Acquisitions 2022

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Acquisitions 2022

Jan 9, 2022, 1:12 am

It's a new year! Who has the first acquisition of 2022? I have one on the way, but someone else could beat me to it.

Jan 9, 2022, 1:43 am

I picked up a copy of Undine, which I’m quite enamored with

Edited: Jan 9, 2022, 6:36 am

The LEC Bhagavad Gita.

I had been undecided between this edition and the Heritage Press edition. However, on finding the LEC in a local antiques centre for the princely sum of £30, my mind was made up. Both book and solander are NF, with only some tarnishing to the foil label.

Jan 9, 2022, 11:21 pm

Just received Odes and Epodes of Horace.
Absolutely beautiful books in fine condition for only US$100 - absolute bargain!!
See here.

Jan 15, 2022, 12:35 am

Very pleased to have made the winning bid for the 1980 LEC of The Great Gatsby in fine condition. I'd come up short in some other auctions at higher prices.

Jan 15, 2022, 12:39 am

>5 ChrisG1: Conrats, looks to be in fine condition. Good for you for being persistent and not over bidding.

Jan 20, 2022, 11:58 am

My Tartuffe has arrived. It’s the tallest book I’ve ever seen!

It has one unopened top edge. I don’t plan on cutting it; for one page (actually two—a left and a right), I can bear to peek between the folds.

The Van Gelder paper is pretty stiff. I’m new to collecting LECs and I have thought, “Huh, that’s not what I was expecting” of the paper in every book.

Some of the edges are tanned and I am so tempted to remedy that, but I don't want to lose the deckle edges. Is there a way?

Until I have time to read it, I am keeping Tartuffe on my work desk and staring at whatever page is open when I need to take my eyes off the computer.

Jan 20, 2022, 2:35 pm

I take it you got the Steiner-Prag edition, >7 maisiedotes:

It's a lovely edition and one of my favorite bindings. But it is definitely huge, haha.

Jan 20, 2022, 3:21 pm

>5 ChrisG1: Congratulations. This is one of my favourite editions, even over other books that were far more expensive. I hope you enjoy it.

Jan 20, 2022, 3:30 pm

I picked up The Natural History of Selborne.

Jan 20, 2022, 3:49 pm

>8 WildcatJF: Yes, the Steiner-Prag. I keep looking closely at all the strings in the cover. What ARE they? Do I see leaves???

Jan 20, 2022, 3:52 pm

>10 ironjaw: Gorgeous!

Jan 20, 2022, 4:25 pm

>7 maisiedotes: Nice! Keep growing that collection of LEC books!

I've made some non-LEC and pretty expensive purchases (books by Julius Schröder Verlag and Officina Bodoni, the second one being printed with a handpress) recently but came back to LEC and soon will receive my copy of The Trial and Death of Socrates.

Jan 20, 2022, 4:59 pm

>13 Lukas1990: Thanks! I'm trying my best not to get carried away, so you just keep telling us about your new acquisitions (insidious smile).

I don't even know enough to look for something printed by handpress . . . so much to learn.

Jan 20, 2022, 5:13 pm

>7 maisiedotes: Yes, it’s big. However, the Arion Press Tartuffe is even larger.

Jan 20, 2022, 6:09 pm

>11 maisiedotes: Per the Quarto, it's a "half natural linen with Japanese paper sides with embossed medallion". Macy considered it one of the 10 finest books he produced, but the membership at the time didn't seem to think so.

Jan 21, 2022, 10:03 pm

>16 WildcatJF: Thanks. It’s certainly like nothing else I own (which admittedly isn’t much). I think it’s beautiful. I wonder what the members didn’t like about it.

Jan 22, 2022, 8:16 pm

>10 ironjaw: Looks quite fine too! (It is a volume I have but have not yet really looked at because there are so many in line.)

Jan 23, 2022, 12:41 pm

>18 laotzu225: I’ve been distraught and struggled to make a decision, as I’ve had to chose between the Folio large fine edition from 2009 and the LEC and opted for the LEC.

Jan 27, 2022, 12:30 am

>19 ironjaw: It certainly would be a difficult decision to make!

Edited: Jan 28, 2022, 10:42 am

Finally received The Trial and Death of Socrates (LEC). Another nice book by G. Mardersteig. A very solid slipcase too.

I now own these books designed and printed by Dr. Mardersteig:

Officina Bodoni for LEC:
The Gallic Wars
The Georgics
The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi

Officina Bodoni:
A Comedy of Terence called Andria (german version, printed with a handpress, the best book I own)

Stamperia Valdonega for LEC:
Orations and Essays of Cicero
The Trial and Death of Socrates

Stamperia Valdonega for Imprint Society:
Labors of Hercules

Livy's Histories, Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, Hugo's Toilers of The Sea, Life of Benvenuto Cellini and maybe Petrarch's Sonnets are all on my wish-list too.

Can't stop spending my hard-earned money so a couple of days ago I ordered The Praise of Folly (LEC). I own the HP version illustrated by Frans Masereel but I always wanted the LEC version with numerous marginal glosses and mezotints by Lynd Ward. George Macy really could design a book! Love his design of Ulysses too (a bit expensive for me). It is extremely hard to find a decent copy of The Praise of Folly, especially if you live in Lithuania (is it possible that I can't even see some of the books for sale on Ebay and other platforms because they don't ship here or something like that???). Found a copy which is described by the bookseller as VG- and looks pretty decent from photos. I was encouraged by some knowledgeable members of LT (thank you) to take this chance because it is unlikely a better copy will show up soon. Even if I will find one in the future it will probably be too expensive for me. Can't wait to hold it in my hands!

Jan 28, 2022, 12:29 pm

>22 Lukas1990: Thanks for sharing your good news. It's nice to acquire vicariously through the postings of members here.

As a newbie, I'd love to hear about your journey. How are you finding out about what interests you and what's out there? How are you shaping your collection?

I'm splashing around in the water and not getting anywhere, but that's because I can't bring myself to commit.

Jan 28, 2022, 1:44 pm

>23 maisiedotes: I'm also a newbie :D

I try to buy books that I'll read in the future. I was always interested in Ancient Greek/Roman/Medieval/Renaissance history and LEC has a lot to offer. Some of their most frequent collaborators were Officina Bodoni/Stamperia Valdonega run by G. Mardersteig whom some people consider the best printer of 20th century. When I got my first book printed by G. Mardersteig (The Gallic Wars by Julius Caesar) I was very impressed, though it's not at all his best effort for LEC. Mardersteig's books check all the boxes for me: flawless typography and printing, quality papers and binding materials, lovely overall design which is quite austere, beautiful illustrations by skilled artists (usually woodcuts which I also prefer) and most importantly - interesting titles. That's why I decided to get the majority of Mardersteig's books printed for LEC. Through this forum I also discovered several German private presses which are very interesting and bought some books from Germany (illustrated by one of my favorite artists Sepp Frank etc.). Ordering books from USA is extremely expensive and even risky (some orders have never arrived) so I prefer to get my books from Germany which is a fellow EU member (no taxes, cheap and fast shipping). Another typographer and book designer I admire is Jan van Krimpen. It's that European in me that prefers European printers, I guess.

Before buying a book I use search engines like vialibri or bookfinder to get an idea of what's the current market price and search for the most affordable book in the best possible condition. Always ask booksellers for additional pictures! Don't hesitate to ask questions on Librarything (as you do). The community here is very helpful.

P.s. even the LEC books pale in comparison to the Officina Bodoni books printed with a handpress. These are majestic! I am not sure when I'll get another chance to buy a near fine Officina Bodoni book for at least one-third of the average market price. Maybe never :D

Jan 28, 2022, 9:12 pm

>22 Lukas1990: >24 Lukas1990: Lukas, I urge you to try to get the Petrarch, which i have. Not only is it a marvelous production (austere like many Mardersteig works) but it also such a formative work in the development of the Renaissance and of Italian culture and language.

Jan 30, 2022, 9:02 pm

>24 Lukas1990: Thank you for the insights. I'm following the development of your collection with interest . . . and learning from you, newbie though you say you are.

