Acquisitions 2021

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Acquisitions 2021

1WildcatJF
Mar 17, 5:12pm

Might as well start up a year-appropriate thread!

Thanks to the stimulus I finally got 5 of the 6 remaining Series 1 books I need heading my way! I did not grab Gulliver yet, but I have these coming:
Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving/Frederic Goudy
Undine by Friedrich de La Motte-Fouque/Allen Lewis
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe/Edward A. Wilson
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe/Rene Clarke
The Travels of Baron Munchausen by Rudolphe Raspe/John Held

Condition varies a bit on these, but I am hopeful that all will arrive in very good condition.

2Django6924
Mar 17, 5:47pm

>1 WildcatJF:

Do not have the Rip Van Winkle--looking forward to that!

3RuefulCountenance
Mar 18, 10:23pm

>1 WildcatJF: Since I don't have any of Series 1, I'm especially jealous :) I've had too many acquisitions this year to list to anybody's interest, so I'll just highlight two:

1. Gargantua and Pantagruel, Near Fine condition. Getting it for much, much less than the Folio Society LE costs only adds to my pleasure. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

2. The Book of The Thousand and One Nights, also Near Fine but lacking its slipcases. Not a huge factor for me as I enjoy making cases. Besides being in outstanding condition, it came with the unexpected revelation that it was once owned by a minor celebrity from my hometown of Chicago. The revelation aspect was the cool part, as it came in the form of a telegram tucked inside a volume. I love surprises like that :)

4Django6924
Mar 18, 11:30pm

>3 RuefulCountenance:

I think you will enjoy the Rabelais: the translation by LeClercq is the best in that it really finds an English equivalent for Rabelais' double entendres and puns.

5MobyRichard
Editado: Mar 18, 11:50pm

>3 RuefulCountenance:

If you like good deals on Rabelais, may I also suggest this edition?

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=8798292232&searchurl=bi%3D...

200 copies, 3 large volumes on great paper. All the extant works including Gargantua and Pantagruel. With the caveat that not everyone finds Alexander King to their taste. Perfect for Rabelais though.

Interesting thing about the above edition is that apparently the publisher also released 1,300 more copies of this, same binding (different color spine), same text and typography, but with a different illustrator and published in the same year...I don't think I've ever heard of a publisher doing that before. I'm basing this on listings. Haven't seen a copy of the other "edition" in person.

6RuefulCountenance
Mar 18, 11:57pm

>5 MobyRichard: Goodness, that is tempting. Thank you for the food for thought. Rabelais + King might prove impossible to resist ...

7WildcatJF
Mar 19, 7:56pm

Alas, the copy of Undine I ordered was canceled; apparently the seller forgot to remove it from their inventory. I'll probably hold off on a reorder for a little while until some others show up at a good price. Abe is not my preferred means of ordering LECs and this is why lol.

8WildcatJF
Editado: Mar 20, 9:52am

Well, I decided to look around and found another copy of Undine on Amazon for like half the price I paid for the one that was canceled. So I wandered around and found a couple fairly cheap LECs to make up the price difference. I don't typically like shopping on Amazon for LECs as their listings are ALL OVER the place and can be difficult to parse, but I did find a set of Evergreen Tales (the 2nd with Beauty & the Beast, Dick Whittington and his Cat, and St. George & the Dragon) and the 1933 Lyrics of Francois Villon for remarkably cheap, and seeing as those don't have Heritage reprints I decided to pull the trigger and see what happens. Hopefully I won't run into any more issues and snagged a few deals!

9RuefulCountenance
Mar 21, 9:07pm

Good luck with those purchases. I know from experience Amazon can be treacherous for LECs. I had ordered The Voice of the City, advertised as the LEC and even with a photo, and instead received a 1970 version that some corporation handed out as a Christmas gift. It was in a slipcase and limited to 1,500, so I can see why the seller was confused lol

I have my first Series 1 coming my way - The Decameron! Some checking revealed that, other than the Shakespeare series, this was the only series I didn't have a single title from through Series 49.

10EdmundRodriguez
Mar 23, 1:07pm

Picked up a few LECs so far this year, my favourites being:
Les Miserables
Dubliners
Heart of Darkness (1969)

Also picked up a copy of the Heritage Press Romeo and Juliet (1937), which is a great little book.

11kdweber
Mar 23, 2:19pm

>10 EdmundRodriguez: Quite the haul, those are some nice books, the HP Romeo and Juliet is a gem. Les Mis is large but I feel that Lynd Ward's illustrations work well. The LEC Dubliners is a really good size match for the Folio Society Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. I never picked up a copy of the LEC Heart of Darkness after acquiring the Chester River Press edition, what do you think of it?

12literatefool
Mar 23, 2:32pm

I finally snagged the HP three volume "Arabian Nights" (Angelo illustrations) in great condition, with slip cases in great condition, and a Sandglass insert.

13EdmundRodriguez
Mar 23, 5:34pm

>11 kdweber:
Heart of darkness only arrived today, so I'll have to wait until I've read it to give a full assessment. However, first impressions are good. I like the illustrations (particularly the double page spreads) and the paper seems nice. Probably not up to the level of the Chester River Press version, but definitely still a high quality edition and sufficient for me!

14maisiedotes
Mar 23, 8:14pm

I got a Quarto-Millenary!

I read this site religiously, but seldom post, as I feel like the country mouse.

There was a Quarto-Millenary I had been eyeing on Abe for quite a while. It was an ex-library book in "good" condition going for $20. After I placed my order, I was asked to approve an extra $2 over the $5 postage (Don't they KNOW this in advance? Why do they say, "MAY require extra postage"?)

The book arrived in a bubble-wrapped envelope that had been punctured, resulting in an inch-long gouge on the back board. Additionally, there were huge coffee stains on several pages (not my idea of "good" condition).

Fortunately, the seller gave a complete refund because of the damage and let me keep the book. So while the coffee stains make me wince, I DO now have a copy of this wonderful resource.

15kdweber
Mar 23, 9:21pm

>14 maisiedotes: It'll cost you! Most of us buy a bunch more LECs after getting a copy of the Quarto-Millenary.

16WildcatJF
Editado: Mar 24, 12:06am

>14 maisiedotes: Oooof, that's the sort of horror story I wince about. At least the seller let you keep the book and refunded you though. It's a marvelous book and an incredible enabler hahaha.

Three of my books arrived today! The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym is in excellent shape; just some slight sunning to the spine and the slipcase is darkened, but internally it's near perfect and the boards are still nice and shiny. Definitely got a bargain on this one. Rip Van Winkle is in pretty amazing condition considering most of the spines I've seen for copies were demolished; this one has a bit of a scratch on it but otherwise is sound and intact. Interior is good, too. No slipcase, but I took a gamble on it and came away aces. My 1st series Baron Munchausen was the biggest risk I took as it was noticeably cheaper than other copies, and...it's not in the best of shape. It has a ton of flaking to the spine leather, a fair amount of foxing and the boards are dulled. It's lacking a slipcase, too. But, for now, it will suffice and I can always replace it down the road.

17Django6924
Mar 24, 1:21am

>11 kdweber: "I never picked up a copy of the LEC Heart of Darkness after acquiring the Chester River Press edition, what do you think of it?"

Ken, if I may throw in my 2 cents worth, I am a huge fan of the 1969 Heart of Darkness (and abhor the later version with Sean Scully's textile designs). The binding design has just the right sense of eeriness. Richard Ellis's overall design is faultless, the Monotype letterpress is exquisite, and the paper is very, very good though not up to the luxurious standards of the top Limited Editions Club papers.

Special notice must be given to Robert Shore's illustrations: I find them wonderful, and a wonderful concept on the illustrator's part: he used sheets of plywood with very strongly-figured grain patterns, and then used semi-transparent paint, which let the grain show through the color. Thus the grain creates ripples in the water, the actual deck planking on the riverboat, cloud striations, heat waves, and the silk moiré of a dress. Some may say it's a gimmick, but when it works so effectively, how is it less a gimmick than van Gogh's blobs of paint creating a three dimensional effect?

I don't have the ML for the LEC so I am unable to provide more specifics than what appear in the colophon, but I still have my New York HP from when I was in the Heritage Club and it is also very desirable--I swear, if it were published today by the Arion Press as an exact duplicate, it would be considered a triumph for that institution (and would probably cost $500).

18Lukas1990
Editado: Mar 24, 1:27am

>14 maisiedotes: Hide your wallet!

Tracking shows that my Journals and Other Documents on the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus has just landed in my hometown. Probably one more week (our postal system is terrible) and I will be holding it in my hands. My first LEC book!

19maisiedotes
Mar 24, 1:27am

>15 kdweber:
>16 WildcatJF:

I'm exer...cising ... self-......con......trol.......

Speaking of replacing: how does one go about selling? How do you make it worth the effort?

Wildcat, enjoy your new acquisitions. I've read with envy your treasures unearthed in bookstores. I only became acquainted with "old books" during the pandemic. I'm in Northern California, and I hope to browse in a store or two once things open up (I don't know any locations yet!).

20maisiedotes
Mar 24, 1:31am

>18 Lukas1990: I'm glad my husband can't view my Abe account!

I hope you'll describe what it's like receiving your first LEC.

21laotzu225
Mar 24, 4:36pm

>20 maisiedotes: Just my three cents: (inflation, you know). The bulk of my LECs have been purchased through eBay. I much prefer it to ABE, primarily due to the fact that a good seller will include a number of photographs of the book visible at near full size. Also, it is fairly easy to ask questions or make an offer (even when one isn't solicited). Many of the sellers are established booksellers as are on ABE. You can tell by the other books they have.
And then there are auctions. I just got two very nice LECs for $29.95 (the starting bid) where I was the only bidder. Because it is easy to see what other copies are on offer at a given time with the search engine, you can get a good idea of going prices.

22WildcatJF
Mar 24, 5:02pm

>19 maisiedotes: I haven't got that far in terms of thinking of how to sell Baron; I don't think I'll be doing that any time soon. I rarely sell books, but if I do, there's a store I go to in Monterey, CA that I trade in Heritage Press titles for. They offer decent credit and I usually can find a book or several to spend it on, haha. For LECs, I've only had experience trading one in to a different shop in Monterey that specializes in rare books, and it was fine, but I didn't get a lot for it.

23maisiedotes
Mar 24, 6:11pm

>21 laotzu225: $29.95 for two very nice LECs should bring a smile to one's face! How does buyer protection compare on eBay vs. Abe?

