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153 items found:

Chiarini's Circus. Chiarini's Circus and Menagerie. Complete Congress of Wonders and Marvels. n.p. 1887 (Meiji 20). Woodcut poster 38x50cm, folded. Stained on the right side and a couple of blotches elsewhere, still a rather good copy for such a vulnerable thing. Au$750

Chiarini's circus spent months in Japan in 1886 and 1887 and the Emperor saw his first circus. And being true royalty he was generous in his appreciation, not like a certain modern bunch who will reward with a handshake and have their accountant bill the nation for new gloves. Chiarini's was the circus for much of India, south east and east Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Latin and South America. They were indefatigable travellers.
I gather it was the scale of the spectacle, the horse riders and the animals that enraptured the Japanese; they already had plenty of great acrobats. I read somewhere that the first Japanese given official permission to leave the country were acrobats snapped up by the canny Richard Risley whose circus had been allowed into Japan in 1864 but no further than Yokohama. In this poster the stars are hard at work and are identified.


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Japanese illustration. Hanai Oume? Set of proof wood engraved illustrations for a Japanese serial story. n.p. n.d. [c 1887?] Oblong quarto by size (260x185mm ) contemporary plain wrapper; 41 wood engravings on 21 double folded leaves. A little browning. Au$475

A prime example of the strange casserole of Meiji Japan. In form, in technique, in content and in production these hold all the paradoxes of Japan embracing western modernisation while hanging fast to tradition. These are the illustrations for what seems a rollicking sword and sash thriller but ... it is set in a modern metropolis; bowler hats, suits and dashing mustachios are not out of place, neither is what looks like a railway station; and these are not ukiyo-e woodcuts for a popular novel, these are western wood engravings for a long serial - there are 41 after all - in a newspaper or broadsheet magazine; an illustration of such a paper helpfully holds a bough of blossoms in one illustration. The subject apart, the glaring difference between these and any western illustrations is the skill of artist and engraver, all but a few western counterparts are put to shame.
I'm convinced that these relate to Hanai Oume the celebrated Tokyo geisha-teahouse owner who, in 1887, stabbed her sometime lover and employee who, apparently in concert with her father, was trying to muscle her out of the business. The first illustration here shows two men holding umbrellas that, I'm told, advertise a restaurant or 'licenced pleasure quarter' remarkably similar to hers: Suigetsu. Oume or O-ume - her professional name - was celebrity manifest. Her murder trial was public and though crowds unable to get in became irate every moment was covered in the press; books were published within minutes, kabuki plays and novels performed and published, and the newspapers made rich. Yoshitoshi produced a famous print of the murder as a supplement for the Yamato Shimbun but while there is plenty of violence in these pictures there is no murder. Spin-off or fanciful concoction, there's a good story here.
There is an owner's (maybe artist's?) seal which I make out to be 春耕慢虫 - I'm sure I'm wrong.


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Baido Kunimasa [Utagawa Kunimasa IV]. [Meiji Kiken Kagami]. Tokyo, Hoeidi 1888 (Meiji 21). 12x9cm publisher's wrapper with title label (ink inscription on the back cover); 15 double folded leaves giving one single page, one gatefold quadruple page, and 15 double page woodcuts. Actually all but a couple of leaves are quadruple folded - the printed leaves around double folded leaves of heavier paper making the book tougher, made to be handled often. Au$300

A nifty little book, a portrait gallery of eminent figures of the Meiji. But captured in action, not the studio poses of so many 'Eminent Men' galleries. These are woodcuts but they are, with true modernity, cut to resemble engravings. Worldcat finds only the NDL copy.


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Kobayashi Ikuhide. ... [Tokyo Meisho no Uchi Ashumabashi ... Tokyo 1888 (Meiji 21). Colour woodcut 36x24cm. A couple of tiny holes, a nice bright copy. Au$175

Every artist and publisher in Tokyo had a go at the newly opened Azumabashi - the pioneer iron bridge opened in December 1887. Kobayashi produced more than one. Here the focus is not the bridge but the bustle of people; it's clear that near everyone in Tokyo wanted to look, to cross it.


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Muneaki Mihara. [Jizai Kyoikuho Kuzai]. The Teaching by Pictures the Way of Impraving Freely am Easely the Natural Constitution of Man [sic]. Ritsuma Akiko, 1888 (Meiji 21). Broadside 70x53cm, woodblock printed, folding into publisher's limp cloth covers 17x13cm with printed label. Covers browned with a splodge on the back; a nice copy Au$800

An enchanting and self evident exposition on the value of pictures in learning. Seemingly as simple as a phrenology chart but judging by the amount of text worked into all those different parts of the brain perhaps a lot more complex. From the little, as an illiterate, I can glean on brain function as outlined here this might sit somewhere between phrenology and neurophysics. The open area at the very centre of the brain is labelled 未詳 - unknown.