And now, I'm off to look up more about Officina Bodoni and Stamperia Valdonega.

Jan 30, 2022, 10:48 pm

For fans of Giovanni Mardersteig, a Limited Editions Club I recommend most highly is The Betrothed. It is typical of his post-war work in that it may not exhibit the same degree of superlative craftsmanship as the St. Francis Fioretti, but it exceeds in literary merit any of his other work for Macy (and even post-war Mardersteig is superior to just about anyone else).

I never understood why this novel, generally considered one of the world's masterpieces, is so little read. I tried recommending it to my wife's book club back when they were thinking about reading a classic work which features a pandemic, but the response was underwhelming and it didn't get any votes.

Jan 30, 2022, 10:50 pm

>27 Django6924: Here's my post on The Betrothed for those who want to see it:

(Ironically I got it from you Robert, haha)

Jan 31, 2022, 5:46 am

>25 laotzu225:

This is very good advice - it's an excellent book - but any one looking at the Petrarch should be aware it's bound in sheepskin, which is prone to crumbling: pay attention to the condition of the spine.

Jan 31, 2022, 1:16 pm

>28 WildcatJF:
Jerry, have you found the time to read it yet? Hope you will find the time during this pandemic to do so (there's a description in the book of the effects of the 1630 Plague which seems chillingly apropos). One of the world's greatest novels.

(For classical music fans, Verdi wrote his wonderful Requiem in memory of the author, Alessandro Manzoni.)

Jan 31, 2022, 1:35 pm

>27 Django6924: >28 WildcatJF: >30 Django6924: This conversation is making me want to buy this!

Robert, thanks for pointing out the connection to Verdi's Requiem. I just pulled out my piano-vocal score and it does indeed show a dedication in rather small print.

How is the paper in The Betrothed? Is it superior or unusual in any way?

Jan 31, 2022, 1:48 pm

>27 Django6924: The Toilers of the Sea is another excellent love story that I might have liked better than The Betrothed.

Jan 31, 2022, 2:41 pm

>31 maisiedotes:
The paper was made in Milan and the ML says it is called by US importers "Incudine" (Italian for "anvil") and bears a watermark featuring a stylized anvil with the name of the mill wreathed around it. I just did a cursory search for this but did not discern it. It is an excellent, but I would not call it a special paper: it is very smooth, which is not my favorite style; I tend to reserve my greatest admiration for papers that have a bit of "tooth." I have to say those papers would not have been a good choice for this book as the extremely fine detail of Bramanti's illustrations demand a smooth finish paper; as usual, Mardersteig knew what he was doing.

>32 BuzzBuzzard:
Perhaps because I prefer Italian to French cuisine, I definitely liked The Betrothed better, but I would put Toilers also among the World's Greatest Novels.

Jan 31, 2022, 4:01 pm

>33 Django6924: I'm very curious about that anvil watermark. I don't like smooth paper, but your recommendation is otherwise sorely tempting me.

I'm glad to have learned "Incudine" from you during this exchange. Fun fact for the day: Verdi's "Anvil Chorus" from Il Trovatore does not use "incudine"; rather, the number is named Coro di Zingari (Gypsy Chorus) in the Italian.

Jan 31, 2022, 8:51 pm

>30 Django6924: I have not, but I am going to be making more of an effort to read at night, so I'll add it up the queue a few several places :)

Feb 1, 2022, 11:52 pm

>29 affle: The card accompanying it describes the spine as blue levant morocco; and in my case has held up handsomely.

Feb 2, 2022, 12:00 am

>31 maisiedotes: You'll like the paper. Italian made, of pre-war quality.

Edited: Feb 9, 2022, 1:49 am

>37 laotzu225: My best friend thinks I'm crazy for talking about—paper.

Anyway . . . I'm teetering dangerously over the precipice . . . .

Feb 2, 2022, 5:45 am

>29 affle:

Thank you - my information came from the professional bookbinder I consulted about the state of the spine (he did some simple restoration). The Bibliography describes the material merely as 'leather', but also claims the book to be half-bound, when my copy at least is only quarter-bound, so its worth as a source may be doubtful.

Feb 9, 2022, 1:51 am

>35 WildcatJF: I've ordered a copy of The Betrothed. Race ya!

Feb 9, 2022, 2:20 am

>40 maisiedotes: Yes, yes, don't stop!

Feb 9, 2022, 4:14 pm

>41 Lukas1990: You enabler! Yes, I'm expanding my horizons. When does this madness end?

>35 WildcatJF: The Betrothed arrived 20 minutes ago. Are you there, Jerry? I'm starting now!

Feb 9, 2022, 10:56 pm

>42 maisiedotes: Unfortunately (?), the horizon is endless!

Feb 10, 2022, 8:55 am

>42 maisiedotes: Hahaha you're going to beat me! About to start a different book.

Feb 11, 2022, 11:47 am

>44 WildcatJF: Alrighty, then. Enjoy your selection!

Those Bruno Bramanti engravings—I would buy a book just for them.

Mar 11, 2022, 12:46 pm

Finally received my LEC copy of Praise of Folly by Erasmus. The sheepskin binding deteriorates when I just look at it :D Beautiful but very fragile binding. Got it wrapped in an archival mylar. I will avoid shelving it vertically.

Love the marginal illustrations and mezzotins by Lynd Ward. The mezzotints have a surreal 3D feeling. Very interesting medium.

I also like the paper of the book. It is pretty thick and holds the illustrations and letters well.

Mar 11, 2022, 1:25 pm

>46 Lukas1990:
Do the crown and base seem so fragile as to not bear vertical storage? I look forward to a copy picked up for 25 USD on eBay, may well turn out to be in tatters…

Mar 11, 2022, 1:30 pm

Just acquired a pristine copy of HP Plutarch. Thank you to Django6924 for the glowing recommendation. I have been vacillating over whether to grab the LEC, Shakespeare Head Press, or Nonesuch Plutarch. The HP is the perfect reading size, has North's translation, has tasteful illustrations, and was a fraction of a fraction of the cost of the others.

Mar 11, 2022, 1:35 pm

>46 Lukas1990: Curious an a bit off-topic, but why not shelve the Erasmus vertically? Does it help preserve the binding in some way?

Edited: Mar 11, 2022, 2:53 pm

>47 GusLogan: They are not THAT fragile but I think they don't need any more pressure. Please, post photos of your copy when you get it. As I said this is a steal in any condition.

>49 Sport1963: I think storing it vertically will help avoid more shelfwear. I have seen a lot of copies with spine-ends worn and it was definitely because of the pressure of them being stored vertically. Look at the picture of my copy. It's starting slowly.

BTW, here's a pretty good copy on Abe:

Mar 11, 2022, 3:22 pm

>50 Lukas1990:
Good Abe find. Yours doesn’t look bad at all!

Shouldn’t the slipcase mean there is virtually no load on the spine base, assuming it juts out slightly when the slipcase ls on?

Mar 11, 2022, 3:59 pm

>51 GusLogan: Could be! Unfortunately my copy came with no slipcase.

Mar 11, 2022, 10:45 pm

>50 Lukas1990: The Abe copy is gone already!

Mar 12, 2022, 1:14 am

>53 maisiedotes: No surprise, it was a pretty good value. Hope it was sold to a fellow member of LT.

Mar 12, 2022, 12:03 pm

>50 Lukas1990: BTW Lukas - this looks like a terrific copy, one of the best I've seen and far superior to the one I own. This LEC title ranks up there along with Gibbon's Decline and Fall and Moby Dick as the most difficult to find in near fine condition. If you are ever thinking of selling...PM me!

Mar 12, 2022, 8:25 pm

The rubbing of the bottom of the spine on the LEC Erasmus seems endemic--mine has it although it is apparently unread, still in the original, nearly intact glassine, and in the slipcase (which has a cracked seam on the top).

Apr 4, 2022, 12:52 am

Last week I was browsing in a library bookstore near me and found a very nice copy of Shakespeare's Sonnets for $5 (HP, with Sandglass), so I bought it and donated my copy-with-a-hole-in-the-spine to a different library bookstore.

