Heritage Press – Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (1958)

August 29, 2011 Comments Off on Heritage Press – Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (1958)

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (1958)
Sandglass Number unknown
Artwork – Illustrations by Fritz Kredel
Introduced by Angela Thirkell
Reprint of LEC #292/27th Series V. 1 in 1958

Click the images for larger views.

Front Binding – A nicely designed pattern for the boards on this book, with a brown spine.  Shame it’s been sunned somehow, but it is a library book, after all.  And because of that, I’m in the dark on who designed this one…so any help would be great.  This is the second and final work of Anthony Trollope’s the George Macy Company would put out, following The Warden.  Fritz Kredel returns to do the illustrations for this one as well.

Title Page – Kredel has such a talent – he’s able to do comical, over-the-top scenes in books like Andersen’s Fairy Tales and The Book of Ballads, but can also draw some splendid realistic sketches, too.  Angela Thirkell offers an introduction.

Page 18 – Lovely, lovely work – the woman’s face to the right of the carriage is amazing.

Page 35

Personal Notes – I’ve seen the LEC of this particular book, so I may go for it depending on my whimsy this week, but this copy is from the library, so that’s all I can really say!

Any and all info on this book’s design process would be very useful!  If you have a Sandglass or LEC Newsletter, please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  Thanks!


Limited Editions Club – Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1938/1948)

August 29, 2011 Comments Off on Limited Editions Club – Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1938/1948)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1938 Heritage/1948 LEC)
Sandglass Number 6BR
Artwork – Wood Engravings by Fritz Eichenberg
Translated by Constance Garrett, introduced by Lawrence Irving
Heritage Press original, reprinted as LEC #189/18th Series V. 4 in 1948
LEC #1500 of 1500

Note – I have added the Monthly Letter from the LEC edition to the post, but have not put in those details into the post yet. It will happen in time.

Click the images for larger views.  Heritage will be on top, LEC on bottom.

Front Bindings – Crime and Punishment is Fyodor Dostoevsky’s most legendary work, and it has been ravishingly designed for both its Heritage and LEC editions.  Occasionally the Heritage Press would have their edition come out first, with a LEC two-volume reprint following that – this is another example of this (Moll Flanders and Beowulf are two others I know of).  Both went with a striking red for its boards, with a black block inlay of a cross and axe done by the book’s illustrator Fritz Eichenberg.  This was, to my knowledge, Eichenberg’s very first commission for the George Macy Company, and it wouldn’t be his last.  In fact, he would illustrate books for the LEC until 1986, when his last work, The Diary of a Country Priest, would be released by Sidney Shiff’s Limited Editions Club.  Almost 50 years of illustrating magic!  As of right now, I’ve got two other books up with Eichenberg’s work for those curious to see more – the LEC House of the Dead, also by Dostoevsky, and the Heritage Eugene Onegin by Pushkin.

The Heritage original was designed by Carl Purington Rollins, the printer at Yale University in 1938.  kdweber at Librarything was nice enough to pass along the LEC design info:

The LEC Crime and Punishment was designed by George Macy himself. Printed by E. L. Hildreth and Company; set in linotype Original Old Style, Worthy special paper; bound by Russell-Rutter Company.

Russell-Rutter did the binding for the Heritage as well.

Slipcase – The Heritage went black, the LEC went red.  Oddly, there’s no label or printing on the LEC slipcase indicating what it is, which is a little weird.  Maybe I’m missing a interior case.

Title Page – The Heritage and LEC title pages are radically different in structure, and I musy admit a preference to the LEC in this case – the use of color makes it pop more, and I like Eichenberg’s cross by the title.  Goudy Modern is the font chosen by Rollins for the Heritage, while the LEC was “set in linotype Original Old Style”, to quote kdweber.  To wrap up the Heritage printing information, Ferris Printing did the etching/text printing honors on Crocker-Burbank Co. paper made especially for the Heritage original.  George Macy went with the popular Constance Garrett translation, and Laurence Irving provides an introduction to both volumes (the Heritage omits mentioning him for some reason).

Signature Page – I must admit to being a little tickled at having #1500 for this book.  Eichenberg’s signature is nice, too, as I adore his work.  Eichenberg’s wood blocks were reused for the LEC edition by George Macy’s own printers, which is pretty neat.

