von HARBOU, Thea; Anita Loos, & Hata Toyokichi. メトロポリス : 殿方は金髪がお好き [Metoroporisu - ie Metropolis] : [Tonogata Wa Kinpatsu Ga Osuki - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes]. Tokyo, Kaizosha 1928 (Showa 3) 15x11cm publisher's cloth and illustrated dustwrapper (tiny chip at the top of the spine near invisibly repaired); 560,[2]pp, colour frontispiece and 10 full page b/w photo illustrations - stills from the film. Page facing the frontispiece browned.
In a simple, smart, lace tied protective case by Atsuo Ikuta - bookbinder, book collector and writer - with four pages of notes about the book written by Atsuo. Au$2000

First Japanese edition of Metropolis and doubtless the first of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes which starts at p401, both translated by Hata Toyokichi. This is volume 15 of a series called Sekai Taishu Bungaku Zenshu - a library of Popular World Literature - which ran to 80 volumes between 1928 and 1931. It's a mishmash of contemporary thrillers, bestsellers, old potboilers and classics. These are way better made books than the toilet roll quality British series Reader's Library which included the first English edition of Metropolis, but it's no easier to find a copy as good as this. Certainly my searches through the series turn up tired, grubby, thumbed books that can't remember when they last saw their dustwrapper. The wrapper uses the illustration from the original 1926 German wrapper.


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McIVER, G. [George]. Neuroomia: A New Continent. A manuscript delivered from the deep. Melbourne, George Robertson 1894. Octavo publisher's printed wrapper. A touch of wear to the bottom of the spine; a nice copy, outstanding for this book, usually found in gruesome shape. Au$2000

First edition, Australian wrappered issue to be precise. It appeared in cloth, boards, or wrappers, and with a London imprint. Neuroomia is a true utopia, larger than Australia, hidden in the centre of the Antarctic. I have remarked before on the crowds of stranded or lost travellers roaming around the Antarctic towards the end of the 19th century. It's a big place but surely they must have bumped into each other. And all those ancient and advanced civilisations must have been cheek to jowl.
I spent a bit of time wondering how much of this is naive and how much tongue in cheek, if not mocking. I'm undecided. But it's clear McIver understood well the form of imaginary travel: the hero must be a blockhead, otherwise nothing ever happens to interrupt endless sere and drear explanatory dialogues. He's made our hero an indefatigably bumptious, often offensive blockhead - and a serial mauler of lovely young women - so there's plenty of action.
Neuroomia is an impressively advanced socialist white middle class heaven, or would be if there was any religion. Women have liberty and equality but choose not to take any part in decision making and "are always careful not to abuse that liberty." Our hero was frightened by individual flying machines on his first day in Neuroomian society but that seems to have been a lost art by the next page. All travel from then is by ship, rail, creature, or creature drawn carts - on a bewildering scale to be fair.
No more than two thirds of the way through our hero begins to be reflective and learn from his painful self inflicted lessons so overall consequence needs ratcheting up and we are introduced to prehistoric - to us, not the Neuroomians - cataclysms caused by a wandering planet, life on Mars, interplanetary migration and the source of life on earth. None of this gets too much in our way.
McIver, a schoolteacher at Macksville in northerly NSW when he wrote this, apparently made some money from it. If so, he wasn't spurred to produce more. Much later he wrote for papers and magazines, produced a memoir of his droving days, and a slim volume of verse near the end of his life.


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VILLER, Frederick. [Christian Sparre?]. The Black Tortoise : being the strange story of old Frick's Diamond. London, Heinemann 1901. Octavo publisher's illustrated tan cloth blocked in black, white and green. Rear endpaper removed but a nice fresh copy. Au$275

First English edition of an early piece of Nordic noir - only the rude would call it Norwegian wood. I think this is the second book of Inspector Monk, published in Norwegian in 1898, and the only one translated into English then and maybe still.
I was going to ask how it is that rich tiresome old farts like Frick always have a lovely daughter but I remember that I have a lovely daughter without being rich. Anyway, she's his niece. Still, it's a troublesome family for Monk to marry into. He's going to spend the rest of his life recovering that damn Black Tortoise. Only a few chapters in it's already been stolen three times.
Then there's the indefinably sinister young Australian: the son of Frick's old friend and rescuer from the Victorian gold fields. Frick's house is named Ballarat in honour of his halcyon days when he spent three years as "sherriff" of Ballarat and made the first part of his fortune. There's no murder but two suicides help balance the score.
The binding is so much like William Nicholson, who was published by Heinemann and designed Heinemann's logo, that I'm convinced.


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Poster. Mitsuwa Rubber Cement. Tokyo [192-?]. Colour lithograph 91x61cm. A couple of short edge tears, small surface scrapes; rather good with metal strips top and bottom and hanging loop at the top. sold

In this splendid, extra large shop poster the model is larger than life. I don't think I've ever seen a more misguided bit of casting. This exquisite flower of the aristocracy is too polite to say anything but she is clearly conveying to us, "What the hell is this thing and why have you handed it to me?"


