Category Archives: Illustrated books

illustrated books

Audubon tries to collect from Astor

John Syme, John James Audubon (White House)

January 12, 1861, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“The following apocryphal item is going the rounds of the papers:

Among the subscribers to Audubon’s magnificent work on ornithology, the price of which was 1,000 dollars a copy, appeared the name of John Jacob Astor. During the progress of the work, the prosecution of which was exceedingly expensive, M. Audubon, of course, called upon several of his subscribers for payment. It so happened that Mr. Astor (probably that he might not be troubled about small matters) was not applied to before the delivery of the letterpress and plates.

Then, however, Audubon applied for his thousand dollars; but he was put off with one excuse or another. “Ah, M. Audubon,” would the owner of millions observe, “you have come at a bad time; money is very scarce; I have nothing in the bank; I have invested all my funds.”

At length, for a sixth time, Audubon called on Astor for his thousand dollars. As he was ushered into his presence he found Wm. B. Astor, the son, conversing with his father. No sooner did the rich man see the man of art, then he began, “Ah, M. Audubon, so you have come again after your money. Hard times, M. Audubon—money scarce.”

But just then, catching an inquiring look from his son, he changed his tone: “However, M. Audubon, I suppose we must contrive to let you have some of your money if possible. William,” he added, calling to his son, who had walked into an adjoining parlor, “have we any money at all in the bank?”

“Yes, father,” replied the son, supposing that he was asking an earnest question pertinent to what they had been talking of when the ornithologist came in, “we have two hundred and seventy thousand dollars in the Bank of New York, seventy thousand dollars in the City Bank, ninety thousand in the Merchants, ninety-eight thousand four hundred in the Mechanics, eighty three thousand—” “That’ll do, that’ll do,” exclaimed John Jacob, interrupting him; “it seems that William can give a cheque for your money.”



John James Audubon (1785-1851), The Birds of America: from original drawings by John James Audubon … (London: Pub. by the author, 1827-38). Oversize EX 8880.134.11e. The Princeton copy “was presented … in 1927 by Alexander van Rensselaer (Princeton, class of 1871), a charter trustee of the University. It had formerly belonged to Stephen van Rensselaer (Princeton, class of 1808) of Albany, New York, one of the original subscribers to the work. The latter’s name appears as no. 32 in Audubon’s list of subscribers.”




Caleb Bartlett and the Bowery Circulating Library

The Graphic Arts Collection holds a number of books with tickets indicating they were sold from a shop at 76 Bowery in New York City but listing different names for the booksellers. When you check the address today, there is only an empty lot. This led to a search of who and what had been at 76 Bowery, just north of Canal Street on the West side.


According to the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service register, “No. 76 Bowery was built sometime ca. 1780, with later alterations. The late-eighteenth-century Georgian-style building features splayed stone window lintels with double keystone blocks,” often compared to the Edward Mooney House [left] built around the same time at 18 Bowery.

The earliest book in this search actually leads to 78 Bowery, dated 1823, from the small shop of Caleb Bartlett, known as The Bowery Circulating Library. Bartlett quickly moves next door to 76 Bowery, where James Hardie’s 1827 The Description of the City of New York, lists:

“Circulating Libraries, of which the following are the most distinguished, viz. that belonging to A. T. Goodrich, No. 124 Broadway, corner of Cedar-street, which is the first of the kind established in this city; the Minerva circulating Library 283 Broadway, opposite Washington Hall, of which W. B. Gilley is proprietor; one kept at No. 4 Chamber-street, owned by Mr. Ed. M. Murden ; the Bowery Circulating Library, No. 76 Bowery, of which Mr. Caleb Bartlett is proprietor. . .”

Bartlett printed and published his own books, while also selling almanacs, fancy papers, and playing cards. He was joined by Richard Bartlett (possibly his son) in the 1820s and a young clerk named Samuel Raynor.

“Samuel Raynor (1810-1888) was 12 years old, he left his home in Hempstead, Long Island, and took a job in a stationery company owned by Richard [Bartlett] at No. 76 Bowery. The small business printed playing cards, legal blanks and blank books. In 1835, when Raynor was now 25 years old, Bartlett took him as a partner. When Bartlett died two years later, Raynor brought his brother, Hiram, into the business, renaming it H. & S. Raynor.”

