Here are some of our most RECENT ACQUISITIONS available for purchase:
“Vanity Fair had Few Equals and Probably No Betters”
Vanity Fair (New York)
“Cleveland Amory…declared Vanity Fair to have been the best of all American magazines, an evaluation that may seem unnecessarily extravagant, but certainly very far from preposterous. If it was not the best, Vanity Fair, in its days of grace, had few equals and probably no betters.” So wrote George Douglas, in his history, The Smart Magazines (Archon, 1991). Vanity Fair was, at once, sophisticated, visually distinctive, and charming, as much a pleasure to look at today as it surely was a century ago. It began shakily in 1913, suffered the war years, and emerged into the Twenties as the personification of that decade of high living. Each issue featured beautiful covers, rich photography, classic satire and criticism, and a feast of period advertising. The urbane Frank Crowninshield was at the helm through most of its history and he filled its pages with talent. Regular contributors included Sherwood Anderson, Robert Benchley, Heywood Broun, Collette, E.E. Cummings, Theodore Dreiser, Langston Hughes, D.H. Lawrence, Walter Lippmann, Eugene O’Neill, Dorothy Parker, Carl Sandburg, Hendrik Willem van Loon, Carl Van Vechten, and many others. The artwork was contributed by Benito, Covarrubias, Fish, Rockwell Kent, George Luks, and John Sloan, among many. Vanity Fair’s “days of grace,” in Douglas’ words, are epitomized by the volumes below. Periodyssey offers the following volumes:
Vanity Fair. 1928, January to June, comprising six issues. Covers VG with age spots, February issue with nibble to top of spine, May issue with a bottom margin tear and top left margin loss. Contents near fine. Highlights include covers by Covarrubias (the Great Harlem Jazz cover), Laurencin, Benito, Wildman, Whitman, and Lepape, and contributions by Clarence Darrow, Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, Bobby Jones, George Bellows, Max Beerbohm, Rockwell Kent, and others. $600
Vanity Fair. 1929, July to December, comprising six issues. Covers VG with age spots (especially August), September issue with nibbles at bottom. Contents near fine. Highlights include covers by Pages, Benito, Brissard, Lepape, and Agha, and contributions by D. H. Lawrence, G. K. Chesterton, Carl Sandburg, Sherwood Anderson, Djuna Barnes, Bobby Jones, Pablo Picasso, George Luks, Rockwell Kent, and others. $500
Vanity Fair. 1930, July to December, comprising six issues. Near fine. Highlights include covers by Depero, Covarrubias, Carlu, Lepape, Aladjalov, and Benito, and contributions by P. G. Wodehouse, Bobby Jones, Rockwell Kent, Peggy Bacon, and others. $750
Vanity Fair. 1931, July to December, comprising six issues. Covers VG+ with light general wear. Contents near fine. Highlights include covers by Lieber, Benito, Higgins, Covarrubias, and Garretto (2), and contributions by Haywood Broun, Walter Winchell, Clarence Darrow, Walter Lippmann, Sherwood Anderson, William Cotton, and others. $300
A Left-Wing Critique of FDR
Maurice Becker. “FDR’s New Order“ (c. Spring 1941). Charcoal and paint. Image: 17.25″ X 13.5″. Mat: 23″ x 19″. Good, light soiling, margins ragged. Portion of another cartoon on reverse. $400
This original political cartoon by Maurice Becker, drawn in the spring of 1941, applies Hitler’s terminology when he proclaimed a New European Order at the beginning of the year to FDR’s efforts to lead America into World War II. The cartoon shows FDR on a horse at the edge of a precipice attempting to rally the American people to follow him into the abyss of war, but they turn their backs on him. Maurice Becker (1889–1975) was a radical political artist best known for his work during the teens and twenties for such publications as The Masses, The Liberator, and The New Masses. He was born in Russia and emigrated with his family to the United States when he was three years old. He grew up in the Jewish community of New York City’s Lower East Side. In addition to his radical work, he was employed by The New York Tribune in 1914-15 and by the Scripps newspapers in 1915-18. In 1918, he announced himself a conscientious objector to American participation in World War I and fled to Mexico to avoid the draft. When he returned to the U.S. in 1919, he was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to twenty-five years of hard labor, but served only four months before the government commuted his sentence. In 1921, he returned to Mexico and worked for El Pulsa de México for two years. After that time, he dedicated himself to painting full-time, though he did occasionally contribute political cartoons to the American Communist press. This cartoon almost certainly appeared in the New York Daily Worker. The left and right wings of the American political spectrum opposed America’s entry into World War II. The Left changed its mind in June of 1941, when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. The Right signed onto the war effort after Pearl Harbor.
