These books haven't necessarily been uploaded to antiqbook yet. So, if you order through antiqbook and get a message claiming the book has been sold, email in case that isn't true.


TILTMAN, Ronald F. Television for the Home. The Wonders of "Seeing by Wireless". London, Hutchinson [1927]. Octavo publisher's reptile pattern boards and dustwrapper (price marked out and some spots on the spine and a few small chips from this); xix106pp, eight photo plates. A little browning, rather good. Au$500

First edition of maybe not the very first book on television but what must be the first television book in a crocodile skin cover. It came out within months of Baird successfully cracking the problem that a lot of scientists had been working on without result. Once that was out of the way the experts could get on with the important stuff: early in 1927 Professor D'Albe proposed a Ministry of Broadcasting to take "responsibility in matters of pronunciation, voice production, education, acoustics, music, drama, and illumination."
Tiltman became Baird's biographer but the portrait of them together is a study in lack of interest if not antipathy.


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Griffin in Manchuria

City Planning. Xinjing or Shinkyo (Changchun) - Manchukuo. 國都新京建設の全貌 [Kokuto Shinkyo Kensetsu no Zenbo]. Shinkyo, Manshukoku Kokumuin Kokuto Kensetsukyoku 1936. Colour printed sheet 54x78cm with colour bird's eye view and panorama on one side; colour plan, smaller b/w photo illustrations and text on the other. Folded as issue, a small knick in a margin, minor signs of use. Au$750

In many ways the new capital of Manchukuo was - is - a planner's dream. Here was an empire building militaristic government wanting to both experiment with all that had been learned about city planning and show the west that not only could they do it, but do it better.
Changchun, a hybrid Chinese-Russian-Japanese railway town, was appointed the new capital, it was renamed, a five year plan for a new city was drawn up under the guidance of Professor Riki (or Toshikata) Sano in 1932, a quick compromise with a competing plan was made, and building was underway in early 1933. Local interests (ie the Chinese and Manchu population) and business were allowed notional input but the brief was clear: social theory, technology and architecture that made for an efficient colonial capital could be put into place, local self-interest could not. Of course it was not so simple.
This was to be a pan-Asian showcase, superior to western, especially colonial western, models - not equal. Confucianism, traditional ritual and Asian racial harmony were to be a central part of the city. What more could any urbanist ask for?
Students of the plan might like to start with Yishi Liu's 2011 doctoral thesis, 'Competing Visions of the Modern;' where Griffin's Canberra plan and Griffin's diagrams for road classification are illustrated beside Xinjing's. By 1936 a lot was still dust and open space but, by the gods, whatever else they learnt from Burley Griffin's Canberra - and it was a lot - about planning a city, they certainly learnt how not to build a city.


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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. Au$600

I believe this to be the complete set of variant covers. I've been gathering these for about ten years and have not seen anything different for a few years now. Logically there should be an un-orange version of the one bottom left but I haven't seen it.
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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Takizawa Kuniyuki. 染織図案 邦行作品選集 [Senshoku Zuan - Kuniyuki Sakuhin Senshu]. Tokyo, Takizawa Kuniyuki 1933 (Showa 8). Folio (47x32cm) publisher's folding case with printed label; three leaves of text mounted inside the front cover and on a hinged board; 50 heavy sheets, loose as issued, with 200 mounted designs. Each sheet with the artist's blindstamp and each with a glassine overlay. A bit of insect nibbling and marking of the case, minor signs of use.
The printed colophon slip pasted inside the back board tells us this album was hibaihin: not for sale. I think there is another slip underneath this but I'm not going to pick at it. Au$6,000

