Outdoor advertising. Griffin Shave & Co. Suggested Display of 24/sheet (20'x10') Posters in Prominent Positions on Victorian Railways Suburban Stations ... n.p. [before 1935?]. 18x23cm hand lettered card album; 16pp inluding cover with 12 mounted photographs, each identified on the mount. On the front cover is written "L.V. Bartlett Esq." - probably the compiler. Au$950

Outdoor advertising, the giant billboard posters, of the golden age are not well documented in Australia; the literature is almost non-existent. Hollander & Govett published a fabulous album of their work in about 1905 (anyone got one for sale?) and there's ... nothing much else. Griffin Shave here draw attention to their own clients with red arrows - Rinso and Robur Tea mostly - but we do get to see the landscape of the railway station when they were lined with such billboards. Much like the rest of the landscape.
Griffin Shave was founded in 1920 and George Patterson bought out the "virtually bankrupt" (ADB) company in 1934 and renamed it - George Patterson Pty Ltd oddly enough. L.V. Bartlett was the account manager for A.N. White in 1930 when they stole Tooth's from Griffin Shave but they too were soon sacked. Bartlett had his own agency by the mid thirties so, as I doubt an advertising man would be swayed by an album like this, I presume he was with Griffin Shave in between.


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CLARKE, Marcus. Sensational Tales ... published by permission of the author's widow. Adelaide, Wigg 1886. Octavo later but old plain wrapper with the original printed wrappers inside; [8],92pp and four pages of adverts at the front and the back. Front wrapper smudged and an old short repair to the back wrapper; signs of use but a pretty good copy. Au$500

First edition, Adelaide issue, of this posthumous collection. The book was issued with the imprint of publishers in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart and Brisbane but they are all the same printing.
'The Island of Gold - New Guinea' is, as you might expect, a tale in which white men out to loot savage gold meet a mighty empire set in an inland sea that owes more to Aztecs than to the Pacific or Asia. 'The Mind-Reader's Curse' takes us back to the early days of Sydney and the fooolish youth who begs the mysterious Dr Zauberracher for the power to read minds. 'The Dual Existence' is a tale of murder and out of body second sight and the last story, 'The Mysterious Coincidence' (a retitled 'Human Repetends') has another murder with the main actors all doubles of people 400 years dead.


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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? Human astronauts occupy four floors toward the tail. 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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Catalogue - printed photograph mounts. Asanuma Shokai. 写真台紙定価表 [Shashin Daishi Teika-hyo]. n.p. Asanuma Shokai 1903 (Meiji 36). 18x23cm publisher's decorated wrapper; [8]pp and 12 pages of illustrated examples in various monochromes. A nice copy. Au$500

A mountain of printed and most decorative mounts for studio photographs were produced but this is the first catalogue of them I've seen. Most of these appear to be actual examples produced for photographers in Japan, Hong Kong, China and maybe Manchuria - judging by the Russian type. As an example of maybe a dim corner of photographic history - I don't know enough to judge - this is pretty good, but as an example of a dark corner of graphic design and commercial printing this is fabulous.
The last plate is an array of decorative borders.


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Ban Genpai. 画引新撰 : 改正商売往来 [Kakubiki Shinsen : Kaisei Shobai Orai]. Osaka, Akashi 1883 (Meiji 16). 12x9cm publisher's textured wrapper; 36 leaves engraved throughout, double page title spread, two double page and one single views, small illustrations throughout, all coloured. Minor signs of use; rather good. Au$400

This revised business guide is a nifty little book. There were many versions and reiterations of such books over two hundred years and you will find a few books with much the same title come the Meiji restoration. Don't be fooled, most of these are dull affairs. The views at each end are of named expos and trade fairs.
As a small exhibition of these books in Osaka in 2006 pointed out in an understandably chauvinistic way, the Shobai Orai (business practice) can be said to be the origin of the modern Japanese businessman. This is not necessarily a compliment. Worldcat finds no copies outside Japan.