“A Rich Treasury for the Historical Investigator”
Harper’s Weekly (New York)
Harper’s Weekly is surely the most famous and probably the most important nineteenth century magazine. No other magazine matched it as a reliable source of news. As for its graphics, it is loaded with significant and beautiful woodcuts that chronicle all aspects of the life of the period. Many of the finest artists and illustrators drew for the Weekly, including Winslow Homer, Howard Pyle, A.B. Frost, and Frederic Remington. Initially, the Weekly was devoid of controversy; the publishers apparently didn’t want to alienate a single potential subscriber. But with the advent of the Civil War, the editorship of G.W. Curtis (1863-92), and the cartoons of Thomas Nast (1862-1886), Harper’s Weekly metamorphosed into one of the great journals of opinion. Mott sums up the value of the magazine this way: “The old files of Harper’s Weekly are a delight to the casual reader and a rich treasury for the historical investigator.” (Mott/II/469) Periodyssey offers the following volumes:
Harper’s Weekly. Vol. 12, No. 575 (January 4, 1868) to No. 626 (December 26, 1868), comprising a total of 52 issues, bound in black leather and boards. Folio. Binding VG-, with edge wear. Contents near fine. Doublespreads not tipped-in. SOLD
Highlights include the presidential campaign and election of U.S. Grant, the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, illustrated coverage of “the American velocipede,” an engraving of two Klansmen in uniform, seven Winslow Homer wood engravings (Beam #128-134), and forty-six Thomas Nast cartoons.
Harper’s Weekly. Vol. 24, No. 1201 (January 3, 1880) to No. 1252 (December 25, 1880), comprising a total of 52 issues, bound in black leather and brown boards. Folio. Binding VG, with light wear. Contents near fine. Title page and index bound in. Doublespreads tipped-in. SOLD
Highlights include the presidential campaign and election of James Garfield, one hundred and twenty-one Thomas Nast cartoons, including two classic Santa Claus engravings, and full- and doublespread engravings by AB Frost, Bernhard Gillam, and Howard Pyle.
A Complete Run
The Lorgnette (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 20, 1850) to Vol. 2, No. 12 (October 9, 1850), comprising 24 numbers, a complete run, bound in two volumes of grey cloth. Octavos. Bindings near fine, mottled. Contents near fine, with two partial signatures sprung. SOLD
The Lorgnette (the glasses used by 19th century theater goers) was a weekly and then fortnightly publication, written entirely by Donald Mitchell (aka Ik Marvel) writing anonymously as John Timon. It purported to be letters from Timon to his friend Fritz, describing the various goings on in New York from lodgings, fashion, and the opera, to holiday balls, Wall Street brokers, and Jenny Lind. The press of the day variously celebrated it as a reincarnation of Addison and Steele’s famous Spectator or damned it as witless nonsense, all the while speculating on the identity of the author. The original weekly edition was unillustrated. At the close of second volume, Burgess and Stringer, The Lorgnette’s enterprising publisher, and then its successor Charles Scribners Sons, reissued the twelve numbers as an octavo with added engravings by F. O. C. Darley. The books were bestsellers. This is the book form of the periodical, with both volumes being tenth editions (i.e. printings) dated 1853. Today, The Lorgnette presents an absorbing picture of 1850’s New York, not readily available from any other source.
