Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

Lesson’s Hummingbirds and Birds of Paradise

René Primevère Lesson (1794-1849), Histoire naturelle des oiseaux-mouches (with:) Histoire naturelle des colibris, suivie d’ un supplément a l’histoire naturelle des oiseaux mouches (with:) Les trochilidées ou les colibris et les oiseaux-mouches (with:) Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des épimaques (Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1829-1835).  GAX 2020- in process.


The French surgeon René Primevère Lesson (1794–1849) served as “pharmacist and botanist on Duperrey’s round-the-world voyage of La Coquille between 1822 and1825. On the voyage he was responsible for collecting natural history specimens with his fellow surgeon Prosper Garnot and officer Dumont d’Urville. … On returning to Paris, Lesson spent seven years preparing the vertebrate zoological section of the official account of the expedition, Voyage autour du monde sur La Coquille (1826–39). …He also compiled several monographs on hummingbirds and one book on birds of paradise.”

Lesson’s three volumes on the hummingbirds and final book on birds of paradise from tropical Central & South America, the Moluccas and New Guinea are filled with 261 hand-colored plates by Jean-Gabriel Prêtre (1768-1849), Paul-Louis Oudart (1796–1850) and Louis Victor Bévalet.

To see the influence with Robert Havell Jr.’s birds of paradise:

The Graphic Arts Collection acquired a handsome set of Lesson’s treatise, not in pristine condition but perfect for research and class use. Although there is foxing throughout, the colors are strong and the birds lively.


And they sound as beautiful as they look.






Recently Princeton University researchers discovered how “Hummingbirds dive to dazzle females in a highly synchronized display”:



Willa Cather additions

According to the Cather archive:

In September 1890, Cather moved to Lincoln to continue her education at the University of Nebraska, initially planning to study science and medicine. She had had a childhood dream of becoming a physician and had become something of an apprentice to the local Red Cloud doctor. During an initial year of preparatory studies, Cather wrote an English essay on Thomas Carlyle that her professor submitted to the Lincoln newspaper for publication. Later Cather recalled that seeing her name in print had a “hypnotic effect” on her—her aspirations changed; she would become a writer. Her college activities point to this goal: the young writer became managing editor of the school newspaper, the author of short stories, and a theater critic and columnist for the Nebraska State Journal as well as for the Lincoln Courier. Her reviews earned her the reputation of a “meat-ax critic,” who, with a sharp eye and even sharper pen, intimidated the national road companies. While she was producing four columns per week, she was still a full-time student.

While at university, Cather joined the editorial staff of the school’s newspaper The Lasso, and the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired the issues published under her involvement as associate editor.




Cather had a complicated relationship with Ferris Greenslet, her editor at Houghton Mifflin. One of the major complaints involved the strength and enthusiasm of their promotion of her books. It is significant that the Graphic Arts Collection has also acquired the salesman’s dummy for the 1937 “library edition” of her Novels and Stories, which includes the prospectus with revisions to that of the “Autograph edition” along with portraits, facsimiles, and samples of the text and binding. Here are a few pages:


See also:

Catalogue des papiers marbrés, pointillés, grainés, glacés …

The Graphic Arts Collection added several marbled paper sample books, with swatches of various techniques from the 19th century. These can be used in conjunction with the modern reference texts and the wonderful database from the University of Washington “Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection” at, posted by Sandra Kroupa, Katie Blake and Johanna Burgess in 2006-2007. Not only are there digital examples that can be compared to these paper samples but a glossary of terms that explains the difference between what Wolfe calls Peacock and Miura calls Bouquet marble. They note:

When examining classification of marbling patterns, it is important to know that although many texts have been written on the subject, none is universally accepted as the ultimate authority. Historically patterns have been given idiosyncratic names, based on various criteria: the techniques used in their making, cultural practices or artist’s whim. The result is that patterns have multiple names.

See also: Wolfe, R. Marbled paper: Its history, techniques, and patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990 and Miura, Einen. The art of marbled paper. London: Zaehnsdorf Ltd., 1989.


