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124 items found:

QUENIOUX, Gaston. Elements de Composition Decorative. Cent themes de decoration plane. Paris, Hachette, 1912. Quarto publisher's decorated cloth blocked in green and red (back hinge partly split, a bit marked); [8],318pp, 543 illustrations including 25 colour plates. Natural browning of the text paper, still a rather good copy. Au$100

A thorough grounding in design in one hundred parts, each focussed on a particular form of pattern or field of design: printing, ceramics, textiles, etc. The examples come from everywhere and all times but all somehow sit well with the stylish Art Nouveau forms of modern design that Quenioux espouses.


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New York Architecture. Competition for the New York Court House MCMXIII. Edited by authority of the Court House Board. NY, Architectural Book Publishing [1913]. Hefty folio, 52x36cm, loose as issued in publisher's portfolio (rubbed and worn but solid); five leaves of preliminary text and 88 plates: plans elevations and perspectives. Ex library with small stamps on the preliminary pages and the back of the plates; a couple of marginal tears; used but decent enough. Au$475

Twelve major architects were invited and a preliminary competition selected another ten to enter the competition for a new New York Supreme Court. Ten were originally invited and the New York Times complained about the regulations and about missing names like Cass Gilbert, George B. Post, Cram Goodhue & Ferguson and a couple of others. Whatever effect this complaint had, Gilbert and Post were included but the competition remained firmly unpublic. Guy Lowell won with a grand circular mass that was then revised, by the time it was built, into a completely different building.
The first critics of note were the Supreme Court Justices who said they preferred the old Tweed building to Lowell's design. And the Justices remained critics of note. Despite resiting and revisions over the next few years they remained implacably opposed to a circular court building. But it was economics that killed it in the end.
All the entries are included - a fair division of four plates each - and as to be expected the temple is predominant, more or less adapted or added to. McKim Mead and White's design looks they had a hotel in mind and of the few that went upwards, as New York was meant to go, some have put an awkward (or picturesque depending on taste) tower on a temple. George and Edward Blum's tower is the only building that truly looks modern in the New York of 1913 but modernity and elegance don't personify the weight and dignity of the law.


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BRADFIELD, J.J.C. Linking Sydney With North Sydney. In: Proceedings of the Sydney University Engineering Society, vol XVIII, 1913-14. Octavo publisher's cloth; pp95-164, numerous plans and illustrations (some folding). Au$175

A notable contribution to Bradfield's long running campaign to bridge the harbour, with an historical summary of proposals (including tunnels), technical requirements and details, comparative studies of likely requirements, &c, and his cantilever bridge recommended by the Public Works Committee 1913.


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Design. An album of designs for textiles and/or paper. c1913-1920's? Large folio cloth [620x430mm]; 24 card leaves with 39 mounted original colour block prints (3 double page). Expected signs of use but nothing drastic; one print removed. Au$1200

Doubtless the designer's album of designs, these are proof prints from the blocks, each show the shape where the repeat pattern fits. The first pages are annotated with details of the client ('Achete a George. 9 Rue St Fiacre Paris' - in earlier decades this was the home of a calico manufacturer, which makes sense, and now houses a public relations firm and Ella Bache, which is neither here nor there) and the engraver (Gillet, sometimes in concert with someone else); the details dwindle as the album proceeds until we reach the large and dramatic geometric design in black and white which was "vendu a Mrs Bosset".
Dating these designs to 1913 would seem foolish but for the first few leaves being dated 1913 in the top corner; two or three are dull, traditional floral patterns but the rest, while by no means radical avant garde, would sit more happily in the next decade or two - some are really quite stylish. The theme is floral, or at least botanical although one is based on a Chinese cloud pattern; several are oriental in style or inspiration and one is a very stylish piece of Japanese abstraction.
I'm pretty sure this is the work of a Japanese designer in Paris, partly because it most recently came from Tokyo and partly because of the modern simplicity of several designs.


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SAARINEN, Eliel. Munksnas-Haga och Stor-Helsingfors - Stadsplansstudier och forslag. Helsinki, Lilius & Hertzberg 1915. Quarto publisher's wrapper with mounted colour illustration; [6],163pp, photo illustrations, plans and drawings, 10 folding colour plans. Signs of use, some creasing of the long plans. Au$650

Even without skipping by the monumental grandeur at the official centre of Saarinen's almost winning design for Canberra you can easily recognise the same hand in his plan for Munkkiniemi and Haaga on the outskirts of Helsinki. Saarinen worked on this from 1910 so the two projects overlap.
This, Saarinen's first book - published in Swedish and Finnish versions - is divided between a survey of planning with particular attention to Unwin and the garden city, Helsinki, and this scheme, presented with a five metre long model made by his wife Loja in 1915. Photographic aerial views in the book are of the model. His client was land developer M.G. Stenius - a company whose wealth was built on gardens appropriately enough. Not a lot of this scheme was built but the first stages were built to his plans with one street of - then an innovation too radical for Finland - Saarinen's row houses. Probably a better batting average than Griffin's with Canberra. Trove finds only the Sydney University copy in Australia.