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Dondontei Kiraku. 探偵実譚 : 稲妻強盗 [Tantei Jittan : Inazuma Goto]. Tokyo, Seiyodo 1899 (Meiji 32). 22x14cm publisher's colour illustrated wrapper; two double page frontispieces. Inked inscription on the back blank and last leaf of text; expected browning of the paper, some smudges and small flaws, rather good. Stab holes indicate this was once bound with something else.
Without a back wrapper as issued, the colophon leaf is mounted over the neat stub of the front cover and spine. The NDL digital copy has advertising on the back of the colophon leaf - this one is blank - and at first glance has what appears to be a back wrapper but is a dark photocopy (probably) of the front wrapper mounted inside the back cover. Au$250

Japan's first pistol packing robber was Shimizu Sadakichi, arrested in 1887 after a five year rampage and five murders. But 1899's Lightning Robber - Inazuma Goto, the title of this book - was Sakamoto Keijiro, arrested in February1899 after escaping jail in 1895, a lot of robberies and three murders. Nothing about him using a gun, though. Shimizu was called the pistol robber. He was finally captured by policeman Ogawa Yoshiro who died the next year from his wounds. A bridge was named in his honour but the river was filled in and the bridge removed. He since got a plaque.
This was the stuff of sensation mongering of course, plays were performed in 1897 and 1899 and at least one other book appeared, in 1893. In 1899 four or more books called Lightning Robber appeared; that is, I found four titles but I don't know how many of them are different books. Japan's first feature film, Pisutoru Goto Shimizu Sadakichi (pistol robber Shimizu Sadakichi) but also called Inazuma Goto, appeared the same year. Clearly Sakamoto's arrest sparked a frenzy of cash-ins, Shimizu was instantly resurrected and the pair conflated into the formidable desperado we see on this cover.
Remember, though, that this is a "true detective story" so I'm sure it's not as confusing as this description.Worldcat finds no copies outside Japan.


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Enomoto Horeikan. 義賊毒婦傳 妖魔の情艶 [cover title: 妖魔の艶]. [Gizoku Dokufu Den : Yoma no Joen?] Osaka, Enomoto Shoten 1927 (Taisho 16). 19x13cm publisher's colour illustrated wrapper; 350,[2]pp, illustrated title and frontispiece. Browning of the cheap paper and a hint of staining of the bottom edge at the beginning. Pretty good for such a disposable book. Au$120

A charming and substantial example of Dokufu - poisonous women - literature. The title sort of translates as Life Story of a Dokufu Robber : Demon's Passion. Put that together with the cover and no more needs to be said. Especially as this is a cheap pulp once you get inside.
From what I can glean Enomoto Horeikan is a series from Enomoto Matsunosuke who produced cheap pulp like this that, along with akahon (red books - luridly printed cheap kid's books), manga and suchlike, by-passed the usual distribution chains and were sold directly at railway stations, festivals and stalls.
I can't find a record of this anywhere.


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Sugiyama Tojiro. 文明之花 [Bunmei no Hana] A Fine Story of Womans Right - the Flower of Civilization [cover title]. Tokyo, Kin'odo 1887 (Meiji 20). 19x13cm publisher's colour illustrated boards and cloth spine; two single page and four double page illustrations. Inner hinges cracked, quite browned. sold

First edition of this remarkable utopian novel of women's rights in which a couple work towards and see the establishment of two equal parliaments, one for women and one for men. This was written in the period of anticipation of Japan's first parliament, scheduled for 1890. Radical as Sugiyama was, there is a sting in the tail for current feminists: Sugiyama is clear that women should be equal to men in all things right up until they get married. Equality for men and women does not mean equality for husband and wife.
Sugiyama published a rush of novels and political writing in the late seventies and eighties. These days he has been exhumed and is kept busy being rediscovered as a science fiction writer.
I've discovered that two completely different covers exist: this one, prettified, with a mock cabinet photo of a young woman against a floral background; or a solid western building in a modern city street. To capture the serious male reader who would not pick up what might be a romance for women?
This is a 'ball cover' (boru hyoshi) book - a signal of modernity and the Japanese equivalent of a yellowback: flimsy western style bindings with lithograph covers that rarely survive in such good shape.


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Nakamura Korenori. 薄様色目 [Usuyo Irome]. Tokyo? 1826 (Bunsei 9). 11x19cm original (?) wrapper without the label that was once there, modern stitching; 31 double folded leaves being text on 9 leaves, 32 colour samples on two leaves, and 240 two colour samples on 20 leaves. A carefully restored copy: each leaf has been near invisibly laid on tissue. A few wormholes, only worth noticing at the very end, a little blotching or smudging of the first colour samples, a stain on a leaf at the end; a most acceptable copy. sold

There seems to have been a light flurry of these colour grammars - or taste manuals - around this time. By flurry I mean at least two. They are ostensibly historic recreations of layered colours from the Heiian period, the golden age of Japanese style, but as little effort was made to match the same colours from copy to copy they don't mean much except, as said, as colour grammars or taste manuals for their own time.
There are three known variants of this book, one with the colophon of Kinkado, one with Suharaya Sasuke added, and one with no colophon, like this copy. NDL Digital has a copy of the Kinkado issue on line and what is striking about that is how different the colours are, not just shades or hues, often completely different colours. It doesn't have the two leaves of text between the end of the main book and the last leaf in this copy. Elsewhere I found a copy of the Suharaya issue online and here the binding looks the same as ours and the colours are more similar, sometimes near identical, but not always. Likewise, it doesn't have the extra leaves at the end and it seems to have three leaves of colours missing.

Worldcat finds only the Ryerson & Burnham copy outside Japan.


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Ikai Masaharu. 重色目 [Kasane Irome]. n.p. 1817 (Bunka 14). 16x23cm original printed wrapper, modern string ties; 72 block printed colour samples on six double folded leave, one page of text. Worming carefully repaired on the back of each leaf. This would be an outstanding copy but for those damn bugs; with the original printed outer wrapper (fukuro - the equivalent of a dustwrapper). sold

At first I decided that the wrapper and fukuro were later additions, but no, the wrapper is identical to the copies illustrated at Kokusho and NDL digital. Something immediately obvious is that the colours are, unlike the similar 'Usuyo Irome' of 1826, well matched from copy to copy. The differences are shade and hue.
Worldcat finds no entries for this but does find a manuscript with a similar title at the Library of Congress.


