One of Five Copies Printed on Japan Vellum

The First Grabhorn Press Book Printed in San Francisco

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609. STEVENSON, Robert Louis. Diogenes in London. As Written by Robert Louis Stevenson and Printed for the First Time from the Original Manuscript by Edwin & Robert Grabhorn from John Howell, San Francisco: MCMXX. San Francisco: Grabhorn Press, [Colophon: One hundred and fifty copies have been printed on hand-made paper and five on vellum by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, April, 1920. Bound by Florence Grabhorn. This is copy ____], 1920. [14] pp., printed on Japan vellum, title within architectural border, printed in red and black, Garamond type. 8vo (26 x 16.3 cm), original royal purple and gold patterned cloth, powder blue and white mottled end sheets of hand-made paper. Fragile spine faded and slightly frayed, otherwise a fine copy. Dan Volkmann’s book label on front pastedown. Xerox of original description by the magnificent Heritage Boys on their letterhead for their location at 8540 Melrose, Los Angeles. RLS, Grabhorn-Howell-Heritage, one of five on vellum, an elegantly bound copy by Florence Grabhorn: A very desirable copy.

     First printing of a previously unpublished RLS manuscript, providing a rare glimpse of Stevenson as a satirist, written in an hilarious Gilbert and Sullivan tempo. The present copy is an unnumbered copy in an edition of one hundred copies, this being one of the five copies printed on Japan vellum. This was the first Grabhorn Press book printed in San Francisco. Beinecke, A Stevenson Library 712. Heller & Magee, Bibliography of the Grabhorn Press, 1915-1940 #23: “One hundred fifty-five copies printed for John Howell, publisher, in April, 1920. Price $10.00. Five copies on Vellum. Price $50.00. Although the colophon reads one hundred fifty-five copies, actually only one hundred copies of the handmade paper edition were delivered and sold. The title border by T. Mark Liddell and Jack Rhoades is identical with the one used in the first San Francisco announcement. This is the first Grabhorn book of which the printers were not the publishers.” Magee, Grabhorn #8 (regular edition).

From the New York Times (November 15, 1913):

$600 for Stevenson Ms.
“Diogenes in London,” Unpublished
Fragment, Sold at Anderson’s

The sale of rare books from the library of the late Justice Henry Bischoff and from other consignors was ended at the Anderson Company’s rooms yesterday with a total of $5,973.40. The autograph manuscript of part of an unpublished story by Robert Louis Stevenson, entitled “Diogenes in London,” was bought on order for $600. It is written with pen and ink on eight quarto pages. These pages are complete in themselves and are headed “Police Scene.” The manuscript was in possession of Sidney Colvin for more than twenty years, and it is believed that he dissuaded Stevenson from publishing it.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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