Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Hours

Arader Galleries Holiday Schedule:

Wednesday, December 24th– OPEN until 3 p.m.

Thursday, December 25th – CLOSED

Friday, December 26th - CLOSED

Saturday, December 27th through
Tuesday, December 30th – OPEN (regular hours)

Wednesday, December 31st – OPEN until 3 p.m.

Thursday, January 1st – CLOSED

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

John Gould’s The Birds of Australia: A Copy Once Owned by the Governor of Tasmania, Captain John Franklin

John Gould (1804-1881)
The Birds of Australia (and Supplement)
Eight bound volumes including supplement
Folio size: 21 3/8” x 14 3/8”
Printed by Richard and John E. Taylor
Published by the Author, 1840-1848; 1851-1869
681 hand-colored lithograph plates

John Gould’s monumental Birds of Australia magnificently displays the author’s scientific skill and attention to detail and provides a more complete study than his Synopsis of the Birds of Australia and The Birds of Australia, and the Adjacent Islands. At its time of publication the birds of this region were essentially unknown to a European audience and as Gould himself admitted in the
preface to the book, “the field was comparatively a new one”.

In September 1838, the author and his wife, Elizabeth, arrived in Australia and spent the following 18 months exploring Tasmania and the adjacent islands, South Australia, and new South Wales. Upon the discovery that she was pregnant, Elizabeth Gould resolved to remain in Tasmania while her husband set about discovering the birds of Australia’s interior. She was to stay with the Governor of Van Diemen’s land (Tasmania), John Franklin, during this time and became fast friends with the Governor’s wife. Thus, it was that Captain Franklin became a subscriber to the Birds of Australia. An autographed letter, dated April 1877 and written by Henry Elliot, sheds additional light on the provenance of the present edition. He writes: “This copy of Gould’s Birds of Australia belonged to Sir John Franklin to whom I was aide de camp, and in whose house, while Governor of Tasmania, Gould lived many months while making his Collection. I had myself made a collection of the Birds of Tasmania, and gave many of the specimens to Gould. After the death of Sir J. Franklin’s widow in 1876 this copy of the work was given to me by his niece . . .” The letter is inserted into the first volume of the book and indeed, Gould acknowledges the assistance of both Elliot and Franklin in his preface.

The Birds of Australia is John Gould’s largest and most important work. Because he himself spent so much time in the field making his own observations, the text that accompanies the illustrations is by far the most accurate and detailed of all his works. Moreover, it is such a complete study that very few additions have ever been made to the study of Australian ornithology.

We are pleased to announce that this landmark work in ornithology is currently at the San Francisco location and available for viewing upon request. Please call Arader Galleries at 415.788.5115 for price inquiries and to request the catalog.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Engravings from the Landmark Publication on British Georgian Architecture

Colen Campbell (1676–1729)
From Vitruvius Britannicus
London, [1715-1725] 1767
Copperplate engravings

Colen Campbell (1676–1729) was a Scottish-born architect who published the single most influential work of architecture published in the Georgian era (1714-1811). As the title suggests, the work focuses upon the writings of the Roman architectural author, Vitruvius, and testifies to Campbell's outright rejection of the French influence upon British architecture, so prevalent during the reign of the late Stuart monarchs. The book champions the classical purity of line, which pervaded the work of the English court architect, Inigo Jones (1753-1652) and the Italian architect, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), both considered exemplars of the style by Campbell.

Additionally, the book represents the rise of the nobility and professional designer as arbiters of fashion, a facet of British culture previously dominated by royalty. The British countryside, as we know it today, was the creation of the Georgian period. The nobility now enjoyed new found wealth largely due to the Seven Years’ War, when the Crown had given land to loyal supporters. This land was mainly concentrated into large estates, and its owners either sat in the House of Commons or knew people who did. Thus, the land enclosure acts, which allowed for the most modern methods of farming, were easily passed and as a result agriculture became a profitable enterprise. For the first time the elite could afford to build grand homes for themselves and to receive members of the royal family. While ‘Capability’ Brown supplied the design for magnificently landscaped gardens, Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus provided a marvelous template for the design of the house.

