusion in the book itself.

For that reason we will not list the physical qualities of this book here. If you are not interested, you can throw the separate leaflet into the waste-basket; where, indeed, you may have already thrown it along with this Monthly Letter."

The accompanying leaflet is a 7-page pamphlet titled "What a Typographer Does To/For/With A Book" It contains very elaborate notes on the font, layout, ornamentation, paper and embellishments. Meynell was the original advocate behind the LEC's decision to produce this book (more about this later), and he had given much thought to how to present the poem in a way that would help the reader--who he assumed with some justification would not be normally in the habit of reading book-length poems. Thus he came up with his own "chapter headings," as he referred to them--"Ellyat's Tune," and "Wingate's Tune," for example. It is a fascinating portrait of one of the great book designers of the 20th century approaching a text he really loved and determining how to set it in its best appearance on the page.

How much he was an advocate of this book becomes very clear when we fast forward 9 years. Francis Meynell is giving the Address on the Dedication of the George Macy Memorial Collection at Columbia University (Macy's alma mater). After the expected eulogistic remarks, Meynell tells a personal anecdote which he feels is most illustrative of "Macy's general attitude towards book-making."

He goes on to say how he had written Macy in January of 1944 extolling the virtues of Benet's John Brown's Body, begging him to put it on the LEC's schedule of publications and letting himself (Meynell) design it. Five weeks later Macy responds that he was delighted with Meynell's burst of enthusiasm for the work, but adds "there are, of course, many other tellings of the John Brown story. I will arrange to send you God's Angry Man, which seems a superior telling to me."

There the matter sat for two years--or so it seemed to Meynell--when suddenly Meynell received a letter from Macy saying "you wrote me recently in a burst of enthusiasm for John Brown's Body to say that you would like to plan a new edition typographically. The time has come, it is here." This letter goes on to describe what was probably behind the impetus for the project--the completion of a series of paintings illustrating the poem by Curry. I think probably Macy commissioned these illustrations when the furore over Curry's John Brown mural in the Kansas State Capitol building collided with his memory of Meynell's burst of enthusiasm for a work Macy obviously did not think that much of. This letter ends with Macy urging Meynell to complete this design ASAP. When Meynell had not sent anything after four months, Macy telegrammed him, "I am very anxious to have the typographic plan for John Brown's Body since the illustrations are languishing for reproduction."

When Macy arrived in London to look at the plan, the two men came to an impasse over Curry's illustrations. It seems obvious that they had been the deciding factor in Macy going ahead with the project, but Meynell objected, feeling that the poem was illustration enough in itself. They reached a rough compromise with deciding to put the illustrations in a pocket in the binding--not interleaved in the pages of the poem. But a year later, during which interval Curry had died suddenly of a heart attack, Macy wrote to Meynell that he had been puzzling over the inclusion of the illustrations and had almost wished it were possible to strike the book from the production schedule. Finally, he had decided to go ahead with an edition which would give Curry's illustrations "the prominence which he expected to have" and says he therefore planned to proceed with an entirely new typographic plan made in the US.

An impasse followed in which "Cold War telegrams" were exchanged, and the long-standing friendship between the two men seemed on the verge of collapse until Macy visited London again, greeted Meynell with "his fantastically, his annoyingly, persuasive charm, the contest was over, and he had of course won hands down." The book came out with Meynell's plan and the extra letter which showcased Meynell's design genius--and with Curry's art reproduced as he had wished it. Even though one suspects Meynell still had reservations about this latter, he remarks several times in tones of admiration about Macy's loyalty to the artist.

A few years later when Macy and his family attended a dramatic reading of the poem--a production that even ran on Broadway starring Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson, and Raymond Massey, and directed by Charles Laughton. Macy sent Meynell the playbill autographed by his family and inscribed "To our beloved Francis--we have looked on 'John Brown's Body' and we think of you."

As a final to this anecdote, Meynell reveals that Macy, in printing Meynell's original enthusiastic letter of proposal,

"monstrously, unjustifiably, but quite delightfully...inserted a few words. He makes me write 'Did you ever hear of it {the poem}? Is it at all known in America?' Those words are wholly his, not mine! He invented them in order to raise a smile at the superior, the condescending Englishman! And a smile they did raise...."

It's hard to imagine the head of Easton Press or the Folio Society or A.A.Knopf acting in similar fashion these days. But these men--Knopf, Macy, Meynell, Liverwright, Scribner, etc. weren't just those corporate executives whose main concern is the bottom line and who don't really care whether they sold limited editions or soap flakes. They were booklovers, and were engagingly human in their business.

Feb 4, 2011, 9:40am

125) Wow, that is amazing history behind that book! I had no idea. I'll be getting back into the swing of updating the blog next week, so I'll be sure to include that. Thanks so much!