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Yoshida Isojiro. 生徒必携 : 新撰小学体操術 [Seito Hikkei : Shinsen Shogaku Taisojutsu]. Tokyo, Shueido 1885 (Meiji 18). Two volumes 13x19cm publisher's wrappers with title labels; a folding plate and small illustrations throughout. A nice copy. Au$125

And a nice little book, a self proclaimed essential set of physical exercises for school kids. The boys are the ones in western clothes, the girls swaddled in traditional dress. Worldcat finds no copy outside Japan.


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Inoue Kohe & Hasegawa Sadanobu (artist). 西洋画引節用集 Seiyowuyebiki setuyowusiyu [Seiyo Ebiki Setsuyoshu]. Osaka, Onoki Ichibe 1872 (Meiji 5). 18x12cm publisher's wrapper (grubby, title label missing); double page colour frontispiece, small illustrations throughout. A little inoffensive worming, used but very decent copy for an old school book. In place of the title label is written: 'English of words'. Au$400

Another entrancing little educative book that leaves me stumped as to how anyone ever learnt anything. A baffling selection of English vocabulary made easy with illustrations so that any child can confidently talk and write about leeches, ear-picks, grave diggers, widowers, limbo, kidney beans, and nostrils. Unlike many such books this hasn't all been lifted wholesale from some English or American primer. The illustrations are by artist Hasegawa Sadanobu II and are all properly Japanese; these are the ear-picks, grave diggers and widowers that every child will see about them. How long will it take you to works out 'Shalms' - a boy riding a buffalo?
Worldcat finds two copies outside Japan: Brigham Young and the British Library. This opens right to left by the way.


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Mitsukuri Genpo & Morishima Churyo. 改正增補 : 蠻語箋 [Kaisei Zoho : Bangosen]. Edo (Tokyo)? Kenjuku Kanko 1848 (Kaei 1). Two volumes 19x12cm, publisher's wrappers with title labels. Covers a bit blotchy, a nice set. Au$400

A revised and much improved version by master linguist and translator, Genpo, of Churyo's 'Bangosen' (barbarian words) published in 1798, when serious Dutch-Japanese dictionaries were still manuscript fragments or, like the 'Edo Haruma' of 1796, printed and hand written in an edition of 30 copies. Dutch was, of course, Japan's best way to connect with and learn about all things western until Perry's gunboat diplomacy.
Anything produced by Mitsukuri carried a lot of weight. A physician by early training he was a scholar of the west and pioneered the introduction of western science, medicine and technology (like the first description of a steam engine) into Japan, usually via the Dutch or Chinese, and served as translator for the Perry mission in 1853.


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Hikifuda. Iwasaki Seishichi 栃木県都賀郡藤岡町 : 岩崎清七 Japanuese Sauce Manufactured by S. Iwasaki City - Fujioka, County - Shimotsuga, Province - Shimotsuke Japan [sic]. Tokyo [189-?]. 22x33cm lithograph. Au$100

A handsome birds-eye of the soy sauce works. The company still exists as a maker and seller of horse food, something of a come down since Iwasaki's glory days as a magnate and most important person. This view comes early in his career after he had taken over the family business and before he made two fortunes from the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars. He was outraged by the profiteering control ordinance passed during WWI and seems to have had some part in having it suspended.


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Shimiguzumi. 住宅建築図集 [Jutaku Kenchiku Zushu]. Tokyo, Shimiguzumi 1935 (Showa 10). 30x23cm publisher's cloth (marked) in shabby but intact card case; profusely illustrated with photos and floor plans, three colour plates. Au$250

Residential architecture - some 200 houses and a few hotels and inns - built between 1906 and 1934 by building and engineering giant, Shimiguzumi - designers and builders to royalty, corporations and plutocrats. Naturally taste plays little part in building for the ultra wealthy and here we have a casserole of traditional Japanese and western mansions and strange, sometimes disturbing, hybrids in between - and a fair bit of high class modernism.
Shimiguzumi, now Shimizu, goes back to the beginning of the 19th century and they went early into Yokohama, embraced modernity, built the first western hotel in Japan, and really took off. They were also canny about publicity, issuing a smart series of cards illustrating their major works in the 1890s, two albums of their banks and office buildings in 1915, and followed this present book up with another devoted to their hotels the next year and haven't stopped for long since.
Of course this book is not just a boast or cynical publicity. Here's a rough translation from president Shimizu's preface: "Residential architecture is currently in a period of transition.We cannot be satisfied by simply copying European and American architecture, nor can we be satisfied with traditional Japanese-style architecture ... The purpose of compiling this work into an illustrated book is to provide useful materials for both design and construction, in hopes of furthering the complete development of residential architecture."


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Ikematsu Hitoshi. Original illustration of a rocket-like space ship. n.p. 1975. Guoache and ink? on bristol board; 33x52cm with protective overlay sheet and mounted proof of the reduced published illustration in black and white. Signed, dated with an identification number by Ikematsu. Au$450

An exquisite cutaway rendering of a large scale space ship that seems to powered by some fuel or force - maybe gathered in space through the nose? Though it looks more like reverse gear. Humans occupy four floors toward the tail, but why are they upside down if the tail is the tail and propels the ship?
Ikematsu was a busy sci-fi and technical wizzbang artist and this was obviously for a magazine. It's a pity if the customers only got to see it at half scale in black and white.