How many copies of this monumental textile design album did Takizawa produce? How many could he produce? I'm still flummoxed by how it was done and the amount of work involved. I first assumed that Takizawa must have built and painted large sheets and then cut them up. He probably did but on at least one extravagantly textured design the surface extends a fraction beyond the paper - it can't have been cut up afterwards.
Takizawa experimented with all sorts of techniques including layering paper: some designs have paint, threads or cords covered with textured tissues. How much of the texture could have been applied with some sort of stencil I don't know but the amount of work in creating each of the 200 designs bewilders me.
It occurred to me that there is a lot of blank space in this album and of course that's intentional. Most design albums cram designs together and we are dazzled by colour and movement. In the best of them the complete plate, not each part, is the design. Takizawa has made sure that each design, large or small, is to be examined for itself. Whether or not each design works is up to us and we won't be distracted by the salon clutter style of presentation.
These are called textile designs and that's obvious with many but like every good designer Takizawa has let himself run free just for the hell of it. And then he has gone a step further: a lot of these are paintings in themselves, abstract expressionist if you like - or call it something else if you don't.
Takizawa's short preface is typeset and, from what I can figure out, talks about colour and soul and spirit rather than technique. The other two, by luminaries Wada Sanzo and Sasagawa Rinpu are reproduced from their manuscript drafts, corrections, scribbles and all. Sasagawa was at this time maybe Japan's most respected literary critic and ukiyo-e expert but he destroyed his career the next year by foolishly backing two new discoveries that turned out to be fakes. I gather no expert has taken a risk since then.
Takizawa was best known as a flower painter. He won imperial approval in the late twenties which suggests to me that his work was not so radical. This album is so singular, so unlike anything else I've seen of the period there is no point in talking about radical. It was another generation before we see anything like this in terms of colour and expression and it took new technologies in polymers and acrylics before artists did anything like this with book production. So how many copies? And how different is each one? I don't know, I can't find any record of another copy.


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HUME, Fergus. The Millionaire Mystery. London, Chatto & Windus 1901. Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in black and gilt (some marks and signs of use). Inside a surprisingly clean bright copy. sold

First edition. Here our expectations are baffled: instead of being murdered by the end of chapter one the millionaire is already dead before the book begins. But his corpse is snatched by the end of chapter one.


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見えざる手 - The Invisible Hand [Miezaru Te]. Tokyo, Shunkodo 1921 (Taisho 10). Octavo publisher's colour colour illustrated wrapper; four photo illustrations on two plates. Stab holes indicating this had been in some outer binding; natural browning of the paper; an outstanding copy. Au$400

A pulpish film edition in Japanese translation of the 1920 Vitagraph serial thriller The Invisible Hand starring the then Latin idol Antonio Moreno. The serial was not, despite what some authorities will tell you, a western. The film itself is lost and from what I can figure out not much more than production credits and a list of chapter headings survives in English. This book is near as lost, I can't find any record of another copy.


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百万弗の懸賞 $100000 Reward [Hyakumandoru no Kensho]. Tokyo, Shunkodo 1920 (Taisho 1920). Octavo publisher's illustrated wrapper printed in red and black and colour illustrated dustwrapper (the spine of this insect nibbled); two photo plates and illustrated title. Stab holes indicating this had been in some outer binding; natural browning of the paper; an outstanding copy. An owner's seal and brushed inscription inside the front cover and on the back cover suggests this is some kind of file copy. Au$475

A pulpish film edition in Japanese translation of the 1920 serial thriller $1,000,000 Reward starring Lillian Walker. The film itself is lost and from what I can figure out not much more than production credits and a partial list of chapter headings survives in English. This book is near as lost, I can't find only one record of another copy - not in a library.


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RADCLIFFE, Ann. The Italian, or, The Confessional of the Black Penitents. A romance. Dublin, printed for P. Wogan &c 1797. Two volumes 12mo contemporary sheep (some insect chewing of leather around the spines). Some browning and signs of use but a pleasing enough original copy. Au$850

First Irish edition, hard on the heels of the London edition. Having 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 faced with a slice of nature - I'm unable to face The Italian. The conflicting opinions of it being her both her best and her worst book make it a bit intriguing.


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Hani Motoko. 家庭開運双六 [Katei Kaiun Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Fujin no Tomo 1918 (Taisho 7). Colour broadsheet 55x79cm. A few pinholes, a pretty good copy. Au$375

I can't decipher the artist's name and the few mentions of this game I've found don't help. I suspect it is the work of a triumvirate.
Ostensibly one of many such maps of a woman's life when she behaves as she should: quiet, industrious, obedient and decorative - but this has some strange elements. Among them are the money lender casting the shadow of a pig, disapproval, despair, Noah and his ark, all finishing in a glade swarming with cherubs - or are they putti? Surely cherubs.
Motoko Hani - founder of Fujin no Tomo (Women's Friend) - whose name appears as 'author' of this game - was Christian. She was a feminist, a keen purveyor of home economics and a Christian.


