Poisonous women

Hanai Oume. Shuyotei Sofu. 花井於梅 粋月奇聞 [Hanai Oume Suigetsu Kibun]. Tokyo, Mori Senkichi 1888. 18x13cm, publisher's cloth backed illustrated boards; one double page and two full page illustrations; 72pp. The cheap paper browned; a rather good copy of a book made to be read to death. Au$250

One the prizes of the dokufu craze of the early Meiji. Dofuku - poisonous women - are nothing new of course but the happy conjunction at the advent of mass circulation newspapers of a beautifully timed series of murders by unvirtuous young women set the sensation mongers and their readers all of a fever. Newspaper to book, lurid print to kabuki and back again, dokufu were all the rage for a couple of decades. Along the way crime fiction was born and, in a way, modern Japanese literature.
Hanai earned her place as one on the trinity of great dokufu for the murder of her employee for helping her sponging father muscle her out of her business - the teahouse Suigetsu. The famous umbrella was part of her defence.
Of course nothing about cheap popular trash like this is going to be straightforward. The Strange Story of Hanai Oume at Suigetsu was first published in December 1887, just after her murder trial in November, and apparently exists in two volumes. As the the first volume contains 44 pages and the second seems to bring the total up to about 90 I suspect that a flimsy supplement was issued to the flimsy original. Our edition appeared in December 1888 and who knows how many came in between, I can't find a record of any of them including this printing.

I wondered about the vertical lines all down the cover illustration until I remembered that it was raining.


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Poster. 理研チャック [Riken Chakku]. n.p. [c1930?]. Colour lithograph poster 93x59cm. Small chomps from the top right edge and the very bottom; with metal hanging strips and loop at the top. Au$450

Have you seen any movie as dynamic and thrilling as a Riken chuck at work? Me neither.


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Smoca Toothpowder Poster. タバコのみの歯磨スモカ [Tabako Nomi no Hamigaki Sumoka]. n.p. [c1930?]. Colour poster 42x31cm. A hint of browning, a nice copy with metal strips at top and bottom and hanging loop at the top. Au$600

One of the more sinister of Smoca's transfixing and sometimes disturbing series of face or head and white teeth posters. I know of ten - of varying impact; a couple I've never seen for sale in decent shape and while the rest are easier to find it's not so easy to find them in this sort of condition.
Smoca's success - they are still going - was through clever advertising. From the start, in 1925, the company's founder, advertising man Kataoka Toshiro, hired the best artists and cartoonists. Book compilations of Smoca's newspaper advertising made regular appearances from the late twenties on.


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Smoca Toothpowder Poster. タバコのみの歯磨スモカ [Tabako Nomi no Hamigaki Sumoka]. n.p. [c1930?]. Colour poster 42x31cm. Some browning at the edges, a rather good copy with metal strips at top and bottom and hanging loop at the top. Au$450

A more cheerful and straightforward racist poster - except that it's a woman with a cheroot clenched between smiling white teeth.


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Edward John Eyre & George William Gordon. Gordon and Eyre. The Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society have received the following communication from Jamaica. "In a despatch from Mr. Eyre to Mr. Cardwell, dated January, 1866, the following paragraph appears. ' "It is also well known out here, that Mr. Gordon was universally regarded as a bad man in every sense of the word. ... The undersigned having resided in the Island for many years, ... do hereby protest against the foregoing allegations as made by Mr. Eyre, and declare them to be utterly without foundation. ... Birmingham, printed by E.C. Osborne [1866]. Extra, extra, large broadside printed with wood type in two sheets, each 69x108cm (138x108cm put together). Old folds, some short splits in creases; rather good. sold