Posted here are images from the Belgian packaging firm A. van Genechten. [Paper sample catalogue]. Turnhout, A. van Genechten, 1858, with 421 original paper samples pasted onto 78 unnumbered leaves, including:
62 samples of papier marbré turc ou shell (Turkish or shell marbled paper)
53 samples of papier marbré anglais ou spanish (English or Spanish marbled paper)
20 samples of papier marbré dannonay (Annonay marbled paper)
27 samples of papier marbré écaille (tortoiseshell marbled paper)
14 samples of papier graîné (grained marbled paper)
14 samples of papier pointillé fin (fine dotted marbled paper)
7 samples of papier piqué (quilted paper)
6 samples of papier jaspé (paper resembling a jasper stone)
36 samples of papier uni glacé no. 1 (plain glossy paper)
10 samples of papier uni glacé taffend (taffend? glossy plain paper)
4 samples of papier tarrotage sur fond blanc (tarrotage? paper on white background)
65 samples of papier fleuragé no 1 (flower paper)
26 samples of papier fleuragé sur fond blanc (floral paper on a white background)
8 samples of papier uni balance (plain balanced paper)
2 large samples of papier marbré splashed, satiné ou non satiné (splashed marbled paper, satin or non-satin)
10 large samples of papier marbré à plumes ou non pareil no 1(feathered or non-similar marbled paper)
17 large samples of papier marbré à plumes ou non pareil no 2 (feathered or non-similar marbled paper)
6 large samples of papiers fins divers (various fine papers)
7 large samples of papiers emaillés (enameled papers)
7 large samples of papiers marbrés agathe (Agathe marbled papers)
3 large samples of papiers racinés (rooted papers)

Founded in 1855, the firm of Antoon van Genechten specialized in playing cards, decorated papers, ephemera, and packaging material, flourishing over 100 years. The firm supplied products worldwide including England, Spain, France, Denmark, South-East Asia (Thailand, Java, the Celebes), India, China and Japan. In 1868 Van Genechten had been granted an official licence to print playing cards with Chinese and Japanese paintings. The company finally merged, along with Brepols and Biermans, into the newly formed company Carta Mundi in 1970. See more:

Ediciones Papeles Privados

Octavio Paz (1914-1998), Instantáneas. Serigrafías de Juan Soriano. (México, D. F.: Papeles Privados; Varia Gráfica y Comunicación; Amigos del Museo de Arte Moderno, 1993). Raúl Herrera Munguía designed the binding and Juan Soriano’s serigraphs were printed in the studio of Jan Hendrix. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process
“Esta edición, numerada y firmada por los autores, está contenida en un carpeta elaborada en cuero … diseño Raúl Herrera Munguía …” Editores: Fernando Zertuche, Mario del Valle.

Mario del Valle founded Ediciones Papeles Privados (Private Paper Editions) in 1981 and this volume represents the third time they worked with the poet Octavio Paz. Their website notes, in a rough translation:

“In 1981, Ediciones Papeles Privados emerged in Mexico City, an editorial specialized in poetry and art books. One of its fundamental objectives is to continue the tradition of the artisan book producing books to enjoy its content and its invoice. The art of making a book, today, involves using old techniques and combining them with the advantages and qualities of contemporary technology. Hence, Private Papers are interested, on a way, the excellence of the amalgamated content to the visual concept of each edition. …Octavio Paz referred to its creator with the following words: “Mario del Valle is an editor poet who continues the tradition of the publishing poets. This tradition is very old. In Mexico and Latin America in general he gave, among others, Salvador Novo , Xavier Villaurrutia, Miguel N. Lira, Pablo Neruda, Manuel Altolaguirre, Rafael Alberti, Juan José Arreola … The list is big … Their editions are bold, beautiful.” —


Only now have I understood that there was a secret relationship between what I have called my expulsion from the present and the writing of poetry. Poetry is in love with the instant and seeks to relive it in the poem, thus separating it from sequential time and turning it into a fixed present. But at that time I wrote without wondering why I was doing it. I was searching for the gateway to the present: I wanted to belong to my time and to my century. A little later this obsession became a fixed idea: I wanted to be a modern poet. My search for modernity had begun.–Paz Nobel Prize lecture.

