September 20, 2012

Art, Press & Illustrated Books at Swann Galleries Oct. 11

New York—On Thursday, October 11 Swann Galleries will conduct an auction devoted to Art, Press & Illustrated Books, which includes livres d’artiste, modern and private press books, art literature, catalogues raisonnés and art journals, as well as works on architecture, applied and decorative arts, design, performing arts, and book and printing arts.

The auction features a short run of works by Gustav Klimt, among them Das Werk von Gustav Klimt, a scarce and exquisite publication we are pleased to offer in the 150th anniversary year of the artist’s birth. The book—the only Klimt monograph printed during his lifetime—was a collaboration with visionary Viennese publisher Hugo Heller and contains 50 richly printed collotype plates, all with specially designed intaglio signets printed in gold and silver, Vienna, 1918 (estimate: $30,000 to $40,000).
Another Viennese Secession—or, more precisely, Wiener Werkstätte—work is a program for Kabarett Fledermaus designed by Otto Czeschka, with plates by Oskar Kokoschka, Berthold Löffler and Fritz Zeyman, Vienna, 1906 ($10,000 to $15,000).

The auction features a pair of tour-de-force Pop Art books: Andy Warhol’s 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy, with 18 vividly hand-colored lithographs on Arches, signed and numbered by Warhol, New York, 1954 ($40,000 to $50,000); and Frederic Tuten’s The Adventures of Mao on the Long March, deluxe edition signed by the author and with a signed lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein, New York, 1971 ($20,000 to $30,000).

Outstanding Modern Art works include Planches de Salut, Louis Marcoussis’s cubist interpretations of poems by Apollinaire, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Shakespeare and others, with an introduction by Tristan Tzara, Paris, 1931 ($10,000 to $15,000); a signed copy of Pablo Picasso’s Lysistrata, which was once owned by film director Frank Capra, New York, 1934 ($5,000 to $7,500); Marc Chagall’s The Lithographs, Volume I: 1922-1956, signed and inscribed with a drawing of a rooster and rose bouquet, Monte-Carlo, 1960 ($5,000 to $7,500); one of only 40 copies on Japon nacré of Sonia Delaunay’s collaboration with Tzara, Juste Présent, signed by both, Paris, 1961 ($10,000 to $15,000); Cy Twombly’s 8 Odi di Orazio, with a signed print by the artist, Milan, 1968 ($12,000 to $18,000); Bernard Buffet’s Jeux de Dames, with 10 signed lithographs on grand velin d’arches, Paris, 1970 ($7,000 to $10,000);

An architecture highlight is a first edition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s scarce Wasmuth Portfolio, the architect’s early masterwork that brought his distinctive Prairie Style to the attention of European modernists Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, Berlin, 1910 ($7,000 to $10,000).

Among private press examples are the Kelmscott Press’s The Poems of William Shakespeare, rebound in full ostrich by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, Hammersmith, 1893 ($2,500 to $3,500); copy number one of the Vale Press’s Works of Shakespeare, in 37 volumes, with original drawings and watercolored plates, London, 1900-03 ($6,000 to $9,000); a rare vellum copy of Ashendene Press’s Un Mazzetto scelto di certi Fioretti del Glorioso Pavorello di Christo by Saint Francis of Assisi, Chelsea, 1904 ($6,000 to $9,000); and Golden Cockerel Press’s erotic work attributed to Christopher Sandford, Heart’s Desire, Inscribed by Me: Chrysilla von Dansdorf, copy 69 of 70, Paris, 1939 ($2,000 to $3,000).

There is also a rare advance proof copy of a deluxe music score of Sir Edward Elgar’s May Song, on vellum, printed at the press of Kelmscott’s William Morris in three fascicles, each with woodcut designs on covers, borders and vignettes by Walter Crane, London, 1901 ($7,000 to $10,000).

Art magazines and journals of note include a first edition of Der Blue Reiter, an almanac of expressionism with plates by Wassily Kandinsky and Mac Franz among others, second edition, Munich, 1914 ($5,000 to $7,500); a complete run of the Russian Silver Age art periodical Starye Gody [Old Years], 38 volumes with contributions by A. Benois, Diaghilev, Somov and others, St. Petersburg, 1907-16 ($3,500 to $5,000); a complete run of Art d’Aujourd’hui, Revue Mensuelle, July 1949-December 1954, a contemporary art journal with issues devoted to Cubism, photography and European abstraction, Boulougne-sur Seine ($5,000 to $7,500); individual volumes of Verve; collections of surrealist publications including View: The Modern Magazine and NEON, and the American publication The Yellow Book, known for its illustrations by Aubrey Beardley, Max Beerbohm and others.

Among bookbinding, papermaking and book arts examples are Albert de Rochas’s Le Livre de Demain, a stunning work on color printing shown on 44 different kinds of paper, Paris, 1884 ($4,000 to $6,000); a scarce edition of Octave Uzanne’s L’Art dans le Décoration Extérieure des Livres, this copy bound by its former owner, bookbinder Charles Meunier, Paris, 1898 ($2,500 to $3,500); Michael Wilcox’s Twelve Bindings, one of only 10 specially bound copies, Austin, Texas, 1985 ($2,000 to $3,000); and Thirty-Four Marbled Papers Decorated and Arranged by Gray Parrot, one of only seven signed copies, Hancock, Maine, 1994 ($3,000 to $4,000).

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 11. The books will be on public exhibition Saturday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, October 8 through Wednesday, October 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, October 11, from 10 a.m. to noon.

An illustrated catalogue, with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Christine von der Linn at (212) 254-4710, extension 20, or via e-mail at
Live online bidding is available via Artfact. Click on the Artfact link on the homepage.
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