Edited: Feb 6, 2011, 1:12am

>125 Django6924:

Speaking of coincidences, Django, Thursday night I placed an Abe order for The Address of Sir Francis Meynell at the Dedication of the George Macy Memorial Collection, Columbia University, May 14, 1957 and the seller confirmed Friday morning. I had not known of it until checking footnotes for sources of anecdotes for George Macy in A History of Book Publishing in the United States. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Are you familiar the S R Shapiro article in Productionwise 6/'56 "George Macy: His Role in the Book Arts"?

Feb 6, 2011, 7:59pm

>127 olepuppy: "Are you familiar the S R Shapiro article in Productionwise 6/'56 "George Macy: His Role in the Book Arts"?"

No, but I'd like to be. What is the name of the publication and how can I find it?

Feb 6, 2011, 10:44pm

>128 Django6924: Well I'm stuck and kinda hoped you might know something about a publication named Productionwise. The Shapiro tribute to Macy was published in the June 1956 issue according to a footnote in A History of Book Publishing in the United States. I googled S R Shapiro and found his papers donated to the LOC, which show he was a New York bookseller who was friendly with Bruce Rogers. Searching viaLibre for author and title show a New Jersey dealer who has only a reprint of the article and a bit high. I'd like to see the issue of the publication, of which I can say only what the name is and that there are publication dates in the mid-1950's and I will keep looking.

I see also there was a tribute by George Macy's friend Nunnally Johnson, there seem to several available, are you familiar with this pamphlet, Django?

Feb 6, 2011, 11:36pm

>129 olepuppy:

I've seen Nunnally Johnson's tribute listed by Charles Avgent, bookseller, once or twice, but at a higher price than I cared to pay. Macy had several Hollywood friends--notably Mr. and Mrs. Frederic March--among LEC subscribers, and I've always wanted to dig a little deeper into the Macy-Hollywood connection.

Edited: Feb 7, 2011, 7:53pm

I got John Brown's Body and Lewis & Clark updated with your insights, Django - thank you so much. BTW, I sent you a PM a bit ago - I'm under the impression you're quite busy, but I just wanted to let you know.

Anywho, I'm back and running this week, and I've got The Mill on the Floss (Heritage) up for you today.


Edit - Got a second book up today - The Red and the Black by Stendhal.


Both are library copies, so I'm once again in the dark. Any info would be great. More tomorrow!

Feb 8, 2011, 5:57pm

Today brings the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan to the table. Enjoy the Heritage print of the book.


Any help would be fantastic. Thanks!

Edited: Feb 9, 2011, 1:24pm

Today I have The Bhagavad Gita (Heritage) to share with you.


Edit - And the last library book is done at last - Robert Burns' poetical works (Heritage).


If you know anything about these books, I'd love to know! Thanks!

Feb 11, 2011, 10:36am

Sorry to be running so far behind, but I've been playing catchup on personal stuff.

Here is some information from my LEC Monthly Letter for The Mill on the Floss; it is uncharacteristically reticent about the details of the book's design, spending three pages on the story of George Eliot and her publisher, so I will limit this to the details of the edition itself:

The type is 11 point Baskerville on a 13 point body; the title page, the part divisions, and the chapter initials are set in a type called Sylvan in English (and Champlevé in French). The paper is a special laid paper made by Curtis, the typesetting and printing was done at Mount Vernon under the supervision of Edna Beilenson, the widow of Peter Beilenson of Peter Pauper Press, who, like her husband before her, had been responsible for many Macy books. Frank Fortney did the binding, which is a very attractive rough green tweedlike fabric, and the title on the shelf label is stamped in gold on a leather disk (as the Letter says, "like a millstone.")

Though there is no specific mention of designer--either in the Monthly Letter or in my LEC bibliography--one suspects that it was a project initially started by Peter Beilenson, interrupted before completion by his death, and perhaps finished by Helen or Jonathan Macy and Edna Beilenson. This is the purest conjecture on my part, but since the designer is always credited (unless it were George Macy himself, who was, of course, deceased by this time), I suspect no single living person was primarily responsible.

The artist, Wray Manning, was born and educated in the Midwest, served as a machine gunner in WW I (which would have put him into his mid-60s or older when he did this assignment), and was by his own admission heavily influenced by the work of John Sloan (who did the illustrations for the LEC's Of Human Bondage), and George Bellows (famous for his paintings of boxing, such as "Stag at Sharkey's." He did 24 oil paintings for The Mill on the Floss and for the LEC they were reproduced by color lithography in the studios of Michael Pagliaro in Holyoke, MA.

I personally like the illustrations very much, though I understand WildcatJF's lack of enthusiasm for them if he has not read the novel. They are constrained--the groupings of the characters are frozen in the manner of old daguerrotypes, and I think that fits in well with the tone of the story itself. The most successful of all are the portraits of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, which I wish had been the illustrations chosen for the site. Portraiture was Manning's forte, and he really nailed these characters. Incidentally, this was his only LEC but not his only Heritage: he did the illustrations for the Heritage Dickens Martin Chuzzlewit and they are my favorite of all the Heritage Dickens, and his portrait of Seth Pecksniff is my alltime favorite Dickens illustration by any artist who illustrated Dickens.

