Thursday, March 21, 2019

John P. Quaine: Catalogue of Penny Bloods (1931)

Melbourne book dealer  John P. Quaine (1883-1957) is well known for fooling Montague Summers into adding some invented Penny Blood titles into his Gothic Bibliography (1940).  As Michael Anglo explains in his book, Penny Dreadfuls and Other Victorian Horrors (1977),

"Montague Summers.....was certainly fooled by [John. P. Quaine,] an extremely knowledgeable Melbourne bookseller with a sense of humour, who issued an important catalogue for collectors in the 1930s. Stanley Larnach, a writer and collector of ‘dreadfuls’ who lived in Sydney, New South Wales, and was a leading member of the Book Collector’s Society of Australia, said that Quayne’s catalogue included two beautiful ‘dreadful’ titles: ‘The Skeleton Clutch; or, The Goblet of Gore’, a romance by T. Prest issued in penny parts (E.Lloyd 1841); and ‘Sawney Beane, the Man-Eater of Midlothian’ by T. Prest issued in penny parts (E.Lloyd 1851). Montague listed both of these splendid titles, which were Quayne inventions, in his Gothic Bibliography."

The catalogue in question may be the one preserved in a Scrapbook of Bloods in State Library of Victoria, MS 3700/3 (though it doesn't include "The Skeleton Clutch").  Described as "late 1940s-1950s, comprising press clippings, illustrations clipped from journals, published bibliographies of penny bloods, book sales, lists of penny dreadfuls and penny bloods; also, seventy letters from the Melbourne bookseller J.P. Quaine (1951-1957) to Stanley Larnach, Walter W. Stone and J.K. Moir."


Here is the catalogue in Mr Quaine's inimitable style, replete with "fierce cuts" and rarae aves.  I've made a few comments in square brackets.  "James & Smith" is Penny Dreadfuls and Boys' Adventures : the Barry Ono Collection of Victorian Popular Literature in the British Library (1998).  "Summers" is his Gothic Bibliography.  The list clearly isn't the original catalogue, but has been typed by someone, presumably Stanley Larnach.





Copy of Sales List From J.P. Quaine, 139 Commercial Rd, South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria. 1931.

Rare Penny Dreadfuls offered from my own Private Collection.  All unobtainable anywhere else in Australia.


1.  Edwin J. Brett’s “Boys of England”.  The four first vols., a reissue dated 1876 et seq., bound in 2 large vols.  Containing dozens of the best “bloods” issued by Brett.  Only £4, less than quarter the London price.  SOLD.


2.  Brett’s “Young Men of Great Britain”.  The first 4 vols.  Original Editions, 1868 et seq.  Bound in 3 vols, with all the rare gory illustrations and coloured Xmas Number.  £5-10-0.


3.  “Young Men of Great Britain”, odd vol. 1880.  Contains “Ned Nimble amongst the Pirates” complete.  Good order.  Only 20/-


4. “Young Men of Great Britain”, thick vol containing numbers between 1884 and 1886, not quite complete.  One vol. 20/-.


5.  Brett’s “Jack Harkaway Series”.  Broken series, 13 vols, original covers. £3.  A Mint set of this rarity sells at 20 guineas in London.


6.  “Handsome Harry of the Fighting Belvedere”. Exceedingly scarce, wants 2 leaves, original cloth. 15/-.  A perfect copy worth £4.
[James & Smith, 102]


7.  “Broad Arrow Jack”, a perfect copy.  Coloured Front.  A bargain at £4. 2 others bound in.
[Edwin Harcourt Burrage, Broad-arrow Jack.  James & Smith, 89]


8.  “The Rival Apprentices” and “Rupert Dreadnought” or “The Secret of the Iron Chest”, with all gory woodcuts, 2 bound in 1 vol.  £3.
[Vane Ireton Saint John, The Rival Apprentices, a Tale of the Riots of 1780.  James & Smith, 581.  Vane Ireton Saint John, Rupert Dreadnought; or, The Secrets of the Iron Chest.  James & Smith, 582-584]


9.  “The London Apprentice” by Pierce Egan, Large vol, of over 90 numbers, each with a quaint cut.  Well bound copy in Mint Order.  Sold for £5-10-0.


10.  “Black Bess or The Knight of the Road”.  A tale of Dick Turpin, is the longest Penny Blood in history.  Just recently an article in the Herald from a London Paper referred to it as being in the possession of a man who refuses to sell at any price.  2 vols, which contain two thirds of the original 254 numbers, gory cuts. £2.
[James & Smith, 674; Summers, 247]


11.  Aldine “Tip Top Tales” 40 Blood-thirsty little penny books with coloured covers issued in the Nineties.  One coloured wrapper missing.  Bound in 5 dumpy vols. £2-5-0. (300 others, loose, for £20.)