Outraged citizens of Jamaica write to the outraged Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, protesting Eyre's calumny of Gordon after having him executed the previous October. Twelve respectable residents are named and another 116 also signed the letter. I'm not clear how Eyres characterisation of Gordon as an immoral adulterous lying swindling dishonest cruel vindictive hypocrite justified having him whisked off to Morant Bay where he could be tried by court martial and promptly hung but I guess every lawman knows that sometimes the end justifies the means.
The push to have Eyre indicted for murder (there were another few hundred victims of his repression of a riot apart from Gordon) and the formation of a defence league pretty well divided the British cultural elite and saw Mill, Huxley, Darwin, Hughes and Bright ranged against Carlyle, Kingsley, Ruskin and Tyndall of the Eyre Defence Committee - a small sample from each.
Eyre remained respectable in Australia into the 1970s, at least, when he appeared on a stamp while at about the same time Gordon appeared on the Jamaican ten dollar note. A coincidence? Even quite recently I saw a repetition of the example of Eyre's supposed humanitarian traits was that he took two Aboriginal boys with him when he left Australia, to be educated in England. Philanthropy like this is tricky these days, more likely to deserve a prison term than admiration.
Worldcat finds copies of this at the British Library and Harvard; a further search finds that Princeton has a copy they claimed as the only recorded copy in North America in 2015. Havard was not going to bested by Princeton.


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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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Commercial Art. An album or sample book of Japanese packaging, labels, brochures and suchlike. c.1960-70. Oblong quarto by size (185x260mm); 81 double folded leaves fastened together with a pin system, of which 59 leaves are crowded, both sides, with mounted labels, packaging, brochures, leaflets, etc. Au$250

Quite recent but nonetheless a very attractive gathering of Japanese commercial graphics and printing of the sixties and maybe early seventies (the only dated piece is for Expo 70. The album itself has been made up by someone in the trade: the double folded leaves are all from multiple copies of the blank back side of a magazine cover or poster - it features a Japanese baseball player by the look of it - but this is as close as I can get to claiming that this is a sample book put together by the printer of its contents. Still, I'm pretty sure it is. The materials range from the cardboard of packaging to cellophane to rice paper, just as the styles range from classical subtlety to the raucus and crass.


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OHNET, Georges. [Georges Henot]. The Poison Dealer. London, Werner Laurie [1906]. Octavo publisher's illustrated fawn cloth printed in orange, blue and white. The tan cloth darkened; signs of use, some foxing at ends and edges; not bad for a book guaranteed not to wear well. Au$300

First edition in English from his 'Marchand de Poison' (1902) and hard to find. There must be a better copy out there but I haven't found it yet. The binding is signed C.E.D. or G.E.D. Any clues?
There's plenty of madness and death in this book but the poison dealer is not, I'm sorry to say, a diabolical scientist or psychopathic criminal but an honest and most successful business man who manufactures absinthe and brandies. The result is just as satisfying.


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GULL, C. Ranger. The Woman in the Case. London, Greening 1909. Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in black and gilt; frontispiece. Signs of use, some splodges but not too serious; quite good. Au$250

First edition of this thriller containing, as hinted by the cover, an unscrupulous woman, a false accusation of murder, and a plucky loyal woman.


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FITZHAMON, Lewin. The Rival Millionaires. London, Ward Lock 1904. Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in blue, black and gilt; two plates by Florence Reason. Mild signs of use, a few spots; quite good. Au$200

First edition of this uncommon thriller involving theft, fraud, impersonation, a fallen gentleman and millionaires' daughters of course.


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HOPE, Anthony. Mrs. Maxon Protests. NY, Harper 1911. Octavo, excellent in publisher's decorated olive cloth blocked in gilt and white with an onlaid illustration; eight plates by R.F. Schabelitz. Au$50

First American edition, contemporaneous with the English and maybe earlier - the notices and reviews are. A thoroughly modern novel treating marriage, divorce and the flouting of both conventions.


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Design. An album of designs for textiles and/or paper. c1913-1920's? Large folio cloth [620x430mm]; 24 card leaves with 39 mounted original colour block prints (3 double page). Expected signs of use but nothing drastic; one print removed. Au$1200

Doubtless the designer's album of designs, these are proof prints from the blocks, each show the shape where the repeat pattern fits. The first pages are annotated with details of the client ('Achete a George. 9 Rue St Fiacre Paris' - in earlier decades this was the home of a calico manufacturer, which makes sense, and now houses a public relations firm and Ella Bache, which is neither here nor there) and the engraver (Gillet, sometimes in concert with someone else); the details dwindle as the album proceeds until we reach the large and dramatic geometric design in black and white which was "vendu a Mrs Bosset".
Dating these designs to 1913 would seem foolish but for the first few leaves being dated 1913 in the top corner; two or three are dull, traditional floral patterns but the rest, while by no means radical avant garde, would sit more happily in the next decade or two - some are really quite stylish. The theme is floral, or at least botanical although one is based on a Chinese cloud pattern; several are oriental in style or inspiration and one is a very stylish piece of Japanese abstraction.
I'm pretty sure this is the work of a Japanese designer in Paris, partly because it most recently came from Tokyo and partly because of the modern simplicity of several designs.