>22 WildcatJF: I'll put Monterey on my excursion list.

24WildcatJF
Mar 25, 6:26pm

The rest of my Series 1 orders rolled in today! My Undine is BEAUTIFUL. The biggest issue is a small chip is missing from the top and bottom of the spine, but the interior is vibrant and sharp and the boards are exquisite. The slipcase is a little banged up so it did its job!

Robinson Crusoe has some severe sunning and a bit of staining to the spine, but otherwise it's marvelous. And to be honest, given the binding style for this book, which reminds me of a nautical journal, it sort of works, haha. It's a shame Grabhorn had such a fallout with Macy following this, as it's a very nice edition! No slipcase on this one, but it was a good price.

I'll hope that the other two random LECs I ordered turn out well too!

25Django6924
Mar 25, 7:38pm

>24 WildcatJF:

Jerry, although I like a lot of things about the Defoe book, some things bother me, as I'm sure they bothered Macy:

1) Grabhorn cut up the elaborate title art Wilson did because he thought it was too busy. Macy later used it as Wilson created it for the HP, and I think it works just fine. (Wilson was apparently VERY upset, not only because Grabhorn never consulted him about modifying it, but because the way in which he removed the top part was very clumsy.

2) The Colt Armory press as set up for this book had such a deep bite that the indentation shows through on the reverse of the page. I know many here are very fond of that style of letterpress, and I do prefer a bite impression to a kiss impression, but when it can be felt and seen on the other side--well, save that kind of impression for books in Braille. (Incidentally, when I worked in a print shop in college, the Heidelberg Windmill press thy had made several study texts in Braille for our sight-impaired students.)

3) The paper chosen has so pronounced a texture that the reproduction of the illustrations exhibits a marked "saltiness," which again may be appropriate for a journal by a mariner, but I prefer the smooth areas of color in the HP versions.

All in all, I still think the book is a beautiful book, probably the most beautiful in Series One, but I don't think two strong-willed, opinionated people such as Macy and Grabhorn could have ever worked together--financial considerations aside.

26WildcatJF
Mar 25, 8:58pm

>25 Django6924: All fair points, but having not seen the Heritage, I'm pretty contented with it all things considered. It definitely is a "salty" book, haha.

It's wild to have 11 of the 12 books in Series 1. This is the closest I've ever been to a full series! Kind of blows my mind haha.

27kdweber
Mar 25, 10:44pm

>26 WildcatJF: What are you missing?

28WildcatJF
Editado: Mar 26, 10:07am

>27 kdweber: Book #1, Gulliver's Travels. It's averaging $150-200 at the moment, so I'm going to wait a bit to pick that up.

29GusLogan
Editado: Mar 26, 11:05am

>28 WildcatJF:
Indeed I just paid slightly more than that for it NF! Should probably have exercised patience, but that’s one competitor out of the way when your 100 USD Mint copy turns up!

Other recent acquisitions:
- The Golden Cockerel (thanks in no small part to a post of Don’s on this forum)
- The Frogs - also quite lovely
- the earlier (BR) Shakespeare’s Poems, second attempt to get one without foxing...
- Tartuffe (1930)
- Suetonius, sadly Like New except - a big exception - two fully broken hinges. Full refund, but it’ll cost me more to fix. Only such issue with an OB/SV Mardersteig book so far at least.
- Nostromo, annoyingly somewhat damaged en route

And The bridge of San Luis Rey on the way.

I’ve been unlucky in picking up a couple of LECs with foxing, particularly Shakespeare’s Poems (twice now) and Tartuffe. Whether foxing spreads feels like a question of fact rather than opinion, but I struggle to read my way to a fact-based view. I value your judgements - do you shelve separately, encase/entomb, destroy by fire or treat like normal books with mild foxing?

Struggling to find a nice 3-vol Brothers Karamazov at any price and a number of wishlist LECs at reasonable prices. Looking forward to spending a decade searching.

30kdweber
Mar 26, 11:22am

>28 WildcatJF: It's been a few years since I collected the first series, then expanded my goal to the first 50 LECs after I picked up the first 50 Monthly Letters LEC. I'm not a big fan of the Alexander King illustrations. Bought without a slipcase or Monthly Letter, it is now housed in the second slipcase I ever made. Of my five copies of Gulliver's Travels, my favorite is the first HP edition illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg. I had to replace a later reprint of the HP after I found out about it from Robert (>25 Django6924:). Beautiful paper and a great binding. It looks like the price of most LECs are increasing at the moment. While I was picking up most of my collection they appeared to be going in the other direction.

>29 GusLogan: You've been busy!

31JedediahG
Mar 26, 1:25pm

>25 Django6924: I acquired Robinson Crusoe this year and really love it. All of the points you mention are true but the only one that really bothers me is the butchered title art. It's so clumsy and obvious and just so unnecessary. But I actually really like everything else about it. It all somehow seemed so right for the type of book it is and the story it's telling. I love the texture of the paper and the way the illustrations appear on it. It's one of my favorite LECs that I've gotten so far.

Other acquisitions:

- The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (LEC)—this would probably be considered a more run-of-the-mill LEC but even those are just so much nicer than anything you can get nowadays without spending hundreds of dollars. It was my first time reading it (or anything by Henry James) and I loved it. James invests the common intercourse of everyday living with all the tension of a hostage negotiation. It was a wild ride.
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Heritage)—again, I know this one is pretty divisive with the shiny plasticky orange binding but I loved it as well and thought it was very appropriate to the story. Again, somehow I'd never made it around to reading this and it was a great read although depressingly prophetic.
- The Wall by John Hersey (LEC)—I love the production and illustrations. I haven't read it yet but it looks fascinating albeit very grim.
- A Lost Lady by Willa Cather (LEC)—another beautiful little production and a really beautiful and nostalgic story.

I also picked up some books last year that I didn't add to the 2020 thread:

- The Odyssey of Homer (the Enschede press one)—it's too beautiful and I'm too nervous to read it. It also has uncut pages and I'm too nervous to cut them.
- Zulieka Dobson by Max Beerbohm (LEC)—I love the design which seems to fit the book so well, and what a strange little book it is.
- Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz (LEC)—lovely design, haven't read it yet
- I Promessi Spossi by Alessandro Manzoni (LEC)—beautiful in every way. The story is amazing, the design is impeccable.
- The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper (LEC)—I love the illustrations in this and the story is great
- The Decameron by Bocaccio (LEC)—another stunning book with amazing paper and the stories were pretty wild. Apart from all the sex, it has death, and beatings and accidental cannibalism—I'm surprised there's not more interest in the classics these days.
- Salammbo by Flaubert (LEC)—this also has an incredible amount of violence and death and sacrifice and sex—again, why are more people not reading these?
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (LEC)—the grandaddy of mystery novels doesn't disappoint
- The Diary of a Country Priest (LEC)—a beautiful book with some of the nicest paper I've ever touched. The story was brutal and I'm still deciding what I thought about it.
- The Diary of Benvenuto Cellini (LEC)—another stunner and holy cow, Cellini is hilarious. He will freaking kill you if you steal his saddle or his girl and he casts a pretty darn good Perseus and is not at all shy about letting you know it.

32WildcatJF
Editado: Mar 29, 7:44pm

Good news on my random Amazon books:

* The Lyrics of Villon is practically like new. The book still had the glassine and the interior, outside of the prints bleeding onto the opposite page, is perfect. The slipcase is a little banged up but I couldn't be happier about getting a book from 1933 in this condition.
* My 2nd series of Evergreen Tales was truly the bargain, though. While the spines are sunned and the slipcase is split, the interiors of the three books are excellent as are the boards.

Both run me $20 each, so I can't complain one bit!

33kdweber
Mar 30, 2:00am

>32 WildcatJF: Only three more Evergreen sets to go. The Villon can usually be found for a good price. I assume your copy exhibits the usual heavy offsetting from the illustrations?

34WildcatJF
Mar 30, 10:38am

>33 kdweber: Well, I have three other sets (1, 3, and 4), so I just need the last one to have them all now.

And yes, that is definitely how I would describe the Villon. Pretty much each illustration is transposed on the other page.

35jpinomaha
Mar 31, 4:23pm

I recently relocated to NC and haven't had much time to add to my collection. Well, the last couple weeks have been very good to me. I purchased a good copy of the 1934 1001 Nights illustrated by Valenti Angelo w/ all 3 slip cases in good condition. A good copy of 1932 Droll Stories with a good slipcase and an excellent copy of Le Morte D/Arthur.
Still on my wish list is the Count of Montecristo....

36BuzzBuzzard
Mar 31, 6:26pm

>35 jpinomaha: Just this past couple of months I read all Dumas published by the LEC, except the Man in the Iron Mask and really enjoyed them. Today, I am half way through The Count Of Monte Cristo but it is a struggle. It is so much different than the Musketeers romances. Will see how I feel once I finish it.

37Django6924
Mar 31, 10:57pm

>35 jpinomaha:

Count of Monte Cristo is very difficult to find in decent condition for less than stratospheric pricing.

38Glacierman
Abr 1, 3:59pm

Picked up a nice copy of the HP Valenti Angelo illustrated Shakespere's Sonnets for the wife's birthday. She was tickled.

39RickFlair
Editado: Abr 1, 7:15pm

Picked up the LEC - Brothers Karamazov !


40maisiedotes
Abr 1, 7:53pm

>38 Glacierman: Lucky wife! How wonderful that you two share a love of fine books. Valenti Angelo's illustrations are a picker-upper.

41abysswalker
Editado: Abr 2, 12:22pm

So far, for me 2021 seems to be leaning toward exploring mostly post-Macy LEC offerings.

  • The Flounder (1985)

  • The Adventures of Simplicissimus (1981)

  • The Dead Sea Scrolls (1966)

  • The Masque of Comus (1954)

All of these seem like tremendous deals based on the quality of the productions, though I think I paid around current individual sale market rate for fine condition in all cases (considerably less than 100 USD each with the exception of The Flounder, for which I paid less than 200 USD).

Shiff sure did like to make large form factor books.

The Flounder is probably the strangest of these. The quality and thoughtfulness of almost all the elements are remarkable, especially for the price it seems to go for now. Excellent presswork, one of my favorite bindings (quarter eel skin that feels supple and, perhaps surprisingly, durable), excellent paper (with a very faint blue green hue that evokes water), three volumes (I prefer long novels to be broken into multiple volumes generally), signed and illustrated by a winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, and the art actually functions well both as book illustration and fine art (unlike some of the livres d'artiste Shiff produced). Despite all that acclamation, Ben Shiff did make some questionable choices in the design. The shape of the books is horizontal, more landscape than portrait, though not quite as wide as full landscape. I think this choice is supposed to evoke roughly the pancake shape of a flounder, but the primary practical effect is absolutely huge outside margins which seem ostentatious for all pages that lack illustration. Additionally, while the presswork is flawless, paragraphs lack both indentation and noticeable leading, which to my eye is a design mistake.