I also acquired the HP Shakespeare Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, also in super-duper shape, for $15 total.

Now to slow my life down and read them!

Edited: Apr 8, 2022, 3:23 pm

The LEC Wind In The Willows has just arrived from US and I am pretty happy with it. Though the quality of the reproduced illustrations by Arthur Rackham could have been better, IMHO. Managed to get a copy for 93$. Besides a faded and soiled spine it's in good condition.

Apr 27, 2022, 9:41 am

I’m new to this group, started purchasing lec’s in January of this year. I have a small number now, but most excited about my recent Grapes of Wrath heritage press purchase. On a thread here (Django?) said that the “insides” are identical to the the lec, so figured I’d take a chance and bought a very cheap copy with an ugly exterior.

Well, WOW!!!! I couldn’t be happier and more amazed. It’s so beautiful!! I’ve seen the Easton press huck Finn (which I assume would be very similar) and it was so…. Different. Same but not at all the same.

The book is solid, so going to make a dust jacket for it to cover the ugly boards and call it a day. If I ever see one in nice shape for a great price I’ll snap it up.

By way of introduction, I homeschool my kids with classical education methods. I got interested in purchasing the most beautifully illustrated copies of the classics that could be found. I also realized quickly that nice paper makes my reading much more enjoyable.

Reading classic children’s literature has been a huge joy. I was an avid reader as a child, but sadly missed out on so many.

Now I’m preparing for my children’s high school years. I’ll be loosely following this list

I’d read… almost none of these. Sadly. I was such an avid reader, but I didn’t know what to read.

Anyhow, of course I need to read them all before I assign them to my kids. So purchased the LEC bible (reading genesis), and purchased and have read a number of others and have been very pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable these “boring classics” are.

Apr 27, 2022, 3:37 pm

I've been meaning to mention that I acquired the 1940 Rubaiyat recently. The blue leather(?) bindingIt is still in very good condition. I managed to snag it off of a virtual book fair.

Apr 27, 2022, 7:39 pm

>59 Evelyn2108: Welcome to the group! Similar to you, I got into LEC collecting because I wanted high-quality versions of great literature, much of which I have never read. Why not fill my education and culture gap while also adding lovely works of art to my home? And the affordability of most LEC titles only adds to the pleasure. So many of the titles on your humanities list are part of the LEC/Heritage checklist, so I reckon you are in for years of happy hunting. And I second your opinion on the enjoyability of these old titles. I am ashamed to admit I had never read The Canterbury Tales but just finished volume 1 of the LEC's 1934 version and absolutely loved it. The 1933 Analects of Confucius was another recent joy. The LEC certainly has raised my enjoyment of my reading habit to new heights :)

Apr 28, 2022, 6:13 pm


Apr 29, 2022, 12:34 am

>61 AMindForeverVoyaging:
It truly is a joy to read these beautiful books. I’m looking forward to those two titles now!

Apr 29, 2022, 2:19 pm

>63 Evelyn2108: Evelyn, I just want to describe my sentimental favorite among LEC books. It is Aucassin and Nicolette, a medieval parody of French chivalric romances. It was designed and illustrated by Vojtek Preissig and printed in Czechoslovakia in 1931. Pure art deco in style.
An interesting aspect is that he dresses his hero and heroine in the style of that time and battle scenes combine archaic and then modern armaments. So, it is anachronistic through and through but whimsically delightful in my view. it is interesting to read Macy's reaction in the ML.

May 1, 2022, 5:56 pm

After finishing War and Peace, I rewarded myself with the 1963 LEC Resurrection. It's a beautiful large book with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg. My copy came without slipcase or Monthly Letter (thankfully available on the shared Drive), and I took a risk by ordering it from Ebay from a listing by ThriftBooks. I normally avoid the large sellers primarily because of inadequate packaging, but this time it was double-boxed and wrapped in plastic. It arrived as pristine as the pictures and description reported it. I probably will not read it this year, but am already looking forward to the luxurious experience of holding a Limited Editions Club selection of a great classic.

Hopefully this picture is clear enough to see the bite of the letterpress presswork providing the tactile sensation that many of us appreciate.

May 3, 2022, 2:00 pm

>64 laotzu225:

If you like the LEC Aucassin and Nicolette, may I suggest taking a peek at the 1932 LEC edition of Faust. It, too, has distinctive Art Deco styling and the illustrations by René Clarke are quite unique, albeit not to everyone's taste.

May 4, 2022, 1:35 am

>64 laotzu225:
Oh wow, thank you for the recommendation laotzu225. What a stunning book! I would never have glanced at this title. Going to keep a watch out for a copy with a nice slipcase.

It’s also short, which is great, as it’s so nice to cozy up with an interesting title for a day or two.

May 4, 2022, 10:11 am

>66 dlphcoracl: always get a chuckle when I look at "Faust". I like the book because it is so allusive to the era of its publication date. George Macy (and a majority of the membership at the time) did not share that affection.

May 4, 2022, 2:33 pm

Here's my latest purchase, the 1930 LEC version of Victor Hugo's the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, in paper wrap-style binding and case.

May 4, 2022, 9:15 pm

>69 ExLibrisDavid:

A wonderful acquisition.

This was clearly a George Macy home-run. The type (not identified in the colophon) is beautiful and easily legible, the letterpress printing by G. Coulouma (master printer in Argenteuil) is excellent and the French Velin d'Arches paper is high quality. What really sets this 2-volume set apart are the splendid woodcuts by Frans Masereel which are stark, atmospheric and haunting.

May 6, 2022, 6:47 pm

>66 dlphcoracl: I always listen to the Oracle!

May 7, 2022, 12:24 pm

My latest is the LEC Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1971). It's not the most spectacular LEC offering, but I'm very glad to have it. Cream cloth binding, pleasantly heavy paper, illustrations in red ink. I don't think it is printed letterpress. It is oversized (13 inches tall), which means I can't shelve it with the rest of my medieval collection. But a big plus for me is that it includes the Middle English with a facing-page modern translation (by James Rosenberg). In layout and quality it reminds me of the LEC Descent of Man, printed in the same year, except that the Darwin is quarter leather bound and its illustrations are b&w rather than color; also, the Darwin paper is not quite as nice.

May 8, 2022, 8:55 pm

>72 Eumnestes:

Per Django6924:

"The Gawain is another matter: per the ML, the Middle English text proved a problem in that to match the 16 point letterpress of the modern translation, the Goudy 30 had to be "photographically reduced" from a larger size typeset which was available. This was then made into a "special film, and it was from this film that--by means of a mid-twentieth century technological development" that the Middle English text was composed. "Special film"? "Mid-twentieth century technological development"? Sounds like photopolymer plates to me. The first photopolymer-based letterpress plate was used by, of all fine press establishments(!), Time magazine in 1957. If the Gawain ME text were printed from photopolymer plates, then it was printed letterpress.

I believe this to be the case because I can feel the type indentations when I run my fingers over the type on both texts. The rag paper feels like mould-made paper and is quite thick so the print indentations haven't deformed the opposite side of the page, which you see in LECs such as the Grabhorn Robinson Crusoe."

May 9, 2022, 9:24 am

>73 Jobasha: Interesting! Thanks very much for this background. If it's polymer plating, then the letterpress here is a kiss rather than a bite. But you're quite right about the sturdiness of the paper. And who would have thought that Time Magazine would be a letterpress leader?

May 11, 2022, 1:55 am

>69 ExLibrisDavid:
Is that a custom made slipcase? It is in really nice condition, looks great.

May 11, 2022, 9:05 am

Looks custom. I just purchased a copy as well and my box is different.
Starting reading my copy as well, and got to chapter 3 to find out that the remaining signatures we all uncut.
Managed to cut all signatures with only one small error.
One cool feature as I have been reading, as I am flipping the page, with the light shining just right you can see the watermark on the paper.

May 13, 2022, 11:25 am

>76 trentsteel:
Re watermark, sounds beautiful. My 1932 Three Musketeers was one of my First LEC’s, and it has some lovely watermarks. It is such an exquisite detail in a book that has such overall gorgeous craftsmanship.

