The Collection of Barry Moser

Hindman to offer renowned artist’s personal collection in November sale.

This November, Hindman will auction items created and owned by renowned woodcut artist, illustrator, and operator of Pennyroyal Press, Barry Moser.

The sale, called Selections from the Studio & Personal Archive of Barry Moser, will begin at 10 a.m. Central on November 10—the second day of the books and manuscript department’s two-day sale.

Courtesy of HIndman Auctions

“The sale will represent all of Moser’s major works, and will include limited editions, trade editions, books in sheets, suites of prints, original drawings, ephemera, and watercolors,” said Gretchen Hause, vice president and senior specialist of the books and manuscripts department at Hindman.

One of the highlights of the sale is works relating to the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible (1999), which Moser worked on for more than four years with a team of scholars and craftsmen.

“Moser’s woodcut illustrations are striking. The Pennyroyal Caxton Bible is the only twentieth century Bible with illustrations for every book of the Old and New Testament executed by a single artist, and is, in fact, the first since Gustav Doré’s Bible published in 1866,” Hause said.

In addition to a copy of the Bible, Hindman will also offer material relating to its publication, including a full suite of illustrations, two canceled woodblocks, original drawings, and several books Moser used for research during the production of his Bible.

Two of the most iconic works from the Pennyroyal Press are Moser’s illustrated editions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (1982). Hindman will offer these in sheets, along with trade editions, an engraving block, the books Moser used while researching the work, and a framed suite of original proofs for some of the most iconic prints from the work, including a placard that says, “Drink me.”

The sale also features items from Moser’s personal collection, including his facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible, and a log-cabin quilt that belonged to writer Truman Capote and comes with a handwritten note from Barry Moser about the quilt’s history.

“Moser worked with Marie Rudisill, who wrote Sook’s Cookbook based on recipes that she and Capote shared in an extended correspondence throughout the course of his life,” Hause said. “Moser illustrated that work for Rudisill and was given Capote’s childhood quilt.”

Hause says that while the collection is representative of all of Moser’s work she finds his personal collection to be particularly intriguing.

“The collection rounds out the story of Barry Moser the artist, bookwright, fine-press printer, typographer, and illustrator,” Hause said. “It is such a privilege to offer Barry’s collection on his behalf. He is one of the most significant woodcut artists of the twentieth century, and having the opportunity to work on his behalf has been one of the great privileges of my career.”

While it is uncertain if the house will be open for in-person bidding, collectors will have numerous ways to participate in the sale, as the auction will take place live and online via Hindman’s Internet platform, the Digital Bid Room. Absentee and telephone bidding will be available as well. 

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