Comus hasn't actually arrived yet, so perhaps I am jumping the gun, but hopefully it arrives soon and as described.

The 1933 Brothers Karamazov actually would have been on my list of 2021 acquisitions as well, but the USPS lost the package! The shipment was tracked and the seller was professional, so no loss on my part. It was insured, so presumably no loss on the seller's part either, but the copy was in good condition given the age; for the state of LEC books in the world I hope someone finds it at some point and treats the set well.

42kermaier
Abr 2, 6:28pm

>41 abysswalker:
If you get no other early Shiff production, you must have The Secret Sharer (1985). It’s just about perfect, in all respects, and can often be found in Fine condition for under $100.

43Django6924
Abr 2, 8:15pm

>41 abysswalker:

The Flounder is really odd: not only the story, and not only the LEC design, but the fact that the signature of the artist/author/Nobel Prize Winner is usually found for such low prices. One would think it should sell close to the 4-figure range. I like it very much, but I have always been a big fan of Grass.

44abysswalker
Abr 2, 10:31pm

>42 kermaier: The Secret Sharer looks delightful; thanks for the pointer.

45Glacierman
Editado: Abr 7, 5:57pm

I now have a near pristine copy of the 1953 LEC edition of Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers on the way. Already have the 1932 edition, also in excellent condition, so it will be nice to have them side by side.

46Django6924
Abr 7, 9:38pm

>45 Glacierman:

I think you will find the 1932 edition the preferred version. The illustrations are a tossup as both are wonderful, but I prefer the 2 volume treatment of the 1932 version to the later edition, and have always had an (unreasonable) aversion to double column text layout.

47Glacierman
Abr 7, 11:17pm

>46 Django6924: Yes, we absolutely adore the 1932 edition. Everything about it is wonderful: the design, binding, paper, printing and illustrations. Just fabulous. Got the later one to have both editions. I'm a collector at heart, so that idea appeals to me.

48edgeworn
Abr 8, 6:08am

Thanks to recommendations made in this group I am currently reading two marvellous LEC books from the 1930s: The Pastoral Loves of Daphnis and Chloe, and The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard. Although different in their subject matter, these two books share some features which really appeal to me. Both have bindings which are in harmony with the contents. Both use very good quality papers. Both contain illustrations which, for me, exactly capture the spirit of the books. And both are enjoyable to read. (I am embarrassed to admit this is my first introduction to the writings of Anatole France. I am greatly enjoying his company).

The reproduction of the Sylvain Sauvage watercolours in Sylvestre Bonnard is very finely done. I could almost believe that the artist had hand-painted each copy.

My copy of Daphnis and Chloe includes a letter from George Macy to the original purchaser of the book, dated 12th September 1934, extolling the virtues of the LEC edition of The Arabian Nights:

"This is the most important publishing venture of our career." "… an edition of The Arabian Nights which is (this is a fact) the biggest book bargain of the century, and (this is pure opinion) one of the loveliest books we have issued."

49Django6924
Editado: Abr 8, 11:30am

>48 edgeworn:

The LEC Arabian Night is a very interesting story and there were 3 Monthly Letters connected with its issue. What was, at the time, "the most important publishing venture of our career was, in fact, an act of desperation due to the fact that Frank Hill had not finished his Modern English translation of the Canterbury Tales which was to be the 11th book in that Series and T.M. Cleland had not finished illustrating Tristram Shandy on schedule. Since Club members had been promised these books in the Prospectus and had paid in advance for them, Macy had to use all of his salesmanship to avoid the potential loss of membership.

Edited to correct my computer's Auto-correct....

50kdweber
Abr 8, 10:37am

>48 edgeworn: Great reads. I just recently reread the Sylvestre Bonnard after reading about it here (LibraryThing). Would you consider scanning your Macy letter and posting it? It's always fun to find a treasure like this among one's purchases. Since the letter was with your Daphnis and Chloe (1934) I assume he was talking about the 6 volume The book of a Thousand and Nights and a Night (1934) a beautifully done edition illustrated by Valenti Angelo. Truly a steal when published at $10 even accounting for inflation. Amazingly, still a steal when I picked up my NF copy for $280 back in 2015.

51Django6924
Abr 8, 11:38am

>49 Django6924:

You use the word "steal" advisedly, Ken. You'd be lucky to get an Acceptable copy of this today for that price whilfe a NF or Fine copy could set you back $500--$1000.

Can you believe there were apparently several Club members who either refused the substitution or sent back their copies?

52edgeworn
Abr 8, 1:29pm

>50 kdweber: Would you consider scanning your Macy letter and posting it?

My pleasure. A scan of the letter here:

53kdweber
Abr 8, 9:04pm

>52 edgeworn: Thank you. My bad, I see the set went for $30 ($5 a book). A quick check of an inflation calculator shows $30 in 1934 worth ~$589 (~$100/book). Not a steal, but a fair price. My price, still a great value.

54Django6924
Abr 10, 12:56pm

>53 kdweber:

What are the bindings like on your set? Over the years I've seldom see a set where the bindings weren't either browned or where he leather was deteriorating.

55GusLogan
Abr 10, 1:53pm

>54 Django6924:
This one’s Fine and knows it - look at that price...
https://www.ebay.com/itm/303921163957

But even there, look closely at the first volume - isn’t that a split in the leather at the top/crown?

One sold in Germany not long ago for about 30-40 USD as I recall, but the leather was badly and unevenly browned and several hinges busted.

56kdweber
Abr 10, 2:23pm

>54 Django6924: Seriously NF, my spines look great, no discernable browning, no tears, only very minor wear on some of the spine edges. Surprising since there was no slipcases when I bought the set.

57Sport1963
Abr 10, 3:55pm

trop cher pour cet ensemble. You can do a lot better. Be patient.

58Django6924
Abr 11, 1:36am

>55 GusLogan:

The price is Very Fine (for the seller), but if I were selling that set, I would describe it as Near Fine. In addition to what does look like a split, the bindings have uneven browning and the slipcase seems to show evidence of waterstains.

>56 kdweber:

Great--you were very lucky to get it for that price--even without slipcases

>57 Sport1963:
c'est vrai.

59maisiedotes
Abr 11, 11:49pm

I'm in trouble. This week I went to the library bookstore for the first time since the pandemic and found five HPs. The manager said that he has six crates of HPs; would I like to look at them?

Of course I would like to look at them. The thornier question is: how will I sneak six crates of hardbacks into the house?

60Glacierman
Abr 12, 11:41am

>58 Django6924: "... I would describe it as Near Fine. In addition to what does look like a split, the bindings have uneven browning and the slipcase seems to show evidence of waterstains."

The split on the spine alone would, IMHO, knock it down to Very Good, especially if the slipcase is waterstained and the spines are unevenly aged. I know -- some of you don't care about the slipcase and that would not be a problem for you, but in describing it to the world at large, that needs to be considered and the description down-graded a bit. The uneven aging on the spine is cosmetic, to be sure, but to many collectors, a severe flaw. The split/tear at the spine, however, is a serious flaw for a collector, so the grade needs to reflect that. The potential buyer can decide whether or not it matters, but the seller should err on the down side in describing a book's condition.

I speak both as a former mail order bookseller of twenty years and as a collector.

I have always described any book I sold as completely as possible and used a grade (Poor, Good, Very Good, etc.) as a summary indicator. Grades such as VG+ and NF to me are waffle grades. It is either VG or it is Fine; the description should tell the tale. Even with photos, a full written description is desired. So many would-be booksellers today are too cavalier. Makes me crazy.

Ultimately, as a purchaser, only you can decide what flaws are acceptable to you. The seller needs to as fully inform you as possible. Clear photos, if possible, can be included as part of the description, but written description should go beyond the photos. Of course, the more valuable a book, the more detailed the description. A $10.00 book does not warrant the sort of detailed description a $1000 book would, but still, it should tell you all you need to know about that book before buying it.

Sorry for the digression.

I return you now to the regularly scheduled discussion.

61GusLogan
Editado: Abr 12, 12:30pm

Tough customers! True, the slipcases aren’t great (one’s been repaired, I see now), but I’ve not seen spines like those in several dozen sets observed, and I have to say to me they display the natural variety of organic materials rather than uneven sunning, but it could be my small phone screen... Academic, at this price, to be sure.

(Always a delight to learn from you all, I don’t want to suggest I didn’t just adjust my VG/NF/F boundaries...)

62kdweber
Abr 12, 12:51pm

>60 Glacierman: I always rate the book and slipcase separately and I notice many booksellers do the same. It doesn't make sense to me to give a book and slipcase one grading. A Fine book in a poor slipcase would be an easy buy for me (assuming there weren't lots of copies with nicer slipcases for the same price) while I would never buy a poor copy in a Fine slipcase (unless the price was so cheap that I'd toss the book and buy solely for the slipcase). Without info on both the slipcase and the book and solely a four level rating system, I'd never buy a used book. Thus, I disagree with your "waffle grade" approach. Book condition is obviously a continuum and non-discrete. We arbitrarily digitize the information and thus loose "quality". Compare the quality of a letter printed from an old dot matric printer, an early 150 dpi inkjet printer, 300 dpi laser printer, 1000+ dpi HD printer and letterpress from metal type. The resolution varies quite a bit. Now we can divide the quality of these letters into 4 categories, 6, 8, 10... you name it. Four categories for books doesn't provide me with adequate information, especially since half the grades (poor and good) are worthless to me. Since my buying decision is based on a range of VG+ to mint I'd prefer more discernment within that range.

63Django6924
Abr 12, 1:42pm

>60 Glacierman:

Your point about the split being a flaw that would downgrade the rating to Very Good is well-taken; however, in seeing the overall condition and comparing it to other sets of this work I've seen, I would have to say it's closer to the best I've seen rated Fine than to ones rated Very Good, so I tend to grade on the curve (hey--I used to be an English teacher, after all!).

