Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Eleven Book Catalogue Covers

One of the highlights of 2011 for Callum James Books has been issuing our first catalogues in the form of 5 (so far) Short Lists in pdf format sent to an ever-growing list of subscribers (to be on the list simply send us an email). But one of the things you realise as you begin to put together book catalogues is the importance of the images, and, in particular, the images you choose for the front cover. Jacqueline Wesley, bookseller, flourit. c.1980-90s, was particularly good at this - back in the days of printed paper catalogues... Wesley specialised in books on the occult, mysteries, gothic literature, unorthodox sexuality, decadence, drug use, mysticism and the like. She would have liked this blog I think! These are the first eleven of her catalogues. Each has an illustration taken from a book on sale in the catalogue. I have annotated each scan with the artist, author, book and price. Click, as ever, to enlarge.

Unknown Artist. An etching of Francis Thompson, £15 

Aubrey Beardsley from The Art of Aubrey Beardsley (Boni & Liverright, NY, 1918), £12

"Decadence" by Beresford Egan from Beresford Egan: An Introduction to His Work (1966), £10

Illustration by A. S. Boyd from A Lowden Sabbath Morn (1898), £12

"The Head of Bran" by Wendy Wood from The Mysteries of Britain by Lewis Spence (n.d.), £25

Illustration by F. H. Townsend from The Misfortunes of Elphin Rhododaphne by Thomas Love Peacock (1897), £16

Illustration by Jean de Bosschere from the Fortune Press edition of The Satyricon of Petronius ([1933]), the plates were condemned at the Fortune Press obscenity trial in 1934 and so this was a rare copy, £80

Illustration by Robert Anning Bell for Poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1902), £40

Aubrey Beardsley from Aubrey Beardsley: The Man and his Work by Haldane Macfall (1928), £75

Illustration by Anthony Little from The Wandering Jew and Other Stories by Apollinaire (1967), £25

Illustration by Cecily Peele for her own Encyclopedia of British Bogies (n.d.), £10


PJ said...

Thanks for showing these! I used to be on her mailing list and wondered what became of her. Do you know?

Callum said...

Hi PJ,

No, I'm sorry I don't have any information. These catalogues came to me as a group (although I don't have all of them yet by any means) long after they were produced. I never had any contact with Ms Wesley, not do I know what has become of her. Sorry I can't help more...


Callum said...

UPDATE: in case anyone should come by this way wanting to know the same thing, I am reliably informed that Ms Wesley simply retired, perfectly happily, as we all hope to do one day!

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