May 15, 2022, 12:34 am

>75 Evelyn2108: I believe it is custom as I haven't seen any others like it. Thanks!

Jun 21, 2022, 3:58 am

I've been mostly buying non-LEC books this year but today I've ordered The Song of Roland for a good price. Hope it arrives in the advertised near fine condition. My first book illustrated by Valenti Angelo.

Jun 21, 2022, 11:51 am

>79 Lukas1990: I only have the kid-brother HP, and the illustrations are still as charming as can be.

Jun 21, 2022, 2:05 pm

>69 ExLibrisDavid: I've read that many of the Notre-Dame bindings were rebound by G.M. with hardback covers - yet I've only seen the paper ones up to now. I'd be very curious to see what they look like.

Jun 21, 2022, 4:12 pm

I just bought An Iceland Fisherman (LEC) and the story is quite touching. Page 198 has a funny typo: "side" appears as "s de." I wish the illustrations were darker/clearer/bigger.

Browsing in a brick-and-mortar Half Price Books, I found Christopher Marlowe: Four Plays and The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter. I might confess I bought the Marlowe purely for its gorgeous spine. Both books were HPs in pristine condition with slipcase and Sandglass, although the Sandglasses were strangely yellowed. They were $9.99 each, less 10% teacher discount but plus sales tax. YAY!

Jun 21, 2022, 4:52 pm

>79 Lukas1990: This is one of my favorite LECs! And this one wasn't just illustrated by Angelo - he personally colored and illuminated them by hand! The monthly letter says they shipped the sheets to his home and he had to color/illuminate 15,000 drawings! I wonder how long it took him. Even if he was working super-fast, he still had to lay sheets around the house to dry. This book is a real treat, and I'm sure would have cost above a grand if produced today.

Btw, Macy himself was really pleased with it: " is a highly original book, a book resembling nothing that we have sent you before and nothing that has been produced by an American publisher before; we think it's as lovely as any book we have issued to our members, and we congratulate ourselves upon the restraint with which we refrain from saying that we think it more lovely than any book we have issued to our members."

Jun 21, 2022, 4:53 pm

>80 maisiedotes: The quality of those HP reprints is stunning. One can collect HP books all his/her life and be happy :)

Jun 21, 2022, 4:57 pm

>83 elladan0891: Thanks to the Google Drive I've read the ML. Macy was a very tallented writer! The hype he creates around each book is fantastic! Can't wait to receive my book sometime in July.

Jun 21, 2022, 5:28 pm

And myself, I just broke a fairly lengthy LEC fasting with the delivery of a copy of Xenophon's Anabasis. Haven't bought a LEC in several months as I was catching up on some in-print titles soon to go OOP, but Anabasis just reminded me what a fantastic value most LECs provide. Anabasis wasn't among the cheaper LECs in the past few years, but even at those prices it blows anything currently produced and similarly priced out of the water. But I finally managed to get it for under a hundred including shipping. I really like the binding, the thick laid paper, the two-color printing, the simple typographical layout, the letterpress looks and feels great, the woodcuts are wonderful and are a tactile delight (deep impressions). Very happy with my purchase.

Jun 21, 2022, 6:41 pm

I recently got an HP of Lucretius' On the Nature of Things and fell in love with Paul Landacre's illustrations so got the HP of Origin of Species (with more Landacre). Both are really nice - if I didn't know better I'd think they were LECs as the binding and quality of the printing are top notch.

I guess next up is the Ambrose Bierce with Landacre's illustrations. I'll probably spring for the LEC next time as it's not too expensive and I like the cover better on the LEC.

So which other HPs would you all recommend that exceed expectations and look as good as some LECs?

Jun 21, 2022, 7:55 pm

>86 elladan0891: Good choice! I made a point in obtaining The Big Three, which includes Xenophon and The Peloponnesian War and Argonautica. All are drool-worthy. Iliad and Odyssey I consider their own thing.

Jun 22, 2022, 12:12 am

>87 rsmac:

'So which other HPs would you all recommend that exceed expectations and look as good as some LECs?'

Look at message #12:

Jun 22, 2022, 1:38 pm

I recently acquired the LEC of Conrad's Nostromo (1961). It has turquoise cloth boards and a silver-stamped town on front, quarter-bound in what I think is brown burlap, with a cloth label on spine. The paper is think and heavy, and the illustrations by Lima de Freitas are fantastic. This is not really a title I was looking to collect, but the price on eBay was so reasonable (lower b/c no slipcase), and the book looked so pretty, that I went ahead and purchased it. Looking forward to reading it, although it is plenty heavy.

Jun 22, 2022, 4:55 pm

>88 Glacierman: Argonautica was my first LEC! And the newly acquired Anabasis is now shelved right next to my copy of The Peloponnesian War :) I really like illustrations by the Greek engraver Tassos in all three.

Jun 22, 2022, 7:29 pm

Just arrived: The Kingdom of This World, 1987 LEC.

This book is gorgeous, far more impressive in person than it seems from pictures. The level of craft and quality of materials is high.

Magnani mould made paper for the text and hand made papers for the etchings, which are also far more striking in person, with depth and texture. Bound in half goatskin with Japanese cloth over the sides. (The half binding is the style where the entire fore-edge is covered, rather than just the corners).

Set in 18 point Janson, which the monthly letter tells me was designed by Bruce Rogers originally for the earlier Shakespeare set.

It is a large book. One of the largest I own by expanse of page, probably. So that might be a downside, depending on attitude toward Tomes. But it works for me.

Jul 5, 2022, 1:41 pm

>83 elladan0891: Thanks for this. Roland is a book I bought, paged through and put away. I was probably never going to read it as long poems do not appeal to me. But after your comment I got it down off the shelf and really do appreciate it much more as a beautiful volume.

Jul 5, 2022, 4:02 pm

>83 elladan0891: "The monthly letter says they shipped the sheets to his home and he had to color/illuminate 15,000 drawings!"

Thank you for this insight. I always thought that "hand-painted" meant the original piece was hand-painted, then copies were made from it. It boggles the mind that ALL the drawings were original.

Does anybody still do that????

Edited: Jul 5, 2022, 5:35 pm

>93 laotzu225: I wasn't too eager to slog through Roland either, but decided to read it as a way of sensitizing myself to the source material for the chivalrous romances that Cervantes skewers in Don Quixote, to prepare for a reading of the LEC 1933 edition. In truth, it (Roland) was pretty dull and repetitive, but pretty interesting for what it is, rather than for what it contains.

Jul 5, 2022, 10:14 pm

>94 maisiedotes: It boggles the mind that ALL the drawings were original

To be precise, the black outlines were printed, and then the insides colored by hand. Here is a good look at this LEC:

Does anybody still do that????

It's rare nowadays, but it's still being done. I do own one such book published recently (2019): The Travels of Sir John Mandeville Beyond the Holy Land from the Foolscap Press. Books and Vines blog even has a few pics of hand-painting of this book:

However, for some reason the latest blog entries, including Mandeville, don't present the pictures in a good format and aren't clickable/zoomable unlike all the older entries, so here are some better close-ups:

Jul 6, 2022, 1:39 am

I warmly recommend this episode of In Our Time for anyone reading or struggling to read The Song of Roland, but beware it has spoilers:
(Also available in other podcast libraries.)

I think the book and story are lovely, but the telling of the story does, I agree, require patience.

Jul 6, 2022, 5:18 pm

>96 elladan0891: Thanks for the clarification. Still, that is a labor of love. The pictures on Books and Vines are fascinating!

I saw a copy of Travels of Sir John Mandeville at Codex three months ago (it wasn't for sale) and was stunned by it. Peggy Gotthold very graciously "explained" the book to me. She probably provided some important details (hand painting among them) that unfortunately didn't sink into my newbie head.

Jul 7, 2022, 2:46 pm

I recently purchased a very nice, affordable copy of Tartarin of Tarascon. The paper is about the same color as a manila folder; it is thick and has presence, while the deckled edges are authentically fine and flaky. I just finished reading volume 1 (a fluffy diversion from my other current read, Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi). Volume 2 has some unopened pages. I'm not sure I can bear to open them. I might just leave the book in its original state.

