Beyond the Alps: A Summer in the Italian Hill Towns by Robert M. Coates

Beyond the Alps: A Summer in the Italian Hill Towns by Robert M. Coates lands on the shelves of my shop.

London: Victor Gollancz, 1962, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Maps;

From the cover: Robert M. Coates, the New Yorker art critic, is the kind of traveller who travels purely for pleasure. He is not rushing from gallery to gallery, from Rome to Florence, to see famous masterpieces, for fear of missing something. One mid-May morning he and his friends were among the first that season to cross over the Little St. Bernard pass into Italy by car, with the objective of visiting at leisure the small Italian towns between the Swiss frontier and Rome. Aosta in the Alps, Arezzo, Lucca, Assisi, Orvieto are some of their stopping places: and what a tour of delight it was for them!

Mr. Coates is the sort of writer-traveller who lives where he travels: he gets the same proportional delight out of a good al fresco meal in the sunshine as he does from Signorellis relatively little admired masterpieces at Cortona or the Resur-rection by Piero della Francesca at Sansepolcro. He is as interested in the prevalence of Levi jeans among the youth of some small town as in its historical associations. For him the sun always seems to be shining and, if by exception it does not, why there are restaurants and cafes to sit in and people to talk to! He loves, as much as any traveller, the odd piece of folklore and the anecdote picked up in the course of chance conversations.

This is a book that has a special appeal today, when so many tourists turn to Italy that the big and obvious goals are now peppered with visitors. With Mr. Coates book the reader is directed to places far less frequented but no less rewarding. How relatively few, for instance, have gloried in the soaring cathedral at Orvieto and the magnificent church of San Michele at Lucca, city of churches! Far fewer have seen the fantastic Park of Monsters at tiny Bomarzo, only forty miles from Rome a cascade of grotesque, half-ruined statues designed for the Orsini family in the 16th century. And even Bomarzo is better known than the numerous small villages Mr. Coates took such delight in.

Beyond the Alps is like stimulating conversation with a practised raconteur: stimulating in the strict sense, because the reader is likely to finish with an irresistible urge to explore these treasures some of them hidden treasures for himself.

Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with fraying to the spine ends. Price Clipped. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Previous owners’ inscription to the first blank. Text complete, clean and tight but a little age-tanned.

Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 159 pages. 8¾” x 5½”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!

English Dolls, Effigies And Puppets by Alice K. Kate Early

English Dolls, Effigies And Puppets by Alice K. [Kate] Early lands on the shelves of my shop.

London: B. T. Batsford Ltd., 1955, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Black & White Plates; Colour frontispiece;

From the cover: THE best way of giving an idea of what this book is about is to mention some of the chapter-headings. Starting with the Dolls Ancestors, these include Portrait Dolls, Queen Victorias Dolls, the Wooden Doll, the China Doll, Fashion Dolls, Puppets and Marionettes, and Punch. It will be seen that the scope of the book is a wide one and that it includes not merely dolls as toys, but all those other doll-like representations which piety or superstition have produced. But dolls are primarily playthings and it is in that light that Mrs. Early regards them. She has herself one of the most considerable private collections of old English dolls and she has long studied the subject from an historical point of view. For this reason her book will be found particularly useful by other doll collectors. The information which it gives, often for the first time, about the makers, English and Continental, of dolls at each period, their varying techniques for, e. g. , faces, hair and costume, and above all the 100 and more fully annotated illustrations all this will be found invaluable by the collector who wishes to put a date or place of origin to the dolls in her own collection. In addition, the Appendices, with their data about the Montanari family and the notable London doll-makers and toy-sellers, form a particularly useful contribution to the collectors hitherto limited fund of knowledge. But of course Mrs. Early is too sensible to regard dolls as subjects only for an unfeeling scholarship. She knows too well how much love has been lavished on them by their owners, what pretty and interesting objects they almost always are in themselves. For the lover of old dolls as well as for their collector her book will be a most desirable possession.

Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with heavier wear to the spine ends. Pages lightly age-tanned with scattered, light, spoting. A good copy.