12.  “Tom Wildrake’s Schooldays”.  A cloth copy of this rara avis midst old boy’s books.  London value at least £5, my price £2.
[James & Smith, 189-191]


13.  Hogarth House “Shot and Shell Series”.  The six vol set by George Emmett.  2 thick vols, with Brett’s “Comic History of London” bound in. 2 vols. £4


14.  Mint bound copy of that famous old boy’s book “Tom Tartar”. £1.
[E. Harcourt Burrage, Tom Tarter at School; or, True Friend and Noble Foe.  James & Smith, 118]


15.  “Will Watch, the Bold Smuggler”. 1852. 47 Penny Numbers each with a quaint cut.  Well bound. 30/-.
[Summers, 558]


16.  “The Parricide”, by G.W.M. Reynolds.  The rarest of his works.  Never knew of another in Australia and heard of few in England.  Original issue 1847. £2.  Even the cheap Dick’s reprint is rare now.
[G.W.M. Reynolds. The Parricide; or, A Youth’s Career of Crime.  Summers, 457]


17.  The ORIGINAL Penny Weekly issue of Hugo’s “Esmerelda, or the Hunchback of Notre Dame”. Small vol, well bound, dozens of cuts.  35/-.


18.  Hugo’s “Hans of Iceland”.  The first English Edition.  Cruikshank’s fine fierce plates.  £3-10-0.  London price – Ten guineas.


19.  Brett’s “Barons of Old; or the Robbers of the Rhine”. Each number has several cuts, also 3 coloured plates are bound in the vol.  35/-.
[James & Smith, 13]


20.  “Dark Deeds of Old London” and another Brett “Blood”. 25/-.
[James & Smith, 340]


21.  “Bravos of Alsatia” and one other Brett “Blood” in one vol. 30/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 337]


22. “Massacre of Glencoe” by Reynolds, in one vol: original numbers. 20/-. SOLD.
[Summers, 404]


23. “Kenneth” by Reynolds, original issue in one vol. 15/-, Gilberts illustrations.
[Summers, 152-3]


24. “Gentleman George, the King of the Road”, with sequel “King of Diamonds”, with all the cuts, and 2 others in one vol. £2-10-0.
[James & Smith, 68-69]


25.  “Dashing Duke; or the Mystery of the Red Mask”. 20/-.
[James & Smith, 683]


26.  “The Outlaws of Epping Forest”, a real gory old ‘un, fierce cuts. £2.
[James & Smith, 440-441]


27.  “Manfrone the One-Handed Monk”.  Mrs Radcliffe, early edition.  Well Bound leather back, gilt title.  Dated 1839.  10/6.
[Summers, 398]


28.  Pirated American edition of “Oliver Twist”.  Very rare. 20/-.  SOLD.


29.  Dickens imitation, “Dombey and Daughter”, Penny numbers, each with crude cut, neatly bound.  Sells at Five pounds in London.  My price £2-2-0.  SOLD.
[Summers, 298]


30.  Autobiography of the Author of the above item (self-styled “Chief Baron Renton Nicholson”.) with his autograph.  This is a unique volume, and of immense interest to Dickensians. £1.  SOLD.


31. “Tales of Chivalry; or Adventures by Flood and Field”. Original cloth, each Penny number has a curious cut, issued in 1839, but the condition is as if it was just off the press. £3-10-0.
[Tales of Chivalry, Perils by Flood and Field.  Summers, 523]


32.  “Jack Harkaway at School in America”, “Among the Pirates” and “At the Tales of Palms; the Last Stronghold of the Black Flag”.  These three tales selected by E.J. Brett and issued as the “American Series”.  One vol. 20/-.


33.  The Brett “Tom Floremall Series”, the three original series in one vol. 20/-.


34.  Brett’s “Boyhood Days of Jack Straw” and “Boyhood Days of Guy Fawkes”, the two in one neat vol.  20/-.
[James & Smith, 335-336]


35.  “The Corsican Brothers; or the Fatal Duel”. Really a piracy of Dumas’ play and book of the same title.  39 numbers, each with a lurid cut.  Magnificently bound.  A perfect Collector’s Copy!  1852.  Published by Purkess, who ranked high among the “Blood” producers. 30/-.


36.  A rare Lloyd “Blood”: “Adeline, or the Grave of the Forsaken”.  52 most fearsomely illustrated number.  First page was typed in by previous owner from a complete copy.  25/-
[James & Smith, 542; Summers, 222]


37. “The Cottage Girl; or Betrayed on Her Marriage Day”.  Neatly bound, each number with crude cut.  12/6.
[Elizabeth Bennett, The Cottage Girl; or, The Marriage Day.  Summers, 285]


38.  Ada the Betrayed; or, the Murder in the Old Smithy”.  This tale is quite unprocurable now.  This is the original issue in Lloyds Miscellany. 2 large vols with dozens of other loathsomely gory stories.  This journal was issued without illustrations.  2 vols. Dated 1842.  45/-
[James Malcolm Rymer, Ada the Betrayed; or, the Murder at the Old Smithy.  James & Smith, 541; Summers, 221]


39.  “The Ship-wrecked Stranger”, in 49 crudely illustrated numbers. 1850.  7/6. SOLD.
[Hannah Maria Jones, The Shipwrecked Stranger.  Summers, 502]


40.  “Rough and Ready Jack”, and 2 other Bretts bound in one gorgeous volume.  Mint order. 20/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 538]


41.  The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God Among Books [in red ink].
“The Pixy” by G.M.W. Reynolds.  An Xmas story done in imitation of Dickens Xmas books.  The Great Auks Egg of Rarities! [again in red ink]  2 illustrations. Small pocket size.  Original edition. 15/-.  Sheer chucked away at that price.
[G.W.M. Reynolds, The Pixy; or, The Unbaptized Child. James & Smith, 528; Summers, 464-465]


42.  3 vols Fox’s “Boys Leisure Hour” First page was typed in by previous owner from a complete copy.  25/- £5.


