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108 items found:

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 Lucien Henry's own pattern book remains unpublished, few of his realised designs survive ..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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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$30

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


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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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Yanase Masamu & Fujimori Seikichi. ( ) [Okami e! (Waga Rodo)]. Tokyo, Shunjusha 1926 (Taisho 15). 20x14cm, excellent in publisher's illustrated boards and slipcase by Yanase. Spine a bit browned, minor wear to the top of the slipcase; rather good. Inscribed and signed by Fujimori in September 1926 to the novelist Wada Den (Wada Tsuto). Au$800

First edition of Fujimori's proletarian novel - the title translates as 'To the Wolf! (my labour)' - but, alas, probably more wanted for Yanase's book design these days. As I can't read the book, there's no contest for me. Both were trouble makers and both ended up in trouble - jailed every now and again, in Yanase's case tortured as well.
Yanase, both prodigy and prodigious, was one of the founders of MAVO - now Japan's best known avant-garde group of the early twenties - after membership of futurist and constructivist associations and before moving onto self proclaimed proletarian movements. He abandoned painting in the late twenties - the fine arts were anti-proletarian - and worked only as a graphic artist until the war, which he did not survive.
Wada Den was prominent in the school of farmer or peasant literaure. They both wrote about the working class but Wada was, I've read, no friend to left wing troublemakers.


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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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Kipling. Takeo Takei. [Janguru Bukku]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title and endpapers, one colour plate and numerous b/w illustrations and diagrams through the text. A used copy, with smudges and marks. Not bad for these school texts that usually survive in revolting condition. Shogakusei Zenshu no.49. Cover, endpapers and title page by Takeo Takei Au$50

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. Here is Kipling's Jungle Book translated by Kikuchi Kan. The illustrations inside by Unno Seiko are not anything to write home about.


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Shogakusei Zenshu. [Jido Butsuru Kagaku Monogatari]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title, two colour plates, photo and b/w illustrations through the text. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.61. Cover by Michioka Toshi. Au$90

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 is physics and chemistry.


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Shogakusei Zenshu. [Kodomo Seiri Eisei Monogatari]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; one colour plate, photo and b/w illustrations. Some browning and mild signs of use; a rather good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.69. Colour frontispiece by Unno Seiko, other illustrations by Hosokibara Seiki. Au$85

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 health. Seiki's illustrations aren't so well printed but they are lively and amusing.


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[Catalogue - Furniture]. Thonet. Thonet Freres. Paris Bd. Poissonniere, &c [c1928]. Oblong quarto by size, printed wrapper; 2pp & numerous illustrations on 11 leaves printed on rectos. Price list for March 1928 inserted. Au$275

An unfamiliar side of Thonet: their more substantial pieces, sofas and arms chairs in leather and upholstered chairs of all types.


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SIMON, Oliver and RODENBERG, Julius. Printing of To-Day. An illustrated survey of post-war typography in Europe and the United States. With a general introduction by Aldous Huxley. London, Peter Davies 1928. Quarto publisher's cloth (the white cloth a touch browned); 122 examples in appropriate colours. Au$150

The special edition of 300 copies on hand made paper.


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[Cleland]. The Decorative Work of T.M. Cleland. A record and review, with a bibliographical and critical introduction by Alfred E. Hamill. NY, Pynson Printers 1929. Quarto, very good in publisher's cloth and mildly dusty dustwrapper; xxiiipp and 99pp plates. Numerous illustrations, some colour, and a mounted folding sample. Au$85

Some six years in the making and beautifully produced. It's a pity about Cleland.


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PLOYER, Otokar. Views, elevations and plans for the Remislavsky-Stome villa and studio in Prague, along with drawings and plans for a 'California Weekender'. n.p. c1930-35. Eight sheets ranging in size from single sheets 21x33cm to a four fold sheet 34x83cm. These are printed by whatever lithographic process on a heavy parchment paper and coloured by hand. All have Ployer's stamps and are signed in ink. As well there is a typed signed letter, two pages on one sheet, and a photo collage card printed on the back. Together in a contemporary portfolio, 36x28cm, with ribbon ties. Au$185

The client and the house are easy to track. Dancer, choreographer and former National Theatre Ballet Director Remislav Remislavsky and his ballerina wife Irmou Stome opened their purpose built dance school in 1934. He joined the resistance during war and was denounced as bourgeois and his villa seized in 1948 according to one biographer. He lived happily and taught on after the war according to another. The building survives and appears to be home now to a number of companies that don't actually do anything.
The architect not so much. One drawing here has a blindstamp: "Ing. Otokar Ployer Amer. Architekt" and the photo collage card with the lot is Remislavsky's announcement that the school will open in September 1934 and was purpose designed by American architect "Playerem" (sic). On other drawings he is Ing. O. Ployer. The letter, dated January 1 1936, with the lot explains this group of drawings. He suggests in the letter that his friends might like to build his California weekender. I'd say he added a batch of drawings and plans of the Remislavsky villa - his big project - to impress his prospective clients. He mentions he is working on the design of an air raid shelter, a useful thing to have in central Europe as the thirties progress, and he filed, from Prague, for a US patent for an air raid shelter in 1939 which was granted in 1945. Elsewhere I find the suggestion that he migrated to Sweden at some stage but in 1947 the firm Ployer Otakar of the same address in Prague advertised in a Rio de Janeiro newspaper for contacts with exporters of machinery, rubber, chemicals, coffee, etc and for importers of glass, synthetic stones and toys. 1948 may well have killed that career and seen him off to Sweden. How and where he is an American architect in all this beats me.
The drawings and the photos of the villa built show that a fair amount of rationalisation took place. A grandiose mansion of no fixed heritage is pruned to a large central European Mediterranean villa and built with not a whole lot more trimming down. His California weekender is ... maybe Spanish mission put into a car compactor.


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