Feb 11, 2011, 10:31pm

134) Thanks, again, Django - alas, I returned the book, but I can always check it out again to see which picture you're talking about and consider a swap. :)

Feb 12, 2011, 12:04am

The Red and the Black. Information is a little scarce here--my LEC copy doesn't have the Monthly Letter so I will have to rely on my LEC bibliography:

The designer of the book is frequent Macy contributor Richard Ellis, who also did Two Years Before the Mast this same year. The color lithographs were pulled by the dean of American lithographers, George C. Miller. The Aldus Printers did the press work. No mention of who the binder was, but the LEC version looks exactly like the Heritage edition except the half-binding is red levant sheepskin with the title stamped in gold, as is the design by Mr. Busoni on on the front board, the front and back boards bound in black linen.

Feb 14, 2011, 1:42pm

The LEC version was bound by the Russell-Rutter Company, Macy's favorite (or at least most prolific) binder.

Feb 16, 2011, 8:08pm

The Monthly Letter in my LEC Gilbert & Sullivan has the following information:

The LEC edition marked the first time all the G&S libretto's were collected and printed in a single edition. It is also the first time an LEC book carried a dedication by its own editor, Reginald Allen--a touching one because it is dedicated to the editor's mother and father; the father having founded the Savoy Company to do amateur theatrical presentations of the works of G&S, and the mother having been one of the young thesps, the two meeting during the course of the initial presentation. The father died young in WW I but the love of G&S was passed on to their offspring. Mr. Allen, after graduating from Harvard, was hired by Leopold Stokowski to write the programmes for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and after Stokowski left, became the orchestra's manager until 1939 when he was hired to head the story department at Universal Pictures (this was during their heyday as purveyors of horror movies, including "The Phantom of the Opera," (Claude Rains version). After service in WW II in the Pacific, Allen returned to Hollywood and worked for the J. Arthur Rank Organization, then from 1949 until 1958 was business manager of the Metropolitan Opera. At the time of editing the G&S book, he was serving as executive director of operations for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

If all this weren't sufficient to give the LEC edition some editorial authority, and rarely did any Monthly Letter give so much space to talking about the editor, Mr. Allen had a collaborator--Bridget D'Oyly Carte, granddaughter of the D'Oyly Carte who first brought G&S to the theater.

Eugene Ettenberg designed the book, chose Times Roman for the typeface, and John Stone of Brattleboro, VT did the composition. The titles are printed in reproductions of Victorian display types. The paper is Bethany, slightly grayish in tone and made by the Curtis Paper Company. The binding on the LEC is half red velvet on the spine with a leather title label with gold titles. The front and back covers are green linen. The slipcase is covered with gold paper and edged in green linen, courtesy of Russell-Rutter bindery. The slipcase also encloses a portfolio of the facsimiles of all the first-night programs. Truly one of the most spectacular LEC bindings. The Twelfth volume in the Twenty-sixth series.

Feb 16, 2011, 9:06pm

138) Thanks, Django - I'll get all of these new insights up tomorrow (as well as a post or two).

Feb 19, 2011, 7:59pm

Gah, got tangled up in other things. I'll try to get some new stuff up this week. Sorry, everyone!

Feb 20, 2011, 1:50pm

Today I have the Heritage Histories of Herodotus - if you own this, I am envious. :p


I checked this out at the library, so I'm in the dark about many of its particulars. Thanks in advance!

Edited: Feb 20, 2011, 5:28pm

>141 WildcatJF:

Pardon me skipping over some of the recent postings, because this set is indeed one of my all-time favorites. I have both the LEC edition and the Heritage Press edition, and this is one case where the Heritage is the clear winner. Why?

First of all, the LEC is a single chunky volume while the Heritage books are much more reader-friendly. The printing is identical--if you compare two pages side-by-side, they are indistinguishable, same size and same pagination. Secondly, as WildcatJF points out, the binding design is striking to say the least! I love the vertical title arrangement on the spines--a technique that is seldom used but which I prefer to the more usually found arrangement where you have to cock your head to the left or right to read the title. The LEC binding is subdued, a burgundy buckram (that has faded on my otherwise pristine copy two shades paler), with a small white title label and a white medallion on the front cover. Very high quality and elegant (I particularly like the beveled edges), but I really prefer the wilder Heritage design.

The Heritage Sandglass number (2 actually) are II & III: 24--the books were sent out in separate months, but only one Sandglass. The book's designer was Jan van Krimpen of Joh. Enschedé en Zonen fame, whose printing company in the Netherlands did many great LEC and Heritage books, as well as many other fine books and postage stamps. He needed help from both the illustrator Edward Bawden and also the translator, Harry Carter, as he died in October, 1958 while working on the project. The text used is his Monotype Spectrum, the last face Krimpen ever designed.

