Monthly Archives: March 2011

W.W. Leaves of Grass

First Edition of Leaves of Grass, one of 795 copies

Walt Whitman

WHITMAN, WALT. Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn: [Published by the author], 1855. 4to, original decoratively blind-stamped green cloth, gilt lettering. Engraved frontis portrait. First edition, second issue binding, Myerson A2.1.a; BAL 21395, state B of the copyright notice; state B of page iv; state B of the frontis portrait. ¶ One of 795 copies of the only printing of the first edition of Leaves of Grass, a collection of twelve poems of distinctive free verse, anonymously published by the 36-year-old journeyman journalist, printer, teacher, carpenter, and occasional loafer. The 795 copies were bound in different stages, and this is one of the 262 bound between December 1855 and January 1856. Nearly fine copy, enclosed in a chemise and slipcase.


brought to you be The Brick Row Book Shop

From Cultured Oyster Books:

THE BLACKER THE BERRY A Novel of Negro Life, by Wallace Thurman.  Published by Macaulay in New York in 1929, with the very rare dust jacket by the important African American artist, Aaron Douglas, who was a close friend of the author.  His initials are included on the lower portion just above the Wallace Thurman’s name.

The novel tells the story of Emma Lou Morgan, a dark-skinned African-American woman, beginning in Boise, Idaho and ending in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. Throughout the novel, Emma Lou encounters discrimination by lighter-skinned African-Americans and she must come to terms with her skin color if she is ever to be satisfied with her life.

The week before the New York Antiquarian Book Fair

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Bookseller Eric Chaim Kline brings us to Vietnam

Grande Tenue de la Cour d’Annam. Nam Giao Manuscript [UNIQUE] [INSCRIBED]. Hue, Vietnam: 1902. First edition. Oblong quarto. 54 bound pages laid-in original beige linen boards.  Hand-written title-label pasted-down on inside of front board inscribed in French and dated december 1902. Stunningly illustrated with many images in original watercolors depicting courtiers and costumes of the Nam Giao festival, noting some personal names and titles in Chinese and French. Background on most pages in tan, with others in various colors and shades. Some age wear and staining on boards, rippling to inside of rear board. Manuscript block detached from boards. Captions in French and Chinese. Boards in overall fair to good, interior in very good condition. Unique manuscript with spectacular illustrations in vibrant colors.

The Nam Giao was the largest national festival of the Nguyen dynasty, Vietnam’s last feudal regime ruling from 1802 to 1945. The festival was and still is held in honor of the earth and the sky with reenactments of a traditional royal ceremony by featuring royal rituals and court music often accompanied by royal dance performances. The celebration also serves as a grand platform to promote peace and to foster greater cultural unity. This particular manuscript most likely was designed as a gift to be presented at the 100-year celebration of the Nguyen dynasty.

Bookseller Nina Musinsky

Albrecht DÜRER. Apocalipsis cum figuris. Nürnberg: [Hieronymus Höltzel for] Albrecht Dürer, 1511.

Imperial folio. 16 leaves. Xylographic title with woodcut of the Virgin and Child with St. John; 15 full-page woodcuts signed with Dürer’s monogram, Latin text. 19th-century morocco by Francis Bedford.


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Provenance: The copy bears an early ownership inscription from the Carthusian monastery of Valle de Pesio in the province of Cuneo, near Turin; it subsequently entered the collections of the Niccolini family of Florence, and came to England, along with a number other known books and manuscripts from that library, in the 1820s-1840s. It has been in America since at least the 1920s or early 30s.


Second edition of Dürer’s Apocalypse suite, first printed in 1498 (the title cut is new to this edition). A fine, wide-margined copy of “the first artist’s book,” a supreme masterpiece of the art of the woodcut, by the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance.


W.S. Hamlet from Heritage Bookshop

Restoration Actor’s Annotated Prompt Copy of  ‘Hamlet’ in the Original Wrappers

SHAKESPEARE, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark. As it is now Acted at his Highness the Duke of York’s Theatre. London: Printed for H. Heringman and R. Bentley, 1683. Continue reading

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