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Ruiko Kuroiwa (translator). 心と心 [Kokoro to Kokoro]. Tokyo, Fusodo 1899 (Meiji 32). 23x15cm publisher's colour woodcut illustrated wrapper, thread tied; folding colour woodcut (kuchi-e) frontispiece by Tomioka Eisen. A sparkling copy. Au$300

Second edition? first printed a few months earlier. Berkeley (the only copy located by Worldcat) tells us this a translation of an unidentified English novel but NDL classifies it as French literature. In either case it is an exceptional survival of a type of higher class popular literature embellished with distinctive folding kuchi-e prints that became popular at the end of the 19th century. A lot of good artists did them.
Ruiko was busy. Apart from journalism, running newspapers and writing what might be the first modern Japanese detective novel he published a squillion translations or adaptations of novels by authors like Jules Verne, Gaboriau, Hugh Conway, Anna Katherine Green, Marie Corelli, A.M. Williamson, George Griffith and H.G. Wells.
A vanishing species, these books: print dealers have been dismembering them by the thousand for some time now.


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Kawaraban. 北亞墨利加之部 .... [Kita Amerika Nobe? ...] n.p. [mid 19th century?]. Woodcut broadside 33x48cm (originally two sheets?), with five illustrations printed in black, blue and brown. Sometime expertly laid down and since insect chewed. Au$300

Fairly deluxe for a kawaraban, having printed colours and fancy borders, this is a handy guide to the pesky foreigners who were beginning to swarm around Japan like jackals around a small but plump antelope. This is near classy enough to be one of the cheap souvenir prints produced by publishers like Bunkindo of Nagasaki who had a good trade selling pictures of things foreign to Japanese tourists. Usually, though, they carry the Bunkindo seal.
Kawarabans were illicit illustrated 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.


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Simon, Jaakow. Lastträger Bin Ich. Berlin, Kedem 1936. Octavo publisher's cloth backed colour illustrated boards; 92pp, b/w illustrations. Some spotting or browning but pretty good. Bookseller's label of Berlin publishers and sellers Poppelauer. Some of Poppelauer's heirs managed to escape in 1938 while others died in the camps. And with a discrete stamp on the back of the title showing it was part of the keen Zionist Rabbi Falk's collection that went to Sydney's Great Synagogue - now dispersed. Au$200

A collection of children's stories about the new Palestine for up and coming young German Zionists. As an illiterate I'm baffled by the ragged young porter inspiring any child to move to Palestine but ... what do I know? Maybe it looked pretty good to a Jewish kid in Berlin in 1936.
Simon may be better known as Ja'akow Shimoni, a bigwig in Israeli foreign affairs in the early years of the state but is nowhere near as well known as Ya'akow Shimoni, the strident Zionist rapper.


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Hikifuda. Nakayama. Club Washing Powder ... highly perfumed by violet essence, white rose, musk and Jockey Club Essence ... n.p. [Kobe?], Nakayama Taiyodo [1906?]. Broadside 35x34cm printed rainbow in red, green and purple on crepe (chirimen). Old folds, a couple of small holes in a fold, pretty good. Au$150

What the hell is Jockey Club Essence? Never mind. Fin-de-siecle belles printed in rainbow on crepe; what more could you ask for? Nakayama founded his cosmetics company in Kobe in 1903, changed the name to Club in 1905 and launched Club Washing Powder in 1906. It became Club Cream in 1911. This hikifuda matches the Nakayama advertising of 1906 on the company's website. The trademark twins are apparently a portrait of Namiko, wife of Maeda Toshinari.
By 1939 Nakayama was a member of the house of peers or lords and is now the hero of a recent novel; the title translates as "King of Cosmetics".
Look out for the Takarazuka Revue musical and the mini-series.


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Yamada Kyotaro. 西洋奇術 : 実地応用 : 妙奇大全 [Seiyo Kijutsu : Jitchi Oyo : Myo Ki Taizen] Tokyo, Ishizaki Yasuzo 1897 (Meiji 30). 18x13cm publisher's illustrated wrapper; [2]22pp, b/w illustrations throughout. Signs of use but quite good. Au$250

This handbook of western magic seems to be a new edition or reworking with new title of a book first published in 1894. Worldcat finds the NDL entry for that but I find no record of this anywhere.


