Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

Donald Trump, The Magazine of Poetry

trump1Donald Trump, The Magazine of Poetry (Upper Montclair, NJ: Henry Wessells, Temporary Culture, 2016). Edition: 126. Graphic Arts Collection GA2016- in process. Gift of John Bidwell.

trump4Temporary Culture is the imprint of Henry Wessells, Princeton University Class of 1983. He was inspired to create Donald Trump The Magazine of Poetry by Tom Disch’s Ronald Reagan The Magazine of Poetry (London: John Sladek and Pamela Zoline, 1968). Rare Books RECAP-91154631.

Wessells tells us that it took fifty burning marshmallows, thinking about how to illustrate the piece on page 1, before he got the front cover. Temporary Culture has an instagram page where there are a couple of clips of readings from the launch on the web. Temporary Culture also produces the Endless Bookshelf




trumpOn the left Brendan Byrn and on the right, Henry Wessells at the book launch.

Students of American History: Can you identify these prominent Americans?

brinckerhoff4number 1
brinckerhoff3number 1 and 2
brinckerhoff2The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired an album of twenty rare American Antebellum portraits. Only a handful of the sitters have been identified, such as Samuel Houston, the Texas politician. Can you recognize the others? Please post your replies below or send them to

These photographs were taken in the very early days of photography on paper, in the New York City studio of Johannes De Witt Brinckerhoff (1812-1889) at 505 Broadway (present day Soho). The sitters either lived in New York or traveled there in the late 1850s or early 1860s to have their portraits made specifically by Brinckerhoff. They had the time and money to do so, so these would have been prominent figures in social and business circles.

Although the purpose of this album is uncertain, extra prints of these sitters may have been kept for a sample book to promote the photographer. According to William Welling’s Photography in America (SAPH TR23 .W44 1987) Brinckerhoff “was among the first to exhibit along with his daguerreotypes, proofs of photographs on paper made from collodion negatives, which led to his being employed in giving instructions to many daguerreotypists, who were flocking to [New York City] for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of the new art.”

brinckerhoff12number 3 and 4

brinckerhoffNew York Tribune January 4, 1889

Johannes De Witt Brinckerhoff was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey on April 15, 1812 to Jacob Brinckerhoff and Mary G Smith. He married Caroline Augusta Saville and had one son, James Saville Brinckerhoff. Johannes passed away on January 2, 1889 in New York City.
brinckerhoff11number 5 and 6
brinckerhoff20number 7
brinckerhoff19number 8
brinckerhoff18number 9 and 10

brinckerhoff6number 4
brinckerhoff17number 11 and 12
brinckerhoff13number 19
brinckerhoff16number 13 and 14
brinckerhoff15number 15 and 16
brinckerhoff10number 2
brinckerhoff9number 17 and 18
brinckerhoff8number 18
brinckerhoff5number 19 and 20
brinckerhoff1Johannes De Witt Brinckerhoff (1812-1889), Brinckerhoff’s Heliographic Likenesses, Developed in Colors from Nature, at the St. Nicholas Gallery… New York [title from label on front pastedown] ([New York City: Brinckerhoff, ca. 1856]). 20 mounted salted paper prints. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process

Ahí Va El Golpe (There Goes the Punch)

ah-va-issues2Ahí Va El Golpe (Mexico, 1955-1956). 20 issues: numbers 5-9,11-21,23-26. Letterpress and lithographs. Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process


Under the direction of Alberto Beltrán Garcia (1923-2002), this Mexican satirical magazine flourished for only two years. Beltrán was an active member of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (The People’s Print Workshop or TGP, see: then later, worked as deputy director for graphics for the newspaper El Día. On his own time, he drew, printed, and self-published several journals including Ahí Va El Golpe (There Goes the Punch) and El Coyote Emplumado (The Feathered Coyote).

We are fortunate to have acquired 20 rare issues of the first, ephemeral publication from the 1950s. Each issue has only four to six pages, primarily caricatures. Fellow TGP member Leopoldo Méndez contributed several illustrations.