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BAKER, Richard T. The Australian Flora in Applied Art. Part I The Waratah. Sydney, Tech Museum 1915. Small quarto, very good in publisher's cloth; numerous colour & b/w illustrations. Au$250

Part I is all published and apparently all Baker ever planned to publish. The book was part of his fervid campaign to have the Waratah made the national flower, and his chance to champion the designs of Lucien Henry which he had recovered from under a tub in a Surry Hills washhouse. It is a pity he never continued the series but he has produced probably Australia's most attractive book on applied arts. Lucien Henry's own pattern book remains unpublished, few of his realised designs survive .. this is about as close as we get.


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Japanese design. Four original designs for fans. n.p. [c1918]. Watercolour, gouache, pencil and collaged photographs (with some hand tinting) on paper, each about 53cm long. One with the date Taisho 7 (1918) and an undeciphered inscription. Au$375

Kitsch without question. But intriguing and somehow charming kitsch mixing as it does mawkish nostalgia with the thoroughly up to date techniques of photo collage and airbrush. Not to mention beach bunnies. I do wonder whether the woman in the two profile portraits is a celebrity. I'm sure purposeful kitsch was not a new arrival in Japan come the 20th century but certainly there was an avalanche of stuff like this and even more that makes these positively chic.


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Noshigami - . A sample book of Noshigami - special paper for gifts - from the Kadoya Dyeing Workshop, Tokyo. Tokyo [c1920?]. Large octavo by size (235x180mm), printed stiff wrappers; 105 leaves of colour printed samples. Au$400

Noshi-gami is specially printed paper to be folded and attached to gifts as I understand it. The ineluctable beauty of the patterns is enhanced in this book by being in a quite smart cover decorated with electric locomotives.


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GARNIER, Tony. Les Grands Travaux de la Ville de Lyon. Etudes, projets et travaux executes. Paris, Massin [1920]. folio, loose as issued in publisher's portfolio of cloth backed printed boards; 12pp and 56 plates - drawings, plans, elevations and photos. Au$1200

In Garnier's work in Lyon, instigated by the mayor Edouard Herriott from 1906 on, he realised many of the ideas set forth in his Cite Industrielle and some of the ideas in Cite Industrielle came from his work in Lyon. Une Cite Industrielle was largely finished by 1904 but not published until 1918 so he had the chance to plug a few of the gaps in his imagined city from his real city. Some projects here were completed in later years and some never realised.


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Kyoto Silk. A collection of 48 and a half large sample books of Kyoto silk from the twenties and thirties. Kyoto Orimonoshodo Meikai &c, c1920 to 1940. Various sizes corresponding to quarto or small folio, publisher's cloth or silk with stamped or paper label titles, some still in their card slipcases. Thousands of fabric samples mounted in window card leaves. These were, I'm told, in the family storehouse for decades and insects have sampled several covers and occasionally worked their way into the card leaves. A few covers show signs of mild damp but nothing drastic and there is general dustiness and some browning of card leaves - again nothing drastic - and all but one or two fabric swatches are in excellent shape. There are, out of however many thousand swatches in 48 volumes, perhaps a half dozen missing. The 49th - the half referred to - has about half of its 144 samples removed. Au$7200

These belonged to the Onishi Gofukumise, the Onishi Drygoods Store - kimono drapers of Uchika in the Ehime prefecture - a company that still exists in modern premises in the area. Their stamp is in many volumes and sometimes they have added a date stamp or written in the date, ranging from 1923 to 1938. All are from Kyoto, most under the banner of the Kyoto Orimonoshodo meikai - the textile merchants association. Lists of the member textile firms appear in some volumes.
The album titles, those I've been able to decipher, are not much help to me. They seem to be evocative or aspirational - much like the work of contemporary colour namers who label a colour 'harmony' instead of brown and 'hushed loam' rather than shit brown. Perhaps a textile expert will know that 'Encouragement', 'Mikado', 'Star' and 'Maple' (my approximations), if not trade marks, are particular ways of weaving or dyeing.
The first thing that struck me looking through these is the quality of book production. Many of these, most of these, are books produced with the same care as the best Kyoto design albums by publishers like Unsodo. There's nothing flimsy or slipshod; these books took a lot of time and care to make.
I don't like to boast but I can honestly say I know near as much about silk weaving as I do about playing the pedal steel guitar. Most of these seem to focus on the new season colours rather than patterns, though patterns are certainly there, but the weaving styles aren't by any means plain. There are creped silks, ribbed silks, damask like patterns and other esoteric textures produced by whatever occult means Japanese weavers used to make light play in different ways over the fabric.
Whether it's the pre-war born generation dying off or economic shift, a lot of fabulous textile stuff - design and sample albums - of the late 19th and early twentieth century has come out of Japan in the last few years. I've bought some and watched with hungry eyes much more go by and I notice it's slowed to a trickle. I'd like to think there's more to come but I suspect those old company and family storehouses have been pretty much emptied. I doubt another cache as rich as this, so specific to place and time, will be along anytime soon.