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HUBBARD, John Gellibrand. The Currency and the Country. London, Longman &c 1843. Octavo disbound; iii-viii,112pp and folding table. Without half title, stitching gone but still a fresh copy. Au$125

A notable salvo in the currency war at the time, in support of the 'single bank of issue' and consequently that any profit belongs to the nation. Marx called on this to demolish James Mill's "false theory of price" in his Elements of Political Economy and to establish other points in Kapital. I wonder what Hubbard might have thought about this. Hubbard - later Lord Addington - did, after all, become governor of the Bank of England and a conservative politician.


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THORNTON, Henry. Recherches sur la Nature et les Effets du Credit du Papier dans La Grande-Bretagne. Geneva, Bibliotheque Britannique 1803. Octavo modern boards with leather label. Front and bottom edges untrimmed; a pleasing copy with half title. Au$500

First edition in French, from the English original of 1802, indicative of the international attention this received with French and German translations in 1803 and an American edition in 1807. McCulloch revived it mid century in his collection of the most valuable tracts on currency and banking after which it languished until Hayek embraced and celebrated it a century later. Now the economic metaverse swarms with researchers pointing out how important it is and how every other researcher has neglected to understand this properly.
The translation was sometimes attributed to Charles Pictet-de Rochemont, founder of the Bibliotheque Britannique, but Etienne Dumont - the French (and comprehensible) voice of Bentham, who urged Dumont to translate Thornton - is the translator.


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MALTHUS, T.R. An Essay on the Principle of Population; ... The Fourth Edition. London, for J. Johnson 1807. Two volumes octavo, uncut and unopened in original boards. Chipping at the spine tops, front hinge of volume I cracked but holding. A scattering of light spots, rather good. Au$500

Malthus beavered away at this producing four editions in nine years; or, perhaps, three editions in five years as he regarded the second edition as pretty much a new work. Then it sat for a decade until his fifth edition in conjunction with a separate volume of additions to this fourth and earlier editions so as to save owners from having to buy a whole new set. He may well have shrunk from causing an over-population crisis of his books on library shelves.


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New York World's Fair 1939. Pilgrimage to Tomorrow [five copies]. NY, Gemloid Corp [1938]. Each octavo publisher's comb bound laminated plastic and card; 100pp, illustrations throughout. Small chip from a corner of one, minor signs of use. sold

Almost a complete set of variant covers. I gathered these over a decade or so and I'm bored. There is an uncoloured version of the one bottom left but I've only seen one and it was in revolting shape.
A spiffy little book designed to be an all round souvenir. It begins with a section of views (drawings and photos of models) and descriptions of the forthcoming fair followed by a section of black card leaves for your own photos; then come some diary pages, some views of New York city and finally a few pages for autographs and addresses. The front cover is a view of the trylon and perisphere and surrounds in textured plastic - early 3D.
One copy has been used as designed in part: the diary records in pencil the trip of, I think, a girl with her family to her aunt in Fairfield, Conn, and from there to the World's Fair. The family and friends divided into two parties - boys went to the fair one day, girls the next.


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[GASPEY, Thomas]. The History of George Godfrey. Written by himself. London, Colburn 1828. Three volumes octavo, recent half calf. Half titles in volumes two and three, not one, as seems proper. A marginal tidemark in a couple of sections toward the end of volume III, stains from the original leather corners at each end; a rather good, fresh copy.
On the blank before the title is, in a miniscule hand, something of a review of the book by, I presume, the original reader in which remarks are made about easy recognition of several respectable London criminals: stock brokers, auctioneers, lawyers, police magistrates, ministers, and the like. And the original of Mr Haversham. Au$2250

Only edition until recent reprints of this rare picaresque crime thriller, usually pulled out by academics as a pioneer Newgate novel; ie the sort of degrading, mean stuff that no gentle reader should read; the sort of stuff that belongs in penny sheets with short words and big type for the low classes, not for anyone who can afford a subscription to a proper lending library.
It is, as well, an Australian novel with the major hunk of volume three devoted to our hapless fool transported to New South Wales where he escapes and joins the 'Bush Rangers' around the Windsor/Hunter Valley region. It is, more interesting, also a proper mystery with the darkest deeds unveiled and an evil master mind unmasked by a self appointed detective at the end. This brings us to maybe the most interesting point.
Our hero is, as hinted, a hapless, craven idiot with a feeble moral compass and the real hero of the book is the only decent and clever - as opposed to cunning - character who acts as detective and saviour: Mr Haversham, who started life as William Beckford before going into the fictional character business. Haversham is an obscenely rich eccentric who is obsessed with building his overwhelming gothic Priory and tower, behind high walls, and shunned by society for his unproven crime. Haversham's crime was merely the murder of his young wife, not the unsavoury charges against Beckford.
I found no suggestion that Gaspey knew Beckford but, through Mr Haversham, he debunks several captious slurs doing the rounds, including the mysterious banquets served every day to the lonesome Beckford.
The Monthly Review wrote a friendly and generous review while the Athenaeum padded out pages with excerpts from the book only to condemn it as low trash and likely an evil influence: "From the nature of the book itself, the style of its execution is coarse, vulgar, and often unintelligible and uninteresting, and though some of its exposures may be correct, yet we doubt much if these publications be not injurious." Gaspey wrote to the Athenaeum complaining little about his 'chastising' but defending his research into Godfrey's travels. Both reviewers predicted it would be popular.
Gaspey's publisher had money in both these magazines, I believe.
Ferguson listed this which, I guess, made Miller/Macartney skip it as non-fiction, so I expected to find it well represented in Australian libraries. Not so, Trove finds only the Mitchell and Monash copies. Not so many anywhere else in the world, either. Wolff had a handful of Gaspey novels but not this while Sadleir ignored him. It does deserve to be in Hubin.