But Ken's point I think is one that needs to be considered when buying for one's own personal use and enjoyment without taking into account some potential resale or investment value--which I never do. A single, or even a double rating--one for book and one for slipcase--can't hope to do justice to describing a book to the buyer for pleasure as opposed to the collector. I have seen--and purchased--several books which had sunned spines or stained or scuffed covers but the internal contents were Like New and unread. I purchased new a copy of Rex Stout's Fer-de-lance from the First Edition Library several years ago as all I had was a shoddy, 50 year old trade edition with the brown wood pulp paper breaking off when I turned the page. When I finally got around to taking it from the publisher's shrinkwrap recently and re-reading it, I was totally surprised by the ending: the last signature was missing and the next to the last signature duplicated! And now I don't remember how Wolfe solve the mystery of the deadly golf club and who substituted it!

Nothing beats a full, honest description of a book for sale, warts described as well as beauties--but you have to keep in mind most sellers are not book readers and aficionados, but people whose concerns are of a more commercial nature; and I would bet many of them would have, quite correctly, described my Nero Wolfe book "As New" and priced it accordingly, never having opened it.

64literatefool
Abr 12, 2:45pm

>59 maisiedotes: You've hit on a a great situation! I'm envious.

And assuming there are some duplicates you may only have to figure out how to sneak three or four crates into the house.

65Django6924
Abr 12, 5:27pm

>59 maisiedotes:

A word of advice: make sure the books you are interested in show a New York address on the title page, and unless you're desperate for it a particular title, eschew any that have a Connecticut address; that may also cut down on the number of crates.

66maisiedotes
Abr 12, 5:50pm

>64 literatefool: Haha! Yes, that'll pare things down to 3-4 crates.
>65 Django6924: Thanks for the tip. Down to 2-3 crates. I could secrete them in my trunk, bringing the occasional selection into the home.

I should have plenty to keep me reading for the rest of my days.

Our library system is reopening at the end of this month. I could have cried when I read the announcement. Library visits were a huge hole gouged away from normalcy.

67dlphcoracl
Editado: Abr 12, 9:50pm

One additional consideration regarding book condition........

It is important to compare apples to apples, i.e., compare the copy of the book you are interested in purchasing to other copies of the same LEC book, both past (offered previously for sale) and present (currently available for purchase).

Some LEC books are notorious for always appearing with flaws, e.g., Moby Dick (2 volumes), the Analects of Confucius (1933) in the special Chinese redwood box, Kwaidan, Hiroshima, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, etc. I do not expect to see these books ever appear for sale in fine condition. Consequently, I am more forgiving with regard to condition with these titles. Conversely, other LEC editions are readily available in fine condition and for these titles I will insist upon a copy in same fine condition.

More important than assigning a subjective grade, e.g., fine, near-fine, VG+, etc., which many booksellers do, I've found it is far more important to ask specific questions, obtain a detailed description of any flaws, and have this followed with high quality photographs that I request. For inexpensive LEC titles this may be going overboard; however, for expensive LEC or other private press books, this is essential and far more useful than an arbitrary grade the seller assigns.

68Glacierman
Abr 13, 7:08pm

>67 dlphcoracl: "More important than assigning a subjective grade, e.g., fine, near-fine, VG+, etc., which many booksellers do, I've found it is far more important to ask specific questions, obtain a detailed description of any flaws, and have this followed with high quality photographs that I request. "

Exactly, which is why I consider the G/VG/F, etc, grade a summary. Nothing beats a full complete description. When listing a book for sale, I always assumed that the interested buyer would be a picky collector and described it accordingly, listing all faults, even on the less valuable items in my stock. Took time, but it paid off. The only return I ever had was due to circumstances beyond my control.

69Lukas1990
Editado: Abr 15, 4:59pm

I have just received my first LEC book - Journals and Other Documents on the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. What a beautiful book! I have to agree with Books & Wines that this book is underrated and undervalued (their review of the book: https://booksandvines.com/2012/04/02/the-life-and-journals-of-christopher-columb...)

I have a dozen cheap Folio Society books, a couple of Heritage Press books and find them all fine but the LEC is another league. There's a lot of illustrations in the book by Lima de Freitas (65 b&w and 5 hand-coloured double-page ones) which perfectly reflect the atmosphere of Columbus' times. The binding is tight and firm. My only dissapointment is some yellow spots throughout some of the pages. There aren't many of them but still...

Just ordered my second one - Gallic Wars by Julius Caesar. I bought it for only 40$ and it is described by the seller as VG. I received some photos of the book and it looks OK. It even has a dustjacket so I guess the spine will not be sunned. The slipcase has some wear but it doesn't bother me. The possibility of owning an Officina Bodoni book (though a very modest one) designed by maestro Mardersteig is thrilling.

70BionicJim
Abr 15, 6:08pm

>69 Lukas1990: Welcome to the group - I’m certain you will have many more positive impressions of LECs as your collection grows.

As far as my collection goes- my acquisition count has gotten a bit out of hand so I’m going to need to put on the brakes. Based on my reading speed- I’ve got 10 years of catch-up to do to get through my existing collection, so I’m limiting myself to 1 addition per month and have a friend holding me accountable. If this sounds like an addiction, well, here’s my latest addition which speaks to it:

71Django6924
Editado: Abr 15, 6:34pm

>69 Lukas1990:

I would consider The Gallic Wars a very underrated Limited Editions Club book. I have the Heritage edition which I got as a member of the Heritage Club and liked it so much that when I had the opportunity to buy an LEC copy, I jumped at the chance. As good as the Heritage edition is (I still have it), the LEC is something else: luxurious paper, beautiful binding (but with a flaw), and Mardersteig's typically excellent printing. I find the text fascinating--I mean, these are Caesar's own words! albeit translated--and Bramanti's illustrations are just superb.

The only flaw is one in common with many post-war Mardersteig books--cracks in the front and back hinges. The boards are still attached but one day I will need to get some tape from Talas and reinforce them.

>70 BionicJim:

It's a shame Zhenya Gay didn't do more books for Macy; I wish she had illustrated Frankenstein for the Club.

72maisiedotes
Abr 15, 9:33pm

>69 Lukas1990: I just bought The Gallic Wars (HP) over the weekend. It's not the kind of material I usually read, but I am enjoying thumbing through it.

>70 BionicJim: Books have been my pandemic panacea. I've been buying out of boredom, but I've limited myself to country-mouse prices. I hope I don't find myself needing to off-load a whole lot of unwanted books when we can get out there again. Every day I pick a book to keep by my side to stare at during working hours. I read in the evenings.

>71 Django6924: Right! Hard to believe these are actually Caesar's words!

73Lukas1990
Editado: Abr 16, 10:34am

>70 BionicJim: "Welcome to the group".

Thank you!

>71 Django6924: The seller didn't mention any cracks in the hinges so I hope there won't be any. Can't be sure as they didn't provide any pictures of the interior of the book. I have already googled Talas and will ask you for advice on how to reinforce those boards if needed haha. A week ago I used some superglue on a HP volume of The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire and it worked pretty well but I am not sure how long the glue will last. It is obviously not a good solution for such a book as The Gallic Wars.

>72 maisiedotes: History of Ancient Rome/Greece is my hobby and it seems to me that George Macy also had an interest in this topic judging from the variety of HP and LEC books on Rome. The HP edition of The Gallic Wars looks great! Enjoy! BTW, my HP The Praise Of Folly still hasn't arrived from Canada. At least I have the Sandglass.

74maisiedotes
Abr 18, 9:23pm

>73 Lukas1990: I'm guessing it's been about two months since you ordered The Praise of Folly. Is that inordinately long for delivery from Canada and is it pandemic-related?

Let me know when you get it, and we can read it concurrently!

When do you expect to receive The Gallic Wars?

75abysswalker
Abr 18, 10:59pm

>74 maisiedotes: that is inordinately long for most shipping methods. I am in Canada, and over the past 4-5 months I have had two secondhand book orders lost in the post. In both cases, the sellers were professional and reimbursed the order. If it has been two months I would follow up.

76Lukas1990
Editado: Abr 19, 2:09am

>75 abysswalker:
>74 maisiedotes:

There could be several reasons why the delivery took so long.

I ordered the book on Abebooks on February 6th and the estimated delivery date was April 7th. There aren't many flights to Lithuania during these pandemic times so international orders usually take a couple or even more weeks longer than estimated. In addition to that, our national post was the last post in Europe which did all the processing of parcels by hand and only recently they modernised it and now use robots but it took them longer than expected to adjust. This means that a lot of parcels are stuck in warehouses here in Lithuania waiting to be processed and delivered to their final destinations. I had some orders reimbursed these last months (from major booksellers like Discover books or Thrift books) but the books still arrived sooner or later. I don't want to ask the small Canadian bookshop to reimburse the order of The Praise of Folly yet. A total of 35$ is a considerable amount of money for them. I'll be patient and hope to get the book soon.

The Gallic Wars is expected to arrive by May 26th. But the book is subject to customs taxes which means additional processing so it may take muuuch longer for me to finally hold it in my hands. I am also waiting for a couple more books... It is hard to be a modest book-collector in Lithuania.

>74 maisiedotes: I will definitely inform you when I get The Praise of Folly ;)

77abysswalker
Abr 21, 4:49pm

>42 kermaier: thanks again for bringing this to my attention.

I picked up a copy and concur with your assessment.

The story contained is rather short, but it is such a pleasure to read in this format.

The binding is also handmade silk from Thailand, which is a nice touch given the setting of the story.

78maisiedotes
Abr 21, 5:13pm

>75 abysswalker: I, too, have had quite a few books get damaged in the mail during the pandemic. It's sad because these items are out of print. One big seller that I've reached out to refuses, in the name of eco-consciousness, to pack with anything more protective than a single-ply plastic (there was a fancy name I don't remember) envelope. I won't order from that seller again.

>76 Lukas1990: What a journey for your books. (If only they could talk!) I imagine that after the long wait, receiving the books feels all the more rewarding.

I purchased a book from Wales last year and was hoping that the envelope would sport something distinctive to its place of origin. No such luck. It arrived dusty and nondescript.

79laotzu225
Abr 21, 11:43pm

>36 BuzzBuzzard: Stich with it! Very satisfying as it develops.

80laotzu225
Abr 22, 12:11am

>69 Lukas1990: It was your mention of this book being ordered pls some pictures i saw online which led me to order a copy. I hope it will be in similar condition to yours.
>70 BionicJim: Jim, I have that edition of Confessions. Recently, I found an un-slipcased LEC version online at a reasonable price and ordered it. It did have some smoky smell but I seem to have gotten rid of it with a little time in the garage and used dryer sheet. But it is a very large book. I would not feel comfortable sitting down and trying to read it. But of course, I wanted Zhenya Gay's large "lithographs on the stone" and signature, which I now have.
But I like the HP version better.

