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1255Re: [miniaturebooks] information

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  • Edward Hoyenski
    Dec 19, 2007
      Hi Kfiiii.

      I can tell you about some of these people, although others may have more information.

      William Pickering (1796-1854) was a British bookseller of new and old books, a buyer for libraries and private collectors, and eventually a printer/publisher. He started out publishing reproductions of older works, and then English classics.
      He got into publishing miniatures early. His first Diamond Classic was the works of Horace, and it was the second book he published. It was also believed to be the first title ever where most, if not all, of the print run was issued in a cloth binding. Generally, only some of an edition was bound in cloth, some in leather, some in paper, and some in gathers to be custom bound. Pickering is credited with starting "edition bindings" Pickering published - I think - 14 titles in his Diamond Classics. They range from a Greek New Testament to Walton and Cotton's Complete Angler. I have a personal fondness for his works, although because of their size (over 3"), many collectors do not consider them miniatures. Outside the world of miniature books, Pickering became famous for his publications, and contributed greatly to the field of publishing. There are a couple biographies/bibliographies of him, and I can send you more information if you want.

      Achille St. Onge is considered one of the (if not the) master of 20th century United States miniature books. He published about 46 titles, some in multiple printings, between 1935 and 1977. His works are wonderful examples of fine printing and binding, and he had them made by some of the most noted names in European book production. Many collectors started with his works, and his productions can be found in libraries and collections all over the world. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but those who remember him speak of him with warmth and high regard. One of the best sources for beginners on Mr. St. Onge (and any 20th century US miniature publisher) would be the book Twentieth Century United States Miniature Books, by Robert C. Bradbury (No. Clarendon, VT: The Microbibliophile, 2000). I can give you names of dealers if you want to purchase a copy.

      William Cheney I know less about (we have fewer of his items in our collection), but Bradbury's book is a goldmine of information.

      As Prickly Pair I only can quote Bradbury:
      "Asa Peavy and Coriander Reisbord collaborated to produce a miniature book under the Prickly Pair Editions imprint. Peavy did the typography and printing and Reisbrod did the illustrations and binding." (Bradbury, 20th C., p. 187.

      I hope this helps. There are many others on this newsgroup that will know more, but consider this a start.


      Edward Hoyenski
      Assistant Curator
      Rare Book & Texana Collections
      University of North Texas Libraries
      P.O. Box 305190
      Denton, TX 76203

      >>> "kfiiii2001" <kfiiii2001@...> 12/19/2007 11:04 AM >>>

      I first became interested in miniature books while viewing them at the
      Mccune room of the John F. Kennedy Library in Vallejo, CA. Dr. McCune
      was a doctor who collected books and fine printing and then donated his
      collection to the library before his death. Anyway, although it is a
      rare book collection, they allow patrons to actually handle and read
      the books. There was a nine-volume set of Shakespeare's works, a
      really small book called Small Rain upon the Tender Herb,and a many
      other miniature books (around twenty books). They have just recently
      posted these books on their website www.mccunecollection.org. If
      anyone is interested it is under category "Collection",
      subcategory "Fine Printing" sub-subcategory "Miniature Books."

      After viewing these, I was wondering if anyone had information about
      their publishers. Who was William Pickering? How many miniature books
      did he make? Same for Achille St. Once, and William M. Cheney, and
      Prickly Pair editions. Any information about these publishers and how
      many miniatures they produced.

      Thanks, Kfiiii

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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