Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hurst and Company Canterbury Series Book with Box

Here is a nice example of a Hurst and Company book and its attendant box. This book, Whittier's Poems, is from the 25 volume Canterbury Edition of the Poets published by Hurst and Company in 1906. These boxed books are becoming harder and harder to find.

Hurst and Company was a New York publisher in the late 19th and early 20th century. Most of its later works were of reprints in series form. Earlier there was a mix of reprints, how to books and the like.

Most all late 19th century(1880's) and later American published books originally came either with dust jackets or in labeled boxes. Yet when looking at ads on the various search sites you would think this is far from the truth. Today a quick glance at ABE Hurst and Company published books lists over 400 with the "no dust jacket as issued" comment in their description.
This is just not true.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lockwood, Brooks and Company Postcard

Lockwood, Brooks and Company was founded in 1875 by John S. Lockwood, Walter Denison Brooks and Phineas S. Tobey. It went out of business in 1886

It was a successor to several well known publishers. The chain chronologically were " William Crosby and Company, Crosby and Nichols, Crosby Nichols, Lee and Company, Nichols and Noyes, Noyes, Holmes and Company and finally Lockwood, Brooks, and Company. Of interest is that John Lockwood began worked with Crosby and Nichols and Brooks worked with the firm of Nichols and Noyes.

Lockwood, Brooks and Company was a rather small player in the Boston publishing scene.
In my 19th century bibliography Lockwood, Brooks is listed as the publisher of four juvenile series. Noted here is the second book from the two book Child Life Series written by Ellis Gray.

Other series include The Kettle Club Series (four books by Virginia Johnson), Strive and Win Series, and the Children's Art Series (three titles by Elizabeth Champney).

Shown here is a postcard postmarked in 1878 which advertises several books including the one shown here. Also the Champney series book All Around the Pallette is noted.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Henry Altemus Advertising Cover

After years of publishing Bibles and photographic albums Henry Altemus began to print books for reading in 1889. The first of these books were the six titles of the of the Dore's Masterpieces Series. ( All six oversized volumes were published until 1903 in a number of different formats. Because of the beautiful Gustave Dore illustrations, these books are always in great demand and consistently sell for a premium.

This advertising cover from 1890 pictures Format 1- Volume 1 in the series. The other books of this group are listed at the top of the envelope. Die Dore Bibel Gallerie is a German translation of Volume #1 and was included in this series beginning in 1892. (Thus, at that point there were seven titles in the series.)

This is the only Altemus envelope that I have seen that pictures a book. For more Altemus ephemera see

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Estes and Lauriat wins International Exhibition Award

Estes and Lauriat was a prolific Boston publisher in the late 19th century. Elegant bindings, beautifully appointed publisher's series and oversized books for juveniles highlight what was an extensive book list.

Among the most popular of its books were the Zigzag Series by Butterworth and the Three Vassar Girls Series by Champney.

This house had its origins when Dana Estes joined Henry Degen. The Degen, Estes and Company publishing firm was the immediate predecessor to Estes and Lauriat which was founded in 1872. Because of financial difficulties Charles Lauriat left the publishing firm in 1898 and Dana Estes carried on with Dana Estes and Company.

In 1876 the International Exhibition took place in Philadelphia. This advertising cover notes that Estes and Lauriat received highest honors "in every department of bookmaking". The exact award stated: "Commended for accuracy, neatness and beauty of typographical and engraved work, clearness of paper and standard character of publications". Other publishers who received awards in this area were Lippincott, Potter, and Zell.

This cover is quite interesting because of the association between the publishing house and Philadelphia's International Exhibition.