81Lukas1990
Abr 22, 5:48am

>80 laotzu225: I'm sure you'll like it! It is one of those rare (?) books that were originally planned for the LEC.

If there are any similar non-fiction books in the LEC catalogue, please inform me.

82BuzzBuzzard
Abr 22, 12:37pm

>79 laotzu225: Final stretch - book four! So different from the Musketeer romances. Hard to believe it is written by the same person.

83jpinomaha
Abr 26, 2:14pm

Finally was able to find a very nice copy of the Count of Montecristo with a solid slipcase and the Cricket and the Hearth. This completes my Dumas and Dickens collections. Now will continue to search for a copy of Ulysses and Lysistrata.....(I can wish, right.) LOL.

84laotzu225
Abr 26, 8:11pm

>83 jpinomaha: All it takes is money.

85Lukas1990
Editado: Mayo 6, 11:34am

My Gallic Wars have just arrived and I am amazed at the quality and minimalistic aestethics of the book! I got it for a great price and would rate it even better than very good. Even the hinges are quite solid (see pic).

Looking forward to getting more Officina Bodoni/Stamperia Valdonega printed books. Trial and Death of Socrates or Orations of Cicero are just what I need!



86dlphcoracl
Mayo 7, 11:32am

Just acquired the 1933 edition of the LEC Don Quixote printed and published in Spain on the other-worldly Guarra paper. I am probably in the LEC George Macy minority but I greatly prefer the wood engravings of Enric-Cristobal Ricard to the Edy Legrand illustrations in the LEC 1950 edition.

87BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 7, 11:47am

>86 dlphcoracl: I like them too but they are only a handful! This particular edition had a troubled history with illustrators.

88abysswalker
Mayo 7, 1:57pm

>86 dlphcoracl: agree strongly. And yes that paper is amazing.

89kermaier
Mayo 9, 11:55am

>86 dlphcoracl:
I strongly prefer the Ricard illustrations, and yes - the paper is amazing.

90EdmundRodriguez
Mayo 12, 12:57pm

Just received One Hundred Years of Solitude. Very nice production, had been looking out for a copy for a while. Relatively minor sunning of the spine (compared to some of the other copies I've seen online at least).

91ChrisG1
Mayo 13, 5:27pm

I'm new to the group & happy to have found this resource. A few weeks ago, I went to an estate sale and found a number of books in slipcases. My first conscious exposure to HP. I bought Bleak House and Sense & Sensibility. $4 each and in very nice shape. My curiosity picqued, I learned about George Macy & LEC. So I'm laying the groundwork to start a collection of LEC books.

My only other foray into book collecting has been the Oz books - of which I acquired all 40, plus several related volumes, all either 1st edition or very early. Had a blast putting it together & have been itching to find another outlet. I've enjoyed reading through the group archives - advice & suggestions welcome!

92laotzu225
Mayo 13, 7:23pm

>91 ChrisG1: It can be a very addictive pastime.

93RuefulCountenance
Mayo 13, 7:44pm

>91 ChrisG1: I just started LEC collecting a year ago and there are some resources you might not be aware of that I use frequently:

https://www.majure.net/LECLISTOFTITLES.htm

https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/

There is also a Google Drive that contains dozens of Monthly Letters but I'm not sure who the current contact is for access permission.

As for books, you might want to acquire a copy of the Quarto-Millenary. It can be pricy but affordable copies show up fairly often. Same with The History of the Limited Editions Club, which was published a few years ago.

It's become a fun pastime for me. The quality of these books never ceases to amaze and the value usually can't be beat among fine press publishers.

94WildcatJF
Mayo 13, 8:49pm

>91 ChrisG1: Welcome! Rueful gives a few great sources (including my blog, the George Macy Imagery) that I totally second. I love collecting these books and there's a bevy of variety to explore and discover! And congrats on finding an Austen! I still have yet to see one haha.

95ChrisG1
Mayo 13, 9:21pm

>93 RuefulCountenance: Thanks for the info! Learning is at least half the fun.

96Glacierman
Editado: Mayo 14, 11:59am

>95 ChrisG1: 'Tis a long and winding road you have embarked upon, and you may never see the end, but it will be a wild and fun ride! Welcome to the LEC!

97GusLogan
Editado: Mayo 14, 12:55pm

>91 ChrisG1:
Welcome and good luck, here’s hoping we’re not after the same books ; )

98GusLogan
Mayo 14, 1:03pm

And in acquisitions, after a particularly tough spell at work and not much spending because of the pandemic I rewarded myself with a copy of the LEC War & Peace. My remaining grail (for now) is a NF or better 1 001 Nights that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg - my third top trio pick being the Shakespeare set. Clearly I like multi-volume LECs.

A Divine Comedy slipped by me on eBay a few weeks back, that still smarts - but warm congratulations if the buyer hangs out here!

99GusLogan
Mayo 14, 1:06pm

>86 dlphcoracl:
Was it the copy from Different Drummer Books by any chance? I looked long and hard at that but decided against since I own the later edition and am nearing shelf crisis!

100ChrisG1
Mayo 14, 10:55pm

>94 WildcatJF: At $4 a pop, I wish I had picked up more! But that'll leave more shelf space for the LECs.

101Lukas1990
Editado: Mayo 15, 2:18am

>91 ChrisG1: All the above sources are great. I also recommend https://booksandvines.com/ There are lots of reviews of books by the Limited Editions Club. And also some exclusive books by other publishers.

102GusLogan
Editado: Mayo 15, 4:24am

>91 ChrisG1:
There are some fun threads here on themes/thoughts behind collections - Macy years only, particular series etc. - but I think most of the contributors are here because they like the range the LEC (and HP/HC) offers. Which is to say I don’t really see anyone posting that their angle on collecting LECs is to amass the great novels written in English (or French), or just the poetry, or the plays. Or just the European works, or the relatively few works written by women, etc. A selection effect, perhaps.

I’ve resisted the temptation to impose any (purchases-driving) logic on my collecting other than that of buying only books I want to read that I also find attractive and can afford… and staying reasonably close to the ”Greats”, which Macy of course made easy. The idea I got closest to was collecting the first series, and if it were cheaper to do so I probably would. Once you pick up the Quarto-M (or Bibliography) you can collect by designer (Rogers, Meynell?) or publisher (Officina Bodoni?) or even by paper!

Edit: I, for one, boast a complete collection of the titles produced by the Grabhorn Press for the LEC…

103ChrisG1
Mayo 15, 9:34am

>102 GusLogan: Thanks for the books and vines link - I'll be dipping into that a good bit, I can see. I've got my eye on a few titles on ebay right now, but a local store here in Portland has one I want to go see next week. If I pick it up, I'll post pics.

104GusLogan
Mayo 15, 9:44am

>103 ChrisG1:
That one wasn’t mine, but I second it, having spent much time there!

105kdweber
Mayo 15, 12:05pm

>102 GusLogan: "Edit: I, for one, boast a complete collection of the titles produced by the Grabhorn Press for the LEC…"

Which would consist entirely of Robinson Crusoe.

106ChrisG1
Mayo 15, 11:40pm

Well, I said I'd post about my first LEC acquisition & here it is. It turned out quite differently than I expected. I went to a local store to see their "Complete Andersen" set listed on their website & it had sold. However, the owner referred me to another local shop that had obtained a number of LECs from the same estate and....let's say I got a bit carried away. So, here is what I purchased:

The Fables of Jean De La Fontaine (1930)
Troilus & Cressida (1939)
Carmen (1941)
Tartuffe & the Would-Be Gentleman (1963)
Two Plays For Puritans (1966)
Poems of John Donne (1968)
Poems of Robert Browning (1969)
Ah, Wilderness (1972)

Except for the Fables, they are all poetry & drama, so I expect to look for novels & histories next time I buy. They were all in at least Very Good condition & only Troilus & Cressida was missing the slipcase.

107GusLogan
Mayo 16, 1:17am

>106 ChrisG1:
Congratulations on a chunky haul! The other thread will soon double the price of the John Donne : )

108ChrisG1
Mayo 16, 7:24am

>107 GusLogan: Lol - thanks! I was delighted to see the article - both the content and the coincidental timing.

109laotzu225
Mayo 16, 2:30pm

>102 GusLogan: can you post a list of those-the Grabhorn LECs?

110laotzu225
Mayo 16, 2:31pm

>106 ChrisG1: You don't seem to do things in small steps!

111GusLogan
Mayo 16, 2:44pm

>109 laotzu225:
See >105 kdweber: above - it was a little joke, as Macy and Edward(?) Grabhorn fell out and didn’t work together again… sorry : )

112ChrisG1
Mayo 16, 5:58pm

>110 laotzu225: Yeah, nothing like finding a bunch of them in one place & money burning a hole in my pocket...

113laotzu225
Mayo 16, 10:41pm

>111 GusLogan: NOW I recall that fact after you explained it. Good joke though.

114dlphcoracl
Editado: Mayo 17, 9:16pm

>99 GusLogan:

Hi Gus.

Yes, I purchased the 1933 LEC Don Quixote from Different Drummer books. It was as nice a copy as I have seen in many years, with only minimal sun-fading at the spine and without slipcase.

Incidentally, with regard to "shelf crisis", to quote one of our former illustrious presidents: "I feel your pain". My book collecting has slowly crossed the line into obsessive-compulsive behavior and pathological hoarding resulting in complete absence of shelf space and books now being "stored" on the floor in inconspicuous parts of the house that are not directly visible, something I find more than a bit creepy. My resolve going forward is to aggressively discard books that are less valuable and/or no longer wanted to liberate enough shelf space to properly store these books and clear the floor space. Needless to say, I will only acquire 1 or 2 books for the next year or two going forward until this issue is successfully resolved.

115dlphcoracl
Mayo 17, 9:15pm

>101 Lukas1990:
>103 ChrisG1:
>104 GusLogan:

Regarding the Books and Vines (B&V) website as an invaluable source of information for LEC collectors:

Chris Adamson owns the complete bibliography of BOTH the George Macy and the Sidney Shiff LEC books. He reluctantly was forced to discontinue this site because of legal issues revolving around copyright law and posting extensive sets of photographs for the LEC articles he was writing. Chris did not have a specific legal problem, i.e., he was not being sued, but he was strongly advised by legal counsel he consulted with to discontinue the B&V website in its current form. Chris tried writing and posting a few articles with those new constraints but it was not aesthetically satisfactory.