43. 2 large vols “Boys Standard”. 3 smaller ones. £5.


44.  “Boys Halfpenny Standard”.  One vol. £1-10-0.


45.  “Young Men of Great Britain”, from 1868 to finish as “Boys of Empire & Young Men of Great Britain”.  Approx 60 vols. £25.


46.  Run of “Boys of England” from Vol 1 (1866) to last vol (No 66) in 1899.  Wanting a few between vols 20 and 40. £30.


Supplementary List of “Penny Number Bloods” at outrageously reduced prices.


47.  “The Wild Witch of the Heath; or the Demon of the Glen”.  1841.  Lacks the last number, but contains some of the most luridly gory cuts in the history of fierce literature.  25/-.


48.  “The Secret Oath; or the Bloodstained Dagger”. 1812. 7/6.  SOLD.
[Summers, 499]


49.  “The She-Tiger; or Felina the Female Fiend”. 1853.  Merely part of the tale, but an interesting example of ferocity.  7/6.
[Melchior Frédéric Soulié, The She Tiger of Paris: Containing a History of the Life and Adventures of a Celebrated French Lady of Fashion, Under the Name of Felina de Cambure.  James & Smith, 607; Summers, 501]


50.  “The Horror of Zindorf Castle”. A rare Lloyd “Blood”. 52 very alluring cuts sublime in their crude ghastliness.  25/-.


51.  “The Cavern of Horrors; or the Miseries of Miranda”.  1833. 10/-. SOLD.
[Summers, 270]


52.  “The Black Monk; or the Secret of the Grey Turret”.  Lloyd. 1842.  Wildly illustrated with blood-curdling cuts. £5.
[James & Smith, 544; Summers, 248]


53.  “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”.  The rare Chas. Fox edition.  Practically a reprint of the original Lloyd issue, with the addition of further gruesome details.  Bound with “The Brigand of the Sea; or the Sailor Highwayman”, and another old-timer.  Coloured wrappers and cuts. £12.  Worth five times as much in London.
[James & Smith, 626; Summers, 519-521]


54.  “The Revenge of the Blighted Man”.  Lloyd. With all the fierce cuts.  1844.  This is one right out of the box.  35/-. 
[Possibly Alice Home: or, the Revenge of the Blighted One. A Romance of Deep Interest]


55.  “Melina the Murderess; or the Crime at the Old Milestone”.  Cuts. 20/-.  SOLD.


56.  “Three Times Dead; or the Trail of the Serpent”.  (Miss Braddon’s first story.)  Original issue in Half-penny Miscellany.  1864.  Crude cuts.  20/-.
[Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Three Times Dead; or, The Secret of the Heath.  Revised as The Trail of the Serpent; or, The Secret of the Heath.  Summers, 15]


57.  “The Wife’s Tragedy; or the Secret of the London Sewers”.  1850.  The 104 numbers of this choice old “Blood” backs all the rest off the board.  The quality of the cuts is indescribable! £2.
[Helen Porter; or, A Wife’s Tragedy and a Sister’s Trials.  Drop-head title is “The Wife’s Tragedy: A Secret of the Sewers of London.”  James & Smith, 289]


58.  “The Female Bluebeard”.  Many quaint cuts.  (By Eugene Sue.)  10/-.  SOLD.


59.  “The Cannibal Courtezan”.  Six humdinging cuts.  1866. 12/6.  SOLD. [May be an invented title]


60.  “The Parricide Priest; or the Murder in the Monastery”.  Cuts.  15/-.  SOLD.  [May be an invented title]


61.  “Mabel the Marble-hearted; or the Outcast’s Revenge”. Cuts. 1842. 20/-.  SOLD. [May be an invented title]


62.  “The Outcasts of London; or the perils of Pauline, the Victim of Crime.”  The first seven instalments of this famous story in an illustrated publication called The London Pioneer.  1844.  10/-.