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Hikifuda. Chairs. Yoshida Yakichi. 椅子製造人 [Isu Seizojin]. Morioka (Iwate) 1891 (Meiji 24). Letterpress broadside 24x33cm; five chairs and a stool illustrated. Top corners repaired - I suspect it was in an album, mildly stained; pretty good. Au$375

Advertising handbill for Yoshida Yakichi, a furniture, or at least chair, maker in Morioka - in northern Honshu.
Maruya opened probably the first western furniture shop in Japan in the Ginza in 1872, probably selling imports to begin with. How quickly western furniture making for a Japanese market followed I don't know. The wealthy who wanted at least one western room to show off their modernity would likewise want to show off fine imported pieces. I'm sure there is a learned paper somewhere on western furniture making in c19th provincial Japan. If there isn't, here's a good place to start.


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IRVINE R.F. Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Question of the Housing of Workmen in Europe and America. Sydney, Govt printer 1913. Foolscap folio printed boards with cloth spine (spine titled by hand); [10],132pp, photo and other illustrations, plans (five folding). Small stamp on cover and title, a couple of minor flaws; still an excellent, fresh copy. Au$800

One of the essential planning documents from the first period - the golden age - of modern town planning. And rare. A quick glance at Worldcat suggests that this is well represented in libraries around the world, until you weed out the electronic version.
The slums of Sydney: descriptions, observations and alternatives: municipal and association housing, tenements, the garden city, and the necessity for town planning. The details and examples are extensive, his recommendations clear and concise.
Professor Irvine's report on Dacey Garden Suburb quietly mentions that the scheme actually originated with Dacey's predecessor Carmichael.


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Aviation paper game. Paris - Madagascar [Les Deux Raids Magnifique de l'Avion "Alsa" on the back]. n.p. Alsa [c1931]. Colour lithograph 36x27cm. text on the back in red and blue. Old folds, pretty good. Au$150

Two heroic record breaking flights - Paris-Tokyo and back and Paris-Madagascar and back, both in 1931 - were made to honour Alsa biscuits, cakes and baking powder.


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TREVENA, John [Ernest George Henham]. The Reign of the Saints. London, Alston Rivers 1911. Octavo publisher's red cloth. A few spots on page edges, an outstanding, fresh and bright copy. Au$275

First (only?) edition of this account of the dystopian future which, let me tell you, takes a shot gun to just about everything you might hold dear. Races other than white, women, democracy, all are threats. In two or three hundred years, "Asiatics" and "niggers" have overrun the western world and it was largely the fault of women. What parts of Britain and its former colonies that are not owned by the Japanese are ruled by women. This I learnt in the first few pages. At this point I wondered if this is a parody.


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Hikifuda. Biscuits. Fugetsudo. 乾蒸餅製造之要趣 [Inui Mushimochi Seizo no Yo Omomuki?]. Tokyo, Fugetsudo [189-?]. Lithograph broadside 27x39cm; with red and dull gold overprinting. Old folds, rather good. Au$150

A dignified advertisement for Fugetsudo's western style biscuits delivered with the authority of what seems to be a barrage of gold medals and a view of their modern factory at work. The only date I can find is the first year of Meiji (1867) which is obviously historical. Today there are a few Fugetsudos, none of which seem to acknowledge the others but still trace their roots to the 18th century and their modern history from the great expansion and modernisation in the Meiji period. All make a speciality of Gaufres or Gaufrettes.


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Shimizu Usaburo. 西洋烟火之法 [Seiyo Hanabi No Ho]. Tokyo, Mizuhoya 1881 (Meiji 14). Octavo publisher's decorated cloth; [4],112,[2]pp, small illustrations through the text. Endpapers and title browned, minor signs of use; rather good. Au$500

A scarce, properly scarce in one piece, work on western fireworks. There are almost no published manuals of Japanese fireworks before the 20th century. Risho published a small book in 1825 and that is properly rare. Such information was occult knowledge, circulated in manuscript and passed from master to apprentice
Shimizu is called translator - and he was a translator of western books - but I can't find out who and what he has translated here. The faint large red stamp on the title is a publisher's or bookseller's stamp.