“Hiram retired in 1847 and Samuel forged on. His fortunes soared when, in 1858, he began manufacturing envelopes at a time when most people made their own by folding a sheet of paper and sealing it. His pioneering spirit did not stop there. He introduced fast-running machines, ordering twelve of the $500 devices in a brave but risky investment. By 1888 Samuel Raynor & Co. was one of the largest envelope manufacturers in the nation.” —

As early as 1832, Richard Bartlett & Samuel Raynor are listed as the owners at No. 76 Bowery: “published and sold, wholesale and retail, by R. Bartlett and S. Raynor, (successors to Caleb Bartlett.).” In 1838 an advertisement lists the shop as H. & S. Raynor, (formerly Bartlett & Raynor,) now run by brothers Hiram and Samuel. By 1847, Hiram is gone and Samuel Raynor, (late H. & S. Raynor) continues alone.

In the 1850s, the top floor is leased to a daguerreotypist and printer named Richard Garrison Barcalow (1826-1891), who offers stereotyping on the side. Downstairs two others join the bookshop as: “Raynor, Howe & Ferry (late Samuel Raynor)”, then Howe & Ferry, and by 1874, only J. Milton Ferry is left at 76 Bowery. The final book from the shop is dated 1889 and soon after, the building was either renovated or completely rebuilt.

Mrs. Lovechild, The Christmas tree, and other stories for the young (Phila., J. Ball, 1850). Hamilton 1461. “Sold at [Raynor] Bookstore, 76 Bowery N.Y.”–booksellers’ ticket, p. 1 of cover.

Mrs. W.E. Boardman, Haps and mishaps of the Brown family (Phila., Perkenpine & Higgins [1865]). Hamilton 1285. “Howe & Ferry, booksellers, 76 Bowery, N.Y.”–bookseller’s label, p. 2 of cover.

The Printing House of Leo Hart

Rockwell Kent, Leo Hart bookplate. See also Later bookplates & marks of Rockwell Kent : with a preface by the artist (New York: Pynson Printers, 1937): 25.


Thanks to Donald Farren, Class of 1958, for introducing several of us to the Rochester Printing House of Leo Hart (1883-1935), a friend and colleague of the former Graphic Arts Curator Elmer Adler (1884-1962).

It is thanks to Adler that the Graphic Arts Collection not only includes many of Hart’s books but correspondence, advertisements, and other material, in particular, concerning Venus and Adonis, which was selected by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) as one of the fifty best books of 1931.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Venus and Adonis; illustrated by Rockwell Kent (Rochester: The Printing house of Leo Hart, 1931). Graphic Arts Collection Oversize PR2845.A2 K4q. Copy 77 of 1250. Former owner Elmer Adler.


“It was in 1897 that he set up his first makeshift printing outfit, a hand press propped up on a grocery box in a dingy attic room lighted only by an old gas fixture. Working with one or two ordinary fonts of type for a few years in spare time during the evenings and after school, he did many odd jobs, mostly without pay. Then, about 1903, he opened a little shop in the rear room or the Hart family grocery store on North Street, equipped it with a used foot power press and some second-hand type and cases bought from a local printer.”

In 1905, he . . . “established the Hart Brothers Printing Company at No. 452 North Street, next door to the grocery. His brother, Alfred Hart, had become interested … and together they went to the American Type Founders Company, in Buffalo, New York, there buying two Chandler and Price presses, with type, cabinets, a stapling machine and other necessities.”

Over the years their business grew to include over 25 presses, providing all aspects of printing and binding including “a complete color engraving plant on the top floor of the building, under the name of the Franklin Colortype Company…”.

–Winfield Scott Downs “Leo Hart,” Encyclopedia of American Biography: New Series, Vol. 9 (American Historical Society, 1934).

Marco Polo (1254-1323?), The Travels of Marco Polo, the Marsden translation revised & edited with an introduction by Manuel Komroff; decorated by W.A. Dwiggins (Rochester, N.Y.: The Printing House of Leo Hart, 1933). Graphic Arts Collection G370.P9 P6713 1933


The Leo Hart archive:

If x³−6x²+11x−6=2x−2, then x=1 or x=4.

At a recent book launch and signing for Philip Ording’s 99 Variations on a Proof (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2019. QA8.4 .O73 2019), mathematician Ording kindly left a note in our copy for Princeton students. The event was hosted in the Ludlow Street basement studio of David Reinfurt, Princeton Lecturer in Visual Arts, graciously overseen by several former students.


“This book offers a multifaceted perspective on mathematics by demonstrating 99 different proofs of the same theorem. Each chapter solves an otherwise unremarkable equation in distinct historical, formal, and imaginative styles that range from Medieval, Topological, and Doggerel to Chromatic, Electrostatic, and Psychedelic [note the reference to Princeton in this chapter].