Page 1/Part One Introduction – More stylistic diversions here, as the Heritage begins Part 1 with the first Chapter on the same page, but the LEC makes a special introductory page for Part 1, and then starts Chapter 1 on the next page.

Page 18/Page 17 – Eichenberg, you don’t fail to astound me.

Personal Notes – I bought the Heritage first at a library book sale in Oakhurst in 2009 or so, with a bevy of other books in what was my best haul at the time (I just topped it a couple weeks back).  I paid $3 – 4 for it, I think…may have been $2.  Not bad for a complete Heritage book.  I got the LEC this past May from my former anthropology instructor, who won it at a local auction and asked me if I wanted it.  That was a silly question.  I owe him $50 for it whenever I can get it to him.  I prefer the LEC, but both are excellent books!

Monthly Letter:


Heritage Press – The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1942)

August 20, 2011 Comments Off on Heritage Press – The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1942)

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1942)
Sandglass Number unknown
Artwork – Watercolors by William Blake
Introduced by John T. Winterich
Reprint of LEC #129/12th Series V. 12 in 194

Click the images for larger views.

Front Binding – The Heritage Press apparently liked this design, as they reused it for their unique version of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which also featured the watercolors of William Blake (the LEC utilized Carlotta Petrina’s artwork in 1936, which did not come out as a Heritage).  Who designed it is not something I know, I’m afraid – I bought this for $1 or so, and it was a former library copy with a fair share of problems, but hey, I want to document books, and I think $1 was not a bad price for that purpose.  Anyway, Macy seemed to like Blake, as his art appears in several Heritage and LEC volumes.  Off the top of my head, I know there’s this (in LEC and Heritage formats), the aforementioned Heritage Paradise Lost, the LEC/Heritage L’Allegro & Il Penseroso, also by Milton, the Heritage Divine Comedy by Dante, and, after Macy’s passing, the poems of Blake which included his own art done in the Cardevon period of the LEC.

Title Page – Admitting complete ignorance to what The Pilgrim’s Progress is about, I find Blake’s watercolors to be compelling yet unsettling to look at.  He’s got a talent for rendering such beautiful depictions of the grotesque, that he does.  John T. Winterich, the man behind many early introductions for the Heritage Press, continues that tradition here, too.  I’ll let Blake’s work speak for itself in the next two examples from the book.

Page 144

Page 160

Personal Notes – I do like Blake’s work, but I also have no real interest in Bunyan’s tale here, so the two bicker with each other. :p  I sold off this copy in Monterey to get better quality books (and by that I mean condition – it had torn pages, library trappings throughout and was lacking a slipcase or Sandglass).

Any and all info on this book’s design process would be very useful!  If you have a Sandglass or LEC Newsletter, please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  Thanks!

Heritage Press – Three Dialogues of Plato (1968)

August 20, 2011 § 2 Comments

Plato’s Dialogues of Love – Lysis or Friendship, The Symposium and Phaedrus  (1968)
Sandglass Number unknown
Artwork – Illustrations by Eugene Karlin
Translated and notes by Benjamin Jowett, with a preface by Whitney J. Oates
Reprint of LEC #409/36th Series V. 11 in 1968

Click images for larger views.

Front Binding – This book has a nice marble floor look to its boards that works well for it, since it’s containing several key works from Greek philosopher Plato.  A brown cloth spine plays off of the boards.  Alas, that’s about all I can say here – I checked this out from the library.


Title Page – This is the final work of Plato the LEC put out – it’s kind of funny to me how The Republic was done in 1944, and then a near 20 year gap would pass before The Trial and Death of Socrates would be printed in 1962, with this coming out six years later.  It’s almost like someone remembered Plato’s existence after George Macy’s passing.  Maybe Macy wasn’t huge on Plato’s philosophy?  Anyway, idle speculation aside, Benjamin Jowett renders our text from Greek into English, and even provides some analysis to the work.  Whitney J. Oates offers a preface, and Eugene Karlin gives the text some visual accompaniment.  This would be their sole work for the LEC.