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Fireworks. 花火仕様覚帳 [Hanabi Shiyo Obeocho]. n.p. 1763 (Horeki 12). Manuscript in ink 25x17cm; 18 leaves including covers. Quite savagely wormed but all but a few characters are legible. Au$90

Fireworks specifications. There are almost no published manuals of Japanese fireworks before the 20th century. Risho published a small book in 1825 and that is rare. Such information was occult knowledge, circulated in manuscript and passed from master to apprentice. I can't claim any expertise but having now seen a few 18th and 19th century fireworks manuscripts I am yet to see a second copy of any. It makes sense that every maker had their own method and styles and most every manuscript was peculiar to that.


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EVANS, F.J. [Frederick John]. Description of the Beckton Gas-Works; with selections from the working dawings. London, King 1871. Slender small folio (33x25cm) publisher's decorated cloth (spine surface insect chewed); 16pp and 17 lithograph plates (13 double page) numbered to 12 with some bis. A few small bug holes drilled through and minor browning and signs of use but still a most satisfactory copy. Inscribed "With F.J. Evans Compts". Au$1500

A most uncommon book, this. Worldcat finds three copies, all in North America, and dips into what used to be Copac and specialist libraries find no more. More importantly, I've never seen it before. Beckton was the monster London gas-works that operated for a bit over a century from 1870 and Evans was the designer and supervising engineer. One of Evans' supervising engineers and a successor as Chief-Engineer was George Careless Trewby who didn't seem to make any effort to hide his name from his colleagues.


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Exhibition - Tokyo 東京博覧会第一会場第二会場夜の美観 [Tokyo Hakurankai Dai Ichi Kaijo Dai Ni Kaijo Bayoru No Bikan]. Tokyo, Urashimado? 1928 (Showa 3). Colour lithograph 37x78cm. Creased and crumpled but still worthwhile. Au$150

This is the Dairei Memorial Expo of 1928 - held to celebrate the coronation of Hirohito - by night. This is how the world looked when I was a child. Trying to recover this vision with varied hallucinogens and psychotropics only works for so long so it's good to have a permanent souvenir.


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Hikifuda specimen book. 引札見本帖 [Hikifuda Mihon Jo]. Osaka c1902. 25x37cm original string tied wrappers, title label; 60 colour lithographs. Some minor signs of use, stains and blotches; a remarkably good copy. Au$5100

Now this is rare. Specimen hikifuda do float around but this is because busy fingers have dismembered every sample book they can find. I knew they once existed because I've had a few individuals, each time noting the stab holes in the margin with some indignant grief. This is complete as issued.
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. The colophons that have survived the trimmer in this book date between 1899 and 1902. Each hikifuda is numbered on the back but not in any sequence. I haven't deciphered a printer's name in the colophons but I'm sure someone literate can.
From what I can see, if you wanted fine, delicate printing you went to Kyoto; if you wanted commercial publishing on a huge scale you went to Tokyo; and if you wanted brash, vivid to the point of lurid, advertising you went to Osaka. I hope other printer's albums of Osaka advertising art have and will survive the breakers but I won't be holding my breath for the next one.
The splendidly flamboyant and assertive modern young woman in stripes toward the end of the album is unlike any other I've seen from this period. A special copy (on heavier paper) of that was my first hikifuda purchase and is still my favourite. And since this album has just doubled the number I've handled, that's saying something.
Another shows a hardworking young couple with the main caption 'Shiobara Tasuke' - who was a rags to riches merchant of the 18th and early 19th century. This makes sense but doesn't explain why the cheerful young woman is about to blithely put a cleaver through her kimono while the falcon and the naval artist does explain why Japan has such a tradition of impossible bird's-eye views. There's fun and stuff to learn here.