63.  “Mabel; or the Child [JPQ has “Ghouls”] of the Battlefield”.  55 numbers, each with a gory cut.  Lloyd. 1846. 20/-.  SOLD. 
[James & Smith, 382]


64.  “The Blue Dwarf; or Love, Mystery and Crime”.  With coloured folding plates and innumerable fierce cuts.  Coloured wrappers. 3 vols in one. £3-10-0.
[James & Smith, 573; Summers, 250]


65.  “Wagner the Wehr-Wolf” by Reynolds, and several other “Bloods” by the same author, in one thick vol.  15/-.
[Summers, 550]


66.  “The Loves and Crimes of Paris”.  On its own as a thriller of the past.  29 numbers.  Vickers.  London. 1846.  Damaged badly.  3/6.
[Paul Feval, The Loves of Paris.  Summers, 393]


67.  “Walter the Archer; or the Robber Lords of the Mountains”.  Coloured wrapper.  Scarce.  Brett. 3/6.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 684]


68.  “Florence Graham; or, the Pirate’s Daughter” [Quaine has “Penelope the Pirate’s Daughter].  Lloyd.  1847.  Crude cuts.  20/-.
[James & Smith, 515]


69.  “The Death Grasp; or the Father’s Curse”.  Weird cuts.  20/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 476]


70.  “Rook the Robber”.  32 numbers.  Cuts.  Dicks.  London.  1868.  35/-.
[James & Smith, 160-161]


71.  “Under the Blood-Red Flag; or at War with the World”.  Cuts.  10/-.


72.  “The Murder of Maria Marten in the Red Barn at Polstead”, with all the strange engravings.  Original edition.  1828.  Polished calf.  Very rare.  £4.  SOLD.
[Maria Marten; or, The Murder in the Red Barn.  Summers, 400-401]


73.  “Burke and Hare, the Body snatchers”, with appropriate cuts.  Neat little vol. Well bound.  30/-
[Summers, 256]


74.  “The Bravo of Venice”, by ‘Monk’ Lewis.  Early edition, with fine frontispiece.  Only 7/6.
[Summers, 252-253]


75.  “The Robber Foundling”, a rare Lloyd “Blood”.  Weird cuts.  25/-.
[Possibly The Robber Chief; or, The Foundling of the Forest, though not a Lloyd title]

76.  “William Tell, the Patriot of the Mountains”.  Cuts.  Scarce. 10/-.
[Possibly William Tell, the Hero of Switzerland.  James & Smith, 431; Summers, 559]


77.  “The Mysterious Avengers; or the Voice of Blood”.  Cuts.  (Mentioned by George Saintsbury in one of his essays.)  Rare. 15/-.  [May be an invented title]


78.  “Ela the Outcast; or the Gypsy of Rosemary Dell”, by Prest, the author of Sweeny Todd.  (This work has been mentioned by Sala, as the before-mentioned Author’s best seller.)  Many fierce cuts.  35/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 478; Summers, 305]


79.  “The Wreck of a Heart; or the Trials of Agnes Primrose”.  Really a travesty of Mrs Inchbalds “Nature and Art”, but a better tale because it has a more reasonable conclusion, melodramatic and gory.  Cuts.  20/-.


80. “The Lady in Black; or the Wanderer of the Tombs”, by Prest.  Lloyd. London.  1844.  Gory cuts.  40/-.  [May be an invented title]
[Possibly The Lady in Black; or, The Widow and the Wife.  James & Smith, 558]



81.  “The Doom of the Dancing Master”.  Original periodical issue, with all the crude illustrations.  10/6.  In book form also 10/-.


82.  “The Gypsy Chief; or the Haunted Oak, a Tale of the Other Days”.  This most sensational story is now rare in the weekly form.  Many plates.  10/-.  SOLD. 


83.  “Fatherless Fanny; or the Misfortunes of a Little Mendicant”.  Plates.  A morally immoral old story.  Now scarce.  5/-.  SOLD.
[Fatherless fanny; or, A Young Lady’s First Entrance into Life, Being the Memoirs of a Little Mendicant and Her Benefactors.  Summers, 320-321]


84.  “Doctor or Demon; or the Doom of the Deloraines”.  Original periodical issue.  1882.  10/6.  SOLD. 


85.  “The Dance of Death; or the Hangman’s Plot.”  Cuts.  1874.  10/6.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 80]


86.  “Edith the Captive; or the Robbers of Epping Forest”.  104 cuts.  Fine copy. 40/-.
[James & Smith, 549]


87.  “Ruth the Betrayer”.  Fine copy. Many cuts.  15/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 162]


88.  “Barnfylde Moore Carew, the Gypsy Gentleman”.  12 cuts.  Rare.  10/-.  SOLD.


89.  Emalinda, the Orphan of the Castle”.  Cuts. 10/-.  SOLD.


90. “Jessie the Morgue-keepers Daughter”.  Gruesome cuts.  1845.  20/-.  SOLD.
[Jessie the Mormon’s Daughter. James and Smith, 293; Summers, 375]


91.  “The Mysteries of the Dissecting Room”.  Horrific cuts.  1846.  20/-.  SOLD.
[Possibly Secrets of the Dissecting Room]


92.  “The Maniac Mother; or the Victim of Vice”.  Damaged.  10/6.  SOLD.  [May be an invented title]


93.  “The Monk”, by ‘Monk’ Lewis.  The Penny number Lloyd issues, with most fearsome cuts.  1848. £2.  SOLD.
[Summers, 419-426]


94.  “The Profligate Pope; or the Mysteries of the Vatican”.  Cuts in keeping with the Title and text.  1866.  20/-.  SOLD.  [May be an invented title]


95.  “The Mysteries of the Inquisition”, by Reynolds.  1846.  Contained in the rare first volume of the London Journal.  Terrific cuts.  20/-.
[James & Smith, 213; Summers, 434]


96.  “The Mysteries of Bedlam; or the Annals of a madhouse”.  Cuts.  25/-.  SOLD.