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Louis de Rougemont. Grien on Rougemont; or, the story of a modern Robinson Crusoe. As told in ... the Daily Chronicle. Illustrated by ... Phil May, and other pictures. London, Edward Lloyd 1898. Slender folio later half crushed morocco by Morrell, with publisher's colour illustrated wrapper bound in; 34,[2 advert]pp, illustrated throughout. This had seen some life before being bound and there is an old fold and minor signs of use. An unexpectedly luxurious copy that must have cost more to bind than one would have thought a replacement could be found. Obviously never a common book. With the bookplate of Henry L. White. sold

Louis de Rougemont (ie Henri Grien) exposed and ridiculed while his Adventures were still appearing in the Wide World and before his book appeared. This compilation of condemnatory evidence gives something of his true history and seemingly sad life in Australia. Appended is a short pantomime sketch by that so called Barry Pain.
Inserted are two clippings about his miserable state in 1920 and his death in 1921.


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Kawaraban. 大日本長崎ヨリ萬國海上里數 [Dai Nihon Nagasaki Yori Yorozu Kuni Kaijo Risu?]. n.p. earlyish to mid 19th century. Woodcut 30x40cm. Worming and the bottom right corner professionally repaired. sold

The classic Dutch ship was a required souvenir for every Japanese tourist in Nagasaki and, in various forms and fancies, was dusted off and reworked all over Japan every time a stranger appeared around Japan. This may have been occasioned by news of a Russian ship, American, British, or to fill in a dull patch in the foreign barbarian trade.
Maybe hard to see in my shaky pictures but this is one cheerful bunch of sailors.
Kawarabans were illicit news sheets for the streets and produced by the million for a couple of hundred years so of course few survive. They were produced for anything more interesting than the drop of a hat. Foreign visitors were better news, being much less common, than flood, fire, quake, and famine.


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Kurofune Kawaraban. Perry and the Black Ships in Japan. 海岸御固場所附 [Kaigan o kata basho fu]. n.p. [1854?]. Woodcut map in three sheets 26x92cm, the left and centre sheet joined. A nice copy. Inscribed in the margin at each end with the date (May 27 1863) and, perhaps the name, Saki Seinosuke, village headman of a place I can't decipher. sold

These illicit illustrated news sheets - kawaraban - for the streets were produced by the million for a couple of hundred years so of course few survive. They were produced for anything more interesting than the drop of a hat and the arrival of the Black Ships, the American ships commanded by Perry in 1853, and the return of the beefed up squadron in 1854 to close the deal, eclipsed any and all tiresome earthquakes, fires, plagues, famines, murders and scandals. For most Japanese this was the same as a squadron of alien space ships arriving on earth now. These prints are the kurofune (black ship) kawaraban.
Perry's ships in the bay and the reassuring defensive array of clans with tens or hundreds of thousands of troops along the shorelines was a popular kawaraban subject. This is the most panoramic I've seen, others are one or two sheets.


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Confectionary. 菓子模様 - 天 [Kashi Moyo - Ten] Kyoto, Fujisawa 1912 (Meiji 45). 18x25cm publisher's silk with printed label (silk faded); 25 accordian folded card leaves with numerous colour woodcuts on 40 pages (two full page), text on the rest. Some browning or spotting but most acceptable. Au$500

Third edition? Three of these kashi albums were published in 1901 and 1902 covering heaven, earth and people, I think by the Kyoto sweetmakers association. Heaven is the theme for this offering of sweet designs. Books of kashi designs like this are known to date back to the late 17th century, there may have been earlier ones. They were produced by high class confectioners as catalogues for their high class customers. The text at the end apparently describes each treat. As you might expect their names are allusive and poetic: no 'custard tart' here, think rather of 'autumn wind'.
Kashi albums or pattern books blossomed in the late Meiji through to the early Showa - from about 1900 to 1930 - and I'm not sure why. I wonder if it was a fad inspired by someone like the crown princess having a passion for these elaborate sweets.
Worldcat finds one entry for this outside Japan and none of the others.


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Catalogue - hearses. Merts & Riddle, Ravenna, Ohio. Merts & Riddle, Coach and Hearse Builders. Ravenna, printed by S.D. Harris [188-?]. Oblong octavo publisher's illustrated wrapper; 50pp, full page wood engraved illustrations throughout. A remarkably good copy. Au$250

Ravenna was clearly more than a one hearse town in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. Merts and Riddle bought their employer's coach building company in 1861 and expanded into hearses a decade or so later. When Merts left in 1891 the company became Riddle Coach & Hearse Co.
This is the earliest catalogue - dated "1880 or so" - in the collection of Thomas Riddle, descendant and company historian. The catalogues at the Huntington with a conjectured date of 1875 aren't. Romaine did not see any Merts & Riddle catalogues.


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日本の兵隊さん [Nihon no Heitai-san]. Tokyo, Yonen Kurabu 1933 (Showa 8). 19x26cm publisher's colour illustrated wrapper; 32pp, illustrated throughout in red and blue or black. Some browning blotches, rather good. Au$125

A fun filled manga view, for boys, of life in the military. It's all a romp but sailors have way more excitement and an easier life than soldiers.