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KAUTSKY, Karl. Die Klassengegensatze von 1789, zum hundertjahrigen gedenktag der grotzen revolution. Stuttgart, Dietz 1889. Octavo printed wrapper (back wrapper gone); 79pp. With a couple of contemporary stamps of the Melbourne Socialistischer Verein Vorwa[?]. Au$30


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CLIFFORD, Fred. Chudleigh. New Italy: A brief sketch of a new and thriving colony founded and established by the Italian immigrants who were sufferers by the Marquis De Ray's New Ireland colonization scheme. Sydney, Govt Printer 1889. Large octavo publisher's flush cut roan, front cover titled in gilt; [6],30pp & folding map. The title is headed: 'Richmond River District of New South Wales'. As foolishly indulgent as it may seem for such a slender book the edges are marbled. Mackaness copy with his bookplate. Au$750

This settlement in north east New South Wales must be the first concentrated settlement of Italian agriculturalists in this country. Until recent years this particular aspect of the aftermath of the Marquis de Ray debacle was neglected in most things on the affair - Niau, the daughter of a French survivor, pretty well ignores the Italians in her history 'The Phantom Paradise'.
Irrespective of the appalling adventure that led the Italian survivors to the district, New Italy was possibly the most successful semi-utopian communal settlement in Australia. Clifford, who came across the isolated settlement by chance, gives the background, a good account of their virtues and achievements (extolled as models), and their names. His particular interest in viticulture and fairly prolonged discussion of it also makes this necessary for any serious collection of Australian wine books.
Journalists who followed Clifford to New Italy were less enthusiastic about describing a thriving success but their criticisms were directed at the authorities, not the settlers.


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THOMPSON, Sir H. Modern Cremation. Its history and practice .. recently improved arrangements made by the Cremation Society of England. London, Kegan Paul 1889. Octavo half gilt morocco; viii,95pp & publisher's list, frontispiece. Ex parliamentary library with their gilt crest on the front board and incorporated into the spine, no other markings. Some foxing at the ends, one signature sprung but a handsome enough copy. Au$75

First edition, a second appeared in 1891. By the funereal reformer, founder and president of the Society. Cremation, for the modern westerner, is a materialistic, utilitarian question. Public health is the main spur for the cremationist and the spiritual barely touched upon - the body is being desanctified; which may or may not explain why Italy was the pioneer of modern cremation. There the subject was first raised in the 1860's and by the mid 1880's several hundred people had been burnt. In England Thompson caused the first storm with an article in the Contemporary Review in 1874, the year his Society was founded. The first human cremations to occur in England, and test the law, were private affairs in privately built crematoria and it is only now (ie 1889) that laws and codes were being formulated.


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The Pioneer. Land and Labor Library of Australasia. Vol. I No. 1. [no.2, No.3 and No.9]. Adelaide, Nov 1890 to Feb 21 1891. Four issues octavo, sheets folded but untrimmed and unstitched; 8;8;12;12pp. Au$75

A worthwhile scrap of this little reformist rag. It ran until 1892 but Trove finds only one complete run, in South Australia. I notice that Mark Twain wrote one of the pieces, I wonder if he knew.


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VERNON-HARCOURT, Leveson Francis. Achievements in Engineering During the Last Half Century. London, Seeley 1891. Octavo cloth (a bit flecked); viii,311pp, 23 plans, photo illustrations &c, most full page. Front fly removed. Au$50

A not uninteresting survey of recent engineering marvels by an expert. Vernon-Harcourt was the former Engineer of the West India Docks and author of two exemplary books on docks and river and canal engineering.


