PBA to auction books of the fine press movement, Oct. 22

fine press movement

Blake’s ‘Book of Job,’ 1 of 250 copies from the Trianon Press. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. PBA Galleries image

BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries will present an auction of Fine Books – Fine Press – Fine Bindings on Thursday, Oct. 22. The catalog features over 350 lots including works on alchemy and the occult, classics in Greek and Latin, works in quantum physics, a wealth of books from the fine press movement, a large collection of posters from David Lance Goines, and an array of fine bindings. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Rare fine press books in superior condition are expected to draw spirited bidding. PBA will offer the Kelmscott Press’s The Poems of William Shakespeare, which was published in 1893 by William Morris, father of the private press movement. Popular in its time, the book has long been one of the most sought after works of the Kelmscott Press (est. $6,000-$9,000).

fine press movement

Kelmscott printing of Shakespeare’s poems. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. PBA Galleries image

Also up for auction will be the finest Blake production by Arnold Fawcus and the Trianon Press, Illustrations to the Book of Job by William Blake (1987 [printed c. 1974]) (est. $6,000-$9,000). Works from Arion Press are present throughout the catalog, but one of the more sought-after works is Poems by Wallace Stevens, of which PBA will present one of 300 copies in the limited edition (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Fine examples of historic bindings are sale highlights, including a gorgeous Cosway-style binding privately printed in 1862. In The Story of Nell Gwyn: And the Sayings of Charles the Second by Peter Cunningham, a beautiful miniature portrait is inset into the inside of each front board within elaborate gilt-tooled borders (est. $5,000-$8,000).

fine press movement

Edward Gibbon, ‘The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,’ six volumes. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000. PBA Galleries image

Other standouts include The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1777; 1781; 1788. Gibbon’s landmark work of historiography spans 13 centuries, from the reigns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius at the close of the Pax Romana, through the establishment of the Byzantine Empire and the Crusades, to the fall of Constantinople ($5,000-$8,000).

Modern offerings include Rainbow Zenith posters – a complete set of progressive printings by David Lance Goines. The printings offer fascinating insight into the method used in printing Goines’ posters (est. $800-$1,200).

For more information about upcoming sales or to schedule a Zoom preview, please contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.


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