Lysis Introduction – Karlin has a solid drawing style that I like.  He also does some excellent portraits, as you’ll see below.

Page 14

Page 24

Personal Notes – A nice book of Plato’s lesser known works with a good line artist – I wouldn’t mind having it!

Any and all info on this book’s design process would be very useful!  If you have a Sandglass or LEC Newsletter, please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  Thanks!


Limited Editions Club – Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1931)

August 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1931)
LEC # 22, 24th Series, V. 5
Artwork: Illustrations by John Austen
Introduction by G.K. Chesterton
#91 out of 1500

Click images to see a larger view.

Front Bindings – This exclusive run of W.M. Thackeray’s most enduring classic Vanity Fair is pretty stunning to look at, with its gorgeous dust jackets (yes, you did read that right – I’ll explain why in a moment) and John Austen’s graceful illustration in the bottom right corner.  Both volumes feature this.  You can see the boards underneath in the next picture – the spine is a vibrant fuchsia color.  Alas, I didn’t snag a Monthly Letter, so I’m not sure who designed the two volumes.  I know that the University of Oxford printed it under the eyes of John Johnson, but beyond that I’m in the dark.  Any assistance would be great!

Dust Jacket/Boards Comparison – The boards feature a different teal/pink coloring for the repeating flower motif, which the endpapers inside also have.

Slipcase – The case is like the dust jacket with the yellow/pink coloring.  What you can’t see in this shot is the poor condition this slipcase is in – the bottom is completely separated, and the top is trying to do the same.  Apparently this was a common thing, as all the copies on ABEBooks I looked at save one also had a broken slipcase or none at all.  Shame.

Title Page – Why, hello, Becky.  John Austen certainly had his own style, a look that’s take-it-or-leave-it for some.  I think it depends on the book, and in this case, much like The Faerie Queene, Austen’s sketches of beautiful, glamorous people match up well with the story.  G.K. Chesterton of the Father Brown mystery series and a master at using paradox, serves up an Introduction.  As for the aforementioned dust jackets on the books, which is a bit of an oddity for LEC’s, from what I’ve learned the University of Oxford did them on all of their works printed for the LEC, thus why they’re there.

My particular copy, beyond the slipcase failings, seems to be a little poorly bound in Volume 2, or at the very least was well read, as the pages seem to be loose.

Signature Page – This is number 91 of 1500 – I think this is the earliest number I have!, and Austen’s curly signature in pencil lies below.

Page Preceding the Title Page – Austen has an unique style, that’s for sure.  As I said, not for everyone, but i do think it works quite well with this book.

Page 38

Personal Notes – There’s a funny story behind the acquiring of this book.  When I was on vacation this past June, I went to a bookshop in Flagstaff, Arizona.  The proprietor and I had a chat about this exact book – he was asking $85 or so, but the condition of it did not inspire that kind of money, nor did I even have that much to spend.  He offered a 10% discount, but I still wasn’t able to match that, so I walked out.  A little later, I returned to find my anthropology instructor chatting with the owner, and after letting him know where we’d be, stepped out.  In between the time I last saw him and when I ran into him next, he had purchased this book for $55 and was looking for me to see if I was still interested in it.  Somehow, $30 was shaved off the price – sometimes it does pay to have good contacts.  I do feel a bit for the bookshop, though – it lost a good deal of money, if only he matched my offer of $67!   My win, I suppose.

The Heritage Press later on in 1940 created their own edition of Vanity Fair, with Thackeray’s own illustrations.  I’ll put pics of that up when I find one.

I’m looking for comparisons to the Heritage variant or any info on the designer of this book, so if you have that info, please let me know through the comments here or at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  Thanks!

Heritage Press – Three Plays by Henrik Ibsen (1965)

August 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

Three Plays of Henrik Ibsen – An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck and Hedda Gabler  (1942)
Sandglass Number XV:29
Artwork – Engravings by Frederik Matheson
Translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling (Enemy), Florence Elizabeth Archer (Wild Duck) and Edmond Gosse and William Archer (Hedda Gabler), edited by William Archer and introduced by John Gassner
Reprint of LEC #364/33rd Series V. 2 in 1964

Click images for larger views.

