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PETZENDORFER, Ludwig. Schriften Atlas. Eine sammlung der wichtigsten schreib- und druckschriften aus alter und neuer zeit, nebst initialen, monogrammen, wappen, landesfarben und heraldischen motiven, fur die praktischen zwecke des kunstgewerbes. Stuttgart, Hoffmann 1898. Folio publisher's ornate gilt decorated cloth; [6]pp and 160 plates numbered to 123 plus bis, many in colour and several thoroughly chromolithographed and slathered with gold. An excellent, bright copy. Au$1000

Third edition, and best edition I believe, of this handsome and most useful encyclopaedia of the alphabet - written, drawn, painted and printed. It ranges from writing books of the early masters, through medieval and renaissance illuminated initials and a plenitude of typefaces to modern sign writing. The typefaces are all identified by foundry.


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Architecture. The International Competition for the Phoebe Hearst Architectural Plan for the University of California. San Francisco, published by the trustees [1899]. Oblong folio publisher's printed wrapper, cord tied (front wrapper and spine chipped); 150pp - 41 introductory pages in four languages; the rest renderings, plans, elevations, photo illustrations. Au$165

Parisian Emile Benard won the competition but wouldn't come to San Francisco to see it built and the university ended up, for the most part, in the hands of local John Howard (fourth prize). It's easy to see Benard's appeal - his design is of the style and scale of an imperial capital which would have pleased both Hearst and Wallot, one of the judges. At first glance I would have said that the design of third prize winners Despradelle and Codman owed something to Burley Griffin, except that of course at this time he was barely up to sharpening pencils for Dwight Perkins. I think all 11 premiated plans are illustrated.


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VERNEUIL, M.P. Etude de la Plante. Son application aux industries d'art .. pochoir, papier peint etoffes, ceramique .. Paris, Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts [c1900]. folio, publisher's stencilled cloth; 326pp, with some 379 hand coloured illustrations. Inner front hinge cracked but firm, some scattered spots; a rather good copy. Au$2500

One of the great art nouveau books, a book that glows with colour and bristles with ideas. A strict application of first principles to design, Verneuil covers ceramics, wallpapers, binding, mosaic, stained glass, jewelry, metalwork, pochoir, and on.


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ZENKER, Rudolf. Farbiger Decken- und Wandschmuck im Geiste Fruhgermanischer Kunst Plauen, Stoll [190-?]. Folio (48cm) publisher gilt decorated portfolio (somewhat knocked about but solid); two preliminary leaves including title; 22 chromolithograph plates. Signs of use, one plate trimmed and repaired along the edges; a perfectly decent copy. Au$750

A handsome pattern book of designs for interior colour schemes and elaborate decoration with an avowedly nationalist spirit looking for inspiration in a distant past. So who can resist pointing out the remarkable similarities between some of Zenker's designs and those of Maoris? Zenker was a Plauen based designer and painter whose Germanic pride led to his most reproduced work being the medieval pageantry of a Nazi warrior of 1939.


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Ornament. Biedermeier-Zierat. Plauen, Christian Stoll [190-?]. Smallish folio (33x27cm) contemporary half morocco (spine worn and chipped at ends but solid enough); [4]pp, 24 colour litho plates. Au$400

Actually an often appealing pattern book of jugendstil ornamental designs for printed fabrics, papers and suchlike. The Biedermeier period is used as inspiration resulting in some mawkish designs but many of the stylised patterns are quite smart and the whole is colourful and cheerful. This is the ‘kleine ausgabe' which suggests a larger version of some sort exists and indeed the other version, with same number of plates, is three inches taller and square in format.


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Catalogue - Guns. Fs Dumoulin & Cie. Liege. Catalogue. Fabrique d'Armes. Liege [c1900?]. Oblong quarto printed wrapper (bit marked & used); 88pp, numerous photo illustrations & wood engravings. Au$200

Revolvers, shotguns, rifles, double barrelled muskets and pistols, some flintlocks designed for the African coast.


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GELIS-DIDOT, P. & H. LAFFILLEE. La Peinture Decorative en France du XIe au XVIe Siecle. Deuxieme Edition. Paris, Librairies-Imprimeries Reunies [c.1900]. Folio (46x32cm) loose as issued, in a later cloth portfolio; 60 colour litho plates printed by Firmin Didot, other illustrations through the text. Signs of use: a bit of fraying of edges - mostly of text pages - a few spots. Au$300

Learned research and a good medieval revival pattern book, with both handsome and pretty pictures. What more does anyone need? Church decoration: friezes, wall and ceiling patterning ... This was first issued in parts between 1896 and 1899.