Make everything you need for yourself and attempt to not need what you can’t make–Raymond Duncan

The printing press of Raymond Duncan, visited by Orson Welles:

Coming soon to Princeton University Library, the books of Raymond Duncan.

Nelson Sambolín

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired two portfolios by the wonderful Puerto Rican artist Nelson Sambolín (born 1944). The first is De Olimpia a Mayagüez: Portfolio Conmemorativo de los X Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe celebrados en Mayagüez, Puerto Rico en el año 2010. (Puerto Rico: Proyecto Om.; printed by Luis Maisonet, José (Pepe) Ibañez, and Nelson Sambolín, 2010).

De Olimpia a Mayagüezincludes 2 unnumbered leaves with an essay by Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá (born 1946) and 12 screen prints, 50 x 70 cm, produced by Proyecto Om, Inc. in commemoration of the XXI Central American and Caribbean Games, officially endorsed by the Mayagüey Committee 2010. Princeton holds copy 145/200, a few  examples shown here:



Our second acquisition celebrates the 2009 bicentenary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth, when the Editorial Universidad de Puerto Rico published a new edition of what is considered the best Spanish translation of his writing, entitled Edgar Allan Poe Obras en Prosa I & II. (Firestone Library PS2612 .C6 1956). The translation by the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar (1914-1984) was first published in 1956, commissioned by the University of Puerto Rico at the request of Francisco Ayala, the first editor of La Editorial.

Nelson Sambolín designed the graphic illustrations for this two-volume set and also produced a separate portfolio of 12 monumental linocuts entitled Grabados a Poe. The Graphic Arts Collection holds copy 7/10, a few shown here:


The Torture of Suzanne Louverture

After Charles Williams, Boney’s Inquisition.Another Specimen of his Humanity on the Person of Madame Toussaint. London: ‘Pubd. Octr. 25th 1804 by by S.W. Fores, 50 Piccadilly’, 1804. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process


“One of the greatest Wars of Independence ever fought in history was the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), led by the ‘immortal’ black leader Toussaint Louverture, who became a General in the French military, and whose destiny it was to deliver the slaves and people of Saint Domingue, now Haiti.” Suzanne Simone Baptiste Louverture (1742?-1816), the wife of Toussaint Louverture (1743?-1803), was arrested with her husband during the Haitian revolution in 1802.

Napoleon Bonaparte sent General Charles Leclerc to apprehend Louverture and deport him to the French Alps. Suzanne and her children were transported to Bayonne, where they were placed under the supervision of General Ducos. She was tortured but never provided any information about her husband. One source notes, “When she arrived in prison she weighed 250 pounds; she only weighed 90 when leaving France. During all the years of torture she gave a single answer. ‘I will not talk about my husband’s business with his torturers.’ It was a mutilated Suzanne, a purely vegetative Suzanne, devoid of all her nails, with several broken bones, who returned to Jamaica where she died on May 19, 1846. She was 67 years old.”

According to records, the print is correct in the pulling of her fingernails and other tortures.

–PBS Egalite for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution (2009)

Suzanne Louverture was still living when the British artist Charles Williams (active 1796-1830) published this print. It is not unusual that the artist did not sign the print, Williams often worked anonymously and it is only in recent years that earlier attributions have been reconsidered.

Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution inspired millions of free and enslaved people to seek freedom and equality throughout the Atlantic world. His legacy continues to inspire artists and politicians today. One of many examples is the series Jacob Lawrence produced entitled “The Life of Toussaint Louverture”:

For more, read Temi Odumosu, Africans in English caricature 1769-1819: Black Jokes, White Humour (London: Harvey Miller Publishers, [2017]). Marquand Library NC1473 .O38 2017 and see:


Note: this horrific print is one of the caricatures Samuel Fores lent out for an evening’s entertainment in your own home.

Savage Impressions

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, P22 Publications released Savage Impressions: An Aesthetic Expedition Through the Archives of Independent Project Records & Press, founded by Bruce Licher. The Graphic Arts Collection just received one of the 350 deluxe editions that include: 12” gold vinyl record titled Tape Excavation consisting of previously unreleased recordings spanning Bruce Licher’s recording career (1980-2019); special letterpress-printed stamp sheet tipped into the book; perforated chipboard letterpress bookplate tipped in, signed and numbered by Bruce Licher; and a letterpress wrap sleeve to hold the book and record together as a set.

