BLOCK

[Timothy D’Arch Smith, bibliographer and bookseller.] Typed Letter Signed (‘Tim’) to London bookseller Andrew Block, thanking him for books including ‘Corvos’.

Author: 
Timothy D’Arch Smith (b.1936), bibliographer, bookseller and chronicler of the ‘Uranian’ group of paedophile poets, manager of The Times Bookshop [Andrew Block, London bookseller; Baron Corvo]
Publication details: 
5 October 1962. On letterhead of The Times Bookshop, 42 Wigmore Street, London W1.
£56.00

For the background to this letter see D’Arch Smith’s memoir ‘The Times Deceas’d: The Rare Book Department of The Times Bookshop in the 1960s’ (2003). The obituary of the recipient Andrew Block (1892-1987) in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. 1p, 4to. Aged and lightly creased. Signed ‘Tim’, with Block writing ‘D’ARCH SMITH’ beside this. Begins: ‘My dear Andrew: / Thanks so much for looking after me so well on Saturday.

[Kenneth Hopkins, poet, critic and crime writer.] ‘Three Sonnets’ by Kenneth Hopkins in ‘The Grasshopper Broadsheets’ series of publications, with Signed Autograph Inscription to London bookseller Andrew Block.

Author: 
Kenneth Hopkins [Hector Kenneth Hopkins] (1914-1988), poet, critic and crime writer [Andrew Block, London bookseller]
Publication details: 
‘Number Three. Third Series. March, 1944.’ ‘Printed by Bacon & Hudson, Ltd., Derby, and published by Kenneth Hopkins, 670, Osmaston Road, Derby.’
£56.00

See Hopkins’s entry in the Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. His papers are in the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas. The obituary of the recipient Andrew Block (1892-1987) in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. Printed on one side of a foolscap 8vo leaf. A tasteful piece of provincial printing. Worn, creased and dog-eared, with closed tears at head. Inscribed at bottom-right: ‘for Andrew Block / Kenneth Hopkins’. Titled ‘THREE SONNETS’ and signed in type ‘KENNETH HOPKINS’.

[A.. N. L. Munby, Librarian of King’s College and historian of British book collecting.] Autograph Letter Signed to London bookseller Andrew Block, sending a collection of ‘Lyceum ballad-operas’ for his perusal.

Author: 
A. N. L. Munby [Alan Noel Latimer Munby] (1913-1974), Librarian of King’s College, bibliographical historian and book collector [Andrew Block, London bookseller]
Publication details: 
11 January 1954. On letterhead of King’s College Library, Cambridge.
£56.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. The obituary of the recipient Andrew Block (1892-1987) in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. 1p, 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged. Signed ‘A N L Munby’ and addressed to ‘Dear Block’. Folded twice. He is sending ‘the volume of playbills, all Lyceum ballad-operas’, which he estimates comprises fifty-eight in total. ‘Send me along whatever they are worth to you.’

[Les Nottle, ‘Magical Clown’ and Punch and Judy man.] Typed Letter Signed (‘Les’) advising bookseller Andrew Block, as ‘Secretary, Magic Circle Examinations & Certificate’, that he has elected to the Inner Magic Circle.

Author: 
Les Nottle, ‘Magical Clown’ and Punch and Judy man [The Magic Circle, London; Andrew Block, London bookseller]
Publication details: 
No date (early 1982); on letterhead of ‘The Magic Circle’ (motto: ‘Indocius Privata Locum’), London.
£100.00

The obituary of the recipient Andrew Block (1892-1987) in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. 1p, 4to. In poor condition, aged and worn. Folded three times.

[Louis Bondy, London antiquarian bookseller.] Printed handbill, with biography and photograph, endorsing ‘Louis W. Bondy’ in the 1953 Holborn Borough By-Election, ‘South Bloomsbury Ward - E’. With Autograph Note Signed to Andrew Block.

Author: 
Louis Bondy [Louis Wolfgang Bondy] (1910-1993), London antiquarian bookseller and local politician, Labour Party councillor for Holborn in the Greater London Council [Andrew Block]
Publication details: 
Thursday 25 June 1953; ‘Printed by J. Stafford Thomas, Ltd., (T.U.), 177 Bermondsey Street, S.E.1 and Published by John Peel, 78 Witley Court, W.C.1.’
£65.00

See Nicolas Barker’s obituary of Bondy in the Independent, 27 June 1993. The obituary of the recipient Andrew Block (1892-1987) in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. An evocative piece of booktrade and London local government ephemera. 2pp, 8vo. Printed on a leaf of shiny art paper. Worn and creased; folded twice. On one side ‘L. W.

[‘I can’t really afford even a guinea for a book’: Hugh Williamson, Oxford University Press book designer.] Autograph Letter Signed to London bookseller Andrew Block, describing his collecting interests and constraints, and giving a wants list .