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MATTHEWS, W.H. Mazes and Labyrinths. A general account of their history and developments. London, Longmans 1922. Octavo publisher's canvas backed boards; xvii,254pp, 151 illustrations - plans, photo illustrations, etc. A bit of spotting but quite a good copy, better than most I've seen. Au$250

Long (still?) the definitive work; a good book with a sweet origin: while making a maze on the beach his young child asked who made mazes first of all. Matthews' answer is that he doesn't know but here's what he found out along the way.


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Canberra. Report Together with Minutes of Evidence and Plans Relating to the Construction of Provisional Administrative Offices at Canberra. [Melbourne], Govt Printer [1923]. Foolscap folio, stapled; vi,18pp, 2 folding plans (one with a couple of tears at the edge). Au$125

The standing committee actually voted against the buildings proposed here. They are a compound of single storey timber and iron buildings of very tropical, colonial appearance. A queue of elephants unloading public servants onto the verandahs would suit the elevation drawing perfectly. Asking federal public servants to work in timber and iron buildings bothered the committee who have recommended a pair of brick or concrete, permanent, two story buildings instead.


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van REVESTEYN, Ir.S. De Sierkunst op Nederlandsche Passagiersschepen. Rotterdam, Brusse 1924. Octavo printed wrapper (detached); 72pp, 24 photo plates, a few plans through the text. Au$50

Toegepaste Kunsten in Nederland series. Interiors and decoration of passenger liners.


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Yamada Seijiro [ed]. [Oebashi Yodoyabashi Isho Sekkei Zuanshu]. Osaka, Shiyakusho Mikuraban 1924 (Taisho 13) Folio, 40x27cm, loose as issued in card portfolio with mounted label (a bit worn with some short tears); 36 leaves: a wrapper-like title, three leaves of text and 49 illustrations on 32 plates - perspectives, elevations, plans &c. Au$875

The three winning designs and five honourable mentions for the competition for a new bridge - or pair of bridges - to flank the brand new Osaka city hall. That impressive pile was demolished by Godzilla in 1955 and by the city in the 1980s. The winner, Otani Tatsuo, did design the built bridge but as is the way with competitions nothing as splendid - nor as peculiar - as these designs was built. What is there seems a drab, if dignified, patchwork of the least expressive particulars of more than one design. It took thirty years to get around to it, finished in 1954. I can't find a copy of this anywhere outside Japan and not too many inside.


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Exhibition - Tokyo 1922. [Heiwa Kinen Tokyo Hakurankai Jimu Hokoku]. Tokyo Fucho 1924 (Taisho 13). Two volumes 26x19cm, publisher's embossed wrappers (browned); 681pp, heaps of illustrations: folding colour plans, architectural elevations and plans, photo plates, etc. Browning and foxing expected from the paper but still a rather good fresh copy. Au$1350

The official report on the 1922 Tokyo Memorial Peace Exposition is the very model of what an official report on an exhibition should be. You could just about rebuild the whole thing from this. The detail extends to measured drawings of light fittings, plans of the garden beds and coloured reproductions of the tickets and advertising. The 1922 Peace Memorial Exhibition, celebrating the League of Nations and a bright future, was the most lavish national Expo ever held. The pavilions were a mix of stately, ultra modern and funfair fairy tale.


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HOPKINS, Henry Powell. Sources of Memorial Ornamentation. Vermont Marble Company 1924. Quarto, very good in publisher's gilt decorated boards, cloth spine; 44pp, 14 plates. Au$75

Something of a trade catalogue:- a primer of the basic styles - Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Gothic and Colonial - with suggestions for their application to modern gravestones.