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Tsutsumi Kanzo. 漫画双六 世界早のぞき [Manga sugoroku sekai haya nozoki]. Nagoya(?), Shin Aichi 1931. Colour lithograph broadside, 55x70cm. With the playing pieces intact in the right margin, some stains along the top edge. Au$275

Sugoroku, these paper racing games, like most genres of Japanese graphics range from the fabulous, through insipid to kitsch to awful to downright disturbing. This one is up the fabulous end of the scale.
Tsutsumi - one of the great pioneers of modern manga - takes two young aviators on quick world tour and shows them all the most important things.
Curious, for me, is that each stop is not headed with the country name but some quality, some spectacle, some activity. Thus meeting Mussolini in Italy is titled 'hero'; for baseball we see see Babe Ruth knocking over a New York skyscraper; tennis is Henri Cochet in France; film is of course Charlie Chaplin in Hollywood; science is a zeppelin in Germany; war is Chiang Kai-shek in China; manners are learnt in England from Ramsay MacDonald; I'm not sure what the gymnastic penguins in the Antarctic represent. And so on round the globe with celebrity and national stereotypes galore.


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WORCESTER, G.R.G. A Classification of the Principal Chinese Sea-going Junks. (South of the Yangtze). Shanghai, Dept of Customs 1948. Smallish octavo, publisher's flexible green cloth; xiv,203pp, map & line drawings. A very good copy with small stamps of the Commissioner's Library. Au$800

Worcester's fourth, last and most elusive contribution to the Customs series I think, pretty well ending his great project of recording the Chinese junk - he did publish memoirs and a guide to junk models in the science museum later. This is something of a spotter's guide, illustrating and describing 93 types gathered in 9 sections by locality.


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One of the best covers of the series

Shogakusei Zenshu. Maekawa Senpan. 飛行機の話 - 潜水艦の話 [Hikoku no Hanashi - Sensuikan no Hanashi]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, publisher's cloth backed illustrated card wrapper by Maekawa Senpan; illustrated title, one colour plate, photo and b/w illustrations. Minor signs of use, quite good. Au$135

The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one covers the aeroplane and the submarine.
Maekawa started as a cartoonist and became a founding member of the Sosaku Hanga movement. Like many of his generation he continued to make his living as a commercial illustrator. Here he outshines many of his most celebrated prints.


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The other

Shogakusei Zenshu. Okano Sakae [cover design]. 算術の話 [Sanjutsu no Hanashi]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title in red, one colour plate and numerous b/w illustrations and diagrams through the text. Minor signs of use and usual browning; quite good. Shogakusei Zenshu no.73. Au$150

This one is arithmetic. I believe that if my maths texts looked like this my education would have been much more rewarding. This masterpiece of a cover is by Okano Sakae, one of the generation of artists who came through the western painting department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts at the beginning of the century, later a pupil of Kuroda Seiki, and collaborator with fellow Hakubakai students on the five volume Nihon Meisho Shasei Kiko.


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HUNT, Robert. Researches on Light in its Chemical Relations; embracing a consideration of all the photographic processes. London, Longman &c, 1854. Octavo publisher's blindstamped cloth (a touch faded); xx,396pp, folding frontispiece with some hand colouring, some diagrams through the text. Title a little browned by a note (see below); a very good copy. Au$750

Second edition, largely rewritten to encompass the progress made in photography since the original edition, ten years earlier - and to claim his proper place as an original experimenter. Hunt's preface includes a defence against the label of 'compilation' visited on the first edition - his experiments began before the publication of the processes of Daguerre or Fox Talbot and have continued "at no small cost, and with a large expenditure of thought".
The loosely inserted note alluded to is to William Benson from a Furnivall (probably not Frederick James) offering him the long term loan of this book - though it probably wouldn't be needed for his forthcoming 'excellent' book on colour. This is probably Benson's Principles of the Science of Colour; 1868.