To view Arader Galleries' selection of Campbell architectural engravings currently available for purchase, visit, call 415.788.5115 to request a Campbell catalog, or visit our San Francisco gallery location.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gifting Art

Jacques Barraband (1767-1809)
La Perrruch Lori Pl. 52
From Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets
Paris: 1801-5
Hand-colored copperplate engravings

Pierre Joseph Redoute (1759-1840)
From Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs
Paris: 1827-1833
Hand-colored stipple engravings
12 3/4” x 9 1/2”

William Hamilton
From Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Cabinet of the Honorable William Hamilton…
Naples: 1766-1767
Aquatint engraving in black and terra-cotta ink
25” x 35” framed

As Christmas nears, the dilemma of gift giving becomes more and more evident. Everyone is sure to have one or two difficult people, where coming up with an inspiring gift for him or her seems impossible. Art can be a memorable gift that provides enjoyment for a lifetime. Indeed, art is similar to a perpetuity—the reward potential has no definite end. Furthermore, gifting art can be more than a vehicle for providing someone with a memorable gift, but also an exciting and rewarding process for the benefactor.

In this financial climate, where we are all spending a little more carefully, the pursuit of appropriate gift giving requires additional consideration.* In this spirit, Arader Galleries humbly offers some guidance on the purchase of art and artful things for every budget. First, we are fortunate to live in San Francisco a city with such fine culture, arts foundations, and retail galleries staffed with knowledgeable scholars and gallery owners. When you consider purchasing art, be comforted by the assurance you are selecting from some of the best collections and from the most knowledgeable professionals in the world. Second, art dealers do not expect that just because you came into their store that you are going to buy.

Some questions to ask, particularly if you want to purchase an item as a gift, concern the gallery’s return/exchange policy. For example, if you purchase the work as a gift it is prudent to ask whether the recipient has the option of going back to the gallery and selecting something else if they do not find it suited exactly to his or her taste. Like most galleries and antique dealers in the Jackson Square district of San Francisco, Arader Galleries allow gift recipients to exchange items.

Also, reputable dealers will produce documentation for authenticity and insurance purposes. We, like many gallery owners, offer assurance on the authenticity of everything in our inventory. If it is your first time purchasing from a gallery, do not hesitate to inquire about their authenticity standards and policy.

Gift certificates are a fine option as well. For example, suppose you found a gallery you want to purchase from but are having trouble selecting a piece. Talk to one of the dealers about allocating a sum of money for a certificate, enabling the recipient to select their ideal work of art.

Art galleries can provide valuable installation advice for light sources, hanging fixtures, and climate controls. Arader Galleries provides these services free of charge. Also, we have a terrific collection of reference books to enrich your understanding and appreciation of newly acquired pieces. Indeed, the mark of a collector involves keeping careful documentation on the work, such as place of purchase, value, and respective historical importance.

So with these guidelines in mind, Jackson Square is the premier Bay Area destination for gifting art. If you are interested in antique prints please stop by Arader Galleries. We have the world's largest selection of the works of John James Audubon, Pierre-Joseph Redoute, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, historically important maps, natural history engravings and watercolors, lithographs of the American West, Californiana, Hawaiiana and Western Americana.

The significance of gifting art lies in its ability to generate a communal appreciation for beauty. A true collector buys art for a purpose that stems beyond a show and tell, conversation piece. Rather, a true collector purchases art to share their passion for art with others and what better way to do so than by gifting art. We wish you an entertaining and exquisite holiday season!

*Lucinda Edinberg, “Art for the Holidays,” The Capital 8 Dec. 2008: 1.

Yosemite Valley by Andrew Melrose

Andrew W. Melrose (1836-1901)
“Yosemite Valley” California (from Mariposa Trail)
Washington, DC: 1887
35 ½” x 47” framed

The son of the artist George Melrose, Andrew Melrose was born in Selkirk, Scotland in 1836. He later moved to the United States, keeping a studio in New Jersey until his death in 1901. A painter of landscapes, Melrose traveled the United States and Ireland in search of majestic natural beauty. His best-known works are of the landscapes of Yosemite.

This iconic view of Yosemite Valley, from the vantage point of Sentinel Dome with El Capitan, Cathedral Rock, the Merced River and the Bridal Veil Falls in the distance, is a chromolithograph created from a painting by Melrose. After the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, many more tourists where able to visit the Yosemite Valley. Chromolithographs, often sold for a few cents a piece, were an affordable souvenir.

Works by Melrose are included in the collections of the New York and New Jersey Historical Societies, the Newark Museum and Oberlin College.

This iconic view of Yosemite, along with other California landscapes by noted artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hill and William Keith, is currently on display at Arader Galleries San Francisco location. For more information visit or call us at 415-788-5115.

Friday, December 5, 2008

W. Graham Arader on the Economics of Maps

W. Graham Arader III was recently interviewed by Bloomberg radio for their ‘On the Economy’ series. Mr. Arader gives his expertise, from 35 years in the rare map business, on map collecting and current market for antique maps. We think you will find this a very interesting interview!

Click here for the interview