Bruce Licher founded Independent Project Press in 1982 after learning the art of letterpress printing at the Women’s Graphic Center in downtown Los Angeles. His initial projects centered around creating album covers, postcards and promotional stamps for his band Savage Republic and for releases on his Independent Project Records label. It didn’t take long before he was producing work for other L.A. underground music groups, along with a growing number of clients in the Los Angeles design community and an array of better-known musicians such as R.E.M, Harold Budd, and Stereolab.

Licher continues to translate his signature artistic design aesthetic to other products: book, magazine, catalog design, elegant and creative business stationery, wedding invitations, wine labels, promotional stamp sheets and booklets, and other letterpress-printed ephemera for clients large and small.

Licher currently works out of his studio on WIllow Street in the Eastern Sierra town of Bishop, California.–


Savage impressions: an aesthetic expedition through the archives of Independent Project Records & Press, compiled by Bruce Licher and Karen Nielsen Licher. Deluxe edition (Rochester, NY : P22 Publications, 2020). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

Edwin Landseer, age 8


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the original copper plates for six of Edwin Landseer’s juvenile etchings made between the ages of 8 and 10, including his first etching and a previously unpublished and unrecorded plate. These came along with the 1974 re-strikes of five of the plates and a new impression of the unrecorded sixth plate [above]. The plates are clear and the images visible, even though the photography here might not appear to be.

Here is the full description of the plates, transcribed exactly from Roger Gaskell’s excellent research:

1. Heads of Sheep and Cattle, 1810. Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del & sculp. in his 8th year. London: Published Nov.r 1852 by P.& D. Colnaghi &Co. 13 & 14 Pall Mall, East.

180 x 116 x 1.19mm rounded corners, makers name ‘I. Shafe Shoe-Lane London’ stamped on the back. Scratched number 18 and circular scoring on the back. Graves 3; BM 1853,0409.27 (an unlettered proof inscribed ‘EL delt & sculp in his 8th year’); RCIN 815000.

2. Heads of a Boar, Sheep, and Donkey, 1810. Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del. & Sculp. his 1st Etching executed in his 8th year.

114 x 178 x 1.38mm, bevelled edges, rounded corners, makers name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’ stamped on the back. Three etched figures, described below, scratched number 16 and oblique scoring on the back. Graves 4; BM 1853,0409.30 (unlettered proof inscribed ‘Edwin Landseer delt & sculp – his first etching in his 8th year’); RCIN 815001. [On the back of the plate in upright orientation:]

2b A Cow and two Lambs’ Heads. This must always have been intended as a trial because the image is close to the stamped name of the plate maker and would be difficult to print without taking an impression of the stamp. There are a few scratches as can be seen in 1974 re-strike. Unknown to Graves.

3. A Horse, Goat and Bull, 1811 Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del & sculp. London: Published Nov.r

198 x 121 x 1.5mm, bevelled edges, rounded corners, makers name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’ stamped on the back. Scratched number 17 on the back. Graves 5; BM 1853,0409.25 (unlettered proof inscribed ‘E. Landseer delt & sculp’); RCIN 815002.

4. Donkeys and a Foal, 1811 Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del. in his 9th year. T. Landseer, sculp. London: Published Nov.r 1852 by P.& D. Colnaghi &Co. 13 & 14 Pall Mall, East.

129 x 115 x 1.43mm, rounded corners, makers name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’ stamped on the back. Scratched number 11[?] and oblique scoring on the back. Graves 6; BM 1853,049.26 (unlettered proof inscribed at left beside top donkey ‘EL, Delt & Sculp’ and blow image ‘EL’ at left and ‘TL’ at right); RCIN 815002. The legend on the plate ascribes the etching to Thomas Landseer (1795–1880), Edwin’s the elder brother but Graves ascribes it to Edwin Landseer. In fact they both had a hand, the pencilled inscription on the BM impression indicating that the etching of the donkey at the top was done by Edwin and the donkey and foal below by Thomas Landseer.