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Kawaraban. Perry and the black ships. 亜墨利加人本牧横浜上陸の図 [Amerikajin Honmoku Yokohama Joriku no Zu]. n.p. [1854]. Woodcut broadside 225x315mm. Old fold, rather good. sold

These illicit illustrated news sheets 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 squadron commanded by Perry, in 1854 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 kawaraban.
I have had another kawaraban showing the American procession bearing gifts which looks nothing much like this. That looked more like a bunch of cosplayers on the third leg of a pub crawl. These are more orderly and possibly look a bit like American marines but the third and fourth hand reports that the artists had to work from had one central message: the Americans were casual and cheerful - undisciplined in Japanese eyes.


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Yvette Guilbert. Grand Concert Parisien. Rentree de M. Bonnaire ... Debinons le Truc ... Distribution: Rentre d' Yvette Guilbert ... n.p. [Paris? 1890?]. 44x33cm, woodcut or engraving? in red, black and blue on thin crepe paper (chirimen). Old folds and a few small holes; pretty good for something so vulnerable. Au$275

Japonisme rampant in this most impractical programme and I'm not sure why; why are the martial artists at the bottom there? They don't seem to be part of the performance. The influence of Japanese art on the artists busily painting Guilbert - Lautrec, Cheret, et al - is obvious but this owes more to Hasegawa's Kobunsha books. Those fighters certainly look to be drawn or cut by a Japanese artist.
Debinons le Truc was the revue of 1890 and I found a review of music halls in 1891 mentioning seeing Clovis on the bill with Yvette Guilbert the previous winter. At the very bottom are advertisements for the troublesome anti-clerical journal 'La Lanterne' and Beaubigny's eaux-de-vie. Music hall, booze and atheism, a diabolic trio.


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Shipwreck kawaraban. 南京商船 [Nanjing Shosen]. n.p. [1800 or later?]. woodcut 265x335mm; old fold a a couple of small holes, rather good. sold

A kawaraban bringing news of aliens and disaster. Kawaraban - illicit news sheets - were sped into print at the hint of catastrophe, scandal or gossip. This covers the wreck of a Nanjing merchant ship at Shizuoka - not so far from Yokahama - in December 1800. Which makes me wonder why a Chinese ship was anywhere near that part of Japan; Dutch and Chinese traders went in and out of Nagasaki.
I can't swear this most stylish print did appear in 1800 or 1801. It wasn't uncommon for the sight of foreigners to produce a flurry of anything else regarding barbarians and unexpected visitors from the vaults through the early 19th century. But this is so specific and so unrelated to hairy Russians or Americans that it is likely contemporary with the occasion.


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[HARRIS, Alexander]. The Emigrant Family: or, The Story of an Australian Settler. London, Smith Elder 1849. Stout octavo, the three volumes bound together in contemporary quarter calf and cloth. An occasional spot but a pretty good copy in what looks like a colonial binding (plain and a bit awkward); bound without half titles. Au$850

First edition of this well meaning but somewhat documentary novel.


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Puppets. 西洋あやつり人形 [Seiyo Ayatsuri Ningyo]. Tokyo, Hanayashiki [188-?]. Woodcut on translucent paper with added colours, 25x19cm. Old fold, rumpled; rather good. Au$300

This hikifuda or flyer for the western puppet show in Asakusa Park's Hanyashiti - amusement park - exists in two forms: one with the main title across the top and the other in the right column, as here. The illustrations are the same. The Tokyo Museum has a copy of this and Waseda a copy of the other; I can't find one outside of Japan.