All that I can find out about the paper is from the ML (my gratitude goes to those who upload their letters!): "The paper used for this edition is called Praga. It is made by hand in a small mill in Czechoslovakia."

Can anyone provide more enlightenment on this kind of paper in general?

I found a nifty watermark on the title page of volume 2:

Jul 7, 2022, 4:18 pm

>99 maisiedotes: Well, Praga is obviously the capital of Czech Republic :) That's all I can tell!

Jul 7, 2022, 5:45 pm

>99 maisiedotes: Well, there's this:

But I don't know who made it.

Jul 7, 2022, 7:42 pm

>100 Lukas1990: Post #100! Could be fortuitous for you! My brain didn't make the leap from "Praga" to "Prague."

>101 Glacierman: Now that's Prague! The paper does look like the paper in Tartarin.

Edited: Jul 8, 2022, 6:51 am

I decided to risk and ordered Lucretius' On the Nature of Things (LEC) without even seeing any pictures. The price was too good to miss it. The seller is Arundel books. They described the book as near fine. We'll see. Anyone has a ML?

Jul 8, 2022, 10:00 am

>103 Lukas1990: The seller has some interesting offerings on the cheap. It'd be interesting to know how it turns out.

Jul 8, 2022, 2:21 pm

>103 Lukas1990: I've purchased several LECs from that bookseller, my experience is: condition descriptions are spot on, prices quite reasonable, and packing and shipping well executed.

Edited: Jul 8, 2022, 2:37 pm

>105 Sport1963: Thank you for a positive comment. I've bought an LEC book from them before but unfortunately it got lost en route (I will never use untracked Alibris shipping again).

>104 bacchus.: I will update you as soon as (if) I get the book. My order is still not confirmed and shipped.

Jul 12, 2022, 8:58 pm

>79 Lukas1990:
I just borrowed the LEC Song of Roland from the library, and now I WANT my own copy! I think you'll love the book.

>96 elladan0891: Those hand-painted illustrations are entrancing, charmingly childlike. It was fun to squint at the color-inside-the-lines.

Jul 13, 2022, 5:29 am

>107 maisiedotes:
There’s a VG+ or better - perhaps NF - copy on eBay at 100 bucks but open to offers and the seller (no affiliation) seems ready to go with at least 20 % off. That’s a good price in my opinion.

Jul 13, 2022, 5:00 pm

Edited: Jul 13, 2022, 5:45 pm

>109 maisiedotes: Hurry! I'm getting tempted....

Jul 13, 2022, 6:18 pm

>110 Glacierman: You go first! I was tempted, but canNOT buy any more books this month. (Sh, don't tell!)

Edited: Jul 15, 2022, 11:29 am

The Limited Editions Club Song of Roland is on of the most beautiful books Angelo did (and I'm sure Edwin Grabhorn was very envious when, and if, he saw it). I just wish Macy could have used the Dorothy Sayers translation rather than Scott-Moncrieff's. I'm sure his scholarship is impeccable, but when I compare the two, I am struck often by how felicitous Ms. Sayers' choices are, and of course this goes back to my prejudice that the best translation is the one which reads the best in my language. (And of course I'm prejudiced toward Ms. Sayers as the creator of one of my favorite sleuths, Lord Peter.)

Judge for yourself:

When the Emperour his justice hath achieved,
His mighty wrath's abated from its heat,
And Bramimunde has christening received;
Passes the day, the darkness is grown deep,
And now that King in 's vaulted chamber sleeps.
Saint Gabriel is come from God, and speaks:
"Summon the hosts, Charles, of thine Empire,
Go thou by force into the land of Bire,
King Vivien thou'lt succour there, at Imphe,
In the city which pagans have besieged.
The Christians there implore thee and beseech."
Right loth to go, that Emperour was he:
"God!" said the King: "My life is hard indeed!"
Tears filled his eyes, he tore his snowy beard.



The Emperor now has ended his assize
With justice done, his great wrath satisfied,
And Bramimonda brought to the fold of Christ.
The day departs and evening turns to night;
The King's abed in vaulted chamber high;
St Gabriel comes, God's courier, to his side:
"Up Charles! Assemble thy whole imperial might;
With force and arms unto Elbira ride;
Needs must succor King Vivien where he lies
At Imphe, his city, besieged by Paynim tribes;
There for thy help the Christians call and cry."
Small heart had Carlon to journey and to fight;
"God!" says the King, "how weary is my life!"
He weeps, he plucks his flowing beard and white,

Here ends the geste Turoldus would recite.

Jul 17, 2022, 12:15 am

>112 Django6924: I took your challenge (thanks for not identifying which version was which), "listened" to the passages a couple of times, and decided which one I preferred. Then I googled the sources and my opinion concurs with yours. Do I get a gold star?

Edited: Aug 15, 2022, 9:26 pm

I just received Volpone and have a question about the meaning of "colored by hand" as stated on page 3 of the monthly letter: "All of the printed sheets were then colored by hand, through stencils, in the atelier of Monsieur Beaufumé."

Is this to say that not just the original was hand-colored then reproduced, but rather that every page is the fruit of an artist's labor—like the 15,000 illustrations in The Song of Roland (>96 elladan0891:)?

Edited to add: not a single one of the signatures (?) has been cut open. Can't I have my cake and eat it, too??!!

Aug 15, 2022, 9:27 pm

Picked up a copy of The Jolly Beggars from the Gehenna Press, beautifully printed on Amalfi handmade, bound in quarter cloth with marbled paper sides.
This will be a challenging and entertaining read!

Edited: Aug 16, 2022, 9:12 am

>114 maisiedotes: Yes, it means they were colored by hand. As it also mentions, "The colors are live water-colors and not printers' inks". I think in this case they cheated a bit because of the mention of stencils. I assume the stencils were to speed up the process. I have not seen this done, but I would say that after coloring a master set of images, they had a set of stencils made to be used to help the workers color the right shape and size without a lot of overflow of color. It was probably, but not necessarily, a piece work type of process, where one worker would color various parts and then hand them to the next worker, or perhaps set them to dry before going on.

Aug 16, 2022, 11:26 am

>116 Bernarrd: "The colors are live water-colors and not printers' inks." Thanks for pointing that out. That would be pretty solid evidence for hand-coloring. I guess my brain is so programmed for "machine-made" that I can hardly believe my eyes when I see "hand-made."

Aug 16, 2022, 4:44 pm

Went ahead and bit the bullet on a copy of House of the Dead for $75. I see it being one of the ones that will steadily increase with each new listing as the Russian literature featuring Eichenberg seems to be one of the "hot ticket" items when it comes to LEC. I balanced that with. $20 copy of The Iceman Cometh and a $30 copy of The Woman in White. I'm just kind of getting some things that are reasonable and I'm kind of interested in right now, I'd like a copy of Fahrenheit 451 but I'm not ready to purchase at that level right now

Aug 24, 2022, 4:35 pm

Just picked up my incredibly cheap copy of Volpone. Other than some slight shelf-wear to the bottom of the slipcase and a tiny amount of wear to the upper corners of same, it is in pristine condition, with most sections unopened. Lovely book. It has the cloth dust wrapper as well, but no ML, as expected. I am content.

Aug 24, 2022, 5:53 pm

>119 Glacierman: Congratulations. I'm a fan, too.

Aug 29, 2022, 9:19 pm

Just received a pristine copy of the LEC edition of Oscar Wilde's two plays, The Importance of Being Earnest / Lady Windermere's Fan. Two plays, bound dos-a-dos. Yes, it's from the Avon era, but as I like those two plays, I thought it would be a great way to own them. And I very much like Tony Walton's illustrations.

Aug 30, 2022, 12:24 am

>121 Glacierman: Those are wonderful plays, and there's something to be said for "pristine."

Sep 19, 2022, 2:59 pm

Just received a nice copy of the LEC issue of Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings in a slightly dinged slipcase.