Incidentally, the photographs in the vast majority of the myriad B&V articles have an unusual and wonderful feature. If you left-click once over a photograph it will enlarge. If you then left-click AGAIN - a 2nd time - over the already enlarged photo, it will enlarge even further giving you a macro photo view which provides extraordinary detail with regard to the quality of the letterpress work, the wood engravings, other illustrations, and the various hand made papers.

Try it - you'll like it!!

116Glacierman
Mayo 18, 1:16pm

>111 GusLogan: I, too, am numbered amongst that august company. :-)

117Glacierman
Mayo 18, 1:19pm

On a more serious note, I just acquired a very, very nice copy of Zadig. Lovely production, excellent illustrations/design by Sylvain Sauvage, but the paper is a bit thick, more like thin cardboard. Still, well worth obtaining.

118jsg1976
Mayo 18, 1:30pm

>117 Glacierman: I’m actually in the middle of reading that right now. I don’t love the story (it’s fine, just not a favorite), but the design of the book is fantastic.

119Glacierman
Editado: Mayo 19, 3:34pm

Well, today I visited the Post Office and picked up a copy of the LEC Essays of Sir Francis Bacon (#157,1944). Marvelous book! This is one of the LEC that were issued in a smaller edition, 1100 copies to be precise. In brief, it was designed Bruce Rogers and bears his signature. The introduction is by Christopher Morley, whose book The Haunted Bookshop is a classic biblio-book. There is also a bibliographic note by Dr. A. S. W. "Rosy" Rosenbach, a noted bookman of the time. Dr. Rosenbach's books (Books and Bidders and A Book Hunter's Holiday) are also worth reading. A feature of this book I particularly like is that it comes, not in a slipcase, but in a clamshell case. The paper is a special paper by Worthy, and it was very nicely printed by Wm. E. Rudge's Sons. The original Wm. E. Rudge of note (1876–1931) was a noted printer of his day and his sons (Wm. E. Rudge III and Frederic Gould Rudge) carried on the family tradition and excellence as Wm. E. Rudge's Sons.

I was tickled to discover that my copy is unread, and has numerous unopened pages, which I will have to deal with when I get around to reading it. The top edge is gilded and others are untrimmed, thus the uncut pages.

I forgot to mention that the HP edition is well-covered here.

And note the use of the long 's' on the title page, often mistaken for the letter 'f'.

120kdweber
Mayo 19, 3:40pm

>119 Glacierman: "This is one of the LEC that were issued in a smaller edition"
Yep, the war years were tough on the LEC.

121booksforreading
Mayo 19, 8:28pm

>119 Glacierman:
I finished reading my copy of the essays a couple of months ago, and I had to cut numerous pages to read the book. It was part of the fun for me!

122laotzu225
Mayo 20, 7:40pm

>119 Glacierman: Always something to learn. Your nice commentary on the Bacon made me pull down my copy. All the wonderful names contributing to this book, Rogers, etc. make it an especially prized possession for me.
It is one of the books I store horizontally, along with Emerson's Essays. A fairly short (in height) top shelf works well for this.
I see that it still has some uncut pages! I have an HP edition from the Norwalk CT period which is nicely made and which I have read. The bonded leather binding is quite attractive. The HP has red initial letters in each essay which the LEC does not. I wonder if that was BR's decision.

123BionicJim
Mayo 21, 1:20pm

>122 laotzu225: Bruce Rogers wasn’t adverse to red letters to enhance the black type. However, he is pretty opinionated that alternative colors should be limited to red, and a particular one at that:

“Red is the most satisfactory secondary color with black, and you will often find it is better to use just one spot of color on the page. In using red for an occasional display line, blue-red or purple-red or orange-red should be avoided. A red such as the early printers had, a full-bodied, rather dull vermilion, which will hold up well with the black, is the most successful.”
-Paragraphs on Printing - William E Rudge’s Sons, 1943

124laotzu225
Mayo 21, 6:37pm

>123 BionicJim: Jim, thanks for that. As it happens, I have the book you took the quote from (among a large number I haven't read). Do you also have the book? My copy has some letters and tributes tipped in and bookplates of distinguished bibliophiles on the endpapers. But I don't know its provenance.

It remains interesting that the Initial letters were not red in the LEC

125BionicJim
Mayo 23, 8:05pm

I think I’ll start a new topic on Paragraphs in Printing as I am definitely interested in your copy and want to show-off mine :)

However, here’s a photo from from a 1926 colophon that illustrates the last comment regarding the use of red:


Not purple-red; not blue-red; not orange-red!
A full-bodied rather dull vermillion.

126ChrisG1
Mayo 25, 11:59am

My newest LEC just arrived - a fine copy of The Cid by Robert Southey, illustrated by Rene ben Sussssan. I'm thrilled with the condition (online purchases always have some risk). I wish I knew how to post photos, or I'd share.

127Django6924
Mayo 25, 12:02pm

>126 ChrisG1:
If you don't mind me asking, would you PM me the purchase price? I've had my copy listed for almost a month and there seems to be no interest.

128ChrisG1
Mayo 25, 1:00pm

$53.95 including shipping.

129Django6924
Mayo 25, 11:26pm

130maisiedotes
Mayo 29, 1:02am

How about an almost-acquisition?

I was in Half Price Books a couple of days ago and came across The Call of the Wild (HP). I loved the illustrations by Henry Varnum Poor but couldn't bring myself to buy the book because the story makes me flinch.

Three days later, Call is still calling my name. Does anyone buy a book just for the pictures?

131laotzu225
Mayo 30, 11:12am

>130 maisiedotes: All the time. I don't like Henry James but his LEC of The Ambassadors} is gorgeously illustrated by Leslie Saalburg whose paintings are tipped in to the book. Saalburg, among his other work, was an illustrator of men's clothing styles of the 1930's and beyond for Esquire and Apparel Arts magazines. (I am something of a foppish dresser myself.)

132maisiedotes
Mayo 30, 8:29pm

>131 laotzu225: I just looked up The Ambassadors on George Macy Imagery and I can see why the illustrations would be a selling point!

If the copy of Call of the Wild came with the Sandglass, I'd race right on back to the store.

133Django6924
Jun 2, 12:11am

>130 maisiedotes:
I will buy any book illustrated by Boardman Robinson (if I can afford it), Valenti Angelo (illuminations more so than illustrations), Arthur Szyk (a controversial choice, I know), Agnes Miller Parker (and I'm buying the Hardy novels just because of her illustrations), Sylvain Sauvage (Zadig is far from Voltaire's best--but the pictures!), and Lynd Ward.

134dlphcoracl
Editado: Jun 2, 1:22pm

>133 Django6924:

I am a huge fan and collector of Frans Masereel and Lynd Ward, the two most influential artists in the evolution of the wordless novel. Although not an LEC or letterpress book, the Library of America publishers created an exceptionally attractive and well thought out collection of all six of Lynd Ward's wordless novels (see link). It is currently being offered directly from the LOA website at -40% discount and it is highly recommended to LEC-ers and anyone interested in the genre and evolution of the wordless novel and the serious comic, e.g., Maus, etc.

https://www.loa.org/books/337-lynd-ward-six-novels-in-woodcuts-boxed-set

135Django6924
Jun 2, 1:26pm

>134 dlphcoracl:

Agreed, the 2 volume set of these wordless novels is a must for anyone interested in the graphic arts, in the technique of wood engraving, and/or who shares Ward's egalitarian sensibilities.

136ChrisG1
Jun 2, 2:28pm

Two new LEC arrivals in the last few days. First, The Travels of Baron Munchausen from the first series in 1929:



Wear at both ends of the spine and missing the ML, but otherwise a nice copy. Very excited to add this to my collection.

Second, The Life & Voyages of Christopher Columbus



My first book still in the original glisine (sp?) and just in spectacular condition. Quite a beautiful book!

137RuefulCountenance
Jun 2, 3:09pm

It's hard to find that Munchausen looking so nice. Great job! Just the other day I got the other, more affordable, Munchausen but I probably would prefer your version.

138WildcatJF
Jun 2, 3:39pm

>136 ChrisG1: Yes, that is a superb Baron. Mine is NOWHERE as nice, haha.

139Glacierman
Jun 2, 6:34pm

>136 ChrisG1: To answer your implied query regarding the spelling of a word, it is 'glassine.' Cheers!

140kdweber
Jun 2, 6:51pm

>136 ChrisG1: Congrats! Your Munchausen is better shape than most copies (and nicer than mine).

141Django6924
Jun 2, 7:57pm

>140 kdweber:
Ditto--that's the best copy I've ever seen!

142Lukas1990
Editado: Jun 3, 11:34am

After waiting for 4 long months I have finally received The Praise of Folly, by Desiderius Erasmus (Heritage Press). What a long journey from Canada it has been! I am really impressed by the quality of the book - the letterpress on rag paper feels great and the illustrations by Frans Masereel look sharp and surreal. Wish my copy didn't have two ex librises and the Sandglass glued on the endpaper...

143kermaier
Jun 3, 2:42pm

>142 Lukas1990:
Is that the one with the Frank Masreel woodcuts? It's a great one, which I acquired in preference to the LEC Praise of Folly.

144Django6924
Jun 3, 3:21pm

>142 Lukas1990: >143 kermaier:

Both editions are wonderful. In another thread, we discussed the probability that the Masreel-illustrated version from van Krimpen was originally intended as an Limited Editions Club, but the war prevented that and the LEC printed it in the US with Lynd Ward's illustrations.

145Lukas1990
Editado: Jun 3, 3:23pm

>143 kermaier: Yes, that's the one. Hope my newborn son will enjoy it too one day :)

I wouldn't mind owning the LEC version! Love the cover design and all those marginal illustrations by Lynd Ward. Though there's some mystique about Frans Masereel woodcuts. They are really unique and, as I understand from the Sandglass, very on-topic.

146WildcatJF
Jun 3, 4:32pm

>144 Django6924: I collected a fair amount of that discussion in my post on this edition: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/heritage-press-moriae-encomiu...

147Django6924
Jun 3, 11:51pm

>146 WildcatJF:
Thanks, Jerry--it was a very interesting discussion!

148Lukas1990
Editado: Jun 4, 3:07am

Yesterday Franz Masereel's woodcuts in the HP Erasmus made such a huge impression on me that I woke up at 3AM and ordered a book with a lot more of his woodcuts (I hope so). It is called 'Gesang des Lebens. Das Werk Frans Masereels'. Looks like a nice book and it shouldn't take long for it to arrive from Germany. Time to renew my German. I used to live in Germany when I was 2 to 5 years old :D


149maisiedotes
Jun 4, 8:58pm

>145 Lukas1990: Congratulations on the long-awaited book and baby!