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MACKAY, Kenneth. The Yellow Wave. A romance of the Asiatic invasion of Australia. London, Bentley 1895. Octavo contemporary half roan (a repair to the back hinge); folding map and six plates by Frank P. Mahony (two form one view in two panels). A few minor signs of use but a pretty good copy. Au$750

First edition, the same sheets were re-issued a couple of years later as an 'Australian Edition', either form is hard to find. This is by no means the first invasion of Australia novel - an earlier generation's fear of the Russians had produced at least two, and Robert Potter had, in The Germ Growers (1892), written what was possibly the first ever alien invasion novel - but it is early for the Yellow Peril.
The Japanese defeat of Russia a decade later sparked a number of invasion novels but the rabidity of the White Australia movement had produced little more than inflamatory articles and cartoons until this. The Russians are not forgotten - they figure at the centre - but it is the Mongol horde that will (the book is set sixty years into the future) sweep down through Queensland using the land grant railways. This is a long and complicated novel, as much a romance as political hobbyhorse.
Mackay was a politician who had published some outback fiction and horsey verse to a good reception (when was the last time you saw poetry reviewed in newspaper sporting pages? - quoted at the end of this book); here he happily mixes in society life, horse racing and a tragic love affair.


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Fire sugoroku. 火防宣伝壽語録 [Hifuse Senden Kotobuki Goroku]. Nagano Prefecture, Hofukujimachi Shobo-gumi 1926 (Taisho 15). Colour broadside 80x55cm. A rather good copy with its original illustrated outer wrapper. Au$750

A thrilling, vivid and rare game, bristling with peril and disaster, issued by the Hofukujimachi fire fighting department. I have seen a ragged copy of this for sale once but I haven't found a record of another copy anywhere.


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Exhibition - Melbourne 1880. Melbourne International Exhibition, 1880. The Official Catalogue of the Exhibits, with introductory notices of the countries exhibiting. Melbourne, Mason Firth &c 1880. Two volumes bound together in contemporary half red gilt calf (edges a bit rubbed or scuffed); xvi,308;xvi,364pp, folding plan and some illustrations in the text. An attractive copy. Au$600

Second and better edition - late arrivals missed by the first edition have been included and "considerable improvements" and "extended notices" have been incorporated. So it is now "a complete record of the numerous exhibits".


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Town Planning - Suva. Greater Suva Urban Structure Plan December 1975. Suva, Director of Town & Country Planning 1975. 21x30cm publisher's printed wrapper; iv,115pp and 28 plans. Au$150

A substantial professional working document that grapples with the problems of an unbridled city sprawling outwards too fast. Predictions about the future population weren't far wrong. Much of what is in here are still the problems current planners would like to solve; in much the same way from what I can see. One curious thing I noticed is that Fiji is still called 'the Dominion' - this five years after independence.
This is an inhouse production, I'd say a determined display of the expertise of a department based on the British model, unequivocally anonymous throughout. Any reports by hired consultants, and there have been some since, never appear unbranded.
Trove and Worldcat find only the National Library copy.


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Uryu Masakazu & Hashimoto Sadahide 西洋新書 [Seiyo Shinsho]. Tokyo, Yamatoyo Kihei (Eto Kihei for volumes 6 & 7) 1872 -75 (Meiji 5 to 8). 23x15cm, 7 volumes in 14 parts publisher's wrappers with printed labels (recently restitched); seven double page colour maps, a folding plan, a folding plate, two double page and some 174 other illustrations (most half page) by Sadahide. Some surface nibbling of part covers toward the outside of the bundle; a rather good set. Au$3500

A complete set, which is rare, of this expansive gathering of news from the west. The title is well represented in libraries but I could not find a complete set anywhere outside Japan. Few libraries get close. Even the electronic version held by many seems to be incomplete.
I can't work out the organisation of this but, roughly, the first half of the work is devoted to the United States and Mexico before moving on to Europe. A lot is military with much on the civil war, pretty up to date and natural enough for a country just emerged from their own civil war and having to face and deal with the threat of the west. The plan of Paris is dated 1867 which together with the folding plate of Paris vignettes is from material presumably collected at the Exposition.
Sadahide is not so well served by his block cutters as he was with his masterpiece books like the views of Yokohama life and Meriken Shinshi but there is plenty of charm and characteristic sharp-eyed fluid precision. He was, after all, getting on and was dead before the sixth and seventh volumes appeared so he may not have had much to say about it.