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Wada Ayata. [Shiyouindo Soshoku]. Kyoto, Unsodo 1924. Folio (370x255mm), loose as issued in publisher's cloth portfolio with printed label; four leaves of text, 33 plates (10 are colour lithographs) of designs with a few photo illustrations of finished work; the last three plates are alphabets (ie Japanese characters) in new modern styles. Au$3000

Rare. In fact I have expert advice that this is 'ubu' - which when applied to books I'm told means very rare and special. This is one of the more luxuriously produced portfolios of modern Japanese designs of the period; the colour plates are glowing lithographs. Part of the fascination of Japanese modernism is that not only did 'commercial art' encompass such a breadth of, to us, disparate disciplines but that they were given equal weight. Show windows are not less important than advertising graphics, or lighting, or even architecture itself. They all demand an equal application of inventiveness and artists and designers turned their hand to buildings, posters, books, stage and costumes, and show windows with equal relish.
Wada was just such a designer of the Taisho and early Showa periods; he also produced albums of alphabets and interior designs. In later years he turned to politics and economics, which is just sad. OCLC finds only the National Diet copy.


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BEST, Elsdon. The Maori Canoe. An acount of various types of vessels used by the Maori of New Zealand in former times, with some description of those of the isles of the Pacific ... Wellington, Govt Printer 1925. Quarto contemporary cloth (lightly flecked) with the original printed wrapper mounted on the front board; vi,312pp, map, some 170 photo illustrations, line drawings and diagrams. Dominion Museum Bulletin No.7. Au$200

The definitive work, it isn't superceded by Haddon's 'Canoes of Oceania' but forms a good companion. Best covers everything from tree felling to decoration and investigates the history of Polynesian migration.


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[Werkbund]. PFLEIDERER, Wolfgang [ed]. Die Form Ohne Ornament. Werkbundaustellung 1924. Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlags 1925. Quarto, excellent in publisher's cloth and dustwrapper; viii,22pp, photo illustrations on 89 plates and adverts. Au$300

Third and fourth thousand. The Werkbund displayed for 1924: from soap to gravestones, cutlery to satchels.


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SUGDEN, Alan Victor & John Ludlam EDMONDSON. A History of English Wallpaper 1509 - 1914. NY, Scribners, London, Batsford [1926]. Hefty quarto, excellent in publisher's gilt cloth, dustwrapper and dropfront box (the hinges and corners of this sometime strengthened and a title label added to the spine). xiii,281pp, 70 mounted colour, numerous photo plates. A most appealing copy and Cecil B. De Mille's copy with his Iribe bookplate. Au$750


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Architecture. The Most Wonderful Building in Australia. Will you help to build it? Sydney, University Campanile Committee 1926. Quarto illustrated wrapper; 16pp, photos and illustrations throughout. Au$200

Sydney University did get its carillon but not the grand campanile which the committee campaigned for here. The committee was weighted with the prominent and influential but clearly the cost of £25,000 for a 210 feet tower was too much even for such company. As to its design - rather than trust to the vagaries of architects, perhaps even modernists or futurists - it could be copied from existing monuments, the Mangia Tower in Siena being the best model. Leslie Wilkinson and J.D. Moore have offered renderings suggesting that tower in its new setting but the cover by Raymond McGrath has an ecclesiastical gothic tower that bears no relationship to any of their preferred.


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Shogakusei Zenshu. Murayama Tomoyoshi. [Ongaku no Hanashi to Syokashu]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1927 [Showa 2]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; one colour plate, b/w illustrations throughout. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.67. Covers - front and back - by Murayama Tomoyoshi. Au$125

The Shogakusei Zenshu, or Complete Works for Elementary Schools, runs to some 88 volumes of educational texts and literature - much of this in translation; few of them seem elementary. This one covers music. Murayama maybe leads the list of avant-garde heros of interwar Japan. Founder of MAVO and communist troublemaker he had books and plays banned, ended up in prison and produced lively, humourous illustrations for children.


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GEERLINGS, Gerald K. Wrought Iron in Architecture ... craftsmanship, historical notes and illustrations ... modern wrought iron, lighting fixtures .. specifications. NY, Scribners 1927. Quarto publisher's cloth, very good in insect chewed dustwrapper; 202pp, numerous photo illustrations, measured drawings &c. Au$75


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MORRIS, E.P. The Fore-and-Aft Rig in America, a sketch. Yale Univ Press 1927. Largish octavo publisher's cloth; xx,215pp, 34 plates and 64 line drawings. Au$50

Edition of 1000 copies. A pioneering history of American rig, starting in the early 17th century and including 'local types, now fast disappearing from our waters'.


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FUERST, Walter Rene & Samuel J. HUME. XXth Century Stage Decoration. London, Knopf 1928. Two volumes quarto pattern cloth. I: text. II: plates; 7 colour, 387 b/w illustrations, other illustrations through the text. Extra list of plates in pocket. Au$150


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