Category Archives: fine press editions

fine press editions

22 Kupferstiche

Born in 1943, the Germany printmaker Baldwin Zettl studied from 1964 to 1969 at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (The Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig), one of the oldest art colleges in Germany.

Zettl’s limited edition portfolio of engravings inspired by Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle was recently moved from the Mendel Music Library to the Graphic Arts Collection. This, as with most of Zettl’s work, is designed entirely in black and white.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883), Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen: 22 Originalkupferstiche; mit einem Text des Künstlers und einem Geleitwort von Wolfgang Wagner (Leipzig: Sisyphos-Presse, 2001). Limited edition of 100 copies, printed at Elmar Faber’s Sisyphos Press in Leipzig. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process

See Zettl’s work also in: Volker Braun (1939- ), Das Mittagsmahl; mit Kupferstichen von Baldwin Zettl (Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag, 2007). Firestone Library (F) PT2662.R34 .M58 2007

Walks in Paris, 1894

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this lovely fin de siècle volume with color ornamentation by Alexandre Lunois (1863-1916), a lithographic framing of floral motifs on each page, a cover by Eugène Delâtre (1864-1938), and four etchings in colors by Albert Bertrand (born ca. 1855). It is one of only 180 copies, all on tinted vellum, and printed for the Société des bibliophiles contemporains, led by Octave Uzanne.

-in Luxembourg Gardens
-in Hôtel Drouot

Note this rare look at a 19th-century book auction at the Hôtel Drouot. This might be the 1894 sale of rare and precious books, manuscripts, and printed matter from the library of the late Raoul Leonor Lignerolles (1817-1893).

Established on June 1, 1852, Hôtel Drouot, 9, rue Drouot, is one of the oldest organizations for public auction house sales. Known for fine art, antiques, and antiquities, the Hôtel Drouot consists of 16 halls hosting 70 independent firms, which operate under the umbrella grouping of Drouot. The firm’s main location, called Drouot-Richelieu, is on a site once occupied by the Paris Opera’s Salle Le Peletier.

-At the nightclub, Moulin de la Galette


Balades dans Paris (Walks in Paris)
: Au Moulin de la Galette–À l’hotel Drouot–Sur les quais–Au Luxembourg. Texts by Paul Eudel (1837-1911), Bernard Henri Gausseron (1845-1913), and Adolphe Retté (1863-1930). (Paris: Academie des beaux-livres, Imprimé pour les “Bibliophiles contemporains”, 1894) Decorative borders. The plates consist of colored and black-and-white states of 4 illustrations. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process


Fine Press Book Fair

Despite the cold weather, a large crowd showed up for the 4th annual Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair on Saturday, March 11, in the basement of the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer.

Exhibitors included Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO; Alice Austin, Philadelphia, PA; Booklyn, Brooklyn, NY; Ken Botnick, St. Louis, MO; Bridge Press, Westmoreland, NH; Caliban Press, Canton, NY; Center for Book Arts, New York, NY; Gerald W. Cloud Rare Books, SF, CA; Edition Schwarze Seite, Scheer/Donau, Germany; Furious Day Press, New York, NY; Leslie Gerry Editions, Gloucestershire, UK; Harsimus Press, Jersey City, NJ; Intima Press, New York, NY; Lead Graffiti, Newark, DE; Leopard Studio Editions, Rochester, NY; Nancy Loeber, Brooklyn, NY; Luminice Press, Philadelphia, PA; Russell Maret, New York, NY; Midnight Paper Sales, Stockholm, WI; Mixolydian Editions, Petaluma, CA; Sarah Nicholls, Brooklyn, NY; Olchef Press, Newark, NJ; Otter Bookbinding, Woking, Surrey, UK; Pied Oxen Printers, Hopewell, NJ; Sarah Plimpton, New York, NY; Purgatory Pie Press, New York, NY; Robin Price Publisher, Middletown, CT; Maria Veronica San Martin, Brooklyn, NY and Santiago, Chile; Shanty Bay Press, Shanty Bay, Ontario, Canada; Sherwin Beach Press, Chicago, IL; Swamp Press, Northfield, MA; Tideline Press, West Sayville, NY; Traffic Street Press, New York, NY; Two Ponds Press, Rockport, ME; University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA; and Whittington Press, Gloucestershire, UK.

Ephemera collectors came early and stayed late, browsing through the bins.

Material varied enormously from old to new, small to large, unique and mass produced.

Enjoy the last day of the ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory.

In the Fabled Fragrant East

Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), Stanzas. Spine title: In the fabled, fragrant East; Nell’ odorato e lucido oriente. Translation by David R. Slavitt, edited by Michele Miracolo (Austin: Michele Miracolo Press; printed by Bradley Hutchinson, 2015). Dos-à-dos binding. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process


Pietro Bembo was a well-known Vienna poet and humanist who composed this 50 stanza poem as part of the Carnival festivities for the court of Urbino in 1507: “For the entertainment of the lords and ladies gathered at Castel Durante, and to the delight of Madonna Elisabetta Gonzaga, Duchessa d’Urbino, and Madonna Emilia Pia, her good friend and companion. Both ladies are entreated by Bembo and Don Ottaviano Fregoso, disguised as ambassadors from the court of the Goddess Venus, to renounce their sad devotion to chastity and embrace the pleasures of Love.”