Bawden, born in 1903, and who was a famous English War Artist in WW II and did a tour in Abyssinia, did 102 pen and ink drawings to illustrate the text, and ten double-page color spreads to introduce each of the 9 books (plus one for the title page). As WildcatJF points out, these are very exotic, combining elements of Attic and Persian art in a tapestry-like effect. They were printed separately and tipped in to the text, which was printed by Kellogg & Bulkeley of Hartford, CT, on paper specially made for this edition the the Crocker, Burbank Paper Company of Fitchburg, MA.

In addition to his translating and editing tasks, Harry Carter compiled helpful marginal glosses which are on nearly every page of text, as compiling an Index which is a marvel of utility and fun: consider such Index items as "Arrows, messages shot with," and "Beans, abhorred by the Egyptians."

The binding was done, as it usually was in this period, by Frank Fortney and his Russell-Rutter Company.

edited for many typos

Feb 20, 2011, 9:29pm

142) Wow, lots of info there - I'll get that added in. Thanks!

Feb 22, 2011, 2:02pm

I've got more Oscar Wilde for you today - in this case, his Short Stories, with delightfully '60's style art from James Hill.


Any help would be great!

Feb 22, 2011, 10:32pm

>144 WildcatJF:

Very striking book! This is one I have never owned--and frankly don't even remember ever seeing before. The illustrations are, indeed, very Op Art/Psychedelic Art from the 60s, but there are also hints of lush late 19th century romanticism in the vein of Klimt and the more extravagant paintings of William Holman Hunt. I may have to look for this one!

Feb 23, 2011, 2:20pm

The LEC evidently liked Oscar Wilde. I've got the HP The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Salome, the EP reprints of The Picture of Dorian Gray and Wilde's Short Stories but I've never seen the LEC/HP/EP version of Lady Windermere's Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Mar 3, 2011, 3:43pm

Sorry for the delay - life's been a little hectic. But I've got a LEC to share with you! Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodes, with stunning art by A. Tassos.


I've included the Newsletter - would you like me to continue doing so (Imagines the answer is yes without having to ask :p )?

Mar 3, 2011, 4:38pm

Very nice and a great price; although, I'm happy with my $10 HP copy complete with Sandglass.

Please continue to include the newsletter.

Mar 3, 2011, 10:53pm

>147 WildcatJF:

I'm envious!! Like Ken, I'm happy with my Heritage copy (but not a happy as he is because I paid over $20 for mine), but I'd love to find an LEC version in as good condition as yours--and with the ephemera!--for $30.

As for Coleridge's translation, I like it. Of course not being able to read Greek, I can't vouch for its aptness or fidelity. There are archaisms such as "spake," but the syntax is not stilted and moves along quite nicely, and I prefer a slightly archaic quality to the anachronistic idioms used in the only other translation I've read--E.V. Rieu's. There are some more recent translations, in prose and verse. The prose translation by Richard Hunter has received very good reports, but I haven't seen it to be able to judge for myself.

Those who enjoy this story (and especially those who, like myself, fell under the spell of Ray Harryhausen's masterpiece "Jason and the Argonauts,") should read this, the oldest extensive version of the story, and follow it with Robert Graves' astonishing Hercules, My Shipmate, published by the Folio Society as The Golden Fleece. Apollonius' version owes a heavy debt to Homer; Graves' version to Frazer's The Golden Bough. Both books and the film show how rich a subject this myth is for artistic exploration.

Mar 7, 2011, 9:03pm

Okay, I've got the newsletters included with all of the prior books I had posted, which I've compiled here:


I'll be including them from now on, too, if I can. I'll try to get more posts up tomorrow!

Mar 8, 2011, 6:59pm

Anatole France gets his first chance to shine today, as I showcase the Heritage Revolt of the Angels.


A very nice book, but I've never seen one without a faded spine. *sigh*

Mar 9, 2011, 3:28am

> 151 I was looking at a copy of the LEC Revolt of the Angels just last week, and I fully intend to buy one at some point as it is a very nicely designed and produced book, and Watrin's illustrations are excellent. In the newsletter it says that it hopes subscribers will find the book 'elegant', and I certainly do. I'm almost certain that the copy which I looked at was unsigned.

Mar 9, 2011, 10:22am

>151 WildcatJF:, 152

Yes, this was unsigned because the illustrations were not commissioned by the LEC, but this is a case where Macy felt, as with Tenniel's illustrations for Lewis Carroll, that Watrin's were so iconic it would be pointless to try to improve upon them. It is interesting that the Macy companies gave so much attention to Anatole France, who, though a Nobel Prize winner, was certainly not in the upper echelon. Five of his novels found representation in the LEC and one additional Heritage Press only edition of The Gods are a-thirst. This puts him ahead of Thomas Hardy, one of the better represented English novelists (Conrad eventually pulled ahead of France, but a majority of his works were printed after Macy's tenure--during the time George Macy was in charge, only Dickens was better represented among novelists.)

The Revolt of the Angels was another production from Saul and Lillian Mark's Plantin Press in Los Angeles, and the Macys shared HuxleyTheCat's opinion about their designing and producing skills. In the Monthly Letter on another of the several books from Plantin, Macy wrote that the presswork "was the finest since John Henry Nash went to his reward." This was the ultimate in praise, as Macy felt that for quality, Nash was unmatched by any printer alive.

Mar 9, 2011, 10:39am

Ah, so it would seem that Bill Majure was wrong on that report of Watrin signing the LEC's. I'll update my post with that info (plus the bit about France's popularity within the Macy presses). Thanks!

Mar 13, 2011, 11:51pm

Two posts today, with two further library books I got from other libraries.

First, the Heritage Book of Ballads:

Second, The Heritage Prisoner of Zenda:

Both are lacking Sandglasses, so if you know anything about them, I'd appreciate it! I'll try to get some more up tomorrow.

Mar 14, 2011, 12:19am

Fritz Kredel must have a record number of LEC illustrations! Or maybe it's Eichenberg... well, it is a Fritz at any rate :)

Mar 14, 2011, 7:05am

>156 astropi:

Actually, it's an Edward--E.A. Wilson with 12 credits far outnumbers both Fritzes. Although Kredel and Eichenberg both did a few more Macy company books after the Quarto-Millenary was printed, at that time both Fritzes had 7 credits each. Actually, as of that date, Valenti Angelo and John Austen with 8 assignments each were more prolific, as was Lynd Ward with nine.

>155 WildcatJF:
Strangely enough, I've never owned a copy of The Prisoner of Zenda, although I've seen the Ronald Colman film version over a half dozen times and the Stewart Granger version thrice. I did in the 60s have the Heritage Book of Ballads, which was one of the choices when I was a member of the Heritage Club in the late 1960s, but unfortunately it disappeared during one of my many moves--I suspect I had loaned it to someone and never got it back before I moved. So I'm sorry, but I can't offer much information on either book (other than to say my copy had a lovely green full linen binding, but most copies I have seen on eBay have the same patterned paper sides as WildcatJF's example).

Mar 14, 2011, 1:39pm

Let's not forget Edy Legrand with 11. Valenti Angelo has 12. I've got Fritz Eichenberg with 14, Lynd Ward with 13, E. A. Wilson with 17 and Fritz Kredel coming through with 21 (including the Special Publication of The Decameron in 1940 with only 530 copies).

Mar 14, 2011, 3:49pm

>158 kdweber:

Thanks for the update, Ken. Fritz K. came on strong after the Q-M was published, but I suspect that he just outlived Wilson to come out on top.

Now if you want to talk about actual NUMBER of illustrations, I suspect Valenti Angelo takes the honors--1001 illustrations for the Arabian Nights alone! How he found the time to hand-gilt the Salome, Song of Songs, et al, I'll never imagine--his productivity makes me feel like a sluggard.

Mar 14, 2011, 8:15pm

>159 Django6924: I agree wholeheartedly. I read that Angelo illustrated ~250 different books over 34 years.

Mar 14, 2011, 9:27pm

Today I have got for you all the Heritage Tono-Bungay by H.G. Wells.


A nice book - I think Lynton Lamb was a good fit for this.

Interesting this artist topic - it's nice to get an idea of how prolific some of these illustrators were for the Club!

Mar 15, 2011, 12:38am

>161 WildcatJF: Even from your scans I can see that the colors are washed out in my EP copy.

Edited: Mar 17, 2011, 7:07pm

Okay, I took a tally at my soon-to-be University's library and found that they had these LEC's:

The Aeneid by Virgil/Carlotta Petrina
Samuel Pepys' Diary/William Sharp
The Essays of Montague/T.M. Cleland (The Heritage edition is also there)
Plutarch's Lives/W.A. Dwiggins (I can get the Heritage of these, too)
The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky/Alexander King

I'm sure I'm forgetting one, alas. I'm still fighting this stupid cold. XD

They also had the Heritage War & Peace with Eichenberg and Verestchagin's work in 2 volumes. I can't check them all out at once (mainly because most of them are more than one volume - Pepys has 10 separate books, for example), but I can do these one at a time. So...if any of these interest you, let me know and I'll work with my wife to check them out (she's currently enrolled there). In the meantime, I'll continue working on my own collection for the blog.

Mar 17, 2011, 11:49am

>163 WildcatJF:

The Aeneid is an interesting one to do--I have always felt that the design of the Heritage Press edition is superior to the design of the LEC version. I wonder how many others here would agree with me.

The LEC Brothers Karamazov with King's illustrations is very interesting as well. This particular edition was never released as a Heritage Press Book--and when the LEC did another version of this several years later, they commissioned Fritz Eichenberg, who had by then become the Russian Literature Illustrator-in-Residence for the Macy companies. I happen to find the earlier Karamazov superior, and King's illustrations masterful.