97.  “Vipont the Vulture”, an imitation of that rara avis midst “Bloods” – Varney the Vampire; or The Feast of Blood.)  The cuts are glorious in their repellancy.  £2.  SOLD.  [May be an invented title]


98.  “Tyburn Dick, the Boy King of the Highwayman; or Take Me Who Dare”.  The prosecuted issue of this rather ‘over the fence’ story, Mint order. Neatly bound with two other similar tales.  £4.  SOLD.
[Tyborn Dick, the Prince of Highwaymen.  Cover has the title Tyborn Dick; or, Take Me Who Dare.  James & Smith, 669]


99.  “Turnpike Dick, the Star of the Road”.  The desirable Chas.  Fox edition, with all the coloured wrappers.  3 vols. (60 numbers) in one.  £3.
[James & Smith, 348]


100.  “The Headless Horseman”.  Original edition.  1866.  Half calf. £10. 


101.  “Robin Hood; or the Merry Men of Sherwood”.  Pierce Egan’s original Penny number edition.  1841.  40/-.
[Possibly Pierce Egan the Younger, Robin Hood and Little John; or, the Merry men of Sherwood Forest.  Summers, 481]


102.  The same tale, re-issued in 1865, different cuts.  Three coloured plates. 10/-.


103.  “Robin Hood”.  Hogarth House edition, by George Emmet.  Mint copy.  Crude cuts.  Three copies.  15/- each.
[James & Smith, 185]


104.  “Jack Cade, the Rebel of London”.  1851.  Cuts. Last number out.  SOLD.
[Jack Cade, the Insurrectionist; A Tale of the olden Times.  Summers, 372]


105.  “Wat Tyler”, by Pierce Egan. Original edition 1844.  With fierce cuts. Damaged.  7/6.
[Summers, 553]


106.  Same tale, reprint with different cuts.  1864.  10/-.


107.  “The Black Bandits of the Rhine”, with four other tales.  Cuts.  20/-.


108.  “The Ned Nimble Series”, in 2 large vols, with all the coloured wrappers of the 11 vols.  £4-4-0.


109.  The World Famous Deadwood Dick Series.  5 vols containing the original ALDINE run from No. 1 “The Outlaw of the Black Hills” to No. 58.  Absolutely unobtainable anywhere else in the Universe.  Actually dumped at £25.


110.  The original Harkaway Series running through the Boys of England, 1871-1878.  £20.


111.  The original Penny Number and Shilling volume edition, sumptuously bound in 4 gilt-backed vols.  With all the coloured wrappers.  An exhibition set, lettered “Jack Harkaway” and decorated with crossed swords, an anchor and a sailing ship in gold ornament. £20.


112.  The Hogarth House Series of the American “Jack Harkaway”.  The set of seven with all the gory coloured wrappers and fierce crude cuts in one thick volume.  £6-10-0.


113.  “The Wild Riders of the Staked Plains; or Jack the Hero of Texas”, and 12 other equally choice “O’er Land and Sea” series, on one vol.  30/-.


114.  “Sawney Bean, the Man-eater of Midlothian”.  Fierce frontispiece.  20/-.  SOLD.  [invented title]


115.  “The Nameless Crimes of the Quaker City; or Devilbug the One-eyed Ghoul”.  A rare American Dime-a-number Dreadful.  Large thick vol. 15/-.  SOLD.  
[George Lippard's The Quaker City; or, The Monks of Monk Hall]


116.  “The Headsman of Old London Bridge”, and another Brett “Blood”. 1 vol. 15/-.
[James & Smith, 255]


117. “The Hunchback of Old St Pauls”, and 2 others in one vol.  20/-.


118.  “Alone in the Pirate’s Lair”, “The Brigand Muleteer; or the Scourge of the Pyrenees”, and “Alone Among the Brigands”.  2 vols.  35/-.
[James & Smith, 616-617, 77]


119. “Boys of England”, the last 26 vols. 1884 to 1899. £20.  A gift.


120.  Reynolds “Mysteries of London”. Original Penny numbers in 4 vols. 20/-.


121.  Reynolds “Mysteries of the Court of London”.  Original issue. 8 vols. 30/-. SOLD.


122.  “Catalina; or the Spaniard’s Revenge”.  9 numbers.  Cuts. 1847.  20/-.
[James & Smith, 287]


123.  “Jane Shore the Goldsmith’s Wife”.  Original numbers, bound.  7/6.
[Summers, 374]


124.  “The Jester’s Revenge, or the Seven Masks”, and three others in the one vol.  20/-.  SOLD.
[Summers, 375]


125.  “Under the Black Flag”, and 2 others in 1 vol. 25/-.  SOLD.
[Possibly Under the Pirate’s Flag.  James & Smith, 671]


126.  “The Maniac’s Secret”, and 6 others in one vol.  No cuts.  7/6.