Am I Not a Man and a Brother

For the 1,000th post on this weblog, we are pleased to share the acquisition of a medal bearing the abolitionist design of a kneeling slave in chains. On one side is the text: “Am I not a man and a brother,” and on the other side, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you. Do ye even so to them.”

Manufactured around 1790, probably in London, the medals were issued to promote the message of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade. They replicate the Jasperware (unglazed porcelain) medallion produced shortly after the Society was formed in 1787 by Josiah Wedgwood’s Staffordshire pottery firm. The image, attributed to sculptor Henry Webber and prepared for production by modeler William Hackwood, quickly became the iconic symbol of the Society and appeared in books, prints, broadsides, plates, tapestries, and more.

Princeton University Art Museum holds one of the Wedgwood medallions.09b29a690eb5d24ae5828f7934c240ddSlave, 1787. Porcelain. Manufactory: Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, English, established 1759. Trumbull Prime Collection, y1937-37

The library has many examples of this iconic symbol, including an embroidered sampler:

See also: Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, At a meeting held for the purpose of taking the slave trade into consideration: resolved, that it is the opinion of this meeting, that the slave trade is both impolitic and unjust … ([London: s.n., 1787]). EX Lapidus 4.17 and 4.17a



A bill for your dinner in the 1780s

english-bills6Princeton’s Graphic Arts Collection holds a lovely collection of colorful printed menus from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (, along with a substantial collection of engraved change packets from nineteenth-century British shops ( Adding to this wealth, we recently acquired a group of 20 printed and handwritten bills from inns dating 1780 to 1830.

The businesses include: Foster, Loughborough [c.1780]; Charles McDonald, Blue-Bell, Belford [1787]; Charles McDonald, Belford [1789]; Mark Tool, Chelsea [c.1790]; Charles McDonald, Belford [1794]; George Nelson, Queen’s Head, Morpeth [1801]; Robert Coupland at the York Tavern & New Inn [1803]; David Winn, George Inn, York [1806]; Willm. Carver, The New Inn Easingwold [1809]; Richard Brown, King’s Arms, Temple-Sowerby, [printed by] John Ware, printer, Whitehaven [1813]; John Barnes, Lion and Lamb Inn, Carlile [printed by] Jollie, printer, Carlisle [c.1815]; Geo.r. Tyson, George & Dragon Inn, Penrith. [1815]; J. Broadbent, White Bear Inn, Barnsely. [c.1818]; George and Dragon, Sykes, Wakefield [c.1820]; H.C. Sharpin, Ripon [1822]; S. Twaite’s, Swan Inn Ferry-Bridge [1824]; Salkeld’s, Green Dragon, Workington. [1824]; Harrison, King’s Head Inn Barnard Castle. [1824]; T. Ferguson, George Inn, Catterick-Bridge [c.1825]; Matthew Bell, Fish Inn, Penrith. [1830].



Not only are the letterhead engravings of interest as printed ephemera but these records of food, drink, and other services offered to travelers at the end of the Georgian era are of value to researchers in many disciplines.

It is curious that the bills are often pre-printed with a list of drinks and services. The waiter simply checked off what each patron ordered and added up the total. Note the food for the horses and servants is included on each bill along with tobacco and postage.

A variety of long-forgotten drinks such as “negus” (concocted from a mixture of port, hot water and spices) and bumbo (a mixture of rum, water, sugar and nutmeg) are listed on these bills. The food is rarely described more than simply “eating.”



The Ten Birth Tales and the Legend of Phra Malai



The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired a mid-nineteenth century illustrated folding Funeral Book/Book of Merit containing a collection of Buddhist texts in Pali and Thai languages, in Khmer (Cambodian) script. Executed in watercolor, gilt, and ink, the stories include the legend of Phra Mali and the Ten Birth Tales. Although it is not dated, this wonderful volume is likely from Central Thailand between 1850 and  1900.