“…Inspired by the experiments of the Paris-based writing group known as the Oulipo – whose members included Raymond Queneau, Italo Calvino, and Marcel Duchamp – Ording explores new ways to examine the aesthetic possibilities of mathematical activity. 99 Variations on a Proof is a mathematical take on Queneau’s Exercises in Style, a collection of 99 retellings of the same story, and it draws unexpected connections to everything from mysticism and technology to architecture and sign language.”–Back cover.

The cubic equation in question and claim is: If x³−6x²+11x−6=2x−2, then x=1 or x=4.

“Fun, funny, and unexpectedly deep, Philip Ording’s Oulipian expedition through the far reaches of mathematical style shows there’s more than one way to skin a cubic equation.”—Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Philip Ording is a professor of mathematics at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the coeditor of Simplicity: Ideals of Practice in Mathematics and the Arts.

Mocha Dick

Randall Enos, The Life & Death of Mocha Dick (Brooklyn, NY: Strike Three Press, 2009). Copy 15 of 32. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

Abstract: “In 1841, Herman Melville sailed out to the whaling grounds of the South Pacific where he heard the legend of Mocha Dick. This huge bull sperm whale was known to attack whaling ships and battle his pursuers as they tried to harpoon him. Melville turned the whaler’s quest of Mocha Dick into the story of Captain Ahab and Moby Dick. Randall Enos tells the story of Mocha Dick, the hero of whales, and depicts the whale’s great battles and legendary encounters in a suite of eleven linoleum cuts.”–Strike Three Press.


J. N. Reynolds. “Mocha Dick: or the White Whale of the Pacific,” in The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine 13, no. 5 (May 1839): 377–92.

J.N. Reynolds, Mocha Dick, or The White Whale of the Pacific (London; Glasgow: Cameron & Ferguson, [1870?]). Rare Books 3906.39.364.1900

Leonard Trask, the Wonderful Invalid

As a healthy young man, the Maine farmer Leonard Trask (1805-1861) stood 6 feet, 1 inch tall. He was married in 1830 to Eunice V. Knight and together they had 7 children between 1831 and 1846.

While out riding in 1833, Trask’s horse bolted and he was thrown to the ground, injuring his neck and shoulders. Over the next few months he gradually recovered but his symptoms returned with a stiffening of his back and neck, and his head curving forward. In 1840, he fell again and in 1853, he was thrown from his wagon, breaking his collar bone. Each accident aggravated his symptoms and the curve of his spine grew worse. Eventually, his height was measured at 4 feet, 10 1/2 inches.

Trask was now severely disabled. He published this account of his condition to raise money for the family; worked briefly for a local circus as a curiosity; and according to The Maine Register for the year 1855, was given a pension of $12 per month because of his condition (known today as ankylosing spondylitis).


Leonard Trask (1805-1861), A Brief Historical Sketch of the Life and Sufferings of Leonard Trask, the Wonderful Invalid (Portland [Maine]: Printed by David Tucker, 1857). Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process


Drawings for the Iliad [no drawings included]

Lithographs after drawings


Richard Lattimore’s now-classic translation of Homer’s The Iliad was first published by the University of Chicago Press in 1951. A decade later, the Press invited the artist Leonard Baskin (1922-2000) to produce drawings for a lavish illustrated edition, which came out in 1962.

That same year a deluxe portfolio of 150 lithographs [seen at the top] after Baskin’s pen and ink wash drawings was published by Delphic Arts in New York, with the title Drawings for the Iliad. The first 90 copies included an additional three etchings, which were also distributed separately (two copies of each etchings) under the same title. If that isn’t complicated enough, an exhibition of Baskin’s drawings traveled to multiple venues in 1962 and an exhibition catalogue published under the same title.

Princeton University is fortunate to have all the variations of publications reproducing Baskin’s drawings, albeit without any original pen and ink wash drawings.

Homer, The Iliad. Translated with an introduction by Richmond Lattimore. Drawings by Leonard Baskin ([Chicago] University of Chicago Press [1962]). Graphic Arts Collection Oversize PA4025.A2 L35 1962q
“In addition to the generous size, the forty-eight full-page illustrations are printed on a rich ivory paper, especially manufactured to reproduce as flawlessly as possible the color and texture of the paper used by Leonard Baskin in creating the original drawings.” The book was offered at an introductory price of $11.50 after which it would be sold for $13.50.

Leonard Baskin (1922-2000), Drawings for the Iliad [by] Leonard Baskin [an exhibition at the] Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, Philadelphia Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [and the] Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon ([Chicago, Art Institute, 1962]). Graphic Arts Collection 2012-0145Q
“Delphic Arts has acquired the sixty drawings for the Iliad in conjunction with their publication of a deluxe portfolio. This exhibition has been prepared and organized by Delphic Arts, New York City”–T.p. verso.