127.  “The Rival Hangman”.  3 numbers only, all that were issued.  3 cuts. 1870.  5/-.  SOLD.


128.  “The Ruin of the Rector’s Daughter”.  Weird cuts.  London.  1848.  20/-.
[Possibly Emma Mayfield; or, the Rector’s Daughter.  Summers, 309]


129.  “The Black Band; or the Mysteries at Midnight”.  (Miss Braddon’s early blood)  Cuts by Dore. 20/-.
[James & Smith, 66]


130.  “The Secrets of the Old House at West St.”  (Jonathon Wild’s House).  One of the most blood-freezing of the old Bloods.  In 2 vols.  104 cuts.  SOLD for £10.

[The Old House of West Street; or, London in the last Century.  James & Smith, 503; Summer, 541]


131.  “The Hebrew Maiden; or the Lost Diamond”.  (A piracy of Scott’s Ivanhoe).  A rare 1841 Lloyd.  Crude cuts.  Damaged badly.  15/-.
[James & Smith, 488; Summers, 349]


132.  “Black Plume, the Demon of the Ocean”, and ten other small bloods, with coloured wrappers.  Now rare.  15/-.  SOLD.


133.  “The Ghost of Inchvally castle, a Tale, alas, too true”.  Old cuts.  1821.  7/6.


134.  “The Smuggler King; or the Wolf of the Wave”.  Second half only.  Cuts. 10/-.
[Possibly The Smuggler King; or, The Foundling of the Wreck. James & Smith, 509]


135.  “Powerful Dramatic Tales”.  6 large vols of Romantic Dramas, each with coloured cover and cuts.  £5.


136.  The Demon of Brickarhein; or the Enchanted Ring”.  Bound with “Wolfgang; or the Wreckers Beacon”.  Both extracted and bound from the Australian Journal of 1876 and 1877.  rare. 1 vol.  7/6.
[Should be "The Demon of Brockenheim"]


137.  “Black-Eyed Susan”, “The Pirate’s Isle”, and 2 others.  Coloured wrappers.  Cuts.  In one vol.  30/-.
[James & Smith, 165-166, 182]


138.  “Manualla, the Executioner’s Daughter”. 2 vols (should be 3).  Frontispiece. 5/-


Contents of both lists cheap at £200.


ADDENDA 1945


139.  Vols 1 and 2 of the “Boys Comic Journal” in one thick vol.  45/-.


140.  Number of vols of “Young Men of Great Britain”, several vols.  Cloth or paper covers.  25/- each.


141.  “Boys of the Empire and Young Men of Great Britain”, several vols.  Cloth or paper covers.  25/- each.


142.  Rehash of the Brett’s Journals issued in the early 1900s under the title of “Up-to-date Boys” and later “Boys of Empire”, slightly broken run to finish in 1906.  27 vols. £15.


143.  Miscellaneous vols, such as “Boys Champion Journal” 1891, “Our Boys Paper”, “Boys Weekly Reader”, “Our Boys Journal”, etc. 30/- each.


144.  About 600 of the Aldine Library, Penny, Twopenny and Threepenny Tales.  All in Mint order, with coloured wrappers.  £30 the lot.  SOLD SOME.


145.  Robert Macaire the French Bandit in England”.  Gorgeous vol.  Cloth Gilt.  1847. £3-10-0.
[Summers, 480]


146.  Ada the Betrayed; or the Murder in the Old Smithy”.  Original Penny Numbers.  Bound in one vol, with all the fierce cuts.  1847. £3-10-0.
[James & Smith, 541]


147.  “Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”.  Original Chas. Fox edition.  (First time the ‘Demon’ was used in the Title).  With Coloured wrapper, bound with “For Honour” by Burrage, and “The Brigands of the Sea; or the sailor Highwayman”, also with a fierce cover.  “Sweeny” by itself is almost priceless in England.  Costs, when found, up to £20.  (The 1851 edition went to £30).  This vol is cheap at a tenner.
[James & Smith, 626; Summers, 519-521]


148.  “Cartouche, the French Jack Sheppard”.  Very rare Fox item published 1897. £1.
[James & Smith, 682; Summers, 262]


149.  Brett, Fox and Hogarth House Shilling vols, some in paper, others cased, with coloured wrappers preserved; also 15 in limp cloth, without coloured wrappers.  Worth marked prices, ranging from 15/- to 30/- each.


150.  “The Handsome Harry Series”.  Original “Best for Boys” edition, in one thick vol.  Finishes at “Young Ching Ching”.  £5-10-0.


151.  Another vol. Hogarth House: “Handsome Harry and Cheerful Ching Ching”.  Cloth £2.  SOLD.


152.  The same, bound with Willie Grey” and “Young Tom Wildrake”.  Coloured frontispiece.  £5.


153.  “Slapcrash Boys” and “Black Bandits of the Rhine”, in one vol. £1.


154.  10 vols “Australian News” and “Melbourne Post”, between 1860 and 1881.  Worth at least £50.