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Kurofune Kawaraban. Perry and the Black Ships in Japan. 蒸気船之圖 [Jokisen no Zu]. n.p. [1853 - 54?]. Woodcut 24x31cm. Folds, minor signs of use, a pretty good copy. Au$750

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 squadron commanded by Perry, in 1853 and 54 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.
This print, though this copy is maybe under-inked, is notable for its convincing detail - convincing, not realistic. I get the sense that someone actually saw a steamship not too far back in the process to finished print. Many of these kawaraban were copied from other kawaraban which in turn were run up cobbling together bits of old 'Dutch' prints and anything with a foreigner in it based on reports of what was going on in Tokyo harbour.
There is another 1853 kawaraban with the same title as this which at first glance is very similar but it is obvious that a Dutch ship two centuries old has had a wheel slapped on the side. Part of the problem in tracing the origins of these prints is that no matter what the ship is and where the ship is, it was long established that a three quarter view from the stern and a couple of small boats in the foreground is the best way to see them. The figure in the corner is still more samurai than US marine.


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Hikifuda. 國産正藍染木綿製造 ... 黒川重兵衛 [Kunisan Shoaizome Momen Seizo ... Kurakawa Jubei]. n.p. [1905]. Colour woodcut 52x36cm. Used, crumpled margins with short nicks and smudging but not too bad. Au$125

What better way to mark the humiliation of Russia than a shopping spree? This hikifuda - a large handbill or small poster - advertises domestic cottons offered by Kurakawa and provides a calendar for 1906.


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Hikifuda. 西陣織 ... [Nishijin-ori ...]. n.p. [1903?]. Colour woodcut 37x26cm. A nice copy. Au$300

I can't work out whether this ballooning extravaganza celebrates the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 or the 1903 Osaka Exhibiton. It's definitely the Osaka complex down there. In any case all hikifuda - handbills or small posters - are all about shopping. Here is advertised Nishijin-ori, traditional woven textiles that are complex, spectacular and expensive.


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LOKERSE, Jan. Londen-Melbourne Race. Haagsche Drukerij, July 13 to November 2, 1934. Seven parts, large octavo publisher's illustrated wrappers; 112pp, photo and line illustrations. Minimal signs of use, a nice set. sold

All published and complete though it ends part way through a sentence. One other copy sighted is identical and the Utrecht University copy is also in seven parts. The hanging sentence at the end comes at the end of a postscript about the town of Albury's generous action in signalling the lost Uiver - the Dutch KLM entry that arrived second and won the race on handicap. Probably a sloppy bit of typesetting and only one line vanished; it's hard to see what else there was to say.


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VIRULY, A. & Han HOLLANDER. Geillustreerd Album ter Herrinering aan de Londen-Melbourne Race. Amsterdam, Vlieger [1934]. Oblong octavo publisher's illustrated wrapper, string tied; 64pp, photo illustrations. Covers somewhat used and grubby, decent enough. Au$65

Commemorative book for the Melbourne Centenary or MacRobertson Air Race. The Dutch KLM plane Uiver arrived second and won on handicap. Trove, backed up by precautionary searches of individual catalogues, finds three copies in Australia and OCLC finds only one outside the Netherlands.


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Catalogue - tiles. 拍木式 . ウォール板 . エムアイ商會 [Haku ki-shiki - Uoruban - MI Shokai?]. Tokyo 1914 (Taisho 3). 15x23cm publisher's decorated wrapper; 12 leaves printed on one side being three pages of text, two photo illustrations, a small colour chart and 18 colour designs on eight leaves, plate of cornice profiles. A nice copy. Au$175

A nifty catalogue of architectural ceramics - tiles, mouldings and cornices - for building exteriors produced by, I think, a manufacturing co-operative.


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Glynn Gilling. THOMPSON, E. Lindsay [ed]. Domestic Architecture in New South Wales, illustrating the work of F. Glynn Gilling. Sydney, Shakespeare Head Press [1951]. Quarto publisher's cloth (bit rubbed and marked); 128pp (pp112-28 are adverts), numerous photo illustrations and plans. A mildly used copy.
Inscribed by Gilling on the front fly: "A limited number of copies of this book were published. This copy is no. 32. F. Glynn Gilling". Au$750

Though never stated as such, this is a privately produced retrospective of Glynn Gilling's work at career's end. It had a small print run and very few copies made it out of the circle of friends and clients. I'm yet to come across a copy numbered past 50.
Smart Double Bay real estate agents used to hound me, fruitlessly, for this book in the days when I was in Double Bay. It illustrates some of the most expensive real estate in Sydney's eastern suburbs and north shore and agents wanted it as a sort of complimentary welcome basket to accompany the sale of a Glynn Gilling house. It struck me then as indicative of its scarcity that so many houses didn't already have their own copy.
Leslie Wilkinson contributed a short preface so tepid that I wonder why it was printed - but I guess any praise from Wilkinson for someone whose work could sometimes be mistaken for his own is a prize.