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Advertising ABC. Kryolith. Kryolith Kids Alphabet. Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Co [Chicago printed]. 1907. 21x18cm colour illustrated publisher's wrapper; 28pp, colour illustrations throughout by Art Williamson. A short tear in the bottom edge of one leaf, minimal signs of use, rather good. Au$300

A charming ABC extolling Kryolith - made into lye, caustic soda, sold as Lewis Lye - and the multitude of ways it makes life easier, healthier, more beautiful. Cryolite seems to have come from one source, a deposit on the Greenland coast which, once that lode was turned into lye or used in the production of aluminium, pretty much vanished from our lives.


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EDWARDS, Edward B. Dynamarhythmic Design. A book of structural pattern. N.Y. Century 1932. Small quarto publisher's cloth; xx,122pp, 28 plates, numerous illustrations through the text. Rather good. Au$300

First edition, not easy to find in good shape. Whatever we think of the theories of Jay Hambidge, drawn from his perceived rediscovery of the Egyptian and Greek system of symmetry, Edwards use of them has produced "one of the most attractive and ingenious studies of geometric ornament [and] one of the few examples of European geometric design to rival Islamic work in complexity" (Durant: Ornament).


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Cookery. The Australian Housewives' Manual: a book for beginners and people with small incomes. By an Old Housekeeper. [bound with] Australian Plain Cookery. By a Practical Cook. Fourth edition. [bound with] Men, and How to Manage Them. A book for Australian wives and mothers. By an Old Housekeeper. Melbourne, Massina 1883; n.d.; 1885. Three volumes octavo, together in contemporary half roan (worn but solid). Spots and signs of use but pretty good. Bound without wrappers and additional adverts. sold

Three rare cookery/household books for the price of ... well, three. Ferguson's generation didn't pay much attention to cookbooks but he was pretty diligent: he found one copy of the Housewives' Manual (and two of the second edition including his own); two copies of the seventh edition only of Plain Cookery; and one copy of Men.
Today, Trove finds one copy of the Housewives' Manual (and five of the second edition); five locations altogether for the second, third, sixth and seventh editions of Plain Cookery; and three locations for Men. So despite the keen hunt for these things in the last few decades they've hardly come pouring out of old pantries and larders.


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Izumi Kojiro. 和洋家具雛形 [Wayo Kagu Hinagata]. Osaka, Matama Seikado 1902 (Meiji 35). Two volumes 12x18cm, publisher's wrappers with title labels; semi measured drawings throughout. Minor signs of use, rather good. Au$250

A nifty pattern book of Japanese and western furniture designs, clear enough that a decent carpenter/joiner could build straight from the book. There are several designs for display and shopfittings among the bureaus, tripod tables, screens and tansu.


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MILL, James. Elements of Political Economy. Second edition, revised and corrected. London, for Baldwin &c 1824. Octavo, untrimmed in original boards (spine quite chipped, remnants of printed label). A hint of browning, rather good. Neat contemporary inscription on front fly: Ditchling Library 679; and neat 1892 inscription of a Robert Turner on the title. Au$500

Heaps of changes and improvements writes Mill: greater developement [sic] ... clearer proof ... more palpable ... rewritten ... more fully expounded ... cleared of some ambiguity ... a new section ... . It would hardly be surprising, then, that readers would dump their slipshod first edition in the bin the moment they unwrapped this.


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SMITH, Thomas. Essay on the Theory of Money & Exchange. London, Cadell & Davies &c. 1807. Octavo untrimmed in original wrappers evocatively titled 'Smith on Money' by hand; viii,231pp. Light pencil note by an early owner on the title. Au$550

Rare and important, as any bookseller with a copy will tell you. Smith has been identified on the title page as 'Partner in the house of Stein Smith & Co' which is a step up from being a mere accountant, which is what the Goldsmiths' catalogue calls him. This must have been added before 1811 when the banking and insurance house established by Smith and some of the Scottish distilling behemoths, the Stein family, was declared insolvent, despite their fraudulent tactics, and that job title lost any cachet. There's a certain proud care in the writing of 'Stein Smith & Co' that suggests to me that Smith might have written it.
Worldcat finds entries for the 1811 second edition but only a microfilm of this first.


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Mill, John Stuart and Nakamura Masanao. 自由之理 [Jiyu no Ri or Jiyuno Kotowari depending on the transcriber]. On Liberty. Shizuoka, Kihira Ken'ichiro [1872]. Five volumes in six books 23x16cm, publisher's yellow wrappers with title labels. Preface in English signed EWC, this was Edward Warren Clark who taught science in Shizuoka and, later, Tokyo. Covers a bit smudged, a nice set. Au$2000

The first Japanese edition of Mill's On Liberty - a book that Douglas Howland (in Personal Liberty and Public Good) tells us was "reportedly read by the entire generation of educated Japanese who came of age during the restoration".
I hoped to be able to nail down any issue points and clear up any confusion between the two forms this book takes: the five volumes bound as six books, as here, with volume two divided into two; or bound as five books. The confusion is heightened because many libraries and cataloguers use the 1871 date on the title, ignoring the preface dated January 1872.
I've had to conclude that there isn't any discernible priority and the difference may well be where, rather than when, the books were bound.
Nakamura's translation of Smile's 'Self Help' was also published by Kihira in Shizuoka and it seems that Kihira Ken'ichiro existed as a publisher only for Nakamura's translations of these two books which he made in Shizuoka - home of the deposed Tokugawa shogun - where he taught after his return from England in 1868 until 1872. In other words, Nakamura was really the publisher of both books.
Worldcat finds five, maybe six, locations outside of Japan - one in Britain, the rest in the US - all but one are catalogued as 1871.