The slipcase is one of those covered in a thin wood veneer, like the Book of the Dead: A Collection of Spells. Methinks I shall give it a coating of clear matte Krylon for extra protection. Unthinkable! Maybe, but I'll do it anyway.

Sep 20, 2022, 2:46 am

Ordered what appears to be a better than VG condition Aesop's Fables. Taxes, shipping and currency conversion makes it really expensive but I had to order because that's one of the best copies I've seen in a long while. This goes to my 2023 book budget. The thought that Bruce Rogers was sooo impressed with the woodcuts makes it even more worthy.

Sep 20, 2022, 9:34 am

>124 Lukas1990: Congrats! Gotta love that Barcham Green paper.

Sep 20, 2022, 10:30 am

>124 Lukas1990: That's a great book that absolutely merits a "buy-forward" strategy.

How's that for peer enablement?

Sep 23, 2022, 6:13 am

>124 Lukas1990:

Now you are 'obligated' to acquire the LEC 'Utopia' by Sir Thomas More (1934). It appears to have been designed in conjunction with Aesop's Fables (1933) - near identical size of books, vellum spine with bold gilt lettering and marbled or patterned paper over boards, very similar high-quality paper, and both are designed by Bruce Rogers. They make a handsome pair on one's bookshelf.

Sep 23, 2022, 6:53 am

>127 dlphcoracl: Yes, Utopia is a must-have! I'm also eyeing another book designed by Rogers - Anthology of Epicurus. There's a copy No. 666 out there which looks in fine condition. Unfortunately my budget is empty after ordering a facsimile of Hypnerotomachia (Eugrammia Press). Maybe next year...

A couple of years ago I ordered a copy of Utopia published by Folio Society in 1965 illustrated with coloured lithographs by Edward Bawden. Those are beautiful! Unfortunately the book got lost en route.

Sep 23, 2022, 7:28 am

>128 Lukas1990:

Spot on. The LEC Epicurus is a gem.

One final suggestion - to complete the group of small, elegant early LEC books designed by Bruce Rogers, consider acquiring Francis Bacon: The Essayes or Counsels Civill and Morall (1944). Another beautifully designed Bruce Rogers LEC book.

Sep 23, 2022, 7:39 am

>129 dlphcoracl: Rogers take on Essayes is wonderful, but surely it is not small! Large quarto or small folio (probably the former).

(Not that long in page count though, I suppose.)

Sep 23, 2022, 4:35 pm

Yes, the LEC Essayes elegant but not small. And the LEC Epicurus is not to be missed: black leather with embossed Greek key design, facing page Greek with English translation, printed on what feels like rag paper.

However, I've avoided the LEC Utopia because they choose to use the Ralph Robinson translation from the 1550s.

Sep 23, 2022, 5:19 pm

I believe Bruce Rogers was also the designer for The Federalist Papers.

Edited: Oct 1, 2022, 2:01 am

Despite a vow to cut back I have found myself unable to resist picking up a few LECs - the Cook book (or as I think of it, ”Hey, Mr Kangaroo man”…), Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography (so tall!), A Raw Youth (building towards every LEC illustrated by Eichenberg), a NF+ Jekyll&Hyde, The Scarlet Letter and Gone with the Wind to strengthen my GAN shelf (but will I ever afford Moby Dick?) and the Homeric blue/red offering, thanks to a tip above. In fact, I found a second (faded, slipcase-less) pair of the Iliad and Odyssey for 67 USD total and ordered it thinking at some point I might rebind all four books for my two sons, though that would of course be a vanity project more for myself…

Oct 1, 2022, 8:43 pm

>133 GusLogan:
Congratulations on such fine acquisitions! All books you mention are gorgeous editions of the works. Enjoy!

Oct 1, 2022, 8:51 pm

>133 GusLogan: I bought a faded, slipcaseless (but unopened) set of the Homer, some 10 years ago for $85. I have yet to get them rebound, alas. May you have firmer resolve and deeper pockets than I. :-)

Oct 2, 2022, 4:57 am

>134 booksforreading:
Thank you very much indeed!

Oct 2, 2022, 4:57 am

>135 kermaier:
Let’s compare notes at the end of the decade!

Oct 4, 2022, 8:47 pm

I haven't bought any LECs yet this year, but I finally found an amazing price for the very first LEC, Gulliver's Travels, and with a 20% off coupon I was able to get a few more for under $300 with taxes and shipping:
Travels of Lemuel Gulliver by Jonathan Swift/Alexander King
Travels Of Marco Polo by Marco Polo/Nikolai Fyodorovitch Lapshin
Lavengro by George Borrow/Barnett Freedman
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert/Gunter Bohmer
Sentimental Journey Through France & Italy by Laurence Sterne/Eric Gill and Denis Tegetmeier
Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by Charles Dickens/John Austen

Oct 4, 2022, 10:04 pm

>138 WildcatJF: Well, dang. That's awesome. I'm jealous. LOL.

Oct 4, 2022, 10:56 pm

>138 WildcatJF: Nothing since January? What restraint!

Nice to hear about the recent haul.

Edited: Oct 5, 2022, 8:19 am

>138 WildcatJF: A fine haul. I received a copy of A Sentimental Journey last month and think it is one of the loveliest LECs that I own. I also didn't realise it is quite a tall/wide book.

One of the fun things I am finding about collecting LECs is that because they are often photographed in isolation, the dimensions of the books are sometimes quite unexpected when they arrive. Of course, it's not difficult to find measurements in advance (and probably recommended!), but I guess I must enjoy the surprise.

I recently received Kwaidan and The Frogs. I did not realise the former is small and the latter quite big. In my mind, I had decided the opposite (I have no idea why). Now they are in hand, I consider them both perfectly sized :)

Oct 5, 2022, 5:54 pm

>133 GusLogan: I saw those cheap Iliad and Odyssey too. Hope it will be as described.

Today was a busy day so only at midnight I was able to spend some time with Aesop's Fables. Lovely woodcuts, not to mention the nice typography, hand-made J. Barcham Green paper etc etc. Can someone mark the exact place where Benjamin Franklin's type was used haha? It's in the half-title upon the fly leaf. So, where?

I'm even more excited about tomorrow because I will receive Dialogues of Creatures Moralised printed by Allen Press. This might be the highlight of the year.

Oct 8, 2022, 3:50 pm

So the six books arrived today. Five are from the same collector (and I had a few others of theirs already, so it's nice to keep building that component of my collection), four had slipcases (Gulliver and Pickwick did not), and outside of the back hinge being compromised on Gulliver they are all in good to very good condition. So I'm happy! I can attempt to repair the Gulliver on the inside since the leather spine is in remarkable condition for a 93 year old book.

Look forward to seeing these in the future on the blog!

Edited: Oct 9, 2022, 2:22 pm

I just received Sheridan's Rivals. Ben Sussan's hand-colored caricatures were the primary incentive for the purchase. The colors are so varied, and some so vivid! Though the tissues keep falling out, I am loath to discard them as I want to keep the book in its original condition. I guess it's time to actually read the play now.

Edited: Oct 10, 2022, 12:14 am

I wasn't satisfied with the condition of the binding of my copy of Lucretius' On the Nature of Things. Now I won an Ebay auction for another copy which looks as new. I've never seen a copy in better condition. Now the fun part beggins - getting it shipped to Lithuania undamaged.

Oct 10, 2022, 1:34 pm

>145 Lukas1990: Good luck! I hope you receive it undamaged. Beautiful copy.

Oct 16, 2022, 11:43 am

>145 Lukas1990: Congratulations. The book is one of my favorite LECs.

Oct 18, 2022, 6:34 pm

I just bought a Dracula (HP) at the library bookstore today. It was in perfect condition but sans Sandglass. It cost $6, but at another library bookstore, their copy was priced at $100. Are some editions more desirable than others?

Oct 19, 2022, 10:42 am

>148 maisiedotes: I have found getting an HP "Dracula" at a decent price to be a challenge. I suspect the NY edition is always preferred over the CT edition. I did manage to get a CT one this year (with Sandglass) for under $50 this year. I'd say you found a pretty good deal there.