150maisiedotes
Jun 4, 9:30pm

>133 Django6924: Ha, so now I have permission to buy The Call of the Wild. Of the artists you mention, I only have Valenti Angelo and Lynd Ward, so there is lots more to discover (indulge in)!

151Lukas1990
Editado: Jun 5, 3:33am

>149 maisiedotes: Thank you! And excuse me for not being able to provide instructions on how to post a photo as I promised... Having a newborn son means much less time for reading but I noticed that he likes to look at my bookshelves which could be a good sign for the future - hopefully he will read and continue collecting :D

152dlphcoracl
Jun 5, 8:54am

>148 Lukas1990:

For Frans Masereel fans, of which I am one, the following may be of interest - a high quality YouTube link showing all twenty-five images from arguably his most famous work: Die Passion eines Menschen (1918).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPINngUibbM

153Lukas1990
Jun 5, 10:12am

>152 dlphcoracl: Thank you for the link. The images look great on a wide-screen TV!

154maisiedotes
Jun 5, 3:19pm

>151 Lukas1990: No worries about the photo-posting instructions.

Your being up at 3AM ordering books reminded me of how I, as a mom of little ones, used to wake up in the middle of the night TO READ! I was so hungry for book-time.

Here's to your son inheriting your love of books.

As for Erasmus, I've pulled it off the shelf . . . .

155laotzu225
Jun 5, 6:27pm

I've just acquired The Flowering of New England by Van Wick Brooks (1941) in very good shape, with only a little edgewear at the open corners of the slipcase.
Since I spent more than 7/8ths of my life in Boston, I looked forward to getting this book. The Introduction is by M.A. (Mark Antony) De Wolfe Howe, a prominent and distinguished Bostonian historian and biographer. R.H. Holden's illustrations are absolutely evocative.
Sadly it is missing the Monthly Letter (it's not on the drive) and if anyone can spare a copy I'd be grateful-and perhaps can provide one back.

156GusLogan
Editado: Jun 14, 1:43pm

I figured a Fine copy of Vanity Fair with a split slipcase, announcement card and monthly letter was worth 250 dollars plus transatlantic shipping. The photos made it look Fine+. More fool me. Foxing top, bottom and side… Same shipment: I’d bought the 1 001 Nights looking nearly new in photos and described as Excellent, sans slipcase and ML, but on close inspection every volume has a few tiny insect holes in the spines. Not visible on the shelf, but the day my children want to sell it…

It’s enough to make one want to pack it all in and collect brand new fine press books, expensive as they are.

157ChrisG1
Jun 14, 2:36pm

>156 GusLogan: Sorry to hear that - online ordering can be a real crapshoot. Punish the seller in the ratings & don't order from them again.

158ChrisG1
Editado: Jun 17, 5:05pm

I received an order over the weekend of 3 LECs of Jane Austen - Emma, Persuasion & Northanger Abbey. They had been offered as a lot on Ebay. Very pleased with the condition. Only Emma came without the glassine & there are no major flaws. None with MLs.





159abysswalker
Jun 14, 4:55pm

>156 GusLogan: if you're uncertain whether you want to bother with a return and refund, one thing I occasionally do is to write the seller, explain the situation, and ask them how they would like to deal with it. Something like:

I just received the books X, Y, and Z. The books were described as {whatever; exact quotes are good}, but upon examination I discovered {problems} (see attached pictures).

What do you think would be the appropriate way to deal with this?

The highest caliber professional booksellers will immediately offer a full refund and cover the return shipping, or propose some other potential solution. Sellers who might get their back up if you demand something specific right away will instead be placed in the position of needing to decide what is fair. And most sellers will appreciate being asked about how they want to proceed.

There are always less reputable or disorganized sellers that will still ignore you, but I find this approach is still a good first step, especially when on the fence about dealing with the hassle.

160wcarter
Jun 14, 5:57pm

>159 abysswalker:
Very sage advice. I have proceeded in a similar way on several occasions, always with good results, in one case another book being sent without returning the original as they had two in stock and sent the inferior one by mistake.
Always pays to ask nicely.

161kermaier
Jun 14, 10:10pm

>158 ChrisG1:
Good haul! I only have Sense and Sensibility, but it's a nice production.

162BuzzBuzzard
Jun 15, 8:47am

>156 GusLogan: Such a disappointment!

>160 wcarter: Let me guess. It was Oak Knoll.

163wcarter
Jun 15, 6:25pm

>162 BuzzBuzzard:
No, George Agvent.

164gmurphy
Jun 15, 6:41pm

>163 wcarter: Happened to me with the same seller (if you mean Charles Agvent?)

165wcarter
Jun 15, 6:54pm

>164 gmurphy:
Oops, yes, Charles!

166Sport1963
Jun 16, 5:49pm

>164 gmurphy: My experience with Agvent: Over-priced and books not accurately described. Not a good combination. Definitely a thumbs down from this collector.

167ChrisG1
Jun 17, 5:09pm

I've been on a bit of an acquisition binge of late. Here's the latest - The Possessed by Dostoevsky, glorious illustrations by Fritz Eichenberg. The books are in fine condition, came with glassines for both volumes, but no ML. The slipcase is Near Fine.

168ironjaw
Jun 18, 5:25am

Beautiful

169GusLogan
Editado: Jun 18, 2:03pm

>159 abysswalker:

Thanks - also to >157 ChrisG1:, >160 wcarter: and >162 BuzzBuzzard:. I was offered a 75 USD partial refund and then stonewalled. I made my fewlings known and will not be buying books from this seller - who has several expensive and seemingly Fine LECs for sale on US eBay at the moment, numbered twelve dozen times ten - again.

170Django6924
Jun 18, 5:58pm

>169 GusLogan:

Please share the name of this seller. This site has a large number of potential buyers and I think a caveat emptor would be appreciated.

171GusLogan
Editado: Jun 19, 10:09am

>170 Django6924:
I felt subtly noting the limitation number, 52 short of Columbus’s year of discovery, was within the bounds of politeness (though perhaps too cryptic!). I doubt they’ll ever sell a book without noting foxing again, but I feel they treated me badly indeed.

172Django6924
Jun 19, 11:48am

>171 GusLogan:

Oh, 1441. Right?

"In 1493, Columbus sailed the deep blue sea"

173GusLogan
Jun 19, 12:09pm

>172 Django6924:
Best avoid the whole 1400s, I think! Better safe than sorry.

174Glacierman
Jun 19, 3:36pm

I heard it as "In fourteen hundred ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue."

175GusLogan
Jun 19, 4:50pm

>174 Glacierman:
I’m not American, but I think you’ve pinpointed the joke, which even to me was funny!

176GusLogan
Jun 19, 4:51pm

”In fourteen-hundred ninety-five, Columbus crossed the Pond alive.”

177MobyRichard
Jun 19, 5:21pm

178dlphcoracl
Jun 20, 10:29pm

>156 GusLogan:

Ultimately, the only protection one has is to know and have prior experience with the bookseller. It is OK to take a flier on an inexpensive book when buying on eBay, Amazon.com or from an individual seller on Abebooks but expensive purchases should be restricted to professional booksellers with well-established reputations.

The following are booksellers I am personally familiar with that sell LEC books and all are highly recommended:

1. Mark Post
2. Different Drummer (Tom Toth)
3. David Brass Rare Books
4. Buddenbrooks (Massachusetts)
5. Bromer Booksellers
6. the Veatchs
7. Phillip Pirages
8. Sophie Schneideman (London)
9. James Cummins (NYC)
10. Jeffrey H. Marks
11. Swan's Fine Books

179Glacierman
Jun 21, 4:23pm

>178 dlphcoracl: Excellent list!

180maisiedotes
Jun 21, 6:02pm

>178 dlphcoracl: Ooh, aah! I live ten minutes away from one of those stores and went to visit it for the first time recently. Quite intimidating, as I'm not a collector of that caliber. But nice to know that a bookstore in my little town is on this list!

181Lukas1990
Editado: Jun 21, 6:23pm

>180 maisiedotes: I wish we had these booksellers in Lithuania. In a few days I should receive my copy of LEC The Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi and I am very excited! So excited that I even think about building a custom slipcase myself.

182maisiedotes
Jun 21, 8:53pm

>181 Lukas1990: Send pictures of your book and your custom-made slipcase when done!

183Django6924
Jun 21, 8:56pm

>181 Lukas1990:

An extremely beautiful book--I can't help thinking it is Mardersteig's finest achievement for the Club.

184RRCBS
Jun 23, 8:28pm

I’ve been resisting acquiring a copy of The Master of Ballantrae for a while now, since I already have the Everyman’s Library version and try my best to avoid having multiple copies of the same book.
Anyway, I finally caved and I received it today. It’s just the kind of book I like, lovey cloth boards, nice feeling paper. The inside looks new! I really like the illustrations and look forward to starting on it in a couple of days!

185BuzzBuzzard
Jun 23, 10:25pm

>184 RRCBS: Congrats! Great edition and story.

186ironjaw
Editado: Jun 24, 7:07am

I need to start collecting these after starting more than 11 years ago and buying a significant portion from Robert (Django6924) when the currency USD/DKK 50% the value today. Those were the times.

I finally took some books out from the moving boxes after purchasing a set of bookshelves and I must admit that I love the LEC books more than anything. I was reading out loud the Monthly Letter for the 1939 version of Hamlet from Google Drive (what a great resource) to my sister (she’s not a reader as she other finds the Classics difficult - I read Melville’s Moby Dick and had to give it up) and she never had so much fun. Now she’s hooked on LEC. She much enjoys that I read out loud and explain her the context. The same with my niece Isabella. Some people learn differently and need a helping hand. My sister quite enjoyed the reading and remarked what a wonderful way to be introduced to a work of literature, being informed before reading it.

187Django6924
Jun 24, 10:05am

>186 ironjaw:

The Google Drive is a great resource, indeed, and we all you thank for putting it together (twice!). When I was first a Heritage Club member, then when I started collecting Limited Editions Club, I found the Sandglasses, then the MLs, not only gave me all the information I really wanted about a book before reading it, but also taught me about the Art of the Book--something I had never realized before.