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DAKE, Charles Romeyn. [spelt 'Romyn' on the title page and 'Romeyn' on the cover which seems to be correct]. A Strange Discovery. NY, Kimball 1899. Octavo publisher's red cloth (spine a bit discoloured and worn at the tips); [4],310pp and three plates, one a map. Au$325

First edition of this Antarctic lost race thriller, an elaborately set up continuation of Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. It includes a photo of Loomis House in Bellevue Illinois, a focal point of the introduction to the story. Bellevue is apparently Belleville, Dake's home where he was a homeopath - as is the character Bainbridge in this book. Dake committed suicide in 1899; ostensibly because he discovered he had cancer, not because his only novel had his name misspelled on the title page.


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Sugiyama Tojiro. 文明之花 [Bunmei no Hana] A Fine Story of Womans Right - the Flower Civilization [sic]. Tokyo, Kin'odo 1887 (Meiji 20). Octavo (19x13cm) publisher's colour illustrated boards and cloth spine; two single page and four double page illustrations. A couple of small insect nibbles in the front hinge, minor signs of use and expected browning of the cheap paper. In all, a near splendid copy. 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 for 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.
This is a 'ball cover' (boru hyoshi) book - I can't find out why they are called that - the Japanese equivalent of a yellowback: flimsy western style bindings with lithograph covers that rarely survive in such good shape. Worldcat finds two locations for this, the National Diet Library and Berkeley.


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ROBERTS, Morley. The Adventure of the Broad Arrow. An Australian romance. London, Hutchinson 1897. Octavo publisher's cloth (cover marked); eight plates by A.D. McCormick. A few spots and minor signs of use; a pretty good copy. Au$450

First edition, colonial issue, of one of the more famous west Australian lost race novels - though lost race is stretching it a bit. The white tribe here is descended from escaped convicts. But they are swimming in gold and there were pygmy cave dwellers.


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NEWLAND, Simpson. Blood Tracks of the Bush. London, Gay & Bird 1900. Octavo publisher's red cloth. Sixteen page publisher's list dated January 1900 at the end. Some light spotting at the beginning; a nice, bright copy. Au$850

First edition. We begin, as we must, on an English country estate with an unscrupulous debt-ridden squire directing his equally unscrupulous son to take his young ward's inheritance, make his fortune in the colonies and save the family home. Scene change to Wilcannia and no-one behaves any better.
It's a well filled novel, plenty of murder and robbery, false identity, a dash of lost race fantasy when the last survivor of the Leichhardt romp is discovered and points our hero west into the setting sun to rediscover, under the snow capped mountain, the mysterious chamber filled with gold, and - most notable - graphic accounts of the massacre of Aborigines foolish enough to cause trouble.
Not much mercy here; I don't think it's giving too much away that the only protaganist left standing at the end of the book is the noble and loyal young ward and she's badly scarred.
Trove locates only two copies of this first edition - the Bell colonial edition is a bit more plentiful - and OCLC and Copac add few copies outside the four British deposit libraries.


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[BRICAIRE DE LA DIXMERIE, Nicolas]. Le Sauvage de Taiti aux Francais; Avec un Envoi au Philosophe Ami des Sauvages. London [ie Paris], chez Le Jay 1770. Octavo, bound after two other works in contemporary marbled calf with alternating green and red labels (a bit rubbed). A pleasing copy. Au$2,850

