Saturday, December 31, 2011
There's nothing guaranteed to make this vintage heart of mine sing more than a bit of Penguin/Pelican/Puffin design and the Puffin Picture Books of the 1950s onwards are just dripping with period juiciness: these are seven of them currently in my stock...
Friday, December 30, 2011
Six blogs which I don't think have been mentioned here before but which feature on my favourites list and may of of interest to readers... perhaps you know some of these, perhaps not, all of them are, IMHO, worth both watching and exploring...
An amazing blog where, almost daily, the owner manages to find incredible pieces of ephemera for sale on Ebay and posts a picture, link and the first part of the seller's description. Always the most interesting things... great for learning about things you didn't know were sought after...
This is a new one to me but I'm slowly working my way through the back-entries: "does exactly what it says on the tin"
M. S. Corley
This is a slight cheat because this blog has been mentioned just the once, and quite recently, as it is by the designer of the Harry Potter/Penguin book covers I mentioned a couple of days ago but, an extremely talented artist and designer with plenty to show off...
Illustrated in Colour Throughout
This is a 'finished' blog. A student working for a masters degree in design and illustration used the blog to catalogue and showcase the illustrated books they found during the course of their course! So no new stuff but plenty to surf through.
Academic Nudes of the 19th Century
The most artfully astute of you may have noticed that the illustration I plucked off this blog is, in fact, from the 17th century, but that only goes to indicate the catholic, generous nature of this blog in which a very cultured blogger explores the male and female nude from the 17th century onwards really, with a bent towards art with a sense of draughtsmanship about it. A great deal of this blog is illustrated from the blogger's own collection which I always think is a bit nicer than a blog made up entirely of reposts from elsewhere on the Internet. You'll find it behind a mature content wall but I haven't found anything on here that would make my mother blush.
East Village Boys
An art, culture and lifestyle blog that's modern, urban and very sexy. This one does have a good amount of full frontal nudity, but no pornography, so probably best not clicked at work.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Five publishers whose catalogues would be well worth perusing by anyone who has the same kinds of interests as this blog:
Known for their beautiful cream-colour dust-jackets, the Tartarus Press is another which specialises in the strange and mysterious. Robert Aickman, Ambrose Bierce, Walter de la Mare, Beresford Egan are just the beginning of the catalogue. Also, among a great and glorious list of titles is the Wormwood Journal edited by Mark Valentine. Well worth an extended browse...
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Surprising at it might at first seem, Shell was one of the twentieth century's most important patrons of the arts. The company had a huge collection of original artwork as well as commissioning some of the greatest artists of the time to design their posters and other commercial images. These four 1930s posters are all from a recent sale. From top to bottom they are by Duncan Grant, Edna Clarke Hall, Rex Whistler and Algernon Newton. All had estimates in the low hundreds but all failed to sell save for the Whistler which sold under-estimate for £160. If this kind of 1930s commercial art floats your boat then you might like to explore the Shell Collection at The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
We have been watching the stunning Eike von Stuckenbrok on Front Free Endpaper for a while now so imagine my delight when this elfin piece of human plastic turned up on, of all things, The Royal Variety Performance, this year. He's found a new friend, Remi Martin (not the drink but an extremely talanted 26 year old 'equilibrist') to perform with and, whilst this isn't video of their Royal Variety performance, it is the same routine. Breathtaking...
Sunday, December 25, 2011
A very happy Christmas to all my readers, friends, family and colleagues. For the next 12 days Front Free Endpaper will be devoted to a numerically expanding imbroglio of interesting items: a galloping gallimaufry of graduated goodness... and we start today with this classic piece of internet Christmas joy.
If you don't know them aleady then you really do need to go and have a listen to Straight No Chaser at their website, an all male a cappella group from the US who shot to Internet fame for, among other things, this wonderful arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas. They are in the UK this year and part of R's Christmas present is a couple of tickets to see them in February... so what better way to start our own twelve days....
Friday, December 09, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Monday, December 05, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
A must-see video in which writer, editor and collector Mark Valentine discusses his collection. According to the Youtube write up:
"Mark Valentine discusses the following writers: Arthur Machen, Walter de la Mare, Lord Dunsany, M.P. Shiel, William Gerhardie, R. Austin Freeman, William Hope Hodgson, Algernon Blackwood, Hubert Crackanthorpe, H.A. Manhood, Claude Houghton, E.E. Dorling, David Lindsay, Ronald Fraser, Park Barnitz, Norman Boothroyd, Francis Brett Young, Sarban, W.F. Morris, Denton Welch, Oliver Onions, Eric Lyall, Peter Vansittart, J.C. Snaith, Mary Butts, Frank Baker and Phyllis Paul. He ends with a discussion of the classic "British Rainfall, 1910".
Mark Valentine is an English author, biographer, editor and book collector.
His short stories have been published by a number of small presses and in anthologies since the 1980s, and the exploits of his series character, "The Connoisseur", an occult detective, were published as The Collected Connoisseur in 2010. As a biographer, Valentine has published a life of Arthur Machen, and a study of Sarban. He has also written numerous articles for the Book and Magazine Collector magazine, and introductions for various books, including editions of work by Walter de la Mare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Saki, J. Meade Falkner and others.
Valentine also edits Wormwood, a journal dedicated to fantastic, supernatural and decadent literature, and has also edited anthologies.
The cat that appears in the video is called Percy :-)
As I was watching it, I was struck by how little you actually see of other people's collections. It's a quite unusual thing to be given such access to someone's ongoing collection, perhaps a testament to the usually solitary nature of the activity. In this video, you never quite know what Mark is going to pull off the shelf next and this gives it an almost compelling quality.
This one is absolutely beautiful, took a year to film in cities in Canada and the US. Some of the images are just stunning. Its called "The City Limits" and its by a chap called Dominic Boudreault.
Turn the volume up and turn on the HD and sit back and enjoy...
Turn the volume up and turn on the HD and sit back and enjoy...
Thursday, December 01, 2011
We have just released Short List Catalogue No. 5, a list of 27 items this time, of books and ephemera. If you know and like this blog then you will probably find something of interest in our catalogue. Our aim is to present an eclectic mix of items with a range of prices.
We run an email mailing list which contains the text version of the catalogue and a link to a fully illustrated version online. If you would like to receive these mailings then please do drop us a line using the email link to the top right of this page.
It seems that philosophy has served me well because in the process of scanning these for the blog, I was idly reading the back of the card of the Rio delle Maravegie above and my heart skipped a beat as the rather spidery handwriting on the back began to resolve: in a completely random way, in a church hall near Portsmouth, I had managed to pick up a postcard sent from Venice to Oxford by the Rev'd Canon Lonsdale Ragg. For those who aren't already gasping in amazement, that's okay, we can't all be Corvine obsessives, the good Canon and Mrs Ragg were an independently wealthy couple who lived in Venice and who gave lodgings to Frederick Rolfe. It was whilst he was staying in their palazzo that Rolfe wrote the bulk of The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole. It was the same book which resulted in Rolfe having to forgo their hospitality: Mrs Ragg begged Rolfe to show her the manuscript that he'd been working on so assiduously, and Rolfe eventually, but ill-advisedly gave in. The book paints a viciously Corvine picture of the English community in Venice at the time and Mrs Ragg couldn't countenance more of it being written under her roof and so matters came to a head.
The card is just a note really from Canon Ragg to a Professor at Oxford with whom he was going to stay and annoyingly the stamp has been removed which has, in turn, removed the postmark and therefore the date. There is, however, every possibility that this card could have been written in Venice when Rolfe was staying with them. A delightful and serendipitous find!