Leonard Baskin (1922-2000), Drawings for the Iliad (New York: Delphic Arts, 1962). [68] leaves of plates. Copy 27 of 150. Marquand Library Oversize NE539.B2 A4e
“150 copies … have been published … The paper throughout is Fabriano … text … printed at the Gehenna Press … quotations are Lattimore’s translation … The edition has been arranged as follows. Copies number one through ninety are accompanied by three original etchings by Leonard Baskin …

Leonard Baskin (1922-2000), Drawings for the Iliad (with six original signed etchings by Leonard Baskin: two impressions each of “Hephaistos”, “Ares”, and “Homer”) (New York: Delphic Arts, 1962). Edition: 60

Intriguing cover art

Blaise Cendrars, Panorama de la Pégre (Grenoble: B. Arthaud, [1935]). Cover design by Cassandre. First edition. A compilation of reviews and reports for various French newspapers by Cendrars, illustrated with photogravure plates. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

Cassandre (pseudonym of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, 1901-1968) was a French commercial poster artist and typeface designer. In addition to his commercial work, he taught graphic design at the École des Arts Décoratifs and then, at the École d’Art Graphique. Understanding the importance of typography, Cassandre developed Bifur in 1929, the sans serif Acier Noir in 1935, and in 1937 an all-purpose font called Peignot.


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a group of paperbacks with superb cover art. Here are a few samples.

Ferri-Pisani, Les Pervertis. Roman d’un potache. Cover designed by Gaston Secretan (Paris: Librairie universelle, [1905]). First edition. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

A notable homoerotic novel set in a boy’s boarding school. “Les Pervertis, by a precocious young French author, Ferri-Pisani, is so special and doubtless true, a picture of homosexualism in a great Paris lycée that it may well become a classic in its type.” (Edward Prime-Stevenson, The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life, 1908). Ferri-Pisani was a great-nephew of George Sand.

Georges Le Rouge. La Rue hantée (Paris: Éditions Nilsson, [1914]). First edition. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

Le Rouge was a prolific author of crime, mystery and other pulp fiction, best known for Le Mysterieux Docteur Cornelius, who came to be revered by the Surrealists. Cendrars wrote of him in 1968:

How to define his multicolored versatility, his lively and spontaneous erudition never at a loss for arguments? He was no drudge, no hack; even in the obscure anonymous brochures that were sold only at news-stands and in neighborhood or provincial notion shops, he was never unworthy of his craft as a writer which he took very seriously and of which he was very proud. On the contrary, it was in these unsigned popular publications—fat volumes such as a key to dreams, a cookbook (which I have recommended to all the gourmets I know)—and in the unbound pamphlets, often a simple printed sheet folded in four, eight, or sixteen pages that was sold for two, four, ten sous at Metro entrances on Saturday nights (Paris Review).

Liane de Pougy (pseudonym of Anne Marie Chassaigne), Ecce Homo. D’ici, de la. Cover design by Gaston Noury (Paris: Société Parisienne d’Édition, [1903]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

A novel by De Pougy, who escaped to Paris after an abusive early marriage, where she dabbled in acting and prostitution, and became a regular user of cocaine and opium, a writer, and a star of the Folies bergères. She had numerous relationships with women, notably Natalie Clifford Barney, recorded in her novel Idylle Saphique, published in 1901.

See also:
Gramont, Elisabeth de, 1875-1954. Correspondance. Elisabeth de Gramont, Liane de Pougy; introduction & notes de Francesco Rapazzini (Venise: L’Amazone retrouvée, 2006). Rare Books 2012-0524N

Jacob, Max, 1876-1944. Lettres à Liane de Pougy. Max Jacob, Salomon Reinach; préf. de Jean Chalon pour les lettres de Max Jacob; introd. de Paul Bernard pour les lettres de Salomon Reinach ([Paris]: Plon, c1980). Firestone Library » PQ2619.A17 Z567

Pougy, Liane de, 1869-1950. Idylle saphique: roman ([Paris]: Alteredit, 2003). Firestone Library PQ2631.O68 I39 2003

Pougy, Liane de, 1869-1950. Idylle saphique: roman. Liane de Pougy; préface de Jean Chalon (Paris: J.-C. Lattès, 1979). ReCAP » PQ2631.O685 I3 1979g

Pougy, Liane de, 1869-1950. My blue notebooks. Liane de Pougy [i.e. M. C. Ghika]; pref. by R. P. Rzewuski; translated from the French by Diana Athill (New York: Harper & Row, 1979). ReCAP CT1018.G48A3513 1979

Photo Book Show

Only one more day left to attend The Photography Show at Pier 94. The longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium, the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) has mounted the 39th edition of the show featuring nearly 100 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries.