First edition of this Tahitian incunabulum - the start of Europe's reverie - a series of letters by a Tahitian visitor to Paris. Which means of course that it is a scathing swipe at French society and politics. Paris had been given the once over by a few fictional Persians, Chinese and other exotics but now not only did they have a 'prince' from the just discovered New Eden but he was real: Aotourou, the Tahitian who accompanied Bouganville to Paris with news of paradise on earth. So how could he not pass judgment?
Naturally he chose to do so anonymously and not having more than a few words of French relied on a distinguished man of letters to write them down and fill in the gaps. I must make it clear that Dixmerie uses none of the typical set dressing employed by authors of fictional authors; I'm doing that. He starts with an editor's account of Tahiti that draws from the only published account so far - that of the voyage's naturalist, Commercon, whose report had appeared in the journal Mercure de France in November 1769. Dixmerie was, by the way, a regular contributor to and editor of the Mercure.
Dixmerie says that he could say much more about Tahiti but their Tahitian visitor wants his book to be read and has noticed that the French don't read big books. Dixmerie's Tahitian stops short of fermenting revolution but he is nonetheless a radical in the manner of many pre-revolutionary troublemakers. His views of women are contradictory, or perhaps confused, but still he advocates equality at all levels.
The confusion is understandable. The pre-occupation of the philosophe with the idea of perfect man and that of the rebellious troublemaker with an ideal society not only intersected, they now had the address: Tahiti. The sales rep was in town.
Those who met Aotourou, Dixmerie presumably among them, quickly realised he was no Arcadian but for the rest of France, of Europe, here was ideal man, that is: a man surrounded by amenable young women, nothing much else to do and plenty to eat. In other words the aristocracy. A fair minded egalitarian - a rarer breed than you might think - sees the obligation of including women in this equality business but it's hard when you risk losing that bounty of temporary maidens.


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Kabashima Katsuichi. 火星國探検競争双六 [Kasei Kuni Tanken Kyoso Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Kurabu 1927 (Taisho 16). Colour broadsheet; 79x54cm. On the back is another game in monochrome. A rather good copy. Au$1,000

I declare this the masterpiece of Kabashima - a busy illustrator and cartoonist for a few decades. He may be best known as the creator of the comic or manga series starring Shochan - which looked a lot like Herge before Herge did - or perhaps as the artist of ships and planes in turmoil but this meandering voyage to Mars via Saturn tops them all.
This was the new year gift from the kids' magazine Shonen Kurabu (kids' club) and, being printed well in advance, is dated Taisho 16 rather than Showa 2 - the more proper date for 1927.
The game on the back is the adventures of Yaji and Kita on the Tokaido. It's neither here nor there.


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Bernard's, Melbourne. Bernard's Quality Magic. Melbourne, [c1940?]. Quarto publisher's illustrated wrapper; 40pp, illustrated throughout. An old fold, a couple of small splodges, quite good. sold

Bernard's opened in 1937 and vanished only recently. This, as far as I can see, seems to be their only catalogue.


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Wada Sanzo. 配色総鑑 [Haishoku Sokan]. Tokyo, Hakubisha 1933-34 (Showa 8-9). Six volumes (19x13cm) of plates in publisher's cloth titled in gilt, a 40 page booklet in wrappers and four colour sample plates on two folded cards; all together in publisher's folding case title label. The plate volumes constitute a total of 348 accordian folding card leaves with mounted colour samples arranged in pairs in the first two volumes, trios in the next two and quartets in the last two. The colour samples are all mounted and captioned in Japanese and English. Some browning and creeping dust into the mount edges - most of which can be removed with some patient gentle erasing. Extra complete with an extra card made to be cut up. A set that gathered dust rather than use. sold

First edition of this fabulous grammar of colour - there is a recent pallid reprint - a sophisticated synthesis of western and Japanese theory and usage. Wada's place in Japanese art has been assured since his 1907 prize winning painting Nanpu - which in western terms sits somewhere between Winslow Homer and beefcake pinup, much as Winslow Homer did. But Wada got more interesting as he got older and a return to Japanese painting in the twenties along with his design work and colour research pushed along an increasingly assured generation of artists with a grasp of west and east and an intent of their own. Wada's name might have been unfamilar in the west until recent years but you don't have look far to see his ideas at work, spread by second and third hand borrowings.
Unknown to the unforgivably bad Osborne 'Books on Colour Since 1500'.