Front Binding – Unfortunately, the first thing that probably leaps to the eye is the staining the bottom of the binding features – I’m not sure if it’s urine, coffee or some other tannish liquid, but considering I got this book for free, I’m not complaining too much.  However, a recent mishap splashed water over several of my incomplete tomes, and this received additional damage while I attempted to dry it off.  So, before I sell it off with several other incomplete books in the hopes of acquiring a few in return, I wanted to document it for you all, as it is a nice book despite the post-publishing boo-boos.  The Russell-Rutter Company performed bindery duties, and George Macy newcomer Fredrik Matheson was responsible for the design along with Arnstein and Agnar Kirste, owners of the Kirste Boktrykkeri (aka bookprintery, as the Sandglass puts it) of Oslo, Norway.  The boards have a pattern paper meant to resemble a curtain, appropriate for Henrik Ibsen, one of the modern legends of theater.  This set features three of his biggest works – the biggies Hedda Gabler and The Wild Duck leap to the forefront, although An Enemy of the People is also a classic.  The Limited Editions Club also did Peer Gynt in 1955.

Title Page – The title page fails to mention the translators/editor of this set.  An Enemy of the People was rendered into English by Eleanor Marx-Aveling, the daughter of Communist Manifesto author Karl Marx.  William Archer, the editor of this book, collaborated on Hedda Gabler’s translation with Edmond Gosse, and Archer’s wife Florence Elizabeth Archer did the honors for The Wild Duck.  John Gassner, who is credited here, offers up an Introduction.  Let’s wrap up with the production – the text is Garamond, printed by Kellogg and Bulkeley in Hartford, Connecticut (I’d imagine the LEC was printed by Kirste Boktrykkeri, as they were a high-end publisher) on paper from the Cumberland Mills of Maine, which are owned by the S.D. Warren Company of Boston.

Page 7 – I really like Matheson’s artwork – his larger prints are full color wood engravings (with each color being a different block, which blows the mind if you begin to think about the craft of such precision on multiple blocks), while the smaller ones are mere monochrome (but still special!).  The Sandglass gets deep into his art career on Page 4.  This would be his sole work for the George Macy Company, but he certainly left his mark.

Page 17

Page 61

Personal Notes – I’m sad to see this one go – I quite like the book, and will be on the prowl for a replacement.  I got this as a gift from my anthropology instructor, who salvaged it from somewhere.


Heritage Press: Andersen’s Fairy Tales (1942)

August 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

Andersen’s Fairy Takes (1942)
Sandglass Number unknown
Artwork – Illustrations in color by Fritz Kredel
Translated by Jean Hersholt
Reprint of LEC #138/13th Series V. 9 in 1942 in 2 volumes

Click images for larger views.

Title Page – Alas, this book was rebound in that ever-exciting generic library binding, so I bypassed photographing it.

Anyway, this is a Heritage reprint of the LEC 2-volume Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen, and the delightful artwork of Fritz Kredel, an excellent fit, accompanies it.  Kredel would be no stranger to fairy tale illustrations, as he did a collection of art for Grosset & Dunlap for a set of Grimm’s Tales (Arthur Szyk did the art for Andersen’s in that line, FYI) in 1945.  His whimsical style works well here, if you ask me.  Andersen’s words were translated by Jean Hersholt.  Both Kredel and Hersholt would sign the LEC edition, which is a little unusual.

As I have no Sandglass, I’m in the dark on who designed this – please let me know if you have that information!

Page 1 – I wonder if these were full color in the LEC – I’ve seen a few cases where the Heritage reprints have gone with a simpler color set for the illustrations, and seeing Kredel’s full color work in the Grimms’ book I have, I’m forced to ponder that possibility.  Regardless of that tangent, Kredel’s work suits the kooky worlds and inhabitants of Andersen’s tales.

Page 5 – Kredel also did in-text bits.  I particularly like this one.

Page 17

Personal Notes – Having a set of Grimm’s Fairy Tales done by the Heritage Press, I’d like to have this book, too.  As for now, I’ll remember the good days of checking this out from the library system.

Any and all info on this book’s design process would be very useful!  If you have a Sandglass or LEC Newsletter, please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  Thanks!

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