Oct 28, 2022, 2:07 pm

I’ve been lucky twice of late, picking up a Fine+ Heart of Darkness and a VGish Divine Comedy on eBay for 40 USD each plus shipping.

There’s also a Decline and Fall on Abebooks/Biblio without slipcase or ML but in astounding shape and probably reasonably priced for it. I just can’t get around what it would then cost to ship to Sweden plus import fees - and what if it were damaged en route?

Oct 28, 2022, 3:13 pm

>150 GusLogan: That Gibbon's set looks fantastic! Unbelievable! Though shipping and taxes would make it too much for me. I'll have to pass. Stunning set...

My replacement copy of Lucretius has just arrived but... The three golden panels don't look as detailed as in the copy which has a worn spine. Go figure... I'll probably still keep the book with a less worn spine.

Oct 28, 2022, 3:50 pm

I too debated the Gibbon earlier and decided against it. It's been tentatively on my wishlist, but when it came down to it I had similar worries about overall shipping cost to the UK and possible damage en route. I think it'll be the Heritage Press or Everyman edition for me. I was very tempted though!

>150 GusLogan: Those are amazing prices. Most of the fine Heart of Darkness copies I've seen recently have been at least 4 or 5 times that figure.

>151 Lukas1990: Still a beautiful copy of Lucretius. Congratulations!

Edited: Oct 28, 2022, 4:54 pm

>152 GardenOfForkingPaths:

I'd be more worried about it falling apart 2 months later. The leather used just doesn't hold up unfortunately. I have a somewhat red rotted copy I've been meaning to get rebound but just never feel like paying $3000 - $4000 so it continues to rot away.

Oct 29, 2022, 2:56 am

>153 MobyRichard: Ah, that's a shame! Even if I could somehow keep these under ideal conditions, not handle them much and arrest the deterioration, I don't think I have the space for a display copy of a multi-volume set.

Well, looks like it sold on Abe. Hope it went to a GMD who has been looking for a nice set. I love the design of these.

Nov 6, 2022, 11:40 pm

My latest acquisition is not a book but a "periodical for all people who find pleasure in fine books"—the Fall 1940 issue of The Dolphin, distributed by the LEC. I got a kick out of the advertisements. Such a blast from the past! Such proper writing! No sentence fragments!

In the full-page ad on the front inside cover, I recognized the name of bookseller Philip Duschnes, recommended in GMD posts of yore by Leccol. (Does anybody know how to pronounce "Duschnes"?)

Duschnes' listings include a Beowulf (illustrated by Rockwell Kent, printed by Pynson Printers, and published at $25 but going for $7.50) and a Quattrocentisteria (from the Golden Cross Press, the private imprint of Valenti Angelo) that I had fun looking up. Valenti Angelo's illuminations make me drool.

Nov 7, 2022, 2:12 am

>155 maisiedotes: $7.50 for the LEC Beowulf? Of course $7.50 in 1940 is worth about $160 today which a bit more than I paid for my copy in 2011. It’s my second favorite copy of Beowulf after the Seamus Heaney FS edition. My dejected LEC has to settle for third place.

The Dolphins are a great read. I assume Fall 1940 is the first of the three Dolphin number four issues. I have the whole Dolphin collection in hardback except the first of Dolphin number 4 which is a paperback. It’s not clear to me if this issue only was available as a paperback.

Edited: Nov 7, 2022, 3:27 am

>156 kdweber: And of course, along similar lines are the various iterations of The Colophon. I have Volumes 1 & 2 (1935-1937, 8 issues in all) of The Colophon. New Series which I obtained a while back on e-Bay for a pittance. Fun reading.

Nov 7, 2022, 4:38 am

Also add Fleuron and Matrix and you'll spend all your budget on books about books. :)

Nov 7, 2022, 11:48 am

>156 kdweber: Yes, what I have is Fall 1940: Number 4 Part 1. I only just discovered the periodical and didn't know there was a whole collection in hardback.

>157 Glacierman:, >158 Lukas1990: Never heard of these other books/magazines! Off on a chase now! (Wait, I have a day job.)

Edited: Nov 14, 2022, 8:49 am

>156 kdweber:
It was available as a hardcover, too. My copy is a hardcover.

Nov 14, 2022, 12:25 pm

I just received and read A Record of the Proceedings 11 May 1950. The keepsake is written in the same arch tone as are the monthly letters and Sandglasses. So much cleverness poured forth from the mouths of the speakers at that dinner.

My copy came with a card stating "With the compliments of the directors of the Limited Editions Club." It had a 72-year-old staple in it, which I promptly and neatly removed.

On page 18, the photograph of Macy presenting Bruce Rogers with an award comes with a caption that states, "the entire film of which this picture is a part was especially enacted for the television cameras." It seemed quite the publicity event.

Nov 16, 2022, 12:41 pm

Today I received in the mail the LEC of Mann's Death in Venice. A very handsome volume. But to my surprise, the fore-edges of the leaves are unopened (the top and bottom edges are open and cut). Yet the fold on the fore-edge is not intended to be opened by the reader: the inside pages are blank. This does add heft to the book, turning a 100-page novella into a 200-page book by essentially printing on only one side of each leaf. The effect is interesting, although for heft I might prefer heavier paper to one-sided printing. Do people know of other LECs with this configuration?

Edited: Nov 16, 2022, 2:48 pm

>162 Eumnestes: If you do a search for "French fold," you'll find quite a bit of discussion. I don't have Death in Venice, but my Book of Proverbs (Heritage Press) has delicate French fold aka Japanese fold aka double-fold pages, and they are lovely.

From my Sandglass for Book of Proverbs: "On no account should the folds be separated."

Nov 16, 2022, 1:38 pm

>162 Eumnestes: The Birds is printed using a French fold as well, I believe.

Edited: Nov 16, 2022, 2:06 pm

>164 abysswalker: The LEC Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, as well - though in that case, the fold is at the top edge, rather than the fore-edge.

Nov 16, 2022, 5:26 pm

>144 maisiedotes: I've just finished reading The Rivals. As a book-as-object, this one doesn't hold a candle to The School for Scandal, the other Sheridan play produced by the LEC.

It's been many years since I learned about malapropisms, but it was fun to meet for the first time (for me) the character who gave the term its name.

Edited: Nov 16, 2022, 9:44 pm

>163 maisiedotes: >164 abysswalker: Interesting. I thought "French fold" referred to a way of folding brochures and maps; I didn't realize it was used in books.

Nov 16, 2022, 9:49 pm

>166 maisiedotes: I read The Rivals a couple of years ago and didn't really enjoy it until the Seattle Shakespeare troupe performed it. I laughed my head off and it made the play so much more entertaining to me, especially to read. It certainly reinforced my feeling that only reading a Shakespeare play is half the experience. To see it performed, with the added artisinal talents of the performers, directors, costume and stage designers, etc. really brings it to life. I still read my Shakespeare play before I see a production, but afterwards, a re-reading is always a revelation.

Nov 21, 2022, 11:42 am

>168 BionicJim: That's a good practice—to read the script before and after seeing the play.

I looked up Seattle Shakespeare's production and watched the few clips available on YouTube. That was just one month before lockdown!

Edited: Dec 1, 2022, 5:57 pm

>157 Glacierman: >158 Lukas1990:
I am now in possession of Colophon, Fleuron, and Matrix, or highlights thereof.

So much to read and learn!

Dec 1, 2022, 12:42 pm

>170 maisiedotes: Great! Waiting for you to share some interesting things when you can :)

Dec 1, 2022, 1:51 pm

>150 GusLogan:

Received books shipped across the pond. Heart of Darkness is a really nice LEC. Divine Comedy is huge! Managed to pick up the ML separately. Now for a looong spending break.

Dec 1, 2022, 5:00 pm

>172 GusLogan: "Now for a looong spending break."

I've told myself the same before.

Many times.

(It didn't work.)

Dec 1, 2022, 5:37 pm

>170 maisiedotes: What version of The Colophon did you get? Original series, New Series, New Graphic Series, New Colophon?? Hee, hee.