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THOMPSON, Sir H. Modern Cremation. Its history and practice .. recently improved arrangements made by the Cremation Society of England. Second edition revised and greatly enlarged. London, Kegan Paul 1891. Octavo publisher's cloth; xii,163pp and publisher's catalogue; frontispiece and 11 illustrations (five being full page plans or elevations). A nice copy. Au$225

By the funereal reformer, founder and president of the Society. Cremation, for the modern westerner, is a materialistic, utilitarian question. Public health is the main spur for the cremationist and the spiritual barely touched upon - the body is being desanctified; which may or may not explain why Italy was the pioneer of modern cremation. There the subject was first raised in the 1860's and by the mid 1880's several hundred people had been burnt. In England Thompson caused the first storm with an article in the Contemporary Review in 1874, the year his Society was founded (his improvements to this edition include reprinting this 1874 paper and a subsequent answer to the critics).
The first human cremations to occur in England, and test the law, were private affairs in privately built crematoria and this book was first published two years earlier as laws and codes were being formulated. This edition includes instructions for arranging cremation at the Society's crematorium (the only one in use in England) near Woking and descriptions of the crematorium, the furnace, and offers suggestions for cinerary urns. The frontispiece is the architect's rendering of their chapel and crematoria, a fine bit of 13th century English church architecture, unremarkable in any tasteful parish - except for the 13th century industrial chimney sprouting from the middle of the building.


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[LANE, William]. The Workingman's Paradise: an Australian Labour Novel. By John Miller. Sydney, printed by Edwards Dunlop for the Worker Board of Trustees 1892. Octavo publisher's red cloth blocked in blind. Title browned by the endpaper as usual; there was no half title or blank between them. A rather good copy. Au$850

First edition of this influental if fairly impenetrable socialist anarchist novel by the Messiah of the working class. The 1948 edition was on the shelf of every thoughtful Australian in the second half of the 20th century but I've only ever met one person who insisted he read the whole thing. He made many improbable claims. I think an earlier generation were more thorough: copies of this in good shape have always been hard to find.
Lane's preface admits that it's a bit of an unresolved mess but those who want a happy end - like his wife - and those who want Nellie dead of a broken heart - like an unnamed friend - will have to wait for the next book. I dozed off so I'm not sure when the action switched from Nellie to Ned alone and don't know where we left her.


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MURPHY, G. [George] Read. Beyond the Ice. Being a story of the newly discovered region round the north pole. Edited from Dr. Frank Farleigh's diary. London, Sampson Low & Melbourne, Hutchinson [1894]. Octavo publisher's illustrated blue cloth (two small blobs of wax on the front cover, marks on the back). Somewhat canted, not a bad copy of a book guaranteed to respond badly to handling. A signed presentation, dated March 1894, from Murphy to Geelong lawyer Aurel Just, "gentleman, Dremanist and possessor of other titles," with a quote from his character Vernon Dreman. Au$950

Only edition of this polar utopia and dystopia which Murphy - I suspect simple perversity - took to the opposite end of the world in defiance of the usual Australian practice of heading south. Heaps of scientific advances and flying machines as expected but reform and enlightened progress can only go so far: adult women are enfranchised until they marry, then the possible conflict between husband and wife is not worth the candle.
"The chief characters seem to spend a deal of unnecessary time in consuming oysters and brown bread" warned the North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser in an otherwise warm review
while suggesting it would be commercially more canny to set the book in central Australia.


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NORDAU, Max [Simon Sudfeld]. Degeneration. London, Heinemann 1895. Octavo publisher's cloth; xiv,560pp and publisher's list for October 1894. A few spots to endpapers and minor signs of use; a quite good copy. Au$150

First English edition of one of the great works of reactionary bile, published in dozens of editions in almost every western language over the next several decades. Nordau sits comfortably within the school of heredity alarmists but carries the battle into the fields of art and literature. His dedication to Lombroso points out this gap in the literature: "Degenerates are not always criminals, prostitutes, anarchists, and pronounced lunatics; they are often authors and artists". Despite his prognosis that the "hysteria of the present day will not last," his hit list (and it is a hit list - he writes with invigorating fury and savagery) almost forms the modern Pantheon of mid-to-late 19th art, literature, music and thought - Flaubert, Baudelaire, Wagner, Nietsche, Tolstoy, Huysmans, Zola, Ibsen, Whitman, Wilde, the pre-Raphaelites, the Symbolists - in much the same way that the Nazi's own model of Nordauism - Jew and Zionist that he was - the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) gallery encapsulated what is now most celebrated in 20th century art.


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JENNINGS, J. Ellis. Color-Vision and Color-Blindness. A practical manual for railroad surgeons. Philadelphia, F.A. Davis 1896. Octavo, excellent in publisher's cloth; x,115pp and publisher's list, colour frontispiece and 21 illustrations through the text. Au$185

First edition and pretty much the ideal copy as it belonged to a railway surgeon who wrote on colour blindness: D. Emmett Welsh - then formulating tests for workers at the Grand Rapids and Indiana Rail Road. Jennings' intent here is to effect universal reform and adoption of testing - it is astonishing that by 1896 railway companies and other industries where colour blindness could and did cause disaster still ignored the problem - by offering a system of simple and efficient measures.