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Okamoto Ippei. 主婦之友 漫画双六 [Shufunotomo - Manga Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shufunotomosha 1929 (Showa 4). Broadside 64x94cm; colour printed. Not the best copy, over creased with several repairs to separated folds, but all there. Au$100

A splendid large and lively sugoroku - racing game - by the illustrator/cartoonist whose place in modern manga history is still being argued.
Issued as a New Year gift by the magazine The Housewife's Friend, the game is an intriguing melange, to me, of the modern and traditional; whether in conflict or harmony or all round mocked I don't know.
The winning post - the joyful family of plump plutocrats with both husband and wife looking remarkably like lucky gods - is the dream of the modern young woman being hatched from an egg in the upper right but she is not the starting point of the game. There seems to be several starting points. Did any young western woman ever dream of being rich and fat?
If you look up Okamoto Ippei in non-Japanese places now you will find so many entries telling us how unjustly neglected and forgotten he is in the history of comics and manga that we know his place is assured. Ippei was the king of newspaper cartooning as Rakuten ruled the magazines in Taisho and early Showa Japan. It was Ippei that brought the American comic strip to Japan and heads, with Rakuten, the lists of idols and inspiration of many modern manga artists; hardly forgotten.


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THOMSON, James. Collected Papers in Physics and Engineering. Selected and arranged with unpublished material and brief annotations by Sir Joseph Larmor ... Cambridge Univ Press 1912. Octavo publisher's cloth (a bit used); civ,484pp. Au$200


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Woogaroo lunatic asylum. Report from the Joint Select Committee on the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, together with the proceedings ... and minutes of evidence. Brisbane, Govt printer 1869. Foolscap disbound; [4],73pp and nine litho plates: plans and elevations. Au$450

Woogaro, Queensland's first lunatic asylum, was opened in 1865 and was a disaster: built in the wrong place, badly staffed, badly managed, with woefully inadequate buildings. Two inquiries were held in 1869, one by public servants and this one by a parliamentary committee. The focus here is on the buildings, the general plan and proper management. From this inquiry came the 1869 Lunacy Act.
The committee recommend buildings on the "cottage" system and given the choice between plans by Tiffin and Suter - both illustrated here - chose Suter's. He crammed twice the number of patients into each building at a saving of £18 per head.


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KENDRICK, John B. History of the Wallingford Disaster. Hartford, Case Lockwood & Brainard 1878. Slender octavo publisher's cloth titled in gilt on the front (spine faded); 76 pages and eight fabulous wood engraved plates. Rather good. Au$275

Only edition of this most appealing and essential piece of disaster literature and of storm literature. Wallingford, Connecticut, was wiped out in minutes on August 9th, 1878 by a tornado - Kendrick calls it cyclone or tornado randomly - which killed at least 29 people. Warning: many of the descriptions are gruesome.
The wood engravings, though, are wonderful; the best of the Police Gazette school. They are after photos and they have both an extraordinary vivacity and stillness. The now still detritus of terrific destruction matches the calm insouciance of the observers; the awkward forms are engraved with absolute surety. These are the exact qualities that later generations of artists consciously tried to capture, some did better than weak imitation but not much better.
One of plates has the name Beckley as engraver. This might be Arthur Beckley, wood engraver of Southington. Whoever it is, Beckley is the star of this book.


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New Zealand advertising agents Charles Haines Ltd's album of proof pulls &c of their advertising for Austin and Ford dating from the late twenties and early thirties. n.p. 1929 - 1934 A quite large folio cloth album with printed labels (covers detached); 30 leaves with mounted proofs of magazine (and presumably newspaper) adverts, posters, as well as a quantity of posters, brochures &c loosely inserted. Most of this dates from 1929 and 1930, a few of the loose things date from 1934. Au$850

Pretty terrific. Some of this stuff was for the dealers and there are two rather good poster size sheets of stock cuts (illustration and advertisement blocks) for Ford dealers, one for new and one for used. There are a few good "news" posters, one of the amazing results of two baby Austins against "German giants" in the "world's greatest road race"; another on the journey from Sydney to Melbourne in an Austin 12 bolted in top gear.
With the Ford advertising there is an emphasis on the Britishness (Scottishness really) of the Fords and one is specifically on "Wool and the Ford Car".


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NORDAU, Max [Simon Sudfeld]. Degeneration. London, Heinemann 1895. Octavo publisher's cloth; xiv,560pp and publisher's list for October 1894. A few spots to endpapers and minor signs of use; a quite good copy. Au$150

First English edition of one of the great works of reactionary bile, published in dozens of editions in almost every western language over the next several decades. Nordau sits comfortably within the school of heredity alarmists but carries the battle into the fields of art and literature. His dedication to Lombroso points out this gap in the literature: "Degenerates are not always criminals, prostitutes, anarchists, and pronounced lunatics; they are often authors and artists".
Despite his prognosis that the "hysteria of the present day will not last," his hit list - and it is a hit list, he writes with invigorating fury and savagery - almost forms the modern Pantheon of mid-to-late 19th art, literature, music and thought: Flaubert, Baudelaire, Wagner, Nietsche, Tolstoy, Huysmans, Zola, Ibsen, Whitman, Wilde, the pre-Raphaelites, the Symbolists. Much the same way that the Nazi's own model of Nordauism - Jew and Zionist that he was - the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) gallery encapsulated what is now most celebrated in 20th century art.