BTW, your touchstone for Colophon points to Roget's Thesaurus and that for Matrix points to the movie of that name. Since there aren't any other options given, you may want to consider editing out the brackets on those.

Edited: Dec 1, 2022, 6:29 pm

>174 Glacierman: Thanks, I've edited the touchstones.

My Colophon is New Series, Volume I, Number 3, Winter, 1936. I know there are other volumes; I'm not sure if your hee hee was a joke that went over my head.

I wasn't particularly enamored of any essays in my Colophon; the best part of the book were the ads in the back!

Dec 1, 2022, 6:25 pm

>175 maisiedotes: No joke...well, maybe, sort of. It's just that there are so many issues amongst the various iterations to choose from that to me, at least, it's like being a kid in a candy store. What to choose?

See if you can pick up a copy of one of the Original Series Colophon(Feb 1930-Mar 1935). It's a whole different thing.

Dec 1, 2022, 10:59 pm

>171 Lukas1990: Book report coming eventually.

>176 Glacierman: Don't encourage me to buy any more! (Too late; I already looked.)
How are those early Colophons different/better?

Dec 2, 2022, 2:00 am

>177 maisiedotes: If my memory serves me well, in each volume of the first, original series, each article/section was printed by a different printer on different stock. I have some samples, but they are not accessible to me at present.

Dec 8, 2022, 10:11 pm

As the holidays approach, maybe the question is not "What have you acquired recently?" but "What do you plan to acquire?"

Edited: Dec 15, 2022, 12:40 pm

I am very happy that I have finally been able to acquire The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in a very good/near fine condition for a very good price. An added nice bonus is that it is the copy No. 1500 of the 1500 total. I did not know this when I was buying the books.
A few volumes have some rubbing on the spines, but no pieces of leather are missing, and, overall, the set looks very nice. I figured that the leather probably rubs off easily during handling and reading of books, and, since I do intend to read my set, I wrapped each volume in a clear dust jacket protector.

Edited: Dec 15, 2022, 1:28 pm

>180 booksforreading:

My copies have red rot and the spines still look ok after several years so...even bad leather can hold together for a while! I'm still considering getting them rebound...but not sure if I want to pay that much.

Dec 15, 2022, 1:57 pm

>181 MobyRichard:
There was a rebound set on one of auctions several years ago, sold for about $300 - I think it was with buyer's premium included.
I am not sure rebinding 7 volumes would be worth it financially or practically, if the volumes still hold together. Protecting the spines with a dust jacket or a wrapper seems the way to go.

Also, I am surprised that Grossman in her book on History of LEC does not say ANYTHING about this set, except for a brief mention that it was one of sets offered to subscribers over some period of times. I would be very interested in learning more about history how this production came about.

Dec 15, 2022, 2:08 pm

>182 booksforreading:
I’ve treated my set with ledervaseline and Klucel-G. Let’s compare when the books turn 100! I paid 100 USD at auction but my volume 7 is basically spineless. I guess it would have made more sense to buy a better set at 300-400 bucks, especially with shipping costs. Was yours the Southampton Books set? Good deal if so!

Edited: Dec 15, 2022, 2:37 pm

If I am still around in 2046, will be happy to compare.
I treated the spines with Leather Saver from Preservation Solutions - a leather conditioner that was recommended elsewhere by Chad Pastotnik from Deep Wood Press.
Yes, I bought the set from Southampton Books. They agreed to sell it for $200, which I think is an excellent price for this condition - less than $30 per beautiful, letterpress, illustrated book.

Edited to add: It is amazing that you could get a set for $100! Totally worth it, even if some spines have problems. The contents are still intact. :)

Dec 15, 2022, 3:11 pm

>184 booksforreading:
I think your deal is better - I’ll probably never find a solitary vol. 7 for another 100 bucks! Though I did get the slipcase.

I’ve never seen the Monthly Letter for sale…

Here’s to your long life - I’m 42 soon so certainly hoping to make it to 2046!

Edited: Dec 15, 2022, 4:08 pm

I bought a fine set of Time Machine/War of the Worlds (LEC). It wasn't cheap but it looks pretty rare to find. I only see some ridiculously priced sets on the market at the moment.

Edited: Dec 15, 2022, 11:15 pm

>186 Lukas1990:
Congratulations! It is a very beautiful set, and, you are right - it is difficult to find for a good price.

>185 GusLogan:
Thank you! I certainly hope to make it, but you never know... :)

Dec 16, 2022, 2:22 am

>187 booksforreading: Thanks. I always wanted The Martian Chronicles more but still can't find an afordable copy. There was one for sale on Facebook last week. The final offer was just 100$ but the spine of the book was very sunned and the label badly scratched, no slipcase too. This is one of those rare instances when I think a slipcase is a must.

Dec 16, 2022, 3:47 pm

>188 Lukas1990:
I had no idea that The Martian Chronicles is now difficult to find for a reasonable price. I think that this was not the case just a few years ago. Good luck to you in your search! You will find your copy eventually.

Dec 31, 2022, 12:40 pm

My final acquisition for 2022 arrived on December 30: Romeo and Juliet. It is the 1937 HP, so it's not the tippy-top edition, but I'm pleased, nonetheless! My twenty-year-old daughter even volunteered her approval of the gold filigree-decorated boards. I think I could be the president of the Sylvain Sauvage fan club.

Dec 31, 2022, 5:13 pm

>190 maisiedotes:. Beautiful book! It’s hard to tell that this edition is not an LEC. If you can find the book in the original box it’s usually in pristine condition.

Dec 31, 2022, 5:33 pm

>191 kdweber: Huh, I've not seen a picture of this box (I also don't see any online currently). Does it look special, or is it just a variation of a slipcase?

My Sandglass is number 5A, and it is bigger than most other Sandglasses. It was also folded once horizontally very neatly, which makes me think it was sent from the publisher that way. It certainly didn't need to be folded; it doesn't protrude from the book. The voice is still the same, though!

Edited: Dec 31, 2022, 5:49 pm

>192 maisiedotes: It’s just a cheap paperboard box, not a slipcase or clamshell. I don’t have the Sandglass but my copy is from 1935, so possibly an earlier production run.

Dec 31, 2022, 10:28 pm

>192 maisiedotes: The Michael C. Bussacco book seems to show the 5A issue as the third one. He also lists a 4 and a 4A issue. I did not check for later issues. He also mentions that the 5A issue should have a colophon, I assume at the end of the text. I have a copy of the reference on my Kindle.

Jan 1, 2023, 8:50 pm

>194 Bernarrd: My book does have a colophon at the end.

Is your Bussacco the kindle version of "A Heritage Press Catalog and Checklist" as sold on Amazon? I see three Bussacco e-books listed—been curious but haven't taken the gamble yet.

Edited: Jan 2, 2023, 3:39 pm

Yes that is what I have. I also have a "Sample" (just a few pages) of An Annotative Bibliography of the Heritage Press Authors A-D Volume one. When I found the Bibliography was not complete I decided not to buy it. The author never finished the work.

Jan 2, 2023, 2:28 pm

>196 Bernarrd: Mr. Bussacco completed three volumes of his Annotative Bibliography of the Heritage Press" but his health prevented him from finishing the work. He also published the Heritage Press Catalog and Checklist as well as a work on the Sandglass. Unfortunately, it appears that Vol. 1 of the bibliography is the only one still readily available.

It is unfortunate that he was not able to complete the Bibliography.

Jan 3, 2023, 6:55 am

>197 Glacierman: Actually Amazon has three volumes by Mr. Bussacco, but only one is available in a paperback. The other two are only available in a Kindle format. Two volumes of the Bibliography, and the catalog and checklist.

Jan 3, 2023, 12:00 pm

>198 Bernarrd: Ah! I didn't notice Kindle versions, as I do not use that format, only printed books.

Jan 7, 2023, 4:35 pm

>79 Lukas1990: We never did get your report on Song of Roland. Do tell!

After all the buzz on this thread, curiosity got the better of me, and I succumbed to buying the LEC. The illustrations are so simple—maybe deceptively so—but endlessly fascinating.

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