Mar 17, 2011, 7:06pm

164) I prefer the Heritage, too, although the LEC is still lovely. As for the King-illustrated Brothers Karamazov, I understood where you were coming from upon seeing King's work - it's indeed a special set of books. King's art is indeed very nice, despite my enthusiasm for Eichenberg.

Anyway, I've got a new post for you today - a highlight from the Connecticut era, Russian Folk Tales.


Really do love this book's illustrations by Teje Etchemendy.

Edited: Apr 7, 2011, 4:03pm

Hey - we're back! Sorry for the long hiatus. I've been remarkably busy lately. I have two jobs where I once had none, so getting myself into a new time schedule has been a little crazy. Anyway, I've got something Django asked me for eons ago, but I can finally deliver - the Heritage Oedipus the King. A very fascinating book, this one - it's got one of the longest, if not the longest, development period of any Macy Company book - it took close to 20 years to be printed!


I'll try to get another one up today.

Apr 8, 2011, 11:44pm

>166 WildcatJF: That post convinced me to do some eBay-ing

Apr 9, 2011, 10:01am

167) Good luck! It's a wonderful book.

I'll try to have Don Juan, a Heritage exclusive, up tomorrow.

Apr 9, 2011, 10:52am

>166 WildcatJF:
Great post! I hadn't realized the problems this book had getting published. I was aware how the war disrupted the publishing of the LEC Les Fleurs du Mal, but the story of the Oedipus is just fascinating. Beautiful book, too.

Edited: Apr 14, 2011, 4:33pm

A week late, but I did get Don Juan finished up today.


Also, the Heritage Song of Roland has been covered. A rather nice book.


Apr 15, 2011, 10:47pm

>170 WildcatJF:

Just got back from attending a convention and I'm trying to catch up.

The Don Juan is one of my all-time favorites! The whole presentation is worthy of LEC status, and the poem is an unjustly neglected masterpiece--funnier than hell, and not the Romantic gushing many people might suspect from the title and from Byron's personal reputation. Granted he wrote some exquisite lyrics, but in fact he is closer in spirit to Alexander Pope than to Keats and Shelley. Incidentally, the copy you show is the most deluxe and most attractive printing--but it wasn't the first. I have the first printing and will try to take some pictures and post them this weekend. Your printing, though, is the one to get.

I will also take some pictures of the LEC Song of Roland. Not a lot of difference between it and the Heritage edition.

Edited: Apr 16, 2011, 12:14am

171) Huh - amazing what you learn. Had no idea I had a second printing of Don Juan! I'll look forward to your pictures! :)

Apr 28, 2011, 9:00pm

Man, oh man, this was a beast of a post. I've been working on it the last three weeks. XD But I hope it was worth the effort - a comprehensive comparison between the LEC and New York Heritage Tartuffe and The Would-Be Gentleman, with art from Serge Ivanoff:


*whew* I have one more of these to do as of right now, but I've done half the work already (The Innocent Voyage). That's why I've not been here! Enjoy!

Apr 28, 2011, 9:52pm

Thank you, well done - and you picked up both books for good prices. Are you going to keep both copies?

Apr 28, 2011, 10:38pm

174) I'm contemplating selling the Heritage, but I'm not sure yet. I will most definitely be keeping the LEC. If I decide to sell or trade the Heritage, I'll put up a post here. :) Thanks for the compliments!

Apr 28, 2011, 11:21pm

>173 WildcatJF:

Great post, WildcatJF. I was fascinated by the whole digression on inks when I read it in my Monthly Letter, because one of my jobs when I was an undergraduate was working in the university print shop, and in addition to printing the catalogs, brochures, etc., the shop also printed outside work such as wedding and graduation announcements. These higher quality articles were printed on an old Chandler & Price platen printer, and I remember distinctly listening for the "tearing" sound as the printer used a small hand roller to spread out the ink on the circular ink disk. How I wished I'd stayed with that job throughout my undergraduate years and learned how to operate that press!

Apr 29, 2011, 10:26am

Nice job, Wildcat JF. That was very interesting.

Apr 30, 2011, 10:36am

173, 174) Thanks so much! It makes the hard work worth it to know it's being appreciated. :) This week I'll try to get The Innocent Voyage's comparisons up, as well as the Heritage The Wanderer. Wish me luck!

Edited: May 5, 2011, 1:27pm

One of two down - here's the Heritage Wanderer, with pen/pencil/wash illustrations by Andre Dignimont:


And two for two - here's a full-on comparison between the LEC and Heritage Innocent Voyage.


May 5, 2011, 1:49pm

I love those color lithos in the LEC Innocent Voyage.

May 5, 2011, 6:03pm

>179 WildcatJF:: Thank you! :) Your blog is a joy to read and very helpful. Le Grand Meaulnes looks lovely, and I feel the illustrations suit the tone of the book very well.

May 5, 2011, 7:24pm

>179 WildcatJF:

Thanks a lot, WildcatJF, great presentation of the Innocent Voyage(s).

May 6, 2011, 12:28pm

>180 kdweber:, 182

I agree this is a great post! My own Heritage copy is in storage so I'll have to see if I can find it to get the Sandglass number.