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TAUT, Bruno. アルプス建築 [Arupusu Kenchiku] Alpine Architektur. Hagen, Folkwang 1919 [ie Tokyo, 1944]. Folio (35cm high) publisher's cloth; title page in Japanese and 37 leaves consisting of 29 monochrome mounted leaves (title and contents leaves, five section titles and 22 plates) and eight colour lithographs. Sometime recased with new endpapers; an uncommonly bright copy; without the booklet containing the Japanese translation. sold

This might be the most curious Japanese book on western architecture. It's officially part of the collected works of Taut in Japanese (Tauto Zenshu) but while his other works were translated and collected into five solid sensible octavo volumes, here the original has been followed faithfully, lavishly. A translation was provided as a booklet inserted at the end.
It has been sorted out thanks to the generous diligence of a librarian at the Art Institute of Chicago (the only library I could trace that had both versions) who, twice, compared them side by side and sent me a list of seven plates that vary in image size, that this isn't a re-issue of original sheets - once a common claim.
So this is no photographic process reprint; the colour plates are proper colour lithographs that match the originals. While there's no doubt that elaborate and fine printing could be and was done in war time it still doesn't make sense. The flimsy translation booklet is what we expect from wartime printing - why not do a better job with that? The binding is war time, the printing is not.
So when were these plates produced? Were they prepared with Taut when he was in Japan - by 1936? The whole business of a collected edition of Taut in the middle of the war becomes something of a circular puzzle. Japan's ties with Germany are clear enough and the Japanese showed their appreciation of radical German modernists, or expressionists, like Taut and Mendelsohn pretty much even before Germany did, and Taut had spent years in Japan - but he was part of the exodus from Germany in 1933 and had died in Turkey in 1938. Still, a devoted band of fans did manage what seems unimaginable and got the job done.


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RICHARDSON, Benjamin Ward. Hygeia a City of Health. London, Macmillan 1876. Octavo publisher's printed tangerine wrapper (rubbed, worn along the spine); 48pp. A bit used; pretty good. Au$350

The sanitary reformer's outline for an utopian city of 100,000 people which he is confident that, within two generations, will reduce mortality to five per thousand. An outline it is, but a closely worked one; from the laying out of streets - with subway trains beneath - to their paving and camber. It is to be, more a less, a garden city but the detail is in the details, to coin a paraphrase.
Housing is treated particularly: nothing is to be below ground; the brickwork is to be impermeable but laid with removable wedges that allows cavity air to be flushed or heated; the interior walls and arched ceilings are to be of glazed brickwork (of colours and patterns to the inhabitants' taste and purse) which makes unnecessary the poisons of glues, papers and distempers and allows the complete interior to be washed down with water. Each room is worked out by purpose, placement and design; communication and ventilation provided.
Outside, factories, sanitation works, abbatoirs and suchlike are removed some distance from the city and trades (tailoring, shoe-making, lacework) are taken out of the homes to convenient blocks of offices and workrooms. Small, almost portable, model hospitals are provided every few blocks and the insane, infirm and incapacitated are cared for in houses indistinguishable from the rest.
Given the debate on cremation vs burial, Richardson plumps for tradition but not current practice. The dead are to be interred in shrouds only, into artificial carboniferous soil where they can return to dust in no time at all. Monuments can be erected in some hall or temple.