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the inaugural publication from Austin’s Michele Miracolo Press. Bembo’s text has been newly translated into English by David Slavitt and printed by Bradley Hutchinson from Blado types cast at his letterpress workshop in Texas.

“Approximately 100 copies of this bilingual edition were printed and bound in an unusual “tête bêche” [a.k.a., dos à dos] style, with each language having its own front cover but meeting in the middle, one text upside down in relation to the other.

The printing was executed on a Heidelberg flat-bed cylinder letterpress by Bradley Hutchinson. The paper is a scarce mouldmade sheet from the 1980’s, no longer manufactured, from the Magnani mill in Pescia, Italy.

The text is smythe sewn and bound into stiff wrappers, with a soft grey dust jacket and enclosed in a handsome slipcase made by Jace Graf at Cloverleaf Studio in Austin, Texas.”–prospectus.



See also:

Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), Le rime di m. Pietro Bembo, nvovamente ricorrette et ristampate In Vinegia [G. Scotto] (1552). “Stanze di m. Pietro Bembo nvovamente ricorrette & ristampate.” with separate t.p.: 10 l. at end. Rare Books (Ex) 3122.68.1552

and Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), Gliasolani de Messer Pietro Bembo (Venetia, Aldo Romano, 1505). Rare Books (Ex) 3122.68.313

Yellow Barn Press

The Graphic Arts Collection has substantial holdings of twentieth-century fine press editions but we recently filled in some gaps in our collection of Yellow Barn Press (YBP) books with wood engravings by John DePol (1913-2004). These represent a collaboration between DePol and YBP printer Neil Shaver that lasted from 1983 until the DePol’s death in 2004.

Here’s a biographical note from the records of the YBP, held at the University of Iowa Libraries. “In 1966, Shaver and his wife Fran moved to rural Iowa, outside of Council Bluffs. On the property was a barn, which Shaver and Fran cleaned up and turned into his printing studio. Fran is credited with coming with the name Yellow Barn Press. In 1980, Shaver sold his grocery business and retired, turning his printing avocation into his vocation. He printed about two books a year. The first books were on the Washington press, but after his sixth book, he began printing his books on a Vandercook, which is easier for one person to operate.

In 1983, he took a course from John Anderson at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, and he and Anderson communicated from that point on until Anderson died in 1997. One of Shaver’s books about printing is about Anderson’s Pickering Press. . . Due to failing eyesight, Shaver closed the press in 2005, having brought out over thirty books.”

Photograph posted with the records of the Yellow Barn Press at the University of Iowa Library.

Here are the titles we’ve been able to acquire and a few images:
1. American Iron Hand Presses, #40/180, signed by Steve Saxe.
2. Ben Franklin on Lead Hazards, inscribed & dated by John.
3. Does Literature Exist, #9/175. John’s copy with his bookplate, inscription from Neil Shaver at Yellow Barn Press, signed twice by John. A second bookplate is also on the inside front cover with a different DePol engraving. With prospectus, ordering postcard, & typed note initialed by John.
4. Dress, by Eric Gill. #7/200, signed by John.
5. Goudy Memoir, YBP bookplate & Emerson G. Wulling’s bookplate too, with EGW’s traditional penciled notes on ffep, prospectus laid in.
6. Not Barn Again, inscribed & dated by John.
7. John Anderson & The Pickering Press, #102/150, inscribed & dated by John.
8. Liberty Bell on the K-G Press, #205/215, inscribed & dated by John.
9. Travels with Pat, with handwritten presentation note on his 1994 birthday laid in.

See also John J. Walsdorf, The Yellow Barn Press: a history and bibliography (Council Bluffs, Ia.: Yellow Barn Press, 2001). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0798Q

Arcadio Díaz Quiñones

On October 28, 2016, Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, emeritus professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages, and former director of the Program in Latin American Studies at Princeton University, was given the distinction of Humanist of the Year 2016 by the Puerto Rican Foundation of the Humanities (FPH). Granted annually, this award recognizes Puerto Ricans who, through their life and work, have made significant contributions to the diffusion of humanistic knowledge. The ceremony took place at the Jesús María Sanromá Theater of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, in Miramar.

In addition, the FPH published a limited edition book with two essays by Dr. Díaz Quiñones, entitled Sobre principios y finales or About Beginnings and Endings. The Graphic Arts Collection is proud to have acquired copy 15 from the edition of 250.





The FPH is a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities and dedicated to exalting humanistic values through the development of programs and activities that stimulate the analysis and dissemination of knowledge related to the Puerto Rican humanistic experience, educational innovation, and social history.



Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, Sobre principios y finales [About Beginnings and Endings] (Naguabo, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican Foundation of the Humanities, 2016). Copy 15 of 250. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process


Song of Myself



8,992 words from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” spiral outward from a fountain in New York’s newly dedicated AIDS Memorial. Located in St. Vincent’s Triangle, across from the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital where an AIDS ward opened in 1984, the memorial was designed by Jenny Holzer and will be completed before the end of 2016.


The first Leaves of Grass was put on sale in at least two stores, one in New York and another in Brooklyn, in late June of 1855. Printed in the shop of Andrew Rome of Brooklyn (where Andrew was assisted by his younger brother Tom), the quarto-size volume was designed and published by Whitman himself, who is also believed to have set the type for a few of its 95 pages. As William White has shown, 795 copies were printed in all, 599 of which were bound in cloth with varying degrees of gilt, the rest of them in paper or boards. A recent census of extant copies of the first edition reveals that nearly 200 copies survive today. Ivan Marki, “Leaves of Grass, 1855 edition,” in J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, eds., Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Princeton University Library has three copies of Whitman’s 1855 edition. Seen here: Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Leaves of Grass (Brooklyn, N.Y.: [Walt Whitman]; [Brooklyn: Rome Bros], 1855). Rare Books (Ex) Behrman American no. 226q.



I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

Read the entire poem:

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:





“Les minutes de sable mémorial”

jarry4Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), Les minutes de sable mémorial ([Paris]: Editio[n] du Mercure de Fra[n]ce, C. Renaudie, 1894). One of 216 copies printed. Seven woodcuts carved and printed by Jarry, two printed from earlier woodblocks. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process.


Alfred Jarry published his first book of prints and poems, Les minutes de sable mémorial in September 1894 at the age of twenty-one. He paid the cost himself working with the printers at Mercure de France where many Symbolists were publishing.

The design of the volume, repeated the following year in his second book César antichrist, includes astonishingly modern typography, which predates that of Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard (A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance) by Stéphane Mallarmé in 1897. Jarry’s book should be considered an early artists’ book although it never appears in such studies

According to Keith Beaumont, “…the prestigious and highly influential Echo de Paris had held a monthly literary competition which offered to aspiring young writers the prospect of four valuable and much coveted prizes of 100 francs each … and a guarantee of publication in the paper’s weekly illustrated literary supplement. Between February and August 1893, Jarry was to win outright or to share five such prizes, with poems or prose texts, which would be republished the following year in his first book, Les Minutes de sable mémorial.” (Keith Beaumont, Alfred Jarry. St. Martin’s Press, 1984)


Jarry liked multiple meanings for a single text, exemplified in his title: Les minutes de sable mémorial. Beaumont notes, “Sable refers both to the sand of the sablier or hourglass, which marks the passage of time, and which recurs in the title of the last poem in the volume, and to the term for the colour black in heraldry; and memorial has the meaning of both ‘in memory of’ and ‘of the memory’. The title as a whole therefore refers simultaneously to the passage of time whose ‘minutes’ are here recorded; to the movement of memory; and to the committal to paper of a series of moments of creative activity (‘sable’ referring to the ink-blackened pages) which memory has inspired or, alternatively and simultaneously, which are reproduced here as a ‘memorial’.”




In November 1894, Jarry cut his long hair and enlisted in the 101st Infantry Regiment in Laval.


See also Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), Cesar antechrjst ([Paris]: Mercure de France, 1895). One of 7 large-paper copies on vergé Ingres de carnation. Rare Books (Ex) 3260.33.323 1895 [below]jarry


Les sept péchés mortels

hamilton-deadly-sinsEverett Hamilton, Les sept péchés mortels. Observes et graves sur bois dans la ville de Cagnes (Paris: Gilbert Rougeaux, 1936). Copy 34 of 100. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process.

Rare Books and Special Collections has many different versions of Sept péchés capitaux or Seven Deadly Sins or Siete pecados capitals or Sieben tödliche Sünden. This is a new addition to the group.



Almost nothing has been recorded about the life of the American artist Everett Hamilton. As a young man, Hamilton left the United States in 1923 to live and study painting in Paris. Six years later, he returned and received his first one-man show of watercolors and linocuts at Montross Galleries on Fifth Avenue.

“The subject matter his pictures are reminiscent of the work of all the other painters who frequent the popular painting resorts of France. There the similarity ends, in that the artist has remained curiously free from popular trends of style and points of view. A direct transcription of visual reality and an emphasis on structure which, when the human figure is introduced, becomes definitely plastic, [and] gives his work its distinctive style.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 15, 1929

By 1932, Hamilton was included in an American watercolors exhibition assembled by the College Art Association and held at the Worcester Art Museum, in Worcester, Massachusetts. His three paintings hung side-by-side with the work of Milton Avery, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, and Wanda Gag, among others.

This was Hamilton’s last American show and it seems likely that the artist moved back to the South of France, where he observed and engraved The Seven Mortal Sins in the town of Cagnes.