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Textiles. - [Shokumon Zue - Miyuki]. Tokyo, Yoshikawa 1901. Two volumes, small quarto by size, publishers patterned wrappers with printed labels; 23 and 26 double folded leaves, being a leaf of text in each, 44 and 50 pages of coloured woodblock prints, each page with one or two designs. Some surface blemishes to wrappers. Au$300

Something of a masterpiece of woodblock printing, but not for the usual reasons. These are designs for woven rather than printed patterns, and in many cases one needs to hold the plate at the right angle to see that a design, or the particular texture of a cloth, has been overprinted, embossed or burnished into what seems a monochromatic square. Part of a fairly large series I believe, the Kojitsu Sosho or Library of Ancient Customs, these two cover textile designs for costumes for imperial visits.


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HOLME, Charles [ed]. Modern Design in Jewellery and Fans. London, The Studio 1902. Quarto publisher's printed wrapper (some wear to the spine); numerous illustrations (17 colour plates including one printed on silk). Au$275

A very useful survey of all that is new and beautiful in modern design in Europe and England: high art nouveau in France - Aubert, Bing, Grasset, Lalique, Mucha, &c; and national substrata such as arts and crafts in Britain - Ashbee, Jesse King; Mackintosh, &c; the Seccesion and Werkstatte in Austria and Germany - Olbrich, Mesmer, Anna Wagner, Mohring &c.
As with all of The Studio's efforts, the aim is education and advance; Holme says in his preliminary note, 'So long as a public is to be found that will purchase trinketry in imitation of wheel-barrows, cocks and hens, flower-pots, and moons and stars, so long will the advance in art be retarded'.


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KOCH, Alex. [ed]. British Competitions in Architecture. Vol. 1 Part 1 -12. [and Vol 2 Part 13 - 24]. London, Academy Architecture 1905 -1909. Two volumes quarto (publisher's?) cloth; with title and contents leaves for each volume; each part separately paginated; hundreds of plans, elevations, renderings, measured drawings. Some minor signs of use. Au$350

This is half the complete run it seems - the RIBA Library holds volumes 1 to 4 (to 1914), which is the only place I can find more than these first two volumes; few libraries have any volumes at all. This a serious review of competitions, open and by invitation, and offers a comprehensive view of British public and institutional architecture of the period.
One exception is the international competition for the Peace Palace at the Hague. Here Koch has covered the British competitors, including himself. The competitors' entries are well illustrated, the competition conditions, instructions and reports are given and on occasion Koch has felt obliged to add his own comments on the organisation of particular competitions (such as the Peace Palace).
Given the subject and approach it is hard to imagine an audience extending much beyond a few public institutions and the handful of architects well equipped to enter such competitions. The scarcity of this periodical is easily explained, what remains a mystery is how it lasted as long as it did.


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PETZENDORFER, Ludwig. Schriftenatlas. Neue Folge. Eine sammlung von alphabeten, initialen und monogrammen. Stuttgart, Julius Hoffmann [1905?]. Folio publisher's printed decorated cloth; [8]pp and 141 plates printed in varying or two or more colours. Quite good in worn original card case. Au$1500

Apparently published in parts between 1903 and 1905 this should not to be confused with Petzendorfer's first Schriften-Atlas published a decade or so earlier. This is a new and thoroughly up to date survey of alphabets and typefaces, monograms and signs; is a treasury of nouveau, jugendstil and secession styles; and is much scarcer than his first atlas. Designers are all named: Behrens, Grasset, Morris, Gradl, Lewis F. Day, Ellwood, Auriol, etc. In the case of types the foundries are named.