226 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9″ X 6″.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!

The Age of Optimism: Manners and Morals 1848-1914 by James Laver

The Age of Optimism: Manners and Morals 1848-1914 by James Laver lands on the shelves of my shop.

London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1966, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Jacket illustration: La Japonaise by Hans Makart. Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs [150];

From the cover: James Laver provides a fascinating background to the events that led from the idealistic revolutions of 1848 to the final disillusionment of 1914. He describes the corruption of France under Napoleon III and the hypocrisy of Victorian morality in England and America, where prostitution and white slave traffic reached alarming proportions, while polite society turned a blind eye, and where the poor lived in the most appalling conditions, while millionaires banqueted with vine-leaves in their hair. The world was shocked by the behaviour of Amelia Bloomer and Cora Pearl, of Crown-Prince Rudolf and Edward VII, but was content to ignore conditions in the slums of the big cities. But as well as giving a revealing and fascinating account of the great social contrasts, Mr Laver initiates the reader into other aspects of life in the period, the relaxations and dissipations of both rich and poor, from the showboat and the music hall to the lavish spectacles of the Nineties and the beginnings of jazz.

The illustrations, which provide a rich supplement to the narrative, draw on much unfamiliar material by painters and photographers who faithfully mirrored the social conditions of the age, often with a frankness that still today has lost none of its force.

Very Good in Poor Dust Wrapper. Edges of the dust wrapper somewhat frayed with a large, untidy, tear to the head of the upper panel and small patch of loss to the foot of the same. Text complete, clean and tight.

Green boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 272 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9¾” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!

Spanish Drawings from the 10th to the 19th Century by F. J. Sanchez Canton

Spanish Drawings from the 10th to the 19th Century by F. J. Sanchez Canton lands on the shelves of my shop.

Studio Vista, 1964, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Colour Plates; Black & White Plates;

From the cover: This book presents a magnificent collection of some of the many Spanish treasures which have been lying for hundreds of years in the famous museums and private collections round the world: among them drawings by Goya from the British Museum, by Velasquez from the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid, and by El Greco from the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich. Altogether forty-seven artists are represented, through about 100 pictures, most of them in full colour. The text is by F. J. Sanchez Canton, Director of the Prado Museum, Madrid, and there are also brief biographies of the artists.

In recent years one of the most striking developments in the world of art has been the rediscovery of drawings. Because of the spontaneous quality of this medium and the revealing insight a drawing often gives of the artists personality and philosophy museums and private collectors have been acquiring drawings today at an unprecedented rate. Virtually every major artist of every age has produced masterpieces of drawing, equal quite often superior in aesthetic value to his more formal works. Drawings, however, are fragile, are subject to fading, and are therefore less accessible to the public than paintings and sculpture. Instead of being displayed in galleries and museums, they are usually filed away in protective portfolios, available only to scholars and serious collectors. This is especially true of the finest and most valuable examples of the art.

For this book (as for the others in this series) a careful selection has been made over many years from public and private collections all over the world, to survey, with the help of the finest quality reproduction processes, a particular phase or period in the art of drawing. The result is a volume both scholarly and attractive, which will be of equal interest to students, artists and members of the general public.

In the Great Drawings of the World series.

Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Text complete, clean and tight.

Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 141 pages. Bibliography. 9½” x 8¾”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!

Centenary 78: The Story of 100 Years of Organised British Cycle Racing by N. G. Noel Gordon Henderson

Centenary 78: The Story of 100 Years of Organised British Cycle Racing by N. G. [Noel Gordon] Henderson lands on the shelves of my shop.

Silsden: Kennedy Brothers Publishing, 1977, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Facsimiles; Black & White Drawings;

From the cover: To celebrate the centenary of organised cycle racing in Great Britain, Noel Henderson was commissioned to write a commemorative book describing one hundred years of cycling.

With three full-length cycling books and countless paperbacks to his credit, Noel has brought to this new book the same dedication and accuracy which have distinguished his other works.

Two main themes run through the book: the great names of British cycling, and the development of the governing bodies.

