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October 26, 2007

The Anthony Kroll Collection of Bernhardt Wall

253. WALL, Bernhardt. The Anthony Kroll collection of etchings, etched and printed books, post cards, emphemera, and research material relating to Bernhardt Wall. In the annals of etching and fine press books, Bernhardt Wall (1872-1956) is acknowledged as a pioneer, and his work is unique in the art of the book. He acknowledged his debt to Dard Hunter, the master handcraft printer and bookmaker who resided near Wall in Lime Rock, Connecticut. Like Hunter, Wall oversaw every aspect of his books: “Wall wrote and illustrated his books, designed them, etched the plates, printed and signed each etching, then cut, folded, gathered, sewed, bound, lettered, and labeled them” (Lowman, Printing Arts in Texas). Wall worked in Texas, California, New York, and Connecticut. His work has a wide appeal, and the array of subjects he addressed through his art is remarkable and has a wide appeal to people of all ages, persuasions, and classes. One of Wall’s primary concerns was American history and its heroes. He devoted nearly a hundred individual volumes to Lincoln alone, and in his work we glimpse the lives of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Robert E. Lee, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Lafayette, and many, many others. His interests also carried him into the field of literature, with etchings about Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe,Walt Whitman, and many others.We also find documentation of military history and heroes, musicians, artists, actors, sports figures, scientists, religious figures, and, very often, the common man and the little glories of every day life. For more on Wall see Msgr. Francis J. Weber’s Following Bernhardt Wall (Austin: Book Club of Texas, 1994). ($25,000-50,000)

Auction 21 Abstracts

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