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108 items found:

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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Textiles. A gathering of 15 original designs for textile designs. n.p. [1930s]. 15 sheets in gouche and inks; all about 40cm in one direction and ranging from 20 to 32cm in the other. One with a short clean tear. Short notes on the back of three, numbers on two. Au$650

Pretty lurid, huh? As the thirties pressed on and the avant garde was in disgrace - communist and anarchist scum that they were - textile design became less adventurous in form but brighter, so much brighter, and woodcut pattern books from Kyoto with designs like this proliferated. These flower designs are so highly finished I'm convinced they were made for a pattern book - probably spring or summer; autumn and winter were more restrained. Working drawing are usually much more ... well, working.


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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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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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Itagaki Takao. [Atarashiki Geijutsu no Kakutoku]. Tokyo, Tenjinsha 1930. 10x15cm publisher's illustrated wrapper and printed card case; 10,246pp including photo illustrations on 16 plates. Some browning and minor signs of use; quite good. Au$750

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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Yodogawa Taisuke. [Suwae Kokorozashi Iku?]. Kyoto, Uchida 1932 (Showa 7). 20x26cm, introductory leaf and 48 leaves, each with two mounted colour designs and tissue guards, card with colophon; loose as issued in wooden box with brocade lid and integral folding cloth case. Title label on the front board nibbled, some spotting or browning of the tissue guards barely affecting the mounts. Au$450

A deluxe, very Kyoto refined, album of textile designs. The introductory leaf indicates that eight artists are responsible for the designs. These designs are not dramatic, they are autumnal and tasteful, beautifully printed, and texture is part of the process.


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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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Itagaki Takao. [Geijutsukai no Kicho to Jicho]. Tokyo, Rokubunkan 1932 (Showa 7). 22x16cm, publisher's cloth with onlaid colour illustration, mildly used printed card slipcase; 428pp including 36 pages of photo illustrations. Rather good. Au$650

First edition. Itagaki was seemingly indefatigable as a champion of modernity and modernism in the late twenties and early thirties. Between 1929 and 1933 he worried at the relationship of the machine to art, design, architecture, photography and film, propounding his concept of "machine realism" in a small bundle of books. Come the deadly government crackdown on Itagaki's natural disputants - the "proletarian realists" - he apparently retreated into conservative didactic writing on western art and film.


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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 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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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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Shop windows. : [Tenpo Chinretsu Shomei Kyogikai : Nyushu Shashin Shu]. Sendai City Electricity 1937 (Showa 12). 18x26cm publisher's stiff wrapper with cord ties; 14 leaves, being a title, a page of portraits and 12 plates of shop windows, most two a page. These are original photographic prints on glossy or textured card. Scuff on the front cover. Au$165

This appears to be the fifth Sendai city shop window competition sponsored by the power and water authority. That's pretty much all I can tell you. I can't find a mention of anything about the competition anywhere.


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Bridges. Portland Cement Association. Architectural Design of Concrete Bridges. Concrete for permanence. Chicago, Portland Cement [1937]. Oblong quarto publisher's printed wrapper; 36pp, photo and other illustrations throughout. Au$60

'Fundamental principles', that is the rules of design - appearance as separate from structure - are succinctly set out and illustrated by recent modern and moderne bridges. Mistakes are shown and corrected in diagrams.


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TAUT, Bruno. Houses and People of Japan. London, Gifford 1937. Quarto publisher's coarse cloth and dustwrapper (the spine of the dustwrapper fragmented but essentially complete); [6],xiv,318pp, 535 illustrations, some tipped colour plates. An excellent copy. Au$750

First edition, English issue. It appeared with the Sanseido imprint or this Gifford imprint, though usually we see the Gifford issue dated 1938. The dustwrapper is Sanseido's. An unusually good copy of a book that didn't wear well.


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Advertising. The Encyclopedia of Ideas. Chicago, published by the American Typesetting Corporation 1938. folio publisher's cloth; approx. 200pp, hundreds of examples and illustrations printed in two colours. Au$50

An advertising crib book with layout suggestions, typefaces, decorations, &c.


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Exhibition - Toyama 1936. [Toyamashi Shusai Nichiman Sangyo Daihakurankai Kyosankai Shi]. Toyama 1938 (Showa 13). 23x16cm publisher's cloth and card box; numerous photo illustrations, colour plates, folding plans and elevations. A nice copy. Au$650

The official report on the 1936 Japan-Manchuria Great Industrial Exhibition. Though blemished by too many portraits of personages, this is still an excellent record of thirties Japanese expo architecture and design with coloured pictures of posters, advertising, tickets and so on, plans and elevations of buildings, lighting, and photo views. There is also the obligatory Hatsusaburo colour folding birds-eye panorama.
Worldcat finds two copies outside Japan, both in California.


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Shop signs. [Shin Kanban Zuan Kosakushu]. Tokyo, Seibundo Shinkosha 1938 (Showa 13). 26x19cm publisher's cloth (small chip from the spine) and printed card slipcase; 194pp, numerous b/w line drawings and photo illustrations, 17 colour and another eight plates printed in green. Au$400

Second printing or issue? This appeared the year before as a special number of the journal Kokoku Kai - advertising world. A collection of new advertising and shop signs which is both a treasury of existing signs - most Japanese with a selection from Europe - and offers design suggestions and practical tips. There's a few I want, the giant ear with a phonograph implant high on the list.
Worldcat finds no copies.