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Hints on the Nature and Management of Duns. By the Honourable ____, a Younger Son. London, T.C. Newby 1845. Octavo contemporary quarter morocco with morocco grain blue cloth sides (spine scuffed); [2],158pp, tinted litho frontispiece, illustrations by R.J. Hamerton through the text. Frontispiece browned with offsetting onto the title. Au$245

A useful guide to a specific problem in economics which has wider application, it begins with the twelve miseries of younger sons with reference to duns and finishes with a handy vocabulary. In between are examples of the three stages of correspondence - civil, pressing and peremptory - and responses; lessons in excuses, methods of escape and so on. The notice this received in The Athenaeum is kind enough but is both moralistic and pessimistic: "but the evil [caused by younger sons not duns] is, we fear, too deeply seated to be laughed out of society."
The author remains a mystery but the publisher fits the book like a glove: "an incorrigible rogue .... opportunistic, mercenary, crass, sly, suave" are a few terms used by Roger Lathbury describing Newby and his dealings with Emily Bronte ('The Avaricious and the Intransigent'). A companion volume 'Hints on Husband Catching' appeared the next year.


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Otake Kokkan. 新案征露戦局雙六 [Shin'an Sei-Ro Senkyoku Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Hakubunkan 1905 (Meiji 38). Colour broadside 55x79cm. A few pinholes; rather good. Au$300

The new year gift from the magazine Shashin Gaho. This may be muted and delicate at first glance but there is plenty of turmoil on land and sea. And it looks to me you could learn all you really need to know about the Russo-Japanese war. There's a lot packed in.
Otake was a well regarded, prize winning, Nihonga painter who was firm about maintaining Japanese tradition but like many such artists was a busy producer of prints and illustrator of magazines, books and advertisements.


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Paper toys. A gathering of eleven Taisho period cheap and flimsy paper games and booklets. n.p. 1910s to 20s. Sizes range from 8x5cm to 17x11cm closed. Obviously never used. Au$400

These look very much like they were gifts that accompanied something else or were rewards for coupons or suchlike. Five, including the origami-like soldier, fold out to be 'board' games with playing pieces inside; two are cinema like thrillers on accordian leaves and the two smallest are puzzling envelopes containing blank sheets and what looks like talcum; finally are the two booklets, smaller illustrated in black and white, larger in colour, telling the story of the Tongue Cut Sparrow.


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GULL, William Withey. A Collection of the Published Writings .. edited and arranged by Theodore Dyke Acland. London, New Sydenham Society 1894-96. Two volumes octavo blindstamped cloth; xii,600; lxxii,184pp, 20 plates and a few illustrations in the first, 2 plates in the second. A few small flaws to the cloth of the first volume; a bit of foxing at the beginning of the second; quite a good pair. I: Medical Papers. II: Memoir and Addresses. Au$200

About a generation ago Gull emerged as a strong candidate for Jack the Ripper despite all and any evidence. Usually this is the most convincing argument for the prosecution: unless it was true why would so much evidence be needed to refute the charge? But sadly I conclude that we can view Gull only as a distinguished medico who, among other achievements, identified anorexia.


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Textiles. A gathering of 15 original designs for textile designs. n.p. [1930s]. 15 sheets in gouche and inks; all about 40cm in one direction and ranging from 20 to 32cm in the other. One with a short clean tear. Notes on the back of three, numbers on two. Au$650

Pretty lurid, huh? As the thirties pressed on and the avant garde was in disgrace - communist and anarchist scum that they were - textile design became less adventurous in form but brighter, so much brighter, and woodcut pattern books from Kyoto with designs like this proliferated. These flower designs are so highly finished I'm convinced they were made for a pattern book - probably spring or summer; autumn and winter were more restrained. Working drawing are usually much more ... well, working.


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[Catalogue - Cast-Iron Hollow Ware]. E. Pugh & Co., Wednesbury. [Illustrated Price List of Cast-Iron Hollow-Ware - E. Pugh & Co.]. The company, before 1891. Octavo publisher's green cloth; [vi]pp, and 71 leaves printed on one side (numbered to 88 with some gaps in the numbering but complete as issued), numerous illustrations throughout. Mounted onto the title is a 64 page revised price list to amend all catalogues issued before January 1891. A note about their enamelling is dated 1884. Au$300

Enamelled and tinned ware: pots, pans, kettles, sifters, coffee mills, spittoons (plain and Turkish), and stable ware.