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Sydney Harbour Bridge. Report From the Select Committee on the Sydney and North Sydney Bridge and Tramway Bill; ... proceedings of the committee, minutes of evidence, and appendix. Sydney, Government Printer 1896. Foolscap, stapled as issued; 28pp. A scrappy copy with marginal tears and chips, particularly from the last leaf, but complete and scarce enough to justify owning this copy. Au$75

1896 was a big year in the history of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Agitation and schemes surfaced every few years but this year the government got serious, as did the public. This particular effort revolved around the proposal of William Kenwood to erect an iron and steel bridge between Dawes and Milsons Points. One of the more curious witnesses was Robert Kirk, secretary of the North Shore Ferry Company who refused to answer questions on the number of passengers using the ferry without authority from his Board. Called back a few days later he refused again.


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Ishii Usaburo. [Shinsen Taisho Hinagata Taizen]. Osaka, Seikado 1897 [Meiji 30]. Six volumes small quarto by size, publisher's embossed wrappers with title labels; illustrations throughout, a couple folding - all lithographed. The cover surfaces well grazed by insects, excellent inside; a rather good set. Au$850

First edition of this excellent builder/architect's pattern book - it was reprinted in 1910 - published just at the time when there was both a cultural argument and a government led reaction against the wholesale importation of western architecture into Japan. This particular book bridges the confrontation between a nationalistic return to ancient temple forms and the fervour for modernisation. Two thirds of this book is traditional Japanese design, structure and carpentry but the last two volumes introduce western building designs and, in the details, western building methods. Here nuts, bolts and metal brackets replace traditional carpentry and masonry forms are described. In the last volume are a series of profiles of mouldings, architectural hardware and fairly elaborate gates, fences and entries in western styles.
At this time architecture itself was an innovation - the first generation of trained architects were beginning to replace the craftsman, until then designer and builder. But the Imperial Palace, despite the Emperor's push for modernity for the country, was not built to the designs of any of the western or western trained architects who submitted designs; it was built by the Imperial Carpenter, who went on to teach many of these young, new architects then, in turn, responsible for the resurgence of Japanese historicism.


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Ueda Chikuo. [Tefukin Hitoriannai Ryuko Kakyokushu]. Tokyo or Osaka? 1897 (Meiji 30). 14x22cm publisher's colour illustrated wrappers; 70pp. Certainly used but an acceptable copy. Au$50

Third or fourth edition I think, all dated the same year. The innocent children of Japan are introduced to the accordian, harmonica, flute and blow accordian. A lot of songs notated with numbers. The book opens right to left which may be modern enough but the title reads right to left on the cover and left to right on the title page. Song titles seem to read right to left but I got confused long before I got to the music. There was an almost identically titled book from the same stable a couple of years earlier. What the difference is I can't say. I found no copies of either outside Japan.


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ASHWORTH, T.R. & H.P.C. Proportional Representation Applied to Party Government. A new electoral system. Melbourne &c, Robertson 1900. Octavo publisher's cloth (spine top worn); viii,223pp. With a 1933 presentation inscription from barrister, academic and momentary politician Richard Windeyer. Au$90

First edition. A new idea in Australian politics, proportional representation here does not mean what it now means to us but this is the germ of a new and theoretically fairer electoral system, as long as two parties are institutionally supported and minorities (such as the unions) are not allowed untrammelled access to parliament. This was published for the first Commonwealth election. Thomas Ramsden Ashworth stood unsuccessfully for that first parliament in 1901 and while he continued to work for constitutional reform, taking part in the 1927 constitutional reform commission, he did not publish anything else this substantial. It is his only sustained publication (he published a lot in newspapers and in pamphlet form later in life) and most of this book seems to have been his work. His brother doesn't seem to have published anything else. An architect by trade and an anti-labourite by profession, T.R. Ashworth was one of the most strident and effective Australian anti-communist propagandists pre-WWII, taking his lessons from the most reactionary American societies - and the American mistake of unchecked immigration.