A few additional comments: Macy's complaints about the presswork mostly relate to the kerning. In the days before computer-set type, the typesetters with the highest level of skill were masters at setting the ideal spacing between letters. This is purely a matter of the setter's eye determining how much space there should be between each individual character to achieve a visually pleasing result. It's a very subtle difference, and our discernment has been compromised by mass-market printing, but if you look at the lines of type in The Innocent Voyage, and compare them to a page from the Heritage Press edition of Emerson's Essays, which was designed by John Henry Nash, you will see the difference in the grace of line.

Though the Monthly Letter describes the folding wrapper with the stunning "High Wind" lithograph as a solander, it is more properly a "chemise in a slipcase" rather than a solander. A solander is a box whereas a chemise is open and simply wraps around the book in its slipcase. (This is the reason that there is no title on the slipcase itself as the chemise faces out.) A chemise-wrapped book inside a slipcase was used several times by the LEC--for Vathek, School for Scandal, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to name a few. Solander boxes were used less frequently--Wilkie's One World, Dead Souls, The Koran, and The Panchatantra are the only ones I have, though there are probably more. Here is Wikipedia's excellent definition of a proper "solander":

"Both lid and bottom sections of the box have three fixed side sections or "lips"; the lid is slightly larger so that the side pieces "nest" when the case is closed. The fourth "spine" side has flexible joints where it joins the main top and bottom pieces and so goes flat onto the surface where the box is opened. The front-edge of the case often contains a clasp for closure. The exterior is covered with heavy paper, fabric or leather, and its interior may be lined with padded paper or felt, especially if made for a book. All materials should be acid-free for conservation. The depth of the box is normally about five inches, if it is not made for a specific object, and various standard sizes are made, with traditional names including "royal", "imperial", "elephant" and others. Ones for very old books will typically be custom made to an exact size. The boxes are stored flat, and are strong enough to be kept in small stacks if required."

May 8, 2011, 9:36am

Is a solander case then synonymous with a clamshell?

May 8, 2011, 1:00pm

>184 chase.donaldson:

I think this is one of those areas where one can get carried away with trying to be too precise, but from the description above, a true solander box has to have lips on all three non-hinged sides of the top and bottom lids, whereas some boxes I have seen described as "clamshell" only have lips on the hinged bottom, and the top is either a plain lid, or a lid with some device for fastening such as a clasp or flap or ribbon. When you remember that the box is named after a botanist who probably adapted it from specimen boxes, the construction makes sense.

A long answer, but in short, I think a "clamshell" box may describe a solander box, but not necessarily.

May 8, 2011, 3:46pm

Thanks everyone!

183) I'll add those notes in, Django. Thanks!

May 11, 2011, 12:35am

You've done it again Wildcat! Just received my LEC Innocent Voyage. The color lithos are even better in person. As usual, I tossed the rotting glassine wrapper so I could better enjoy the pristine leather cover under the gorgeous clamshell litho.

Edited: May 12, 2011, 9:24pm

187) I'm glad you enjoyed it that much to order one for yourself. It is a lovely book.

Today I have the 1946 edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, with delightful illustrations by Arthur Szyk.


That may be all for today, but I'll try to get another done if I have the time.

Edit - I just checked out a ton of books from my library system again, so hopefully I'll have another deluge of books in the near future. :) Also, I got your Innocent Voyage notes added in, Django - thanks!

Edit 2 - pm11, I added some pics of your LEC Oedipus to that post, too, and my thanks to you, as well. :)

May 13, 2011, 10:38am

>189 pm11: Happy to help in some small way on such a great project.

Edited: May 21, 2011, 7:39pm

It's a little later than I anticipated, but I've gotten my LEC Shaving of Shagpat up for you to view.

Pretty, pretty book. :)

In further announcements, I have checked out all of these Heritage books that are now waiting for me to take pictures and post:
The Sailor's Reader, edited by George Macy
Volume V and VI of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, translated by Richard Burton and decorated by Valenti Angelo
The Sonnets of Shakespeare with decorations by Valenti Angelo
The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser with decorations by John Austen and woodcuts by Agnes Miller Parker
The Book of Ruth with art by Arthur Szyk
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain with illustrations by Honore Guilbeau
Tales of the Gold Rush by Bret Harte with art by Fletcher Martin
Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin with art by Fritz Eichenburg

And this is just the beginning. XD

May 22, 2011, 12:25pm

>190 WildcatJF:

It really is a lovely book, and, as you say, a nice complement to the Hajji Baba books. Oddly, it seems to be one of the least popular books of the first 25 years of the LEC. I remember at one time when there were no fewer than 40 copies available from online booksellers. Very nice posting, Jerry, I appreciate the Monthly Letter as my own copy is lacking one.

Your slate of upcoming posts is very exciting! The Angelo-decorated Shakespeare Sonnets is an absolute gem--which I much prefer to the LEC edition of the sonnets. What do you think about starting a second thread, as this one is getting very long when one scrolls back searching for a previous posting?