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Catalogue - Pharmaceuticals. McKesson & Robbins, New York. Prices Current of Drugs and Druggists' Articles, chemical and pharmaceutical preparations, proprietry medicines & perfumery, sponges, corks, dyes, paints, etc., etc., etc. New York 1879. Octavo publisher's flush cut limp cloth, front titled in gilt; 224pp, numerous wood engraved illustrations. One section excepted, printed on pink paper. A rather good copy. Au$375

As well as the goods listed in the title this offers scales, glassware, brushes, surgical instruments and English toothbrushes, and still more.


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More poisonous women

Suzuki Kinjiro. Meig. Dokufuden - 新編明治毒婦伝 [Shinpen Meiji Dokufuden]. Tokyo, Kinsendo 1887 [Meiji 20]. 18x13cm publisher's cloth backed illustrated boards (edges worn); one single page and several double page illustrations. Inner front hinge separated, inner back hinge cracked; missing the front endpaper and the first two leaves (illustrations) are creased; two leaves sprung. A read copy I'm sorry to say, but for one of these flimsy board books made to be read to pieces, still acceptable. Au$150

Second edition? But how many were there? First published in December 1886 this copy is dated November 1887 but is a different book from the copy of the same date illustrated by the NDL. Starting at the front: the cover has been redrawn, the contents are a different printing with different pagination, in a different order and the illustrations are not all the same. The pagination is a nightmare; it starts, stops, jumps forward and back and nowhere meets the NDL November 1887 copy until we get to the last page.
One the prizes of the dokufu craze of the early Meiji. Dofuku - poisonous women - are nothing new of course but the happy conjunction at the advent of mass circulation newspapers of a beautifully timed series of murders by unvirtuous young women set the sensation mongers and their readers all of a fever. Newspaper to book, lurid print to kabuki and back again, dokufu were all the rage for a couple of decades. Along the way crime fiction was born and, in a way, modern Japanese literature.
This went to press too soon for Hanai Oume - 1887's murderess of choice - but I don't doubt her case sparked this new edition; she was sentenced in November. Takahashi Oden, Yoarashi Okinu, Torioi Omatsu, Gonsai Otatsu, Ibaraki Otaki and Raijin Oshin provide plenty to go on with.
Worldcat finds no copies of any but a modern reprint outside the NDL and it was some consolation to see that this copy is a lot better than one reproduced online by the NDL.


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DANE, John Colin. Champion. NY, Dillingham 1907. Octavo, very good in publisher's red cloth with mounted colour illustration; eight plates. Au$125

First American edition - the English is contemporaneous - of an anthropomorphic racing thriller with plenty of dark deeds and a moustachioed, possibly even half-Spanish, villain. The narrator, Champion, is a revolutionary new racing car.


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Fujiwara Ritsuta. 空界征服双六 [Sorakai Seifuku Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen 1918 (Taisho 7). Colour broadside 79x55cm. A nice copy. Au$600

A delight - the rigours of flying school explained with the careful attention to truth and detail of a Heath Robinson. This was the new year gift from the magazine Shonen.


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Blackbirding. Polynesian Immigration. (Despatches relative to alleged abuses, etc ...). Sydney, Govt Printer 1869. Foolscap folio modern plain wrapper; drop title, 24pp. Au$200

For the most part this details the murders on the blackbirding ship 'Young Australian' with some information on the seizure of the 'Daphne' by Palmer in the Rosario in Fiji. The captain and supercargo of the 'Young Australian' were sentenced to death and released after a couple of years in prison. Palmer was forced to pay reparations to the owner of the Daphne.