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ASHWORTH, T.R. & H.P.C. Proportional Government Applied to Party Government. A new electoral system. Melbourne &c, Robertson 1900. Octavo publisher's cloth (spine top worn); viii,223pp. Inscribed ?with the authors' compliments'. Au$125

Only edition. A new idea in Australian politics, proportional representation here does not mean what it now means to us but this is the germ of a new and theoretically fairer electoral system, as long as two parties are institutionally supported and minorities (such as the unions) are not allowed untrammelled access to parliament. This was published for the first Commonwealth election (Thomas Ramsden Ashworth stood unsuccessfully for that first parliament in 1901) and while T.R. Ashworth continued to work for constitutional reform, taking part in the 1927 constitutional reform commission, he did not publish anything else this substantial. It is his only sustained publication (he published a lot in newspapers and in pamphlet form later in life) and most of this book seems to have been his work. His brother doesn't seem to have published anything else. An architect by trade and an anti-labourite by profession, T.R. Ashworth was one of the most strident and effective Australian anti-communist propagandists pre-WWII, taking his lessons from the most reactionary American societies - and the American mistake of unchecked immigration.


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Exhibition - Osaka 1903 [Daigokai naikoku kangyo hakurankai jonai jitchi shukuzu]. Fifth National Industrial Exhibition ... Osaka. Osaka 1903 (Meiji 36). Colour lithograph 55x79cm; folded as issued. A couple of smudges and spots; a rather good copy with its original colour illustrated outer wrapper, Au$300

A pretty good bird's-eye view. The Fifth National Industrial Exhibition in Osaka in 1903, while the last of the series begun in 1877 was the largest and included a lot of firsts. It was the first with a court for foreign countries - quite a few exhibited their wares. It was the first held at night - electricity and illumination was a great feature - and the Japanese public was introduced to wireless telegraphy, American automobiles, x-rays and cinema. A sixth exhibition scheduled for 1907 was to be an international exhibition but that plan fizzled. The Tokyo exhibition of 1907 was pretty grand but not what was hoped for after 1903. It was 1970 before Japan held an international exhibition.


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COTSWORTH, Moses B. The Rational Almanac Tracing the Evolution of Modern Almanacs from Ancient Ideas of Time, and Suggesting Improvements ... 13 months to the year. Holidays and festivals, also weekdays fixed on permanent days ... 180 illustrations explaining the mystery of the pyramids, sphinx, obelisks, druidical circles, mounds, vertical stones, etc. Acomb, York, Cotsworth [1904?]. Very tall, narrow octavo publisher's elaborately decorated gilt cloth (a bit rubbed and bumped or worn at tips); [6],16,64,16,1-154,154a-154p,155-471pp, numerous illustrations throughout. Used but still quite a good copy. Au$275

Just the form and appearance of this book invites ridicule and relegation to the loony fringe. And so it seems to have been for the most part. Cotsworth was well respected and successful in statistics and accountancy but, according to George Eastman, he was broke in New York by 1924 having spent everything and sold his collection of pictures to finance his International Fixed Calendar League. Eastman stepped in, backed him for a number of years, and applied his calendar within Kodak. In the mid to late twenties it seemed possible - the League of Nations had taken on his calendar and the US government was taking it seriously.
Most of this almanac is devoted to investigating and explaining ancient measures of time. I've come across many citations of the importance and lasting worth of Cotsworth's work here but most of them come from doubtful sources; they may be true, or not. A note by Cotsworth explains that this book was printed over a number of years; some of the pyramid stuff before his 1900 trip to Egypt which 'led to those remarkable extensions which proved to be so highly desirable, although they deferred the issue of the book and considerably increased the cost'; the earlier part of the almanac section in 1902; the 'main proposals were in print before March, 1899'; and a 16 page section on pink paper is priced at a penny and was issued separately.
It is designed to fit a pocket, a deep one, and this copy shows signs of being pulled in and out of a pocket more than thumbed.


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FURNIVAL, William James. Leadless Decorative Tiles, Faience, and Mosaic .. history, materials, manufacture and use of ornamental flooring tiles, .. recipes for tile-bodies, and for leadless glaze and art-tile enamels. Staffordshire, the author 1904. Large thick octavo publisher's cloth with inset illustration; xxiv,852pp; 37 plates (18 colour), numerous illustrations. Mild signs of use but an uncommonly good copy. Au$450

Probably the definitive work on 19th century tile manufacture, this is an enormous compendium on the history and manufacture of decorative tiles. And, more importantly perhaps, this contains the results of years of research into ridding the industry of lead-poisoning. Furnival notes that almost 600 women and girls working in the manufacture of earthernware and china had died of lead poisoning between 1895 and 1898.
With added contributions on tiles in China (by Bushell), in India (by Clarke and Marshall), and on designing (by Ambrose Wood).


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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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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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