Each year the photobook portion of the show has grown larger and more international, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, and South America. Book dealers, publishers, and photography-related organizations include:

10×10 Photobooks, New York
21st Editions, South Dennis, MA
AKIO NAGASAWA Gallery | Publishing, Tokyo
American Photography Archives Group, APAG, New York
Aperture Foundation, New York
Artbook | D.A.P., New York
Benrido, Kyoto
Brilliant Graphics, Exton, PA
Candor Arts, Chicago, IL
Citizen Editions, Brooklyn, NY
Conveyor Editions, Jersey City, NJ

DAMIANI, Bologna, Italy
Daylight Books, Durham, NC
Dust Collective, Stow, MA
GOST Books, London
Harper’s Books, East Hampton, NY
KOMIYAMA TOKYO, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
KGP – Kris Graves Projects, Long Island City, NY
L’Artiere, Bologna, Italy
Light Work, Syracuse, NY
MACK, London
Minor Matters Books, Seattle, WA
Nazraeli Press, Paso Robles, CA
photo-eye, Santa Fe, NM
Photograph Magazine, New York
Saint Lucy Books, Baltimore, MD
SUPER LABO, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Steidl Publishers, Göttingen, Germany
TBW Books, Oakland, CA
The Classic, Arnaville, France
TIS Books, Brooklyn, NY
Yoffy Press, Atlanta, GA
Zatara Press, Richmond, VA

The Wonderful Magazine and Marvellous Chronicle

The Wonderful Magazine Or Marvellous Chronicle; Or New Weekly Entertainer. A Work Recording Authentic Accounts of The Most Extraordinary Productions, Events, And Occurrences, In Providence, Nature, And Art… (London: Printed for the Proprietors, Published By C. Johnson, 1793).    Volumes 1-5. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- In process.


Portrait of an innkeeper known as Mother Louse of Louse Hall, a famous establishment outside the city of Oxford; fanciful coat of arms bottom center: three lice surmounted by a tankard, motto on banner underneath, ‘Three liese pas-sant’ (a re-issue).

Henry Jenkins, 169-years-old.

The following Forty Numbers of this Work (making only Sixty in the whole) will be enriched with a great Variety of engravings, equally extraordinary, Wonderful, Marvellous, Astonishing, and Interesting, too numerous to mention here. every future Number will therefore be Embellished with One or two most Elegant engravings, consisting of the most Extraordinary, Wonderful, and Rare Productions in Nature and Art, drawn and engraved by eminent Artists, among which will be included many Large Quarto Copper-plates, containing extraordinary Representations, which cannot be included in a less Size.

The frontispiece of the first volume is labeled, “The Art of Lying Burlesqued in an Account of A Wonderful Flight or Journey from France to Gibraltar, America, &c. Related by an Eminent Author,” which may refer to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726) included in serial form throughout the first three volumes.


The story of John Bigg, the Dinton Hermit, who only wore leather.

Margaret Finch, Queen of the Norwood Gypsies, Died 1740, Aged 108 years.


“Old Boots of Rippon in Yorkshire” shown with his ability to hold a coin between the tips of his nose and chin.

Subtitled: “Consisting entirely of Such Curious Matters as come under the Denominations of Miraculous!, Queer!, Odd!, Strange!, Supernatural!, Whimsical!, Absurd!, Out Of The Way! and Unaccountable! including Genuine Accounts of the most surprising Escapes from Death – Deliverances from Dangers – Strange Discoveries of long concealed Murders – Strange and Unaccountable Accidents – The Surprising Phenomena of Nature – Absurd and Ridiculous Customs peculiar to different Ages and Nations – Dreadful Shipwrecks – Heroic Adventures – Uncommon Instances of Courage, Strength, Longevity, or Long Life, Accounts of Persons Famous for Eating, Drinking, Fasting, Walking, or Sleeping – Interesting and extraordinary Anecdotes – Memorable Exploits – Perilous Adventures – Strange Effects of Imagination in Pregnant Women – And whatever else is calculated to promote Mirth or Entertainment, or what is Wonderful, Marvellous, or Astonishing. – The Whole carefully Collected from the Writings of the most approved Historians, Travellers, Astrologers, Physicians, Physiognomists, Philosophers, &c. of all Ages and Countries. – Embellished with a great Variety of Elegant Copper Plates accurately Engraved.”


Mademoiselle de Beaumont, or the Chevalier d’Eon. Female Minister Plenipo. Capt. of Dragoons Etc. Etc.
See also: