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124 items found:

Shogakusei Zenshu. Okano Sakae [cover design]. [Sanjutsu no Hanashi]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1928 [Showa 3]. Octavo, cloth backed publisher's illustrated card wrapper; illustrated title in red, one colour plate and numerous b/w illustrations and diagrams through the text. Browning and signs of use; a pretty good copy. Shogakusei Zenshu no.73. Au$150

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 arithmetic. I believe that if my maths texts looked like this my education would have been much more rewarding. This masterpiece of a cover is by Okano Sakae, one of the generation of artists who came through the western painting department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts at the beginning of the century, later a pupil of Kuroda Seiki, and collaborator with fellow Hakubakai students on the five volume Nihon Meisho Shasei Kiko.


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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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Hamada Masuji and others. [Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu - The Complete Commercial Artist]. Tokyo, Ars 1928-30 (Showa 3 - 5). 24 volumes quarto, publisher's wrappers & printed card slipcases. Thousands of illustrations, most colour. Minor flaws and signs of use - a few small chips from spines; wear of the card boxes; a couple of leaves mistrimmed during binding causing a clean tear in one text leaf; a rather good set. Au$3500

A complete set of the Shogyo Bijutsu, one of the great monuments of Japanese modernism. Largely the work of Masuji Hamada - credited with the invention of design as a profession in Japan - it is an encyclopaedic gathering of all that is new and exciting in Russia, Europe, Britain and America from art nouveau to bauhaus and constructivism, with futurism, expressionism, dada and everything else along the way lavishly mixed with Japanese responses to, and digestion of, these western ideas. Any number of exciting artists and designers contributed.
Each volume is devoted to a topic or related topics and commercial design here means more than it does to us. So as well as volumes on posters, advertisements, billboards, typography, and similar graphic arts - like bookbindings, magazine, brochure and catalogue covers, packaging, labels, trademarks and placards - there are volumes devoted to the architecture of the shop from the mightiest department store to the most chic Parisian shop window and the display within. Exterior and interior design, showcases and fittings - shops, restaurants, cinemas, even a barber shop or beauty parlour is laid out. One volume is devoted to lighting: neon lights, the lighting of commercial spaces and illuminated signs. Another volume is devoted to kiosks, pavilions and floats, festive decoration, facades, gateways and entrances, while the following volume continues into international exhibitions. Volume 22 is devoted to traditional Japanese shop signs and banners, a treat in itself, while volume 14 explores photography and humour in graphic art - so German photo-montage and French caricature share a volume.


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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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KRASNOV, Pyotr Nikolayevich, Oki Atsuo & Onchi Koshiro. [Soto no Washi Yori Akahata e]. Tokyo, Ars 1930. Octavo publisher's printed cloth in white, yellow, red and black; printed card slipcase; title page printed in red and black. A bit of wear to the case, a touch of browning or dustiness to the book. Neat owner's name on box and back endpaper. A rather good copy. Au$400

First and probably only edition - and near impossible to find in decent condition - of volume one of Krasnov's virulent anti-communist novel, published in English in two volumes as 'From Double Eagle to Red Flag'. Volume two in Japanese apparently never made it to print. A splendid bit of book design by Onchi Koshiro and a curious convergence of over sized personalities. Krasnov was the commander of the Russian army who carried his fight against the Bolsheviks to Europe and cozied up with the Nazis. He surrendered to the British with the promise he wouldn't be turned over to the Soviets. He was and was executed in 1947.
The translator, Oki Atsuo, was a decidedly nationalist poet whose military songs and verses won awards during the war and seemingly worked against him afterwards. He ended up writing school songs.
If artist, printmaker and designer, Onchi, had any politics they haven't been translated into English. He was at the head of modern Japanese art from the teens pretty much up until his death in 1955. Still he has managed to create what could be taken as a strident fascist emblem until we look at the box where that Soviet flag looks almost heroic behind those bars. Onchi designed a few books for Ars between 1919 and 1934 and given their house styles for their art titles - from drab to downright ugly - I wonder why they hired him in the first place and then why they didn't use him a lot more. Note how Onchi used the as yet unset modernisation of reading and writing. The title reads left to right on the box and on the title it reads left to right on the black band and reverses on the red band.


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[Catalogue - Metal Ware]. Metafa, Strassburg. Metallwarefabrik Schiltigheim. Katalog Nr.40. The company [1930's]. Oblong quarto illustrated wrapper; 34pp, numerous illustrations. Detatchable order cards present. Au$75

Modern chromeware, much for the kitchen including a sausage rack. At the end is some smart moderne children's furniture.


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BLACK, Archibald et al. American Airport Designs - containing 44 prize winning and other drawings from the Lehigh Airports Competition ... NY, for the Lehigh Portland Cement Company 1930. Quarto publisher's illustrated heavy wrapper (a stain on the front, later cloth spine); 96pp, mostly plates. A more than decent copy. Au$250

This is, I believe, the first American book on airport architecture, gathering designs submitted to the country's first such competition. The compiler is confident that there are plenty of new ideas never used in Europe and the schemes range from token crackpot visionary - a circular runway running around the tops of skyscrapers - to beaux-arts, with the bulk falling into classical moderne.
Common to all designs chosen for inclusion is a formal layout, with runways, often circular, that range from something like parterre gardens to complex occult symbols; surely evidence that a good beaux-arts education still prevailed. Two designs that have some flashy distinction are by Los Angeles and Florida architects, naturally, with a film set skyscraper and a modernist tower respectively. Both are condemned as unsafe. Maybe interesting now would be tracking down the entries that didn't make the cut - neither Wright's nor Neutra's made the book.


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Itagaki Takao. [Atarashiki Geijutsu no Kakutoku]. Tokyo, Tenjinsha 1930. 10x15cm publisher's illustrated wrapper (a couple of small chips); 246pp, photo illustrations on 16 plates. Occasional light browning, rather good. Au$675

First edition of this essay on the machine and new architecture and design, by the champion of modernism in Japan. This was a theme Itagaki pursued through a few books between 1929 and 1933.


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Catalogue - Furniture. Meubles Modernes. [Paris c1930?]. Oblong quarto printed wrapper; numerous photo illustrations on 32 pages. Used but decent enough. Au$50

A not entirely happy amalgam of modernity and period but a good record of what filled countless bourgeois homes. The makers are as yet unidentifed but the cover is monogrammed TF or FT. Thonet Freres is the first thought but that's clutching at straws.


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Catalogue - radios. AWA Radiola Broadcast Receivers. [Sydney? 193-?]. Octavo publisher's illustrated wrapper; 16pp, two-tone illustrations. Stamp of Sydney retailer Mick Simmons on the cover; inoffensive vertical fold. Au$85

The AWA range of Australian designed and made console and table radios, mains and battery powered. I don't think standing cabinet radios were ever stylish: mock Jacobean was the default. Beautiful, vivid and high moderne small radios were made but not in Australia by AWA.


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Noshigami - . A sample book of Noshigami - special paper for gifts - from the Kakuya Dyeing Workshop, Tokyo. Tokyo, 1931 (Showa 6). Octavo by size (230x165mm) stiff wrapper lettered by hand; 73 leaves of colour printed samples. Au$300

Noshi-gami is specially printed paper to be folded and attached to gifts as I understand it. That traditional forms are maintained is clear but by now - 1931 - the influence of modernism, compared to the couple of earlier examples I've seen, is obvious in the bright, flat forms with simpler, bolder shapes and sharper contrasts.


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HAFFNER, Jean Jacques. Compositions de Jardins. Paris, Vincent-Freal 1931. Quarto by size, loose as issued in publisher's cloth-backed printed boards; 30pp and 44 plates. Text in French and English. Signs of use but nothing too objectionable. Au$600

An uncommon book on an uncommon subject: modernist garden design or, as the author puts it, "a new era garden for a new era architecture". Haffner, Professor of Architecture at Harvard, applied principles of house design to the garden and insists that these designs are not to be adapted to period houses - they "belong to our present era of architecture". The handsome plates are plans, elevations and perspectives (mostly birds-eye) from Haffner's drawings.


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Sato Yoshisuke. [Gendai Ryoki Sentan Zukan - more or less: Illustrations of the bizarre in the contemporary avant-garde]. Tokyo, Shinchosa 1931. Large octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in silver & gilt (edges a bit rubbed) in colour illustrated slipcase (edges a bit worn); [8],246,47pp; colour plates and hundreds of photo illustrations, many full page. Some browning at the end. Au$450

Fairly wonderful and very Japanese. The world has been ransacked for images but there is a philosophy and method behind this which makes it more than just sensational or a freak show. Exactly what it is I'm not sure. The book is organised into sections: the erotic; the grotesque; nonsense; revue; strange perspective; sport; the avant-garde; the pose; novelty. While it's clear why many of these pictures are so organised it is sometimes puzzling - particularly for those of us who can't read the accompanying text. The human predominates - women in scanties or less never need much excuse to be featured, but I suspect that it is not so much the naked body that is found grotesque here but the extremes to which the natural can be distorted for art and entertainment.
If the book stopped there it could be seen as just another example of the ero-guro-nansensu (erotic grotesque nonsense) culture of bourgeois Japan at the time - indeed current scholars have plundered this book for images when discussing ero-guro-nansensu - but the wider, more critical, stance here might be conveyed by one colour picture. Seemingly a typical painting in kitschy tourist brochure style it depicts a classical samurai and sword scene in a small village - nothing unsual until we notice the film crew in the right corner.


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RITTER, Hubert. Der Krankenhausbau der Gegenwart. Stuttgart, Hoffmann 1932. Quarto printed wrapper (chipped dustwrapper panel loosely inserted); 102pp, numerous photo illustrations & plans. A chip from the spine, a couple of small stamps of the NSW Hospital Commission but a good copy. Au$125

The latest in hospital design and technology and a good survey of hospitals, both built and projected, in Europe and America.