This large folding leporello of heavy paper (probably made from mulberry bark) is comprised of 48 leaves penned in a single neat hand in Khmer script and completed on both recto and verso. The work includes 17 paintings: 8 pairs of vibrant watercolors, several embellished with gilt, and one full double-page panel depicting scenes in Hell.





The British Library online notes: “The production of illustrated folding books ranks as one of Thailand’s greatest cultural achievements. They were produced for different purposes in Buddhist monasteries and at the royal and local courts, as well. First of all, such books served as teaching material and handbooks for Buddhist monks and novices. Classical Buddhist literature, prayers (Sutras) and moral teachings were also read to the lay people during religious ceremonies. The production of folding books-–and even sponsoring their production–was regarded as a great act of merit making. Therefore, folding books quite often are a kind of “Festschrift” in honour of a deceased person.”






Thanks to the assistance of Deborah Cotham and Dr Jana Igunma at the British library, we believe that the present example is one such funeral book, most probably completed by one scribe in Khmer script, though the language of the text is a mixture of Pali and Thai. I quote their notes in full:

The first part of the manuscript refers to the ten qualities of the Buddha, which are usually illustrated by the Buddha’s last Ten Birth Tales (Thai thotsachat). This section would be written in Pali, the language of the Buddhist canon. Funeral books were often commissioned by family members in order to make merit on behalf of the deceased person and to ensure that their family would not end up in hell, but be reborn in one of the Buddhist heavens. Thus the manuscript also includes the legend of Phra Malai, the famous Buddhist Saint, who traveled to the Buddhist heavens and hells.

During his visits to hell (naraka), Phra Malai was said to bestow mercy on the creatures suffering there, and who implore him to warn their relatives on earth of the horrors of hell and how they can escape it through making merit on behalf of the deceased, meditation and by following Buddhist precepts. Indeed, one of the most striking of the illustrations found in the present example, is the double-page depiction of the horrors of hell. Most of the text is in black ink on thick paper, most probably made from the bark of the khoi tree (streblus asper).

The first part in particular, has been accurately and quite beautifully penned and with great care taken, suggesting the work of a skilled scribe. It is impossible to say whether he also illustrated the work, although academics believe that they were more often the work of a different artist. A number of the vibrant illustrations have been embellished with in gilt, which further added value and prestige to such manuscripts, and a way of earning further merit on behalf of the deceased. In this instance, some of the images appear to have been influenced by Western painting techniques, suggesting that the painter may have been a student experimenting with new styles and techniques.

The legend of Phra Malai, a Buddhist monk of the Theravada tradition said to have attained supernatural powers through his accumulated merit and meditation, is the main text in a nineteenth-century Thai folding books (samut khoi). He figures prominently in Thai art, religious treatises, and rituals associated with the afterlife, and the story is one of the most popular subjects of nineteenth-century illustrated Thai manuscripts.



Thanks to Martin Heijdra, Ph. D. 何義壯, Director, East Asian Library, for his help with this acquisition.

For further information see Henry Ginsburg, Thai Art and Culture. Historic manuscripts from Western Collections (London: British Library, 2000).





Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors & Soldiers

james-annanJames Craig Annan, John Reid, George Eyre-Todd, and William Guy, The Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors & Soldiers at Erskine House (Glasgow: Printed for Private Circulation [by] James MacLehose and Sons … 1917). 38 photogravures by Annan. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process


While Thomas Annan is remembered for documenting the slums of Glasgow in the mid-nineteenth century, his son James Craig Annan also used his camera to record daily life and social reforms in Scotland well into the twentieth century.

The Erskine mansion and its gardens above the Clyde River were purchased by John Reid on behalf of the Scottish people and opened as a rehabilitation hospital on June 6, 1917. This sumptuous work, printed on the occasion of the formal opening, documents the mansion and its various workshops devoted to limb making, wood carving, and basket making.



james-annan8James Craig Annan (1864–1946), is not mentioned anywhere in the book except in Reid’s acknowledgements, seen here. Annan learned to make photogravures in Vienna, where he traveled with his father in 1883. Together, they bought the rights for Great Britain and Ireland, and practiced the craft in the family’s photography studio, which continues to flourish in Glasgow.