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BINET, Rene. Esquisses Decoratives. Paris, Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts [c1905]. Folio, loose as issued in four fascicules in illustrated wrappers, all in publisher's portfolio of cloth backed illustrated boards; [2],14pp and 60 plates, 13 pochoir and a few others with a second colour added, b/w illustrations through the text. A rather good copy. Au$2000

Binet, like many architects and designers, followed Haeckel into the microscopic world for grotesque and fantastic inspiration but married such modernity with historicism in a singular way. Durant (in 'Ornament') calls Binet 'in many respects the typical French Art Nouveau designer' which, apart from being too dismissive, is just not right. Many of his designs, particularly the coloured graphics, are ultra modern high art nouveau but much of his work has an oddly arcane, recherche effect - in which something as modern as an electric light switch modelled on the forms of diatomes or radiolaria and treated with Beaux Arts tradition becomes a mysterious if not menacing almost gothic artifact. Without claiming anything of the same stature, or even similar results, for Binet he could probably be more usefully likened to Gaudi. This is an exposition of ideas for every school of design that Binet could encompass - from architectural detail to pochoir graphics; shop fronts to tapestry; stained glass to gardens; jewellery to mosaics.


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Furuya Korin. [Take Zukushi]. Kyoto, Unsodo 1906 (Meiji 39). 18x25cm publisher's boards; 50 colour woodcut designs on 25 double leaves, accordian folding. Light signs of use, a rather good copy. Au$1650

Exquisite printing, with metallic inks and dustings of mica, of often exquisite designs by the foremost of neo-Rimpa designers. One of three independent portfolios of designs by Korin each devoted to one plant. This one is bamboo. The others are pines and plums. Korin, whose name is taken from the original master, started as a gifted but unsurprising designer - prolific and workmanlike in ambition compared to Sekka. But come the twentieth century - the final years of his life; he died young in 1910 - his albums of designs (rather than art) need no apology.


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Catalogue - Garden Furniture. John P. White, Bedford. A Complete Catalogue of Garden Furniture and Garden Ornament. By John P. White, The Pyghtle Works, Bedford ... Xmas, 1906. Bedford 1906. Quarto publisher's printed wrapper (a missing piece from the back wrapper expertly replaced); 112pp illustrated in line and photo throughout. A couple of related flyers loosely inserted, quite a good copy. Au$875

From pots to bridges and greenhouses; an extensive range, essential for the chic but thoroughly English - ie Arts & Crafts - garden. White made furniture designed by Baillie Scott and some of this stuff may well be his but the designs here are, with two exceptions, uncredited except by inference, from a passing remark, to White himself. The two credited are by The Hon. Mrs. Anstruther. You don't withold credit from someone like her. Many of the drawings are signed and while it isn't clear that the artist was also the designer those signed 'J.C.' are likely by James Crossland who designed furniture for White at about this time.


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LANGE, Otto. Dekorationsmalereien fur das Burgerhaus. Stuttgart, Julius Hoffmann [1907?]. Folio 49x33cm, loose as issued in publisher's portfolio, decorated boards, printed label, (cloth spine detaching but lining and hinges firm enough); title and 24 chromolithograph plates printed by the firm Emil Hochdanz of Stuttgart. Title with some creasing round the very edges, two plates with insignificant crease in one corner. Au$750

A handsome pattern book of modern painted interiors by the young designer, later expressionist painter and printmaker. Maybe this is all a bit tasteful but it is quite smart. If Lange has stuck to handsome tasteful interiors, perhaps gone a bit more Bavarian folk art, he might not have lost his professorship in textile design come 1933 and ended up in the Degenerate Art bin.


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Kameda Yoshiro (or Kichirobei). [Wayo Kenchiku Shin Hinagata]. Osaka, Seikado 1907 (Meiji 40). Six volumes 22x15cm, publisher's wrappers with title labels; illustrated throughout with plans, elevations, measured drawings etc. Wrappers with some surface rubbing or insect grazing; a pretty good set. Au$850

I'm not sure whether this should be described as Japanese principles applied to western design or the other way round. I think both, if it matters. An excellent builder's pattern book that was certainly put to wide use. There is a 2008 learned paper by Yanigasawa and Mizoguchi that shows how Kameda introduced Japanese carpentry and the modular system into western design but all except the precis of their paper is in Japanese so I have no idea how they go about proving their point. They do tell us that Kameda was a master carpenter in Fukuoka.