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Japanese textiles. A collection of 483 hand painted textile designs. n.p. mid 20th century? 75 heavy handmade paper folios, approx 41x31cm (folded), each with between five and eight designs under cut out embossed mounts facing each other with a tissue guard between. Mounted manuscript labels for each design. Kept in a wooden box, 45x33x15cm, with a manuscript title label (so far undeciphered). Au$2500

A near unimaginable amount of work has gone into this. It would have been a lot easier to mount actual textile samples but someone decided to hand paint each in scrupulous detail including texture. And this is no amateur work, I've never seen better. Paper has been carefully chosen for each type of weave and dramatic textures have been built up much like ceramic glazes. The only thing I've seen that matches the quality, care and sheer labour that went into this is the 1933 portfolio of textile designs Senshoku Zuan by Takizawa Kuniyuki. The only thing that is inferior is the box. It is, I'm sorry to say, plywood and I wonder whether it's a later addition.
Was it for a pattern book of historical designs? These were popular in the thirties, produced by master woodcut printers like Unsodo or Uchida in Kyoto. If you wanted the finest work in printing Kyoto was where you went. In the 70s and 80s there was a resurgence in luxurious design books but more often with photography than original prints.


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Hikifuda. Shoes. 履物鼻緒商 ... 大村一正 [Hakimono Hanao-sho .... Omura Kazumasa]. n.p. [190-?]. 26x38cm colour woodcut. Au$200

I guess that if a strapping sumo wrestler chooses to wear your shoes you know they must be sturdy. I don't know who the pint-size deity dancing on hs arm is and neither do I know who he - the wrestler - is. I suspect that this is a celebrity portrait rather than a generic figure and I bet someone out there can identify both of them.
These hikifuda - small posters or handbills - were usually produced with the text panel blank. The customer, usually a retailer, had their own details over printed, so the same image might sell fine silk or soy sauce. That doesn't apply here.

I really want that seat.


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Hikifuda. 高橋屋 ... 太郎丸 ... [Takahashiya ... Taromaru ...]. n.p. [c1910?]. 26x38cm colour woodcut. Margins browned. Au$125

I don't know what Takahashiya sold, I'm sorry, but I can tell you that Taromaru is in Toyama and that this patriotic hikifuda celebrates the royal family who in turn celebrate Japan taking to the air. That's the crown prince or soon to be emperor Taisho and his family, presumably his oldest child, Hirohito.
These hikifuda - small posters or handbills - were usually produced with the text panel blank. The customer, usually a retailer, had their own details over printed, so the same image might sell fine silk or soy sauce.


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Hikifuda. 後藤商會 [Goto Shokai]. n.p. [c1900] 26x38cm colour woodcut. Small knick from a top corner; a nice copy. Au$135

Bustling modern Japan is celebrated in this advertisement for the Japanese and western liquor merchants Goto Shokai. I presume it's the trademarks of the brands they handle that are displayed.
These hikifuda - small posters or handbills - were usually produced with the text panel blank. The customer, usually a retailer, had their own details over printed, so the same image might sell fine silk or soy sauce.


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PEIRCE, Benjamin. Ideality and the Physical Sciences. Boston, Little Brown 1881. Octavo publisher's cloth; 211pp, portrait. With Joseph Gleason's bookplate; so, a small number on the back of the title and label removed from rear endpaper; still a rather good copy. Au$50

Six lectures delivered in 1879 and just about Peirce's last work. Three he prepared for publication but the others he preferred to keep until he'd "worked out more fully the form of the meteoric theory .. and its relation to the nebular theory." (preface). His son has prepared them for publication and added an appendix.


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Hikifuda. Hiranoya Sakichi, Osaka. 諸国蒸気船出帆 ... 蒸気金毘羅出船所 ... 御定宿平野屋佐吉 [Shokoku Jokisen Shuppan ... Joku Konpira Shussenjo ... Gojoyado Hiranoya Sakichi]. Osaka, Hiranoya Sakichi [c1860-70?]. Woodcut with red touches 32x11cm; printed on both sides. Old folds, very decent. sold

The Sakaisuji hotel Hiranoya was a major stop in Osaka and starting point for tourists heading off across and around the Inland Sea, particularly the Konpira - god of merchant seamen - pilgrimage to Kotohira. All made possible by the latest technology as shown with this dashing paddle steamer flying the Hiranoya flag.
Hiranoya Sakichi was presumably a part of the main Hiranoya family, a dynasty of Osaka money lenders and merchants which established a Sakaisuji branch in 1748. I have seen a few Hiranoya hikifuda of the Meiji period, all a lot more sophisticated than this.
On the back is a fairly crudely printed route map.


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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 a 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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