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Ishii Usaburo. 新撰大匠雛形大全 [Shinsen Taisho Hinagata Taizen]. Osaka, Seikado 1897 [Meiji 30]. Six volumes small quarto by size, publisher's embossed wrappers with title labels; illustrations throughout, a couple folding - all lithographed. The cover surfaces well grazed by insects, excellent inside; a rather good set. Au$850

First edition of this excellent builder/architect's pattern book - it was reprinted in 1910 - published just at the time when there was both a cultural argument and a government led reaction against the wholesale importation of western architecture into Japan.
This particular book bridges the confrontation between a nationalistic return to ancient temple forms and the fervour for modernisation. Two thirds of this book is traditional Japanese design, structure and carpentry but the last two volumes introduce western building designs and, in the details, western building methods. Here nuts, bolts and metal brackets replace traditional carpentry and masonry forms are described. In the last volume are a series of profiles of mouldings, architectural hardware and fairly elaborate gates, fences and entries in western styles.
At this time architecture itself was an innovation - the first generation of trained architects were beginning to replace the craftsman, until then designer and builder. But the Imperial Palace, despite the Emperor's push for modernity for the country, was not built to the designs of any of the western or western trained architects who submitted designs; it was built by the Imperial Carpenter, who went on to teach many of these young, new architects then, in turn, responsible for the resurgence of Japanese historicism.


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DICKENS, Charles & Wilkie COLLINS. No Thoroughfare .. being the extra Christmas number of All the Year Round ..; London, Christmas 1867. Octavo publisher's printed blue wrapper (an inoffensive erasure from the front cover, small flaw to the edge of the back cover); 48pp. A few spots and signs of use but quite a good copy. Au$100

First edition of this compact thriller.


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Happy dreams

Takarabune. Two martial new year treasure ship gift prints of the 1930s. Namikoshi Takarabune-kai & n.p. [193-?]. Two woodblock prints 26x38cm & 38x26cm. Rumpled, the first more so. Used but decent enough. Au$220

These treasure ship (takarabune) new year good wishes have been produced by the million for who knows how long. The tradition is heaps of rice, wealth, maybe a lucky god or seven on board. For a few hundred years now the custom is to put these under your pillow and hope for a good dream. A bad dream and you throw your print in the river.
Artists of course played with the form but these two are unlike any others I've seen. Especially the ship loaded with weapons and the lone soldier with his back to us.
I was convinced for some while that this must be an anti-war print but I think now it is an unironical wish for guns and tanks to be sent to China. I have seen another takarabune print produced by the Namikoshi Association around the same time and, while unusual, I see no sign of risky politics. The second print here, in which the ship has vanished beneath mass patriotism, is a cheery wish for a great spring campaign.


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Film - lobby card. Guerra Entre Planetas - Battle in Outer Space. n.p. [1959/60]. Colour poster 26x37cm. A small hole, a rather good copy. Au$150

Spanish language lobby card for the Japanese sci-fi thriller Uchu Daisenso released in English as Battle in Outer Space. This was no low budget shocker. This was a high budget, special effects extravaganza shocker with an international cast - at least three or four American hacks were in it.
This is my favourite of the various posters and lobby cards I've seen - the Japanese and American versions tried too hard to make the movie big budget serious.


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von HALLE, Ernst. Trusts or Industrial Combinations and Coalitions in the United States. NY, Macmillan 1895. Octavo publisher's cloth. Quite a good copy. Au$125

First edition of this influential and widely circulated book; it was circulating in Japanese by 1900.


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Minton, Hollins & Co. Stoke Upon Trent. [Catalogue of art-painted tiles, enamelled tiles and embossed Majolica tiles]. Minton Hollins c1873. Small folio (33x22cm) publisher's cloth backed printed boards (ink stain on front cover); 2pp and 25 chromolitho plates, 12pp price list loosely inserted. Minor signs of use, the ink stain apart a rather good copy. Au$2,750

Here we have the arty tiles those for walls, surrounds and so on. Encaustic and paving tile patterns were available separately from the company. Around 1870 there was a split between the partners of Minton and for a short while there were two companies making Minton tiles until a law suit settled the matter. Hence the stern declaration on the cover - and the price list - that the patents and the name belong this firm. Both cover and price list include their 1873 Vienna exposition medal and a slip added to the price list announces a price rise in August 1872 - 10% will be added to the prices here.
Maybe once a week for years and years - this was a long time ago when I kept shop with open doors in Sydney - an unappealing man would come in and ask if we had a 19th century Minton tile catalogue. When I said no, he said, "I do." I think he had some job that would be unspeakably dull but that it allowed him to tour the bookshops of greater Sydney assuring everyone he had a Minton tile catalogue. The last time I went to a Sydney book fair there he was, asking the same question with such anticipation that he barely paused for the answer before his inevitable boast. I don't remember his name, I don't know if he's still alive and I have no wish to see him ever again but still, still, I would like to say, "Why yes, yes I do."

 


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