155.  Volume of “Melbourne Herald” 1865.  (Bushranging year, Morgan, Hall, Gilbert, etc).  £2.


156.  “Golden Hours”, rehash issued in the nineties, of various American Boys papers and Burrage’s Ching Ching own”.  3 large vols.  £3.


157.  “Spring-heeled Jack, the Terror of London”. Vols 2,3,4, bound with two fierce coloured frontispieces. £2.
[James & Smith, 347; Summers, 513]


158.  “Shot and Shell” Series.  Hogarth House.  Five of the original six.  With coloured wrappers intact, and duplicate “Captain Jack”.  £2.


John P Quaine's copy of The Lady in Black

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Guest Post - Booksellers' Labels, Part 2, by R B Russell

The majority of labels I have found in my collection are from London, and the single most common ones are from the Times Book Club (1905–c.1960s), which had reading rooms in central London where subscribers could borrow, read and purchase books.


(Times Book Club label in Suhaïl by Coleridge Kennard, Richards Press, 1927)


(Times Book Club label in The Black Cap, edited by Cynthia Asquith, Hutchinson and Co., nd)

Of course, London also has bookshops with very long histories, such as Foyles, which was founded in 1903 in Peckham. In 1904 they opened their 16 Cecil Court shop, and in 1906 they moved to 135 Charing Cross Road. Around the time of the First World War their central London shop relocated to 119 Charing Cross Road, called the Foyles Building, where it remained until 2014. They currently have a chain of seven shops in the United Kingdom.



(Foyles label and the bookshop, London, 1906)

The Foyles Charing Cross Road labels are relatively common, but it is not so well-known that at one time they also had a branch in Cape Town:


(South African Foyles label, in a book from 1950)

The above label is in a copy of Haply I May Remember, by Cynthia Asquith (James Barrie, 1950), and the book obviously travelled from England to South Africa, and has come all the way back again. However, it hasn’t travelled as far as my copy of The Glory that was Grub Street which came from Angus & Robertson’s in Australia:


(Australian bookseller’s label in The Glory that was Grub Street by St John Adcock, Sampson Low, Marston & Co, Ltd, nd)


(Angus & Robertson’s bookshop, 1915)

Back in the 1980s when I first became interested in the 1890s decadents, I bought a copy of The Poems of Ernest Dowson (John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1917) from the Trafalgar Bookshop in Brighton. (I’ve since discovered that the decadent stock they held came from Brian Banks at the Déjà vu/Gromoire Bookshop further down Trafalgar Street.) I was pleased with the find because, although only a seventh edition, the book still had Beardsley’s very simple, loopy design in gilt on the green boards. Additionally, it had pasted on the front fixed flyleaf a miniscule book¬seller’s sticker, in black and gold: ‘W.H. Smith & Son, 24-8 rue de Rivoli, Paris’. Although Smiths was a little common and corporate, the address was perfect.


(W.H. Smith, rue de Rivoli label)


(W.H. Smith's façade, rue de Rivoli)

A copy of Forty-Three Drawings by Alastair came from Paul Elder and Co. I assume it will have been sold in the old 1898 store at 238 Post St, San Francisco:



(Paul Elder label in Forty-Three Drawings by Alastair, John Lane, 1914, and Paiul Elder general book room)

I have to admit that some foreign labels have a certain cachet, such as the one in a copy of Strange Houses of Sleep, a book I have because Arthur Machen co-wrote a chapter with A.E. Waite, ‘The Hidden Sacrament of the Holy Graal’. Georg et Co were on the rue du Rhone.


(Bookseller's label in Strange Houses of Sleep by A.E. Waite, Wellby, 1906)


(Rue du Rhone, Geneva, c. 1906)

It was while researching the bookshops that Machen discusses in his autobiographical writings (Far Off Things, Things Near and Far and ‘When I Was Young in London’) that I started looking out for booksellers' labels. Machen mentions Denny’s Bookshop, Reeves and Turner, and David Nutt. I’ve not seen labels for any of these, but I hope that they exist somewhere and that I might come across them one day. Failing that, a label from any of the bookshops that used to be on the late, lamented, Holywell or Wych Streets in London would be a small, ephemeral piece of history worth preserving.

London changes all the time and it feels as though I have a small fragment of its past in a copy of Cleopatra by H. Rider Haggard:


(Bookseller’s label in Cleopatra, by H. Rider Haggard, Longmans, Green and Co., 1889)

Gilbert and Field have long since left Moorgate, and I’ve found out very little about them. However, another book has given me a slightly better glimpse of the past. A copy of Modern British Authors was originally bought from the Bedford Bookshop at 2a Hand Court.


(Bookseller’s label in Modern British Authors, Cutler and Stiles, Allen and Unwin, 1930)

Although Hand Court still exists, it has since been redeveloped. It certainly adds to the interest of a book if one comes across a photo such as the one below:


(Hand Court, 1920)

Further reading

Seven Roads’ Gallery of Book Trade Labels

© R B Russell 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019

Guest Post - Booksellers' Labels, Part 1, by R B Russell

The world of collectable second-hand books is full of specialist areas of interest, but perhaps one of the most obscure and overlooked is booksellers’ labels. These are usually very small, and are stuck to the front or back fixed endpaper of a book. The earliest examples I have of these labels in my own collection date back to the 1890s, but I am certain they will have been used long before this. The most recent I have is probably from the 1970s. They can be quite fascinating for a number of reasons—most obviously, they give us a glimpse of the book trade of the past.