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Takizawa Kuniyuki. [Senshoku Zuan - Kuniyuki Sakuhin Senshu]. Tokyo, Takizawa Kuniyuki 1933 (Showa 8). Folio (47x32cm) publisher's folding case with printed label; three leaves of text mounted inside the front cover and on a hinged board; 50 heavy sheets, loose as issued, with 200 mounted designs. Each sheet with the artist's blindstamp and each with a glassine overlay. A bit of insect nibbling and marking of the case, minor signs of use. The printed colophon slip pasted inside the back board tells us this album was hibaihin: not for sale. I think there is another slip underneath this but I'm not going to pick at it. Au$2750

How many copies of this monumental textile design album did Takizawa produce? How many could he produce? I'm still flummoxed by how it was done and the amount of work involved. I first assumed that Takizawa must have built and painted large sheets and then cut them up. He probably did but on at least one extravagantly textured design the surface extends a fraction beyond the paper - it can't have been cut up afterwards. Takizawa experimented with all sorts of techniques including layering paper: some designs have paint, threads or cords covered with textured tissues. How much of the texture could have been applied with some sort of stencil I don't know but the amount of work in creating each of the 200 designs bewilders me.
It occurred to me that there is a lot of blank space in this album and of course that's intentional. Most design albums cram designs together and we are dazzled by colour and movement. In the best of them the complete plate, not each part, is the design. Takizawa has made sure that each design, large or small, is to be examined for itself. Whether or not each design works is up to us and we won't be distracted by the salon clutter style of presentation. These are called textile designs and that's obvious with many but like every good designer Takizawa has let himself run free just for the hell of it. And then he has gone a step further: a lot of these are paintings in themselves, abstract expressionist if you like - or call it something else if you don't.
Takizawa's short preface is typeset and, from what I can figure out, talks about colour and soul and spirit rather than technique. The other two, by luminaries Wada Sanzo and Sasagawa Rinpu are reproduced from their manuscript drafts, corrections, scribbles and all. Sasagawa was at this time maybe Japan's most respected literary critic and ukiyo-e expert but he destroyed his career the next year by foolishly backing two new discoveries that turned out to be fakes. I gather no expert has taken a risk since then.
Takizawa was best known as a flower painter. He won imperial approval in the late twenties which suggests to me that his work was not so radical. This album is so singular, so unlike anything else I've seen of the period there is no point in talking about radical. It was another generation before we see anything like this in terms of colour and expression and it took new technologies in polymers and acrylics before artists did anything like this with book production. So how many copies? And how different is each one? I don't know, I can't find any record of another copy.


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GROPIUS, Walter. The New Architecture and the Bauhaus. London, Faber 1935. Octavo very good in publisher's cloth and somewhat used but decent dustwrapper with a largish chip from the top of the spine; 112pp, 16 photo plates. Au$250

First edition and hard to find with dustwrapper. Does this Moholy-Nagy wrapper design strike anyone else as grim, if not threatening? Something like a weapon caught in a police spotlight. Or is it just me?


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HARADA, Jiro. The Lessons of Japanese Architecture. London, the Studio 1936. Quarto publisher's cloth; 192pp, numerous photo illustrations, some plans and illustrations through the text. Endpapers spotted but quite a good copy. Au$75

One of the first explications of the principles of Japanese architecture for an English speaking audience (just at the same time that Bruno Taut was explaining Japanese architecture to the Japanese) by a Japanese writer and an influential book, though the later edition (1954) met with a more receptive audience. Harada was not an architect, but he was a professional aesthetician well qualified to discuss, as he does, the philosophical, aesthetic, spiritual and practical codes and principles at work in Japanese buildings.


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von ERDBERG, Eleanor. Chinese Influence On European Garden Structures. Harvard Univ Press 1936. Quarto publisher's cloth (a touch of wear to spine top); [6],221pp & 95 illustrations. Au$100

Harvard Landscape Architecture Monographs I. A scholarly but none the less interesting study. With an annotated list of the buildings mentioned giving description, bibliography and present condition, if any.


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Kawarasaki (or Kawarazaki) Kodo. [ ] [ ]. [Hana Shishu (7) (9)]. Kyoto, Unsodo 1936 (Showa 11). Two volumes, 30x22cm publisher's cloth with printed labels; 30 & 24 colour woodcut plates, accordian folding. A bit browned. Au$100

Two volumes from this series of textile designs by prolific designer Kawarasaki. The inspiration is nature, the printing exemplary.


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Furniture & design. - [Kindai Kagu Soshoku Shiryo : No.1]. Tokyo, Koyosha, February 1936 (Showa 11). 26x19cm publisher's spiral bound card wrapper and outer wrapper; [4]pp and 20 photo plates printed on one side. Rather good. Also included is issue no. 4, June 1936 in equally good shape. Au$120

A smart monthly devoted to the latest in modern furniture design, a brave venture by 1936 in a country increasingly impatient with such self indulgence. And somehow successful: I believe it continued until 1942. The first issue is devoted to the new furniture design exhibition at the Tokyo Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi store and from what I can see each issue after that had a theme. Number four is devoted to living room furniture from Europe and America. I can't find a record of a complete set in any institution anywhere.


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