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Wax. Kitagumi & Co. Ltd. Kobe. Manufacturers & Exporters of Japan Vegetable Wax ... Kitagumi [190-?]. 38x51cm printed broadside in English and Japanese within a colour border. Au$75

A dignified but not unfriendly advertisement - or perhaps a label or wrapper for export - befitting the purest and whitest wax in the market. Company founder Kochi Torajiro must have used squillions of what he made from wax to build the Garyu-sanso, maybe the most understated, modest showoff piece of design and craftsmanship ever.


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Toy book. The Hearty Old Boy Who Looked Always the Same. London, Dean & Son [c1865-70]. 25x17cm colour illustrated boards; advertisement front endpapers and eight leaves, the last mounted inside the back cover, each with a handcoloured wood engraving and verse. A head made of some composition with tiny glass eyes is mounted inside the back board and a hole cut through all pages and the front cover. Inner lining and stitching somewhat loose but holding well enough. Quite a good copy. Au$1200

This grotesque bit of gimmickry must have been less disturbing when new. Maybe. Two companion titles are listed on the front cover but I don't know that these things took off in any big way. In any case all are rare. I've found a couple of images of one title and they don't look any less worrying than this. I've found no images of another copy of this or the third title. This charts the progress of ploughman Jackey Hodge to Sir John Hodge, mayor of the town. Why he started life a Hearty Old Boy is beyond me.


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Nakano Shuji. [ かお?] 道化遊び双六 [Kao?] [Doke Asobi Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Nihon Shonen 1920 (Taisho 9). 55x79cm colour broadside. Signs of use: some brown spots, small holes in folds. Au$150

I'm baffled by the first two characters in the title. I find that most references transcribe them as 日本 (Nihon - Japan) or 少年 (shonen - boy) and I don't know why, since that's the source, not the title. Only one gives us かお (Kao - face) which bears some resemblance to the actual characters but really doesn't seem satisfactory.
Anyway, this a game of boys' games - games that involve physical antics and clowning such as forehead wrestling - and was the new year gift from the magazine Nihon Shonen and you know how that translates if you've been paying attention.


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School posters. 姿勢圖 - 教室常備用 [Shiseizu - Kyoshitsu Jobi-yo]. Osaka, Teikoku Kyoiku Shiryo Henzan Kyokai [1930s?]. Four colour litho posters 79x55cm. A little browning, a couple of small nibbles; an excellent, complete set in the original cardboard tube with printed title label. Au$250

Now this is education from first principles. Girls and boys learn how to stand and how to sit and it's easy to see the difference. From here we can go on to reading, writing and arithmetic. These were produced by the imperial education body who certainly knew what's what.


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CLARKE, Marcus, et al. The Australian Christmas Box: a series of stories ... Melbourne, Cameron Laing [1878?]. Octavo publisher's printed wrapper (signs of use, a touch ragged); two full page illustrations. Small hole in a margin touching a few letters that looks like a production flaw. Pretty good. Au$750

Clarke, Robert Whitworth and Waif Wander (Mary Fortune) have done the right thing and provided tales filled with madness and murder. The others ... meh. Grosvenor Bunster's effort is a revolting, heartwarming tale of redemption a la Christmas Carol.


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RADCLIFFE, Ann. The Romance of the Forest ... second edition. London, Hookham & Carpenter 1792. Three volumes octavo contemporary half calf (rubbed but solid). Somewhat strident red Japanese seal on the dedication page of the first volume and the title pages of the other two. Minor flaws and signs of use; a pretty good copy.
Inscriptions on each title of Philip Gell of Hopton, I'd guess the son who became a political nonentity rather than the father who, from what I can figure, lived a proper useless aristocratic gun and dog life on the income from their lead mines. Just two of a few Gell generations of dead weight. Au$500

As I said when cataloguing her The Italian, I never recovered from The Mysteries of Udolpho and the wonder and awe it produced in me. I still wonder how it didn't kill the Romantic movement stone dead and I had an awful urge to slap Emily every time she trembled in ecstacy when faced with a slice of nature. I still tremble in the face of another Mrs Radcliffe novel. But I can assure you that it's gothic, gothic, gothic and more gothic.
Perhaps more wonderful and awe inspiring than any of her books are the literary historians who managed to track down a photograph of Ann Radcliffe which they brandish on their websites.


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Elephant advertisement. 天竺渡り : 生大象 [Tenjiku Watari : Nama Daizo]. Osaka, Tamaki Seishichi 1883 (Meiji 16) Woodcut broadside 37x55cm. Rather good. Au$650

A kawaraban style advertisement for the great elephant show and a higher class - and grander - bit of art than the ones produced in Yokohama that I've seen, one dated 1875 and one 1883.
1863 was the year of the elephant in Japan, the great Indian elephant drew squillions of spectators and artists and printmakers went crazy. It wasn't the first elephant to arrive in Japan but it had been near 150 years since the last one. Apparently Raffles sent one in 1808 as a deal sweetener but it was refused and was expelled - with a hundred bales of wheat from the shogun for the return journey. Just as well, while elephants had been celebrated in art for centuries, elephants in person didn't have long happy lives in Japan.
The 1863 elephant went on tour after a spell in Tokyo but is our elephant the same one? Is it the same elephant who starred in Yokohama which, according to the unreliable and incongruent ages given on different prints, was too young? Certainly our elephant has progressed from being a drawcard by merely existing to being the star of a theatrical show.