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Sugiura Hisui, Takeo Takei, Takeshi Kimata &c. [Wagako no Rekishi]. Osaka, Mitsokushi [1939] (Showa 14). 27x19cm publisher's cloth backed boards decorated in gilt and black in mildy worn decorated box; 84pp illustrated in colour throughout by Takei and others; cover design by Sigiura. Partly filled in with pencil, two chubby hands have been traced in ink; occasional browning or offsetting; a remarkably good copy. Au$300

This book was child of the Mitsokushi department store, first published in 1928, reprinted fairly often and presumably updated. One of Takei's illustrations is dated 1934. Who was the titan that came up this genius innovation - the predigested baby album? Does he or she have a shrine in the marketing hall of fame? They - books like this - seem to have popped up round the world in the twenties - were they earlier? This has one foot planted in revoltingly cute of course but, thanks to Takei and a couple of fellow artists, enough pages keep the other foot in stylish and exciting.
Worldcat finds one copy - a 1938 edition at Princeton - and NDL finds two - 1928 and 1936 editions - in Japanese libraries. While doing homework on this I came across a poor - so to speak - descendant, the Blot. For a mere 20,000 yen you get something that looks suspiciously like a leather filofax - if you're old enough to remember the filofax - no cute pictures, no revolting sentiment. Poor kids.


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Fuyuki Kennosuke [Tozu to Sakuga no Jissai]. Tokyo, Genkosha 1939 (Showa 14). 20x16cm publisher's cloth and illustrated card case; b/w photo illustrations throughout. A nice copy. Au$475

First edition of this practical guide to composition of the final cropped photographic image with one of the most baffling and maybe sinister cover pictures of all time. Why is that woman in the sensational shoes lying on her back in that field. And how did she get there with those shoes still clean? Why is that woman in the background on her belly and what is she looking at? What happened? Surely nothing good.
Onchi Koshiro designed this book. He designed several of Genkosha's photography books including, I presume, his own. Note this book opens right to left
Worldcat finds a later book on composition by Fuyuki but not this.


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HARTNELL, A.P. Shop Planning and Design. London [194-]. Quarto publisher's cloth, very good in dustwrapper; 87pp, numerous photo illustrations, plans and measured drawings. Au$150

A good and not common book. Consciously wartime - "among the tasks ... are the re-building and re-fashioning of many business houses" - but pre-war in the smart modern designs. At the end are photos with accompanying plans of examples of shops and interiors by a number of architects.


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Architecture. Petites Maisons Construites Depuis la Guerre, introduction par S. Gille-Delafon. Paris, Massin [194-?]. Quarto printed boards (spine worn and chipped); [8]pp and 36 plates, each with a photo and floor plan. Au$150

A strange bit of post-war reconstruction. These are the houses built by the Ministere de la Reconstruction in the 'Cite experimentale' of Noisy-le-Sec on the outskirts of Paris. And these are some of the most god-awful sheds recorded in a manner way beyond their means. Massin clearly just couldn't produce a book that wasn't up to the standards of their 1920's and 30's portfolios of style; the book must have cost more to produce than a street of these houses. But perhaps the ministry paid. Not all are horrible but most look like the self built plan from a handyman magazine that populate too many post-war suburbs, from Loftus to .. well Noisy-le-Sec - and all the architects are identified along with some brief technical data. Is the pattern book for all of Bateau Bay? Just out of curiosity - does the name Delafon go back any further than 1870?


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COOK, Fred C. City of Hobart Plan. Hobart 1945. Quarto publisher's cloth; 84pp, folding colour plans, photo illustrations. Au$175

Uncommon. Another of the major city schemes that - fortunate in this case - had little result.


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FARR, Michael. Design in British Industry, a mid-century survey .. foreword [&c] by Nicholas Pevsner. Cambridge Univ Press 1955. Large octavo publisher's cloth; xxxviii,333pp, numerous photo illustrations on 88 plates. Au$30

An excellent survey of industrial design.


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Superhero comic. Bulb Magic! NY, Custom Comics for the Associated Bulb Growers of Holland [1956]. 19x13cm publisher's colour illustrated wrapper; 16pp; comic strip in colour. Au$30

Forget Captain America and Superman. What did they ever do for the American suburb? We lose little time in exposition: on page one Tom and Bob meet on the homeward bound 5.04 and Bob is flummoxed to find Tom has sold his house at asking price while he, Bob, hasn't had a nibble for his, the same model. Not entirely the same, Tom explains, his bulb plantings "sure did increase the value!" So we learn how bulbs produced a colorful miracle for Tom and can do the same for us. Did Batman ever increase your property value? Worldcat finds two copies but one of those can't be verified.


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Commercial Art. An album or sample book of Japanese packaging, labels, brochures and suchlike. c.1960-70. Oblong quarto by size (185x260mm); 81 double folded leaves fastened together with a pin system, of which 59 leaves are crowded, both sides, with mounted labels, packaging, brochures, leaflets, etc. Au$250

Quite recent but nonetheless a very attractive gathering of Japanese commercial graphics and printing of the sixties and maybe early seventies (the only dated piece is for Expo 70. The album itself has been made up by someone in the trade: the double folded leaves are all from multiple copies of the blank back side of a magazine cover or poster - it features a Japanese baseball player by the look of it - but this is as close as I can get to claiming that this is a sample book put together by the printer of its contents. The materials range from the cardboard of packaging to cellophane to rice paper, just as the styles range from classical subtlety to the raucus and crass.


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