Author: 
Hugh Williamson (1918-1992), book designer with Oxford University Press and author on printing [Andrew Block, London bookseller]
Publication details: 
Undated; on letterhead of the Oxford University Press Warehouse and Trade Department, London.
£60.00

See Nicolas Barker’s typically-elegant obituary of Williamson in the Independent. 2pp, 4to. The obituary of the recipient Andrew Block (1892-1987) in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. On aged and worn paper; folded three times. Signed ‘Hugh Williamson:’ and addressed to ‘Mr Block’. Thirty-one lines in a close, calligraphic hand.

[Helen D. Willard, Curator, Harvard Theatre Collection.] Autograph Letter Signed and Autograph Card Signed to London bookseller Andrew Block, regarding visits to ‘beloved England’; the letter with reference to Arthur Colby Sprague.

Author: 
Helen D. Willard [Helen Delano Willard] (1905-1979), Curator, Harvard Theatre Collection [Andrew Block, London bookseller.]
Publication details: 
LETTER: 31 May 1963; on letterhead of the Harvard College Library, Theatre Collection, Cambridge, Mass. CARD: 16 June 1965; on letterhead of Harvard College Library, with ‘Theatre Collection’ in Willard’s autograph.
£45.00

The obituary of the recipient Andrew Block (1892-1987) in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. Both addressed to ‘Dear Mr. Block’. LETTER: 1p, 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged. Folded twice. Signed ‘Helen D. Willard’. She is hoping to be able to see him in London the following month. ‘I called in you [sic] briefly last year, then got swept up into many activities that kept me from returning to browse.’ She has a very pleasant memory of their conversation.

[‘You’ll note how catholic my wants are’: Frank Pettingell, actor and collector of theatre material.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Andy [the bookseller Andrew Block]’, listing some of his ‘great wants’.

Author: 
Frank Pettingell [Frank Edmund George Pettingell] (1891-1966), actor who amassed a notable collection of theatre material and Victorian penny dreadfuls [Andrew Block, London bookseller]t
Publication details: 
23 February 1961. On letterhead of Highfield Lodge, Wise Lane, London, NW7.
£45.00

The obituary of the recipient Andrew Block (1892-1987) in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. 2pp, 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded twice. Signed ‘Frank’. He is sending his list: ‘you’ll note how catholic my wants are’. He has been sent ‘5 guineas worth of book tokens. Do you accept these? They were issued by Collets, Hampstead.’ His ‘great wants’ are ‘the Comic Home Journals - the novel with ghost on the cover - the certain Ludgate and Boys Own Xmas Number’.

[David Low, London bookseller.] Typed Card Signed to ‘Dear Rock’ (the bookseller Andrew Block), regarding oriental prints and ‘Teddy’.

Author: 
David Low (1903-1987), London bookseller whose 1973 autobiography ‘With All Faults’ has an introduction by Graham Greene [Andrew Block (1892-1987)]
Low
Publication details: 
29 January 1977; on letterhead of David Low Booksellers, Ltd., Emmington, Chinnor, Oxford.
£45.00
Low

In his obituary of Low’s partner Robin Waterfield (Independent, 12 February 2002), James Fergusson describes Low as a ‘Scottish Polish Jewish bouquiniste’. The recipient Andrew Block’s obituary in ‘The Private Library’ was subtitled ‘the doyen of booksellers’; his business was established in 1911. Plain orange-yellow card, with Reynolds Stone oval medallion letterhead. Signed ‘David’ in red ink. Addressed, with postmark and stamp, to ‘Mr. Andrew Block / 30, Barter Street / London W.C.1.’ He enquires whether the ‘coloured drawings on rice paper’ he is sending are ‘merely Chinese’.

Trade Catalogue giving numerous specimens of the firm's work. With pricelist.

Author: 
The City Rubber Stamp Co. ('Established 1878'), Snow Hill Buildings, Holborn Viaduct, London [Victorian Trade Catalogue]
Publication details: 
London: The City Rubber Stamp Co., Snow Hill Buildings, Holborn Viaduct, E.C. No date. [Circa 1890?]
£85.00

8vo (dimensions of leaf roughly 265 x 180 mm): twenty-four unpaginated pages on twelve leaves, with four pages in a bifolium inserted, and a price list printed on one side of a loose leaf. Unbound. Stitched as issued. Good, clean and tight, on lightly-aged paper with a little spotting to the outside pages.

Apocalypse block-book; Caxton's Golden Legend.

Author: 
J. & J. Leighton, booksellers.
Publication details: 
1910; J. & J. Leighton, 40 Brewer St., Regent St., London W.
£125.00

Proof with manuscript changes in pencil and printed additions pasted onto p.viii. 14 pages, folio. Five plates and five illustrations in text. In original green printed wraps. In good condition: paper discoloured and with some creasing at head; wraps grubby, creased and worn, with small closed tear along top end of spine. An attractive production, 'reprinted from J. & J. Leighton's illustrated catalogue of early-printed books, manuscripts, &c. part xiv.' Describes the edition of the Golden Legend published by Caxton in 1483, and a block-book published in Germany around 1470.

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