Located on the ground floor of John Mills Himself, a heritage-listed building in the heart of the Brisbane CBD, Archives Fine Books is the largest second-hand and antiquarian bookstore in Queensland. Established in 1985 by Emmanuel Mescher, the store has been cared for by a handful of unique personalities, each contributing to its reputation as a Brisbane icon. Hamish Alcorn bought the business in 2008 and since then has organised more than half a million books. Dawn Albinger came on board in 2012 to develop the antiquarian and fine end of the business. One of their key features is a substantial assembly of scarce, unusual, and collectible books.
3 Select Highlights for the Sydney Rare Book Fair
1. William Blake. Illustrations of the Book of Job. London: John Linnell, March 8, 1825 [i.e. London: John Linnell, 1874]. posthumous printing. Large folio, title page and 21 plates printed on India paper. Mounted on large sheets as issued, enclosed in a blue linen folder within a blue morocco box lettered in gilt. The box is slightly worn at the corners and with some marks on the back. Bookplate of Robert Pirie. Also enclosed is a letter to Mr Pirie from the British Museum of London dated 24th February, 1959. A very good set with minor foxing. $55,000.00
2. Angus McBean. Portrait of Quentin Crisp, 1940. Silver gelatin print. Print size 30.6 x 38cm. Images size 22.8 x 29.8cm, signed by Angus Macbean at the lower left under the image. Mounted on card 50 x 40cm. The mount is also signed by McBean at the left under the image. On the verso of the mount is written “Copyright A McBean / Portrait of Q. Crisp 1940 / Vintage print”. The context and authorship of this note is unknown, though we note that the handwriting bears a resemblance to McBean’s. On the verso of the print itself, in the same hand, is written at the centre ” Copyright Angus McBean” and along one edge “Quentin Crisp photographed 1940” and towards another edge “(b)”. In another hand top left verso of mount is written “Angus McBean / Quentin Crisp 1940”, and at top right is the number 57 enclosed in a circle. The print is in lovely condition with just a few pin-prick fox marks on the margins of photographic paper (not on the image itself). Now in a new frame by Artis Pura with UV Near fine. $1,800.00
3. WHITE, Patrick. THREE PATRICK WHITE PRESENTATION COPIES, INCLUDING A DEDICATEE COPY, FROM THE LIBRARY OF KLÁRI DANIEL.
Klári Daniel was a close friend of White’s for a decade, first meeting him through the Kriegers in 1953 as White was finishing writing The Tree of Man. David Marr writes that, “[f]ew of the women White knew in life or conceived in fiction were so astonishingly complete as Klári Daniel” (Patrick White – A Life, p. 295). During their friendship they talked almost every day on the phone and she played an enormous role in helping White understand Jewish belief and ritual (Marr, p.362). This understanding was crucial to White’s writing in the novel Riders in the Chariot which he dedicated to Daniel. When White asked his New York editor Ben Huebsch in February 1961 if he could dedicate the book to Huebsch as well as to Daniel he wrote, “Klári has been my mentor.” (Hubber and Smith, p.94).
Voss. Cologne: Kiepenhauer and Witsch, 1958. German First edition, first issue; OFFERED WITH [DEDICATEE COPY] White, Patrick. Riders in the Chariot. New York: The Viking Press, 1961. First Edition, First Printing; OFFERED WITH The Burnt Ones. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1964. First U.K. Edition. $5,500.00