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Public health, quarantine & sanitation. A collection of sixteen reports on vaccination, quarantine, disease and sanitation in Sydney. Sydney, Govt printer 1881-84. Foolscap, together in modern cloth. Signs of use, a few short tears, a couple of plans with repairs, minor but for the plan of the Little Bay Sanatorium (with report 12 - a revised version of that with report 6) which is in pieces but all there. Au$950

A modern binding but not a modern gathering: there is a contemporary handwritten list of contents at the front. This has every sign of being compiled by a body like the Board of Health. The Report of the Board on the small-pox epidemic has been extensively marked up and corrected by hand. Each of these is worth its own long maundering note, but.
All these papers come in some way out of the small-pox outbreak of 1881-82 and you may not be surprised that it become political real fast. It was a debacle. First among the blameworthy were the Chinese, blamed for introducing the disease, then rightly came the officials, disorganisation, unreadiness and general incompetence top to bottom. The vaccination paper records the lengthy opinions of fifteen esteemed medicos and largely concerns small-pox - still the only vaccination there was. All but John Le Gay Brereton were in favour. He regarded vaccination an evil worse than disease.
Sixteen pages on schools versus 66 pages on wood pavements may seem unbalanced until you read the board's report and the evidence and realise that given how many roads were paved with wood it's a wonder that anyone was alive - not swept away by yellow fever. Thank heaven for Australian hardwoods. The Fijian representative to the 1884 conference couldn't make it - the steamer bringing the invitation was placed in quarantine.
(1) Compulsory Vaccination. Opinions of ... ; 55pp;
(2) Report of the Royal Commission ... upon the management of the Quarantine Station, North Head, and the Hulk "Faraway"; (xiv),118pp;
(3) Second Report ... Quarantine Station ... ; 13pp and folding plan;
(4) Instructions to the Assistant Health Officer, stationed at Watson's Bay. 3pp;
(5) Quarantine Station, North Head. (Report of Health Officer upon state and conditions ... ; 14pp and five plans, three folding;
(6) Report of the Board of Health Upon the Late Epidemic of Small Pox, 1881-1882; 20pp and two large folding plans;
(7) Quarantining of Steamship "Gunga"; 52pp;
(8) Quarantine of Mail-Steamer "Rome" (Correspondence); 8pp;
(9) Board of Health (Attendance of Members of, and Subjects ... ; 2pp;
(10) Mortality on Board Immigrant Ships. (Report by Medical Officer ...); 2pp;
(11) Management of the Sydney Hospital (Report of Committee of Inquiry into Certain Complaints); 27pp;
(12) Hospital Accomodation and Position for the City of Sydney; 10pp and large folding plan;
(13) Report of Dr. Clark on the Sanitary Condition of the Public Schools in the City of Sydney, and Suburbs; 16pp;
(14) Wood Pavement Board. Report, minutes of proceedings, and appendix; 66pp;
(15) The Australasian Sanitary Conference of Sydney ... 1884. Report, minutes of proceedings, and appendix. 70pp and five large folding maps and plans;
(16) Ad Interim Report Upon Recent Cases of Small-Pox. 6pp.


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Kameda Yoshiro (or Kichirobei). 和洋建築新雛形 [Wayo Kenchiku Shin Hinagata]. Osaka, Seikado 1907 (Meiji 40). Six volumes 22x15cm, publisher's wrappers with title labels; illustrated throughout with plans, elevations, measured drawings etc. Mild browning or spotting, a pretty good set. Au$850

I'm not sure whether this should be described as Japanese principles applied to western design or the other way round. I think both, if it matters. An excellent builder's pattern book that was certainly put to wide use.
There is a 2008 learned paper by Yanigasawa and Mizoguchi that shows how Kameda introduced Japanese carpentry and the modular system into western design but all except the precis of their paper is in Japanese so I have no idea how they go about proving their point. They do tell us that Kameda was a master carpenter in Fukuoka.


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COMBES, Edward. Report on the Lighting, Heating, and Ventilation of School Buildings in Great Britain, the continent of Europe, and America ... Sydney, Govt Printer 1880. Foolscap folio, extracted from a binding; [8],264pp, numerous plans, elevations, diagrams (four folding). Au$750

There is a literature of architecture in c19th Australia but not much of it and none of it is easy to find. Following much technical detail there are reports on particular schools in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Philadelphia ... correspondence on the formation of a Technological Museum in Sydney with reports from the South Kensington Museum, the Imperial Technical School of Moscow ...
We finish with Appendix Z: plans and specifications of four schools for between 70 and 200 children.