From the inaugural meeting of the Bicycle Union in February 1878, you can read of the emergence of the National Cyclists Union, the first massed start road race at Brooklands in 1933 and the formation of the British League of Racing Cyclists, which eventually merged with the N. C. U. to form the British Cycling Federation as we know it today.

In those hundred years, no fewer than twenty-three British cyclists have won, between them, forty-seven world titles in ten different events. All are described, as are the British riders who have achieved glory in the cycling events of the Olympic Games.

Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper which is lightly scuffed in places.

Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 128 pages. Index. 9¼” x 7¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!

The Collector’s Book Of Boxes by Marian Klamkin

The Collector’s Book Of Boxes by Marian Klamkin lands on the shelves of my shop.

David & Charles, 1981, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Black and White Photographs;

From the cover: Beautiful boxes have been preserved and collected perhaps more than any small decorative antiques. From the time when man first began to accumulate personal possessions he has required something in which to store them, and boxes have been a part of his civilisation, reflecting his changing values.

Examples of the great variety of uses for boxes are reflected in this volume, from those designed to hold jewels, patches, tea, and snuff, to containers for Bibles, collars, and household goods. Wood has been most commonly used for making boxes, but they have been created out of almost every conceivable material including precious metals and gems, as well as lacquer and papier-mache, for which the painstaking processes are described here in detail. The talents of some of the leading artists of their day have been drawn upon to decorate boxes formed from the finest hand-painted porcelain.

Illustrated with 182 photographs by the authors husband, a professional photographer, this book concentrates upon boxes from around the world which may actually be available to the collector, with advice about their care and repair, where to look for them, and how to use them decoratively in the home.

Very Good in Good+ Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper which is a little tanned. Text complete, clean and tight.

Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XII] 145 pages. Index. 9¾” x 6¾”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!

American historical glass : historical association adds distinction to glassware. by Bessie M. Lindsey

American historical glass : historical association adds distinction to glassware. by Bessie M. Lindsey lands on the shelves of my shop.

Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1980, Hardback in dust wrapper.

4th printing. [First Published: 1967] Illustrated by way of: Black and White Photographs;

From the cover: ORIGINALLY published in 1948 as a two-volume series entitled Lore of Our Land Pictured in Glass , the reprinting of this combined edition is our attempt to extend the hope that author Bessie M. Lindsey had for her readers when she undertook to have the work published by financing it herself.

What people did yesterday, what people do today, what people will do tomorrow are all chapters in one book, she maintained. To know just one chapter is not enough for our best interests. It spurs us to learn how the human spirit has risen, through struggle and hardship, from the depths to the peak of spiritual intelligence, as shown by the things people have done.

Bessie Lindsey chose to show just what people have done by the historical moments commemorated on the hundreds of platters, cups, goblets, and other household items all made of glass, with much of it crystal which she collected over a long period of years. Concerned with the history of the U. S. , the collection has interesting and curious items covering events as far back as the discovery of America by Columbus. Her glassware then proceeds to tell us the story of the Colonials, the development of an independent United States, and takes us through World War I.

In addition to telling the story of America, the collection exemplifies the progress that the glass industry underwent since the first short-lived glass manufactory was established in 1608. Author Lindseys earlier flasks and paperweights are rather simple and made from crude glass, but many of the rest, attesting to the rapid development of the craft, are made of clear, highly refractive material. The gradual elaboration of the pieces indicates the creativeness of the artisans of early America and the discoveries of new processes in cutting, blowing, etching, etc.

History is a story, the author states. A great story, about folks. It is thrilling, because people have done thrilling things. Most tales are daring and noble. Some are wicked and depressing. All are interesting.

Loving life as she did, it is understandable why the author chose to publish the volumes on her collection of glassware. It is obvious she wished to share with her fellow man, these interesting aspects of life that people chose to record for posterity.

Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with heavy sunning to the spine. Leans slightly. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Text complete, clean and tight.

Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine & Upper Board. [XXVIII] 541 pages. Index. 9¼” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!