The First Thirty

The first 30

This first thirty new additions to our site are a statement of intent to ourselves. Our stock is diverse and we finally have the ability to celebrate it.

The Curwen Studio 50th Anniversary Portfolio is a rare thing indeed. Only fifty copies were produced and many of these have been broken up. Some of the lithographs, such as the ones by Mary Fedden, Bernard Cheese, Mark Hearld, Claudia Williams, Bernard Dunstan and Angie Lewin, are highly desirable in their own right. Others are less well known. Michael Papworth drew my attention to the contribution of Sargy Mann. Mann had started to lose his eyesight in 1973 and was officially registered blind in 1988. Papworth was a technician at the Curwen Studio when Mann visited to work on his lithograph with his son who assisted him. Mann began by piercing holes in the transparent film to map out the image and then drew from there. These pierced holes can be faintly seen on the finished print. Mann died in 2015 but his work has international renown and collectors of his work have included Dame Iris Murdoch, Sir John Betjeman, Cecil Beaton and Daniel Day-Lewis.

We’ve also added works by a number of other artists we produced work at the Curwen Studio over the years including a lost print, ‘England, My England’ by Tim Vyner celebrating the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and one of the very small number of complete portfolios of Michael Carlo’s ‘Earth Works’.

In amongst the small number of maps that we have listed is one by Kircher, dating from 1680, which is the first map of the Mediterranean to show the ocean currents. There are also two maps dating from 1656 by the greatest of 17th century French cartographers, Nicholas Sanson, which show the Cape Verde Islands and the coast of Egypt and Libya.

A number of books from the Hayhurst Library have also been included all of which are all beautifully-bound in Victorian cloth bindings. Some are exceptionally rare with no institutional copies recorded. Others, such as Chevreul’s important work on colour, ‘The Laws Of Contrast Of Colour’ and the Chiswick Press edition of ‘Aesop’s Fables’, are in particularly fine condition.

The last of this week’s offerings is the first deluxe edition of A. A. Milne’s ‘When We Were Very Young’ dating from 1925. Illustrated throughout by Ernest Shepard, this is beautifully bound in leatherette with Shepard’s decorations embossed in gilt. Housed in its original presentation box, this copy is in immaculate condition with its original glassine dustwrapper. It is comfortably the finest copy available on the worldwide market today.

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