May 22, 2011, 3:33pm

Sounds fine to me. :) Thanks for the compliments!

Jan 20, 2021, 6:56pm

I just brought the Heritage Press The Aeneid by Virgil 1944, but I'm confused about the slipcase. The one I brought is red, but another one is marbled? Did I buy the wrong one? Also, is this version letterpress?

Marbled: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/virgils-aeneid-heritage-press-1944-172381...

Red: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/virgil-aeneid-heritage-press-1944-5618017...

Jan 21, 2021, 11:36am

The Heritage Press reprinted the original 1944 Limited Editions Club Aeneid illustrated by Carlotta Petrina. Like the majority of Heritage Press books, these reprints were not dated and had several print runs which could include changes to the covers, slipcases, materials, etc.

As for letterpress, it seems like anything printed in New York could be reliably assumed to be letterpress whereas later HP books from Norwalk, CT may not. The title page should inform you of where it was printed.

My own experience with Heritage Press books are that they may not be as collectible as other fine books, but no matter where they are printed some can be wonderful that I can appreciate for both their quality and reasonable cost.

Jan 21, 2021, 12:31pm

>193 Comatoes: To build off of what BionicJim posted, Heritage Press titles are incredibly random in their production. My HP Aeneid had a red slipcase and an embossed binding, but as the books never had consistent reprints due to material availability (not to mention the handoff to the Connecticut period), each one sort of stands alone on its own. And I believe the majority of HP books, at least through the period George Macy was alive (he passed in 1956), were letterpress. After that, the quality began to decline and exclusives dried up until MBI issued a few Easton Press-esque leather bound exclusives during the Connecticut phase and in the 1990s (I cannot vouch for their quality).

Outside of a select few exceptions, most Heritage Press titles lack the collectible nature of their LEC cousins, so there isn't much difference if a slipcase is red or marbled beyond personal preference.

Jan 22, 2021, 4:47am

>194 BionicJim: and >195 WildcatJF: Thank you so much, this is helpful to someone who is just starting out. I kind of got swamped by Folio Society but branched out after watching a video about how collectors of Folio Society books have a tendency to start collecting LEC and other letterpress books. So here I am. I have been reading the group recently and taking it all in but didn't know about the changing of New York to Connecticut, etc. Last month I started buying a few LECs. I try to buy the best condition I can afford, and it has been going well so far.

Like both of you, I prefer LEC over The Heritage Press, but I saw your review and admire the Heritage Press Aeneid version more (so I had to change sides, lol). It's also a relief to know that slipcases are not that important in terms of consistency. I bought one more Heritage Press recently: Herman Melville's Typee. The front page image says The Heritage Press: New York, so I'm guessing it's also letterpress. I haven't received it yet. But cost-wise it didn't look too much different from the LEC... I hope this was a good decision. But other than those two, I'm trying to concentrate on building up my LEC collection. Here is a picture of my tiny acquisitions.


Jan 22, 2021, 5:04am

For a gallery of selected LEC books see here.

Jan 22, 2021, 8:06am

>196 Comatoes: Can you remember which video it was? I recently saw a video that made the same point. Sadly, I have followed the road from Folio to LEC and beyond into the world of Private Press and now fear there's no recovering.

Jan 24, 2021, 2:00am

>198 ubiquitousuk: It's okay, books are the best substances to not recover from :). Here is a link to the video, it's probably the same one you watched, but a pleasant way to waste some time in book heaven: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFbpeB_Glq4&ab_channel=NigelBeale

Jan 24, 2021, 12:12pm

>199 Comatoes: yes, that's the one I saw. But I thought it was a nice insight into the world of fine book dealing.

Jan 30, 2021, 1:39pm

>196 Comatoes: Welcome. A small but very nice collection so far.
May I recommend The History of the Limited Editions Club by Carol Porter Grossman? Invaluable resource published by Oak Knoll and the exterior looks a lot like an LEC book.
And there are some wonderful finds among the Heritage Press books.

Edited: Feb 5, 2021, 4:07am

>201 laotzu225: Thank you for the kind welcome message. I'm always happy to receive any recommendations. The book looks wonderful, and I have added it to my cart. I haven't made a purchase from Oak Knoll yet, I will check them out in the future.

I'm having a hard time finding near fine condition for books produced after 1960 (even very good+), mostly from eBay/AbeBooks. Some are sunned, ripped, water damaged, etc., or have some weird defect in the description. All part of the search, I'm having to go at this slower, but I'm not in a rush. I picked up a couple more since my last posting. I'm enjoying these books immensely, especially when you can feel the letterpress on the paper. I'm so used to offset printing it's like discovering an alternative way to see things. I can't wait to get to the 50+ letterpress book milestone... about 40 more books to go.

Feb 11, 2021, 1:41pm

>202 Comatoes: Keep us informed. It is always pleasurable to share an enthusiasm.

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