Erskine is still the charity that looks after injured servicemen in Scotland but now there is a new hospital in the grounds of the old one. To learn more about the hospital, see:

To stay in the old mansion, now a hotel, see:

Inauguration of Charles VI

Relation de l’inauguration solemnelle de sa sacrée majesté imperiale et catholique, Charles VI., Empereur des Romains, toujours auguste, et troisiéme du nom, Roy des Espagnes, comme Comte de Flandres, celebrée à Gand, ville capitale de la province, le XVIII. octobre 1717 (Gand [Ghent]: Augustin Graet, 1719). Purchased with funds from the Rare Book Division and the Graphic Arts Collection 2016- in process

The monumental engravings in this recently acquired festival book celebrate the investiture of Emperor Charles VI as Count of Flanders on October 18, 1717. The ceremonial stage in the Place au Vendredy, Ghent; multiple firework displays; and events at the grand Theatre are among the scenes documented.

A fusion of Flemish, Dutch, Belgian, and French artists were involved in the publication’s seven plates, including engravers Michael Heylbrouck, Jan-Baptiste Berterham, and Jacobus Harrewijn, working after designs by Jean-Baptiste Van Volsom, Jacques Colin, and Karel Eykens.











Peregrinations of French Types

argetsingerMark Argetsinger, Peregrinations of French Types in the Sixteenth Century: Printing of Robert Bellarmine’s ‘Disputationes’ in Southern Germany. A Bibliographical Analysis of the Second Ingolstadt Edition Printed by David Sartorius, with Leaves Incorporated from Volume II, ‘De sacramentis’ 1591 (Union Springs, New York: Press of Robert LaMascolo, 2016). Copy 183 of 200. Graphic Arts Collection 2016- in process


Nicolas Barker once wrote, “Mark Argetsinger is one of the very few typographical book designers in the world. That is, he thinks in terms of type, not graphical layout. He handles printers’ flowers with the bravura and assurance of Frederic Warde, and can achieve that rarity, optically spaced capitals, with apparent ease….” And so, when Argetsinger writes about typography and book design, it is important that we read and listen.



The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired one of Argetsinger’s limited edition Peregrinations of French Types in the Sixteenth Century. The foreword, written by Herbert H. Johnson, begins “This splendid book–the culmination of a long-time wish of mine to publish a series of ‘Leaf Books’ dedicated to the works of famous printers and type designers–has its genesis during my undergraduate days at the Rochester Institute of Technology….” Limited to 200 numbered copies, each book includes two original leaves from Disputationes, printed in 1591.

For more on the LoMascolo Press, see: For more on Argetsinger, see:





Memorials of the Old College of Glasgow



annan-memorial2Thomas Annan and others. Memorials of the Old College of Glasgow (Glasgow: Thomas Annan, Photographer, 202 Hope Street. James Maclehose, Publisher and Bookseller to the University, 61 St. Vincent Street. MDCCCLXXI [1871]). 41 albumen silver prints. Graphic Arts Collection 2016- in process


“On July 28, 1870, the Senate of the University of Glasgow met for the last time in the Old College Buildings to confer degrees to outgoing students. The following year the ceremony was moved to the New Buildings.

Annan conceived the present volume as a both a memorial to the 450-year history of the university and as a record of the ‘venerable structure before it underwent any change’. Consequently he here presents fifteen interior and external views of the buildings with various aspects of the Inner and Outer Courts, the Professor’s Court and the Hunterian Museum.

Three professors, Dr. Weir, Professor Veitch and Professor Cowan, agreed to contribute texts in which they record the history and work of the individual faculties. To their notes Annan added twenty-six portrait photographs of members of the Senate at the time of its removal to the New Buildings.”

This is the eleventh album of photographs by Annan acquired by Princeton University Library, in an attempt to document this man’s work in its entirety. Whether in portraiture, landscape, or architectural photography, Annan remains one of the most accomplished artists of his time.