speaking.jpg (14992 bytes) SPEAKING OF BOOKS...

The Joslin Hall Rare Books Newsletter
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December 14th, 2005

Well, the Book Elves have just about got the Book Cave decorated for the Holidays. They were rather "energized" this weekend after downing about three punchbowls of eggnog while watching the Patriots game; does anyone know how to dig a half-bushel of holly out of the garbage disposal? But just before they painted all the kitchen appliances red and green, they shipped a new catalog to Dave the Printer, and it is now ready for mailing. Recent Acquisitions for December is available either as a printed catalog or on our website.


New Catalog-

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"Recent Acquisitions For December, 2005" is now ready, and going into the mail. The catalog is also on our website, but if you'd prefer a hard copy, please send us your mailing address.

This month's selection includes an array of books on furniture, silver, ceramics, glass and other decorative arts, as well as a smattering of other odd stuff, with highlights including-

* Baker's 1880 catalogue of engraved portraits of George Washington, limited to 500 copies.

* The very scarce privately-published 1916 catalog of the Ballard collection of 17th and 18th century Ghiordes rugs, limited to 100 copies.

* Bastenaire-Daudenart's 1827 2-volume treatise on the arts of porcelain making.

* Blagrove's 1888 study of marble decoration and terminology.

* Cornelius's 1922 study of Duncan Phyfe, the limited edition of 150 copies, with 17 extra plates.

* Cutten's 1936 study of Utica silversmiths, limited to 257 copies; this unique copy featuring extensive additional handwritten notes by Cutten.

* A rare 1908 study of inscriptions on 15th-18th century European drug jars, limited to 150 copies.

* Jervis's hard-to-find study of 16th and 17th century printed furniture designs.

* A very nice copy of Kelby's 1922 "Notes on American Artists" of the Colonial era, limited to 300 copies.

* Owen's 1873 "Two Centuries of Ceramic Art in Bristol".

* A striking ca.1880 Parisian trade catalog of silver gilt ecclesiastical and other ornaments and hollow ware.

* The grand 1812 design catalog of furniture, interiors and ornaments by Percier & Fontaine, Empire-designers to Napoleon.

* An influential 1845 treatise on the decoration and design of churches in the Gothic Revival style.

* Two different editions of Frederic Fairchild Sherman's lovely Christmas Keepsake, "Sonnets Suggested by Paintings", limited to 65 and 25 copies.

* and much, much more!


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Winter seems to have come the Pioneer Valley, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be leaving anytime soon. We had 18 family members come for Thanksgiving, and they were treated to turkey, trimmings, and almost a half-foot of fresh snow. That all melted, and then we got another foot!

One big difference I’ve noticed already, between city snow and country snow- in the country, you always have a place to put it! The other nice thing about the snow is that it covers up all the leaves I never got raked.


Another major difference out here is the birds. In the city we had pigeons and… well, pigeons. Out here the feeders just off the deck are already filled with finches, nuthatches, towhees, cardinals and a few others we’re still searching for in the bird book as we sit in the Breakfast Room and watch them through the glass doors. Something stole the 25-gallon metal seed bucket off the deck a few nights ago, but we are told it’s probably not bears- simply a large raccoon or hungry deer. Deer? Well, maybe. After it snowed there were deer tracks behind the carriage house the size of dinner plates.

That wasn’t Bambi visiting, it was Bambo.



Wagner, Arlene. The Art and Character of Nutcrackers.
Collectors Press: 2005. 

Nutcrackers have come in many forms -dogs' heads, elephants' trunks, clenched fists, cast iron dragons, brass courtesans, objects resembling surgical pincers, and any number of plungers, levers, and gavels-not to mention the traditional little fellow with the big mouth. Some are elegant in their simplicity, while some are so delightfully fashioned they can only be considered works of art. This illustrated album presents nutcrackers and other nutty accessories in hundreds of color photographs-most are from Europe and America, made from the 15th century to the present. Hardcover. 8.5”x11”, 188 pages, loaded with color illustrations, dj. New. [95023]

Published at $60.00.
Publisher’s overstock available at
this price for a limited time -



cat-furn-cover.jpg (7436 bytes)The second part of the new “Books on Furniture” catalog was mailed a week ago, featuring authors I through Q. If you’d like a copy and did not get one, please let us know. Theoretically there will be a new issue of the “Going Once… Going Twice...” catalog of antique auction catalogs coming out before Christmas, but this may get moved back to January, unless someone can figure a way to add a few extra days to the week.

If you'd like copies of any of these, please let us know.



Mathieu, Paul. Sex Pots. Eroticism in Ceramics. New Brunswick; Rutgers University Press: 2003. Heavily oriented, as might be expected, to 20th century work, but there were racy potters throughout history. The sections of erotic pottery from ancient South and Central America and ancient Greece and Rome are no surprise; the eye-opening chapter written by Catherine Hess devoted to erotic Renaissance maiolica may startle a few people. Hardcover. 9”x11”, 224 pages, filled with color and b/w illustrations, dj; bibliography. New. [95024]

Published at $45.00.
Publisher’s overstock available at
this price for a limited time -


and don't forget-


Solis-Cohen, Lita (ed.) The Americana Chronicles. Maine Antique Digest -30 Years of Stories, Sales, Personalities, and Scandals.
Philadelphia; Running Press: 2004. 

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”Since 1973 the Maine Antique Digest has been the publication of record for the antiques market in America. Senior editor Lita Solis-Cohen opens the Digest's archives to present this vastly entertaining anthology of articles about the quirky personalities, amazing discoveries, major sales, auction dramas, and staggering scandals that have defined the $20 billion-a-year antiques industry.

Here are landmark sales of silver, tramp art, pottery, paintings, and furniture, and accounts of famous frauds, forgeries, and crimes of passion. Learn about the fake Brewster chair that effectively fooled the trade and museum curators until the maker revealed his identity, the discovery in France of an 18th-century desk and bookcase that sold for over $8 million despite missing feet, and the fate of the con man who foiled the antique toy world”. Softcover. 8.5”x11”, 448 pages, b/w illustrations. New. [95022]

  Published at $19.95.
  Publisher’s overstock available at
  this price for a limited time -

Or, buy $50 worth of other books and we'll send you a copy of this book as our Holiday gift.


Snow or no snow, the other nice thing about our new digs is that we are near enough to the very-well plowed Massachusetts Turnpike and Interstate 91 to be convenient in bad weather. We’re only a few minutes down the road from Historic Deerfield, the books are all unpacked and on new shelves, and if you find yourself going by one day, give us a call and drop by.

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There’s always tea or coffee in the pot, cider in the fridge and various other libations and snacks available as well. Remember to take a look at our December Catalog when you have a chance, and until next time, enjoy our catalog and enjoy the Holidays!

-Forrest, Betty, Amy, Freckles, Pywackett & Ike


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