[JHRB News] Newsletter for April 6th, 2005

Joslin Hall Rare Books office at joslinhall.com
Wed Apr 6 10:40:19 EDT 2005


SPEAKING of Books...

The Joslin Hall Rare Books Newsletter
April 6th, 2005

To see an illustrated version of this Newsletter, click here-
<http://www.joslinhall.com/speaking_current.htm>


Well, the crocuses are up, and the Book Elves have waxed the metal runners 
on their sleds and put them away in the storage room of the Cataloging Cave 
for another year. Apparently you cannot actually buy wooden sleds with 
runners anymore (or so we are told), so we try to keep our fleet of 
Flexible Flyers in tip-top condition. Now if we can just figure out which 
pile the lawn chairs are buried under...

But before the Book Elves embarked on a search for beach chairs and the 
barbeque grill, they posted another set of books on our “Just Catalogued” 
pages.

- - -  JUST CATALOGUED - - -
<http://www.joslinhall.com/justcat.htm>

This time we have a selection of books about glass, ceramics, silver, 
furniture, folk art, and other decorative and fine arts, and a smattering 
of other subjects.

Highlights include-

-an interesting unpublished paper on the role of “Menu Plaisirs”, the men 
responsible for “petty pleasures”, the spectacles, fetes, fireworks, balls 
and amusements of the King, in the spectacular Royal Fete of 1664...

-several important 19th century French guides to glass and its manufacture, 
including Julia de Fontenelle’s 1829 guide, featuring a folding plate 
illustrating Empress Josephine’s crystal table...

-a nice copy of the 1849 catalog of the auction sale of the fabulous 
collection of Medieval and Renaissance arts of Louis Fidel Debruge-Dumenil, 
a collection which launched the career of one of the 19th century’s 
foremost art historians...

-a beautifully illustrated study of pietre dure...

-nice leatherbound sets of the poetry of John Milton and Thomas Gray...

-an interesting 1932 study of the Imperial Japanese “Shosoin” Repository, a 
treasure trove of undisturbed 8th century arts...

-a copy of Henderson’s 1874 “Practical Floriculture” inscribed to the 
developer of one of New York’s foremost Victorian garden-excursion parks 
(and who also was responsible for New York’s subway system)...

-several nice histories of the Worshipful Company of Glass-sellers, 
including Ramsey’s important 1898 study...


and a whole lot more!
<http://www.joslinhall.com/justcat.htm>


- - - FEATURED BOOK - - -

Kane, Patricia E. "COLONIAL MASSACHUSETTS SILVERSMITHS AND JEWELERS. A 
bIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY BASED ON THE NOTES OF FRANCIS HILL BIGELOW & JOHN 
MARSHALL PHILLIPS"

New Haven; Yale University Art Gallery: 1998.

A book almost a hundred years in the making, and quite simply the most 
important book on American silversmiths since Belden’s study of the 
Ineson-Bissell Collection at Winterthur. Pioneering collector and scholar 
Francis Hill Bigelow died before his notes, for a proposed Magnum Opus on 
Massachusetts silversmiths, could be completed and made into book form. 
John Marshall Phillips, Curator of the Garvan Collection at Yale, took over 
the project and added to the research, but his untimely early death once 
again stopped the study in its tracks.

Finally, in the 1980s, Patricia Kane and her colleagues, working from the 
original notes, embarked on a project to complete this ultimate reference, 
now published here in all its massive glory. There are biographies of 296 
silversmiths and jewelers who worked in Massachusetts before the American 
Revolution, along with 93 craftsmen in allied trades. Kane’s preface 
chronicles the ninety-two years of research and scholarship that went into 
the book, and her essay focuses on the creative ferment in Boston. Barbara 
McLean Ward’s essay describes the tools of the trade. Gerald W. R. Ward 
discusses the differences between metropolitan and rural silversmiths. The 
‘New York Silver Society Newsletter’ called this a “masterful 
accomplishment 
 and a source book that will well serve the next 
generations of gold, silver, and jewelry historians.” Our Book Elves at 
Joslin Hall simply describe the book as “damned heavy”. Hardcover. 
8.5”x11.5”, 1,241 pages; marks, dj. New. [90139] $150.00


- - - UPCOMING CATALOG - - -

We will be issuing a new issue of “Going Once, Going Twice: Vintage Auction 
Catalogs Just Added to Our Stock”, next week! This issue will feature 
auctions of furniture, glass & ceramics, Orientalia, French decorative 
arts, and Noteworthy Collections. This is a printed catalog, so let us know 
if you want a copy.


- - - SPEAKING OF READING - - -

This week’s (April 11th) New Yorker has several interesting articles. The 
first is about the digital photographing of the Cloister’s famous Unicorn 
Tapestries.
<http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/050411fa_fact>
Taking the photos was not all that complex, but “stitching” the dozens of 
digital images together to re-create the full-size tapestry proved too much 
for the Met.’s computers, so they enlisted the help of two genius 
mathematicians and their home-made super-computer. And even then there were 
unexpected problems...

The second article (not available on the web) deals with 19th century 
children’s writer and moralist Favell Lee Mortimer, author of numerous 
books on foreign countries and cultures, although the furthest she ever 
wandered from her home in Shropshire was a trip each to Paris and Scotland. 
I was happy to see the author note that he discovered the long-fogotten 
works of “Mrs. Mortimer” while browsing one of our favorite bookstores, the 
Book Den East in Oak Bluffs.

  - - - - - - - - -

That’s going to do it for today. Please stop by and browse our “Just 
Catalogued” books, and let us know if you want a copy of our latest issue 
of “Going Once, Going Twice: Vintage Auction Catalogs Just Added to Our 
Stock”, coming next week!

-Forrest


JOSLIN HALL RARE BOOKS, ABAA
Fine books of the 16th-20th centuries
on the decorative and fine arts & design

Post Office Box 516, Concord, Massachusetts 01742 USA
telephone (617) 492-5367

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