5. A Cow and Calf, 1812 Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del & sculp. in his 10th year. London: Published Nov.r 1852 by P.& D. Colnaghi &Co. 13 & 14 Pall Mall, East.

127 x 179 x 1.5mm, bevelled edges, rounded corners, makers name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’ stamped on the back. Scratched number 6 on the back. Graves 9; not in BM. RCIN 815003 (an early state); RCIN 815004 (published by Colnaghi 1852).

6. Two Rams’ Heads, no imprint, c. 1810-12 No lettering.

204 x 167 x 1.31mm, edges bevelled on the back, rounded corners. ‘Landseer’ and ‘15’ scratched on the back. Maker’s name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’. Punched on the back half way down on the right hand side, perhaps for an erasure as there is no etching on the face at this point. Although unsigned, the style of the plate, its survival with Landseer’s other juvenile etchings and the scratched name on the back leave little doubt that this is his work and thus a new addition to his oeuvre. Unknown to Graves; no impressions located.


The plates were probably not have been published in Landseer’s youth. By 1852 they were in the possession of Peter and Dominic Colnaghi who published restrikes of five of them with new lettering identifying the artist and adding their imprint. These prints are very rare so the edition was probably small. Predictably there are impressions in the Royal Collection. The British Museum holds rather messy unlettered proofs of four of the plates, probably the artist’s proofs with pencil lettering which is evidently the source of the lettering added by Colnaghi, who sold the proofs to the Museum in 1853. The sixth plate is not lettered, though it has Landseer’s name scratched on the back, and there no proof in the BM.

In the 1970s (or before) the plates came into the hands of the publisher, printing historian and Bewick scholar Iain Bain (1934-2018). Bain printed an edition of 80 copies (75 for sale) of the five etchings issued by Colnaghi and these were offered to subscribers in a portfolio with a brief introduction at £80 plus VAT. Pre-publication subscribers received a bonus of ‘an additional print taken from the back of one of the plates which carries three experimental studies never before published’. A copy of the publication, including the bonus print and the prospectus, is offered here with the plates. The sixth plate, which as noted above is unknown from contemporary or later impressions, is accompanied by a recent impression.



Edwin Henry Landseer (1802–1873). Six etched copper plates, 1810–1812 (legends and imprint lines were added to five plates in 1852) [with]  Iain Bain, The childhood etchings of Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A. Five prints taken from his still surviving copper plates: etched between his 8th and 10th years c. 1810–1812. Produced for The Heritage Collection by Iain Bain at the John Boydell Press MCMLXXIV. (Bristol: The Heritage collection, 1974.) 6 prints in the original buckram portfolio. Together with the prospectus, also dated 1974, five 1974 re-strikes of the plates and a new impression of the unrecorded sixth plate. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.

*CDV portrait from the Laurence Hutton Photograph album Box 3.

Neues bilderreiches Poetarium

Andreas Weitbrecht, editor. Neues bilderreiches Poetarium. Zeitschrift für Dichtung und Graphik. (Frankfurt am Main: Andreas Weitbrecht, 1963-65). (42 x 59 cm; 63 x 59 cm; 59 x 83 cm). 5 issues in 4 posters. Graphic Arts Collection 2020- in process



The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a complete set of Poetarium, a rare German “magazine for poetry and graphics” edited by Andreas Weitbrecht. Some of the major writers included over the three years it was published are A.C. Artmann, Johannes Bobrowski, Bazon Brock, Ernst Jandl, Karl Krolow, Friederike Mayröcker, Christoph Meckel, Franz Mon, and Ror Wolf. The graphic artists include Thomas Bayrle, Uwe Bremer, Günter Bruno Fuchs, Bernhard Jäger, Ali Schindehütte, Arno Waldschmidt and many others. The final double number folds out to a wonderful poster by Bayrle and Jäger [above].

Read more about the publication in Bernhard Fischer, Deutsche literarische Zeitschriften, 1945-1970 : ein Repertorium. herausgegeben vom Deutschen Literaturarchiv, Marbach am Neckar (München ; New York : K.G. Saur, 1992). Germanic Languages Graduate Study Room (SD) Oversize Z2225 .F572 1992q. pp. 575-6, no. 818. Every artist and writer presented over the three years is listed here: