NY Preview: Honey & Wax Debuts at Fair with Eye-Catching Wares

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The eyes have it: Guercino (artist); Gatti, Oliviero (engraver). Sereniss. Mantuae Duci Ferdinando Gonzaghae DD. Jo. Franciscus Barberius Centen. Inventor.

                                                                                                                                                                         

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Guercino (artist); Gatti, Oliviero (engraver). Sereniss. Mantuae Duci Ferdinando Gonzaghae DD. Jo. Franciscus Barberius Centen. Inventor.

                                                                                                                                                                   Be sure to visit stall A33 and welcome Honey & Wax Booksellers to its first New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Founded in 2011 by former Bauman Rare Books employee Heather O’Donnell, the shop specializes in great literature, rare first printings, curious editions, and, as O’Donnell puts it, “books with no downloadable equivalent.”

 

Among her wares, O’Donnell is highlighting books dedicated to education, including one of the earliest Italian pattern books by self-taught painter Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, better known as Guercino. A 17th-century drawing manual (pictured above) showcases his luminous and lively style, and instructs readers to concentrate on one feature at a time--eyes, hands, then, eventually, full portraits. Honey & Wax is offering this single-broadsheet volume comprising of twenty-two numbered copper-engraved plates bound in full contemporary vellum for $4,800.

                                                                                                                                                                         

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Urania’s Mirror, or, A View of the Heavens; WITH: A Familiar Treatise on Astronomy, Explaining the General Phenomena of the Celestial Bodies . . . Written Expressly to Accompany Urania’s Mirror.

                                                                                                                                                               

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                                                                                                                                                               Another instruction guide is inspired by the luminous heavens. Rather than a simple guide to the skies, O’Donnell is offering a complete, second-edition, 32-card set of Urania’s Mirror. These charming, hand-colored cards illustrate the constellations, where pinholes denote the stars’ locations. Images are based on those found in Alexander Jamieson’s Celestial Atlas (1822). To see the formations of the constellations, viewers held the cards in front of candles or lamps to see the shape the stars would make in the night sky.  Few of these sets remain intact, and this one, which includes an astronomical table and textual explanations, can light up your corner of the sky for $6,200.

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