188ironjaw
Editado: Jun 24, 10:31am

>187 Django6924: you’re more than welcome, Robert. I must say that I’ve become more intrigued by the Heritage Press books when I compare it to the books that are out there now retail. If shipping cost were not prohibitive I would buy more LEC and look much deeper into Heritage books. I’ve bought many fine press books No Reply Press, Thornwillow, TOC Berlin (printed Letterpress, signed, mechanically bound so not fine press) and always find myself falling back on LEC. Slipcase is definitely something that I enjoy staring at and the letters are a joy to read. It’s beginning to become a more family oriented reading exercise now that I also have Encyclopaedia Britannica, Great Books of the Western World collection as well I’m trying to finish up finding the rest of the Great Ideas Today volumes, I find that any companions or guidance acts as a instructor or teacher to your reading. It’s also the reason I am considering buying the Roman Roads DVD collection for my niece Isabella. Sadly the teaching today is subpar to my own standards when I went to school. Sometimes I feel frustrated with what’s happening but I need to take more of an active stance on her education and spend more time with her to teach her.

189ChrisG1
Jun 27, 11:43am

I was able to pick up two excellent additions to my collection via online auction, both in near fine condition:

First - The Leopard. Nothing prepared me for the heft of this volume, easily the largest single volume book I have. 10"x14"x2" Includes ML





Second, The Journals of the Expedition of Lewis & Clark. Also hefty, but in two volumes & loaded with illustrations and maps, as you might expect by the subject matter. Beautifully done! Missing ML





190dlphcoracl
Jun 27, 9:26pm

>189 ChrisG1:

'The Leopard' is an example of a book from the Sidney Shiff LEC "Sweet Spot", i.e., LEC books issued during the transitional period when Sidney Shiff acquired the LEC from indifferent corporate hell and slowly transitioned it from the George Macy model into giant folio-sized books with illustrations and photography from internationally known artists, with prices to match. The Sweet Spot books (1979-1988) combine exceptional quality - fully reflecting The Arts of the Book - with very reasonable prices. My personal favorites are listed below and (imho) should be aggressively sought and acquired by the LEC faithful. You will not be disappointed.

1. The Adventures of Simplicissmus. Splendid wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg.
2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
3. Poems and a Memoir by Seamus Heaney.
4. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
5. Poems of the Caribbean by Derek Walcott.
6. Hiroshima by John Hersey. One of the finest LEC books regardless of time period. Expensive.
7. A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
8. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
9. Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges. Illustrated by Sol Hewitt. A perfect pairing and an exceptional book.
10. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe.
11. The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad.
12. In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka.
13. Dubliners by James Joyce. Illustrated with haunting photogravures of Dublin by Robert Ballagh. An
exceptional LEC book.
14. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke.
15. The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa
16. The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson. Illustrated with photographs by Alfred Eisenstadt.

191RuefulCountenance
Jun 27, 10:04pm

>190 dlphcoracl: In addition to your excellent list I recommend The Circus of Dr. Lao. It's a fun and sneakily thought-provoking read, but the design and illustrations are very much the star. A highlight in LEC history in terms of visual and textural appeal.

192ubiquitousuk
Jun 28, 2:54pm

>115 dlphcoracl: I am a bit surprised by this. I don't know the exact situation in the US, but in the UK reproduction of copyrighted works is permitted under fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review (which I guess covers the material on B&V). There's no precise legal standard for what is allowed but there is a test of whether the amount of material reproduced is reasonable, whether it is surrounded by original critical text, and whether the reuse of material has a limited effect on the rightsholder's revenue (which should be the case for out of print books of defunct publishers!) Perhaps it was the ultra high-resolution images on B&V that were the source of concern?

I should defer to the expertise of the lawyers, of course, but I don't feel particularly exposed with the pictures on my own blog.

193MobyRichard
Editado: Jun 28, 5:44pm

>115 dlphcoracl:
>192 ubiquitousuk:

Very disturbing...I don't know about the law for review websites, but I do know companies like Disney lobby like crazy to change, for example, copyright and public domain laws solely for their own benefit (never mind that the actual creators are too dead to care...the corporation lives forever!).

194ChrisG1
Jun 28, 6:16pm

>190 dlphcoracl: Thanks for the list - with hundreds to choose from, it can be hard to know where to go next.

195abysswalker
Jun 28, 7:15pm

>192 ubiquitousuk: it is the same in the US.

I am not a lawyer so don’t listen to me but my guess is that the advice given was overly risk-averse.

It is also unclear what entity would bring suit and it seems like a bad trade for any of the players that might conceivably care about the Books & Vines content. Easton Press, because they hold rights to some of the IP from Macy? Some tiny still operating private press? Seems unlikely.

196WildcatJF
Jun 28, 9:01pm

Just to say, I haven't had any issues myself, but it's a reason I didn't do macro photos or a lot of images of the books for my blog. I'm probably one of the biggest sources of overall content on the LEC and Heritage Press at this point as well. Can't speak for Chris for B&V, but it's unfortunate.

197wcarter
Jun 28, 9:50pm

As you may be aware, I have done over 200 reviews of Folio Society books on the FSD forum, and irregular reviews of fine books on this forum. I contacted the FS after I had done a few dozen FS reviews, and they replied that they were delighted with the reviews and had no problems with my continuing, and were happy for me to do reviews of current publications as well as those out of print.
Different publishers, different attitudes.

198ironjaw
Editado: Jun 29, 8:54am

I’m a lawyer and no right-minded lawyer will ever bring an action against anyone without any financial gain. A cease and desist order could be issued ie in the case of stopping a behaviour such as sharing copyrighted material but that’s always used with regards to pirated music and movies. A simple disclaimer will do but book reviews, come on we are engaging in constructive discussion and more likely than not adding interest and popularity for buyers to go ahead and purchase books more than anything else. it’s picture of one’s own book collection that is being shared in a forum with enthusiasts and collectors alike.

With regards to Chris, I do remember his website and do remember him going overboard as he was worried but I wouldn’t have advised that course of action rather a simple disclaimer for education and personal purposes. Any right minded lawyer will always (to protect him or herself) advise to the positive action as their is always a potential for such to happen but the likelihood is far to remote and what’s the commercial purpose? Is he making millions for sharing these pictures of a defunct production only available on secondhand market? It’s not proportional I would rather wait for actual communication from legal advising me to stop but that would also me something that would be so surprising to receive. EP doesn’t even publish LEC books anymore in the same format. You are not eating into EP’s royalties.

As they say in the U.K. it’s all bonkers

199laotzu225
Jul 2, 9:19pm

>190 dlphcoracl: Thanks for this list. I have only a few of this group But The Secret Sharer ranks high among my favorite LEC productions of any era.

200abysswalker
Jul 10, 12:26am

The Faerie Queene (1953). Perfectly (to my eye) illustrated by Agnes Miller Parker and printed on an all-rag paper. It’s been on my radar for a while, but I was finally prompted to pick up a copy after seeing renewed feeding frenzy for the Folio Society LE (another attractive edition, but inferior to the LEC, in my opinion).

The copy I got had some sunning to the dust jackets, and a touch of wear to the edges of the slipcase, but the books themselves look good as new, including the buckram bindings, so the jackets did their job admirably.

According to the monthly letter, this was (at the time) the “biggest and heaviest” book the club had so far distributed. It did claim a substantial portion of my shelf real-estate.

201Django6924
Jul 10, 11:46am

>200 abysswalker:
Much as I hated to, that shelf space issue (since I am downsizing my living quarters) prompted me to sell my Limited Editions Club FQ. I still have the HP, still in the glassine and in a single volume, but I confess I miss the LEC.

202ChrisG1
Jul 21, 11:51am

Purchased a lot of LECs at an online auction, which arrived yesterday, including The Chimes, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Captain James Cook in the Pacific, and The Innocents Abroad.

203Lukas1990
Editado: Jul 22, 5:02am

I have finally found and ordered what looks like a near fine copy of The Froissart's Chronicles (LEC). Thank you, dear group members, for providing pictures and even articles which enabled me to get the book!

204Lukas1990
Jul 22, 5:18pm

>203 Lukas1990: Aaaand my order is cancelled... The bookseller from US asked additional 65$ for postage and I rejected it. I knew there will be problems with such a big book. Oh, well...

205MobyRichard
Editado: Jul 22, 5:50pm

>204 Lukas1990:

Was it an actual business or an individual bookseller? It's not really about the weight for the individual seller :). That's how much international shipping from the U.S. to other countries costs even for relatively light books. The U.S. doesn't really have cheap "surface mail" rates available to individuals. Not that I know of anyways. So at the cheapest you have to pay for USPS airmail (starting from $37.60 according to website). Many LECs aren't even worth shipping from the U.S.A. to other countries sadly, not unless you want to squeeze the book into a flat rate box with no room left for packing materials.

206Lukas1990
Editado: Jul 22, 5:59pm

>205 MobyRichard: It's a business. I have been searching for an affordable copy for a long time and it is very disappointing that shipping costs more than two times as much as the book itself. Unfortunately The Froissart's Chronicles are almost impossible to find in the European Union. I had some previous success with buying great LEC's from EU sellers.

207RRCBS
Jul 22, 6:00pm

>206 Lukas1990: You might want to try Alibris. They often don’t have much to offer, but cheap shipping rates. I got my Froissart’s Chronicles from there a few months ago.

208Lukas1990
Jul 22, 6:06pm

>207 RRCBS: I ordered the same book from the same bookseller on Alibris. Will it work? :)

209RRCBS
Jul 22, 6:19pm

>208 Lukas1990: it might…they have sellers ship to their US warehouse and then forward them on. It often takes a bit longer than advertised. Fingers crossed for you!

210Lukas1990
Jul 22, 6:32pm

>209 RRCBS: Thank you for the advice! I really hate that all these platforms can't show the exact shipping cost when I am placing an order and then booksellers have to ask for additional payment. In case of my order Biblio.com even calculated the VAT correctly. Why is it so hard to calculate the right shipping cost?

211ubiquitousuk
Editado: Jul 23, 10:17am

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

212Lukas1990
Jul 24, 12:52am

>209 RRCBS: It worked! The book has been shipped! For only 13€ instead of 75€! So strange that the bookseller didn't inform me that I should choose Alibris when they cancelled my order via Biblio. I am used to lazy Lithuanian businesses not willing to earn money but didn't expect the same from US ones.

213RRCBS
Jul 24, 5:27am

>212 Lukas1990: That’s great! It might take longer to arrive. I just ordered The Flounder via Alibris…I basically only order LEC books via Alibris now because of the shipping cost.

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