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Bridges. Portland Cement Association. Architectural Design of Concrete Bridges. Concrete for permanence. Chicago, Portland Cement [1937]. Oblong quarto publisher's printed wrapper; 36pp, photo and other illustrations throughout. Au$60

'Fundamental principles', that is the rules of design - appearance as separate from structure - are succinctly set out and illustrated by recent modern and moderne bridges. Mistakes are shown and corrected in diagrams.


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Sugoroku. Kawabata Ryushi & Hoshino Suiri. 買い物双六 [Kaimono Sugoroku]. Tokyo, 1914 (Taisho 3). Colour printed broadside 79x55cm. A couple of pin holes; a nice copy. Au$750

The New Year gift from the magazine Shojo no Tomo - the Girl's Friend. Shopping and fun, fun and shopping, indivisible here as it should be. There is a zen-like approach to this. The goal is the top balcony where the winner can gaze with calm detachment back and down on the world of the great department store. Only by immersing yourself in the experience can you come to comprehend. As the master who gave me the only coherent account of zen I ever heard said, as he bit the top off the eleventieth bottle of beer, "When you're drinking you're only drinking."
Kawabata's career took a curious turn during a 1913 stay in America to study western painting. Apparently he was so impressed with the Japanese art he saw in Boston he switched to being a Nihonga painter. Still, he remained being an illustrator for magazines for quite some time. As did most of the early to mid 20th century artists now revered


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PLEASONTON, Gen. A.J. The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky, in developing animal and vegetable life, in arresting disease, and in restoring health ... Philadelphia, Claxton, Remsen &c 1876. Octavo publisher's blue cloth blocked in gilt and blind; iv,38,185pp, frontispiece printed in blue and black and a couple of illustrations through the text (which is blue). An outstanding copy. Au$350

Pleasonton won his way from Captain to Brigadier-General during the Civil War but I gather from his multitude of unadmirers it was not due to heroism or competency in the field. Still he was not satisfied and resigned from the army in a huff. In the meantime he had decided to apply his scientific bent to agriculture and built a glass-house paned with blue glass panels to "test the chemical power of the solar ray" with wondrous results. He extended his experiments to husbandry and before long blue light was curing ailments and saving the lives of both animals and humans.
The craze made it into song in 1877 with The Blue Glass Galop, The Blue Glass Scottische and maybe others. Pleasonton published his first lecture in 1871 and this 1876 book seems to be the definitive collection of lectures, letters and writings.
His experiments are now not so easy to read - to alleviate the glare caused by black print on white paper under gaslight this is printed in blue on tinted paper. I have seen a couple of American books of the period printed in a similar manner and had presumed that it was just an unfortunate aesthetic choice. Now I know it was progress at work.


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NORITANE, Ninagawa. 観古図說 [Kanko Zusetsu]. Kwan Ko Dzu Setsu. Notice historique et descriptive sur les arts et industries Japonais ... art ceramique. Tokyo 1876-77. Five volumes oblong folio wrappers, 27x39cm, with printed labels; between 5 and 11 leaves of Japanese text in each and 90 handcoloured litho plates (actually 89 - there are 18 in each part but 15a in the first is a half plate in monochrome). With the five booklets (approx 27x24cm with small variations) containing the French text published in Tokyo 1876-78. A bit of nibbling to the first folio label and a small stain which touches the margins of the introductory text leaves but vanishes by the first plate; a rather good set in the publisher's portfolio (this worn but solid). Au$1750

A most appealing hybrid, this records Japanese pottery apparently in chronological order from ancient times on, illustrated with quite exquisite lithography and produced with a foreign audience in mind. Noritane was a founder of the Tokyo Museum and apparently taught Edward S. Morse everything Morse knew about Japanese ceramics. Noritane did plan to extend this series - plates had been prepared for a section on roofing tiles and another on armour - but his death in 1882 put an end to it. Most of the items illustrated here ended up in the Morse collection.
In the end I wonder if this is the most elaborate trade catalogue of 19th century Japan. Nothing sells art like a sumptuous monograph to wield as reference and a banner of importance.


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