An Indispensable and Foundational History
Frank Luther Mott. A History of American Magazines 1741-1930 Vol. I-V (Cambridge, MA; Belknap Press, 1958-1968). Quartos. All near fine in VG DJs, with some sunning to spines and a few tears. The first volume is a third printing, volumes two and three are fourth printings, and volumes four and five firsts. $300
This is a complete set of Mott’s monumental five-volume A History of American Magazines, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and many other awards. In each volume Mott dissects the magazine business, looking at all its facets, from editing and writing through to production and circulation. He also examines magazines by type — literary, religious, ladies, sporting, humor, etc. Finally all volumes are anchored by a substantial section devoted to the history of the most important magazines of the periods covered. Mott was an entertaining and skilled writer — the books are a pleasure to read. He was also an astute historian who had both broad and incisive observations on the trade that are exceedingly valuable. Of course, the volumes contain errors — no work of this sweep could avoid them — but the gold herein far exceeds the dross and is still the standard reference in the field fifty years after completion. Kenneth Murdock said of the set, “It should, and must, become a standard and indispensable item in the armory of every historian and writer concerned with the cultural history of the nation.“
Babe Ruth in the Comic Pages
Berndt. Smitty at the Ball Game (NY: Cupples and Leon, 1929). Square octavo. VG covers with light general wear. Contents VG+ with a few smudges. $150
Walter Berndt (1899 – 1979) was a New York city-born cartoonist who first worked as an office boy at The New York Journal for comic strip greats Tad, Herriman, Hershfield, McCay, Gross, Powers, Sterrett, and Segar. After joining The Daily News, he launched Smitty in 1922. Smitty was an office boy and Berndt drew on his Journal years to give credibility to the strip’s storyline. The success of the strip spawned comic books, toys, games, and reprint collections like this one. Berndt drew the iconic strip for fifty years, before retiring in 1973. In 1929, when these strips ran, Ruth and Yankees had just come off two phenomenal years, sweeping the World Series in 1927 and 1928. This book contains thirty dailies, ten of which feature Ruth (as well as the cover and title page) and three of which feature Grover Cleveland Alexander. A neat cross-over featuring two of America’s greatest pastimes.
Come to Dada
Temps Meles (Belgium)
Nos. 31/32/33 (March 1958). 12mo. 120 pages. Wrappers. Near fine in original (lightly chipped) glassine. Limited to 470 copies. Numerous full-page plates. In French. $150
This special issue is a tribute to Dadaists Francis Picabia and Clement Pansaers, with contributions by Gueneau, Neuhys, Bettencourt, and others. Also featured is an interview with Man Ray. Dada or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century. New York Dada began circa 1915, and after 1920 Dada flourished in Paris. Developed in reaction to World War I, the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works. The art of the movement spanned visual, literary, and sound media, including collage, sound poetry, cut-up writing, and sculpture. Dadaist artists expressed their discontent with violence, war, and nationalism, and maintained political affinities with the radical left. Key figures in the movement included Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters, Francis Picabia, and Clements Pansaers, among others. The movement influenced later styles like surrealism and pop art.
A Charming Comic Art Original
Herb Roth. “When Knights Were Bold“ (1921). Watercolor. Revealed image: 5″ x 7.75″. Frame: 9″ x 11.5″. VG. Toning to the mat and edges of image. Slight puckering. $150
Herb Roth (1887-1953) was an American cartoonist, born and raised in San Francisco, where he first worked for The San Francisco Bulletin. In his twenties, he moved to New York City and enjoyed a dependable career drawing for The New York Herald Tribune, The New York World, Life, Judge, and The New Yorker. He was a longtime assistant and ghost artist for H.T. Webster on his daily cartoons and the feature The Timid Soul (1931-1953). This lovely drawing, exemplifying his clean line and pure wit, is dated October 27, 1921.
A Complete Run
Tiger’s Eye (Westport, CT)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (October 1947) to No. 9 (October 1949), comprising nine issues in all, a complete run, in original wraps, accompanied by a subscription solicitation letter (folded) announcing the first issue. Octavos. Generally VG, with light general wear to the covers and toning to newsprint pages. $400
The Tiger’s Eye is considered one of the great short-lived arts magazine of the 20th century; it is so highly regarded that it was the subject of a 2002 gallery show and book by Pamela Franks entitled, The Tiger’s Eye: The Art of a Magazine. Edited by Ruth and John Stephan, it proclaimed itself in its first issue “to be a bearer of ideas and art.” Contributors to the magazine included Thomas Merton, Marianne Moore, Horace Gregory, Van Wyck Brooks, Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Patchen, Theodore Roethke, Stephen Spender, William Carlos Williams, Conrad Aiken, T.S. Eliot, John Cage, Richard Wilbur, Kenneth Fearing, and William Everson, among others. John Stephan, an abstract artist, did all the covers and selected the more than one hundred pieces of artwork that were reproduced in Tiger’s Eye during its two-year run, including works by Lyonel Feininger, Mark Rothko, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Kurt Schwitters, Rene Magritte, Wassily Kandinsky, Mark Tobey, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Motherwell, Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Constantin Brancusi, Wilhelm de Kooning, Jackson Pollack, and many others. The Tiger’s Eye is an important record of experimentation in the arts during the pivotal post-war years.