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RODGERS, H.J. Twenty-Three Years Under a Sky-light, or Life and Experiences of a Photographer. Hartford, H.J. Rodgers 1872. Octavo publisher's brown cloth; 235pp and errata leaf, 53 wood engravings, some full page. A particularly nice copy. Au$450

First edition of what appears to be the first professional memoir of a photographer; it was reprinted the next year year with some changes. If someone manages to dig up an earlier example of a professional photographer's memoir - I can't - then I firmly claim this as the first guide book written for the subjects of portrait photography. Much of this is a humorous treatment of all the mistakes made by photographer and sitter with advice for the sitter; the running title throughout is 'The people's guide to photography'.
Rodgers was an adherent to the doctrines of physiognomy and phrenology and urges that phrenology be part of the education of all artists in his chapter on phrenological photography.


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Exhibition - Dublin 1853. SPROULE, John [ed]. The Irish Industrial Exhibition of 1853 : a detailed catalogue of its contents, with critical dissertations, statistical information, and accounts of manufacturing processes in the different departments; ... Dublin, McGlashan 1854. Large octavo publisher's cloth (rebacked with most of the original spine preserved); xviii,502pp, portait, double page colour litho view of the central hall, double page plan, two elevation plates, four other plates, illustrations through the text. A few flaws to early pages, a couple professionally repaired with tissue, a fair scattering of marginalia and underlining, definitely used but still a decent, acceptable copy. Au$450

This also exists with a somewhat different title under the imprint of Sproule; either and both are very uncommon. Sproule is convinced that this Dublin exhibition would be the last of its kind: "the magnitude of the Exhibitions of 1851 and 1853 would have caused a long interval ... before any future attempt could be made; but such attempts the almost faery creation of the Crystal Palace Company at Sydenham have rendered unnecessary" - ie the continuous exhibition of all that was new and excellent would make these monumental exhibitions obsolete. "Considerable attention" is given to the Exhibition Building for much the same reasons - its temporary nature - thus the captivating colour view of the central hall, even though it added "very materially to the expense of each copy".


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Exhibition - London 1873; Melbourne 1872-73 & Vienna 1873. London International Exhibition of 1873. (Melbourne, 1872-73). Official Record, containing introduction, catalogues, reports and recommendations of the experts, official awards ... Melbourne, Mason Firth &c 1873. Octavo publisher's cloth (spine ends repaired) ; xxiv,224,viii,44,32,120,160,20,12,17,34,8,30,20pp. First few pages spotted, 1873 stamp of the 'Chief Secretary's Office' on the title. Au$650

Quite uncommon. This was the first of the ambitious but fairly short series of annual international exhibitions (begun in 1871) in London to which Victoria sent a major contribution. As was usually the case a preliminary exhibition was held in Melbourne. Here we have the catalogues for this Melbourne Exhibition, the catalogue for the London Exhibition and the catalogue for the Vienna International Exhibition of 1873 in which Victoria also took part. As well as the other reports and stuff there is a series of essays, of which John Bleasdale's "On Wines" (34pp) is probably the most interesting now.
Some but not all copies have a map; the State Library of Victoria notes that only one of their copies has a map. This doesn't.


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Exhibition - Nagoya 1910. 第十回関西府県連合共進会全図 [Daijikkai Kansai fuken rengen kyoshinkai zenzu]. Nagoya Yodatsu Goshigaisha 1910 (Meiji 43]. Colour lithograph 54x78cm with b/w map and photos of Nagoya on the back. Rather good with illustrated outer wrapper. Au$200

A handsome large birds-eye view. The 10th Kansai Prefectural Union Exhibition was a big jump from previous shows, held every three years since 1883. This was meant to put Nagoya on the map and so it did. Apparently more than two and a half million visitors went through.


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Exhibition - Osaka 1903. 第五回内国勧業博覧会明細図 [Daigokai naikoku kangyo hakurankai mesaizu]. Osaka, Azuma Shintaro 1903 [Meiji 36]. Colour lithograph 40x54cm. Au$150

A strong if roughly printed bird's-eye view. The Fifth National Industrial Exhibition in Osaka in 1903, while the last of the series begun in 1877 was the largest and included a lot of firsts. It was the first with a court for foreign countries - quite a few exhibited their wares. It was the first held at night - electricity and illumination was a great feature - and the Japanese public was introduced to wireless telegraphy, American automobiles, x-rays and cinema. A sixth exhibition scheduled for 1907 was to be an international exhibition but that plan fizzled. The Tokyo exhibition of 1907 was pretty grand but not what was hoped for after 1903. It was 1970 before Japan held a true international exhibition.


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Flags. Drawings of the Flags in Use at the Present Time by Various Nations. Admiralty. London, HMSO 1916. Stout quarto later half morocco; 40pp, extra colour litho title, two unnumbered and 201 of 203(?) colour litho plates numbered to 200 with three bis. Two of the original plates have been removed but this has been extended with the insertion of another 145 colour litho plates of varying sizes and one handpainted plate. Signs of use of course but the flaws are negligible really. Au$1650

A splendid copy of a book scarce enough in any form - it was produced for the public service - this copy has been scrupulously kept up to date for a decade with the insertion of the additional plates as they were issued and numerous notes in manuscript, duplicated typescript and print recording official errata and updates. These date from 1916 to 1925.
A note preserved at the front records that this belonged to L.E. Forsyth of E.H. Brett & Sons of Balmain East (in Sydney), "flag manufacturer - specializes in printing (in lieu of painting) of colonial & foreign badges on flags". Brett & Sons began as sailmakers and expanded into various canvas and textile related fields as the century went on.


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