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NICHOLSON, Charles A. & Hubert C. CORLETTE. Modern Church Building. London 1907. Quarto publisher's printed wrapper; pp241-284, numerous illustrations and plans. Au$50

An offprint from the Journal of the R.I.B.A. An attempt to re-ignite some interest in the subject, given that 'ecclesiology was talked to death fifty years ago' and the 'last contribution to our subject which is of any considerable value was J.T. Micklethwaite's racy little book on modern parish churches'. This possibly refers to Micklethwaite's 'Parish Churches in the Year 1548' published in the Journal of the Royal Archaeological Institute, 1878. At least I hope it does.


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Palace of Peace. International Competition of the Carnegie Foundation. The Palace of Peace at The Hague. The 6 premiated and 40 other designs chosen by the society of architecture ... London, Jack 1907. Folio (49x38cm); eight parts loose as issued in publisher's printed wrappers and cloth portfolio (the portfolio a bit marked and bumped); 76 plates (eight colour) - elevations and plans. An excellent set. Au$600

A luxurious production. According to the report judging took several days, votes were close and there was some argument before Cordonnier's baroque wedding cake was given first prize, largely, the report suggests, due to its sympathy with surrounding buildings. Of the now revered competitors, Otto Wagner got fourth prize and Berlage and Saarinen were further down the lists. Despite stylish aspects of their designs and the idiosyncratic splendour of Debat's Indo-Mayan stupa - which looks to me like it could have inspired Burley Griffin's parliament house for Canberra - it does seem, from this distance, that the judges got it right. I'm sure they'll all sleep easier in their graves knowing that.
Cordonnier's building has a joyous optimism that matches the crusading zeal for world peace of patron Carnegie and any number of seemingly sensible exponents of world unity at the time. Wagner's building is an opulent museum or theatre, Saarinen's ideal for a mausoleum, Berlage's a Byzantine basilica, and most of the others studied lumps of classical monumentalism. Cordonnier's building did suffer paring down to meet budget and lost some of its airy charm but still ended up closer to the original design than many winners of other competitions.


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WALTON, Thomas. Present-Day Shipbuilding. London, Griffin 1907. Octavo publisher's cloth; xii,224pp, 162 illustrations (many folding). Some spotting but a rather good copy. Au$150

A reworking of sections of his "Steel Ships", a reasonable amount on some new types of vessels: the Lusitania, Mauretania, Campania and Lucania.


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HADDON, Robert J. Australian Architecture. A technical manual .. Melbourne, Robertson [1908]. Octavo untrimmed in dark green morocco (spine now a dark brown) by Margaret Chapman, lettered in gilt on the spine and blocked in blind on the sides; [6],544pp, 94 plates (one colour). A very good copy. Au$2500

A special presentation copy bound in a credible (despite some typically clunky lettering) craft binding signed 'MC' on the rear dentelle - Margaret Chapman, one of the first professional craft binders in Australia; she established the Craftsman Bindery and won exhibition prizes in 1907 - with on heavy endpapers, a carefully calligraphed inscription from Haddon to Frank Templeman Mew "with the affectionate greetings of his one time pupil ... inscribed in Melbourne in the year 1909". and a mounted photograph of Haddon facing the caption "The author at work in the study at 'Anselm' Caulfield". Haddon served his articles with Mew in London from 1881.
Mew's architectural career was brief; born the second son in a family given to brewing for the eldest son and architecture for the rest, he was still young and unknown in the mid eighties when he was called back to brewing, so becoming a rich and successful businessman.
For generations this was the first true Australian architecture book. Before this we have some trade and technical literature, some government reports and scattered papers and, recently discovered, a pattern book printed but probably not published in Melbourne in 1885. So Mr Haddon is now moved down to second place. This is a matter of precedence rather than importance as no-one ever saw the pattern book. Despite Haddon's approach (a textbook rather than pattern book), his examples can easily be traced to his own projects - domestic, commercial, churches, hospitals and shearing sheds. His city office in this book, for example, is a close relative to his Fourth Victoria building in Collins Street, Melbourne.
His work was modern, very much Arts & Crafts (or Federation if you like) at this period and he argues for a specific response to local conditions and materials and demands a modern, honest use of materials. Not all his designs hark back to English antecedents; the colour plate here shows a city building owing a dramatic debt to Moorish Spain (and some fairytale castle) and his design for the Swinburne College building appears to be part Spanish mission and part Mesopotamian.


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SPARROW, Walter Shaw. Our Homes and How to Make the Best of Them. London, Hodder & Stoughton 1909. Large stout octavo publisher's cloth; xii,280pp, 30 colour plates (six double page), numerous b/w photo illustrations, plans &c. A bit of spotting and a couple of minor flaws but quite a good copy of a book that didn't wear well. Au$100

A solid survey of what's up to date and fashionable, illustrating the work of Ashbee, Lutyens, Voysey, Newton, Brangwyn, Baillie Scott, Gimson, and others.


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Japanese design. [Kika Monyo - Geometric Patterns]. n.p. n.d. [c1910-30?]. Oblong folio (275x365mm) decorated cloth with paper title label (some insect nibbling of the cloth); 50 double page leaves of light card bound as an accordian fold - meaning that each design is 275x730mm and given enough room the whole could be opened out some 36 and a half metres - each a design painted in gouache with some metallic and transparent layers. Rubbing or offsetting of colours here and there and a few leaves with some adhesion at each edge, nothing too serious. Au$3500

A spectacular collection of large designs and something of a mystery. This is a sophisticated, professional production for presentation; this is not an artist's personal scrapbook and there is nothing amateurish or studentlike about the designs or the album; but I can't find a name anywhere. On the back of some sheets are some sketched pencil designs and occasional characters, nothing I can interpret. Design competitions were held in the textile trade in the early 20th century and entered albums of designs were both serious and anonymous; perhaps this was for some such competition.
One current chic kimono maker (撫松庵) has a signature pattern that looks like it was lifted almost whole from this album. If this was western I would date it to the sixties, perhaps the fifties, but I have no hesitation declaring this decades earlier. I have seen a 1913 album of original designs that contains what could be one of the dullest designs in this.
It took me a while to see that page after page of this album comes from the same six straight lines - the hemp (Asanoha - 麻の葉) pattern. Plenty of cultures mastered ornamental pattern, even an Englishman, Robert Billings, did a good job in the 1850s, but no-one seems to be able to re-invent over and over from the most simple foundation with such vibrant strength as a Japanese designer of this calibre.
Once Japan took back and redigested - from the late 19th century on - what the west had taken from Japan, what we regard as modernism, I find it almost impossible to decide what is borrowed and what was always theirs. Can I see the influence of the scraperboard technique popular in the twenties or is it the development of the traditional asymetrical graining of nature? I saw a giant Argyle sock but it is, I think, based on the swastika design popular in textile design for centuries. And what would have been produced using smart new technology in the west - plastics, spiral binding perhaps - has been put together with materials and techniques unchanged for a couple of centuries or so.
The previous owner of this firmly equivocated and dated it somewhere between 1900 and 1940. After studying it for some time I think he was right. But having seen some of these patterns and colours used in early Taisho books and posters, I narrow it down to between 1910 and 1920.


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DAVISON, Ralph C. Concrete Pottery and Garden Furniture. NY, Munn 1910. Octavo, very good in publisher's decorated cloth; xiv,196p and publisher's list, 140 photo illustrations, diagrams and line drawings. Au$100

First edition. Exactly the sort of information which, in the wrong hands, leads to unspeakable evil. In general I'm in favour of knowledge for the masses and the unveiling of secrets held within cabalistic trades but this steps over the line. There isn't anything in here to take exception to, the examples are unremarkable, sometimes handsome, but I've seen too much of what happens when just anyone is given access to concrete and the means to knock up a mold.


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JONES, Owen. The Grammar of Ornament ... illustrated by examples ... London, Quaritch 1910 [reprinted 1928]. Small folio publisher's gilt decorated cloth; 112 colour plates including the extra title, illustrations through the text. Inner front hinge cracked but firm; cracking is common with this heavy book. A rather good copy. Au$500

The last proper edition, it can still stand comparison with the 1865 edition.


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Hospitals. Rigshospitalet i Kjobenhavn. Copenhagen, Kommission Hos G.E.C. Gad 1911. Quarto half morocco; [4],128pp, 8 folding colour plans, numerous photo illustrations, plans &c through the text. A handsome copy. Au$125

An exemplary monograph on the new state hospital. The history is traced from its inception in the mid 18th century as the free Frederiks Hospital to its opening at the end of 1910 in its present site - though these buildings themselves have not survived - one of the first major 20th century hospitals. Planning, building, equipment, management, functions and purpose - all are well covered down to things like sinks and the bedside lamps for patients. There is a resume in French at the end and French captions are provided for the illustrations.


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