Every town once had its independent bookshops:


(Above, bookseller’s label in In the Key of Blue by John Addington Symons, Elkin Mathews, third edition, January 1896)


(In Known Signatures, edited by John Gawsworth, Rich & Cowan, 1932)


(In London in My Time, Thomas Burke, Rich & Cowan, 1934)


( In The Magician, by W.S. Maugham, Heinemann, 1908)


(In The Yellow Book, Volume II, July 1894)

The above label in a copy of The Yellow Book is interesting because it belies the impression that the decadent ‘yellow’ 1890s was purely a London-based phenomenon. It is true that Beardsley, Wilde, Dowson and others were living in the metropolis, scandalising the populace, but it is good to know that the aesthetes of the Isle of Wight were happily purchasing their copies of The Yellow Book from Knight’s Library, Bank Buildings.


(Knight’s Library, Bank Buildings, Ventnor, Isle of Wight)

Some of these booksellers might appear a little provincial, but the label below from the Doncaster bookshop, Taylor and Colbridge, is in a 1929 reprint of the Collected Poems of James Elroy Flecker (Martin Secker), and is a part of this book's history.


The copy was given to the young John Wall as a prize, and Wall would later write, under the pen name Sarban, a number of acclaimed novels and short stories, including The Sound of His Horn (Davies, 1952). Wall said that one of the reasons he wanted to master a difficult Oriental language was having been ‘inflamed by Flecker’s poetry’ (Mark Valentine, Time, A Falconer: a Study of Sarban, Tartarus Press, 2010, p.16). The book would have been purchased by his school from the shop which is to the right in the period photograph below:


As Mark Valentine notes in Time, A Falconer:

‘And so, at the age of twenty-three on 27th November 1933, Sarban, as he put it, ‘set out from Doncaster for Beirut’. The phrase is in one sense an encapsulation of his life’s journey, from a rather grim and mundane railway junction town to one of the most cosmopolitan and exotic cities of the East' (ibid, p.21)

That labels add history to a book's ‘provenance’ might be overstating the case, but collectors are strange creatures, and there is always the concern that, as with bookplates, some might remove booksellers’ labels to stick them in an album, thus denying them their context. There are a couple of websites online where booksellers labels are displayed, but neither say what books they were found in. Discussing the subject with a bookdealer recently he admitted that he looked out for labels from certain women booksellers because he had a customer for them. The books they came in, though, were irrelevant.

The most common labels are obviously from the better-known, long-lived bookshops, such as Heffer, which has been in business for over 140 years, opposite Trinity College, in Cambridge. Such a long history means that Heffer's labels are not rare.


(In Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan, New Adelphi Library, Martin Secker, 1926)


(Cambridge: Heffer's Bookshop is on the right)

Naturally, Oxford also has its historic bookshops, such as Blackwell:


(In Arthur Machen’s The Chronicle of Clemendy, Martin Secker, 1925)


For collectors, in theory, this label from R. Hill & Sons, whose bookshop was next to the Oxford Oratory is more difficult to find, and therefore of more value?


(In A Book of Dear Dead Women by Edna Underwood, Melrose, London, 1912)


It is gratifying to think that Underwood’s single collection of decadent short stories, with its wonderfully euphonious title, was obtained through a rather more obscure bookseller, beyond the city centre.

© R B Russell 2019

The second part will discuss some London and overseas labels.





Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Arthur Machen's Occult Catalogues


In June 1885 Arthur Machen worked for the bookseller and publisher George Redway on 'a mass of odd literature stored in a garret in Catherine Street . . . as odd a library as any man could desire to see. Occultism in one sense or another was the subject of most of the books.’ The result was Machen's The Literature of Occultism and Archaeology, followed by a further catalogue in 1887.

Later, Machen and his friend Harry Spurr created a business under the name of ‘Thomas Marvell’ and produced Thesaurus Incantatus, ‘a remarkable combination of magico-alchemical fable and a very select catalogue of alchemical books’. This was published in a small edition in December 1888.

Machen retained his enthusiasm for esoteric literature and thirty-five years later gave his support to a catalogue of modern literature issued by R. Townley Searle’s First Edition Bookshop in 1923. Machen’s foreword, ‘The Grande Trouvaille’, describes a successful quest for books in the company of Waite.

Tartarus Press has kindly produced, for The Friends of Arthur Machen, a new hardback book, Arthur Machen's Occult Catalogues, edited by R.A. Gilbert, and reproducing all these rare and recondite catalogues.

This limited, hardback, first edition, will be available free, only to members of The Friends of Arthur Machen, and cannot be obtained elsewhere. To join, subscribe here. The offer will end when the edition runs out.

If you are already a member, you should receive your copy in the Friends' Spring mailing (around May), along with the hardback journal, Faunus, and newsletter, Machenalia.

Mark Valentine