Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Maathaus Merian's Copperplate Engravings

          Matthaus Merian was born in Basel around 1593. As a young boy he was taught the craft of glass-painting but soon switched over to copper-plate engraving. This is the trade that he is known for today. During the years of his apprenticeship he moved to Zurich and traveled through many places in Germany, Switzerland, and France.
          In 1616, Merian began working at a publishing house in Frankfurt under Johann Theodor de Bry. One year later, Merian married de Bry's daughter and had 3 children. Both sons went into the publishing business and his daughter became an acclaimed naturalist and illustrator. Following the death of Johann, Merian was given control over the publishing company and thus became a citizen of Frankfurt.This is where he spent most of his time.
Although he spent most of his life as a Publisher, Merian is best know for his copperplate engravings.To make a copperplate engraving, Merian would start with a sheet of copper and coat it with a waxy substance. He then used a hardened steel point to cut a design into the waxy surface and onto the copper. All metal shavings and wax were removed and the plate was heated. Ink as poured over the hot copper sheet until all of the ridges were filled with ink. Now the plate could be wiped clean and placed in a printing press to be printed onto a damp piece of parchment. Copperplate engraving was a very time-consuming and meticulous practice.
Topographia Germaniae is a 21 volume produced and published by Merian. These volumes included views of towns and cities along with maps of major cities of the world. Collectively, the volumes include over 2,000 copperplate engravings completed by himself. The dedication he had to his craft helped him slowly become the most recognized copper plate engravers in Europe at the time and today.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blueprints of a Landmark

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city of San Francisco and arguably one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. The vermillion color was chosen to complement its natural surroundings and stand out to sailors in the distance. The long, gradual cords lend an elegant look to the bridge and illumination from the base highlights the length. It marks the separation of the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean and connects the northern tip of the peninsula to Marin county.
In the mid 1920's, Joseph Strauss had a plan to make travel from the Northern counties to the peninsula more efficient than the previous ferry systems had. He had fought for support for over a decade before receiving over 30 million dollars worth of bonds to begin construction. Many designs were considered before the final blueprints were decided on. Strauss remained the chief engineer to the project but relied heavily on three main contributors. Leon Moisseiff, designer of New York's Manhattan Bridge, came up with the cable suspension design. Architect Irving Morrow decided the bridge towers, lighting, decoration, and eventually was convinced by San Francisco residents to paint the bridge the vibrant orange it is today. Charles Alton Ellis deserves credit for most of the engineering decisions. In 1937, the bridge was completed. It set the record for largest main bridge span in the world.
The Golden Gate Bridge was, and is, a beautiful piece of architecture and of the Bay Area. Strauss, Moisseiff, Morrow, and Ellis along with hundreds of other men were responsible for turning this vision into reality. These visions can be viewed through the blueprints they created. Here, you can see the raw architectural plans that make up the bridge.
Here at Arader, we have several blueprints of various structures of the bridge. If you have further inquiries about the Golden Gate Bridge Blueprints, please feel free to contact Arader Galleries for more information.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hillsborough Antique Show

Arader Galleries is pleased to be representing a selection of our merchandise at the upcoming Hillsborough Antique Show in San Mateo from Friday, November 2 through Sunday, November 4.

The show will be exhibited at the San Mateo County Event Center
1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo CA 94403 from:
Friday 11 am - 8 pm
Saturday 11 am - 7 pm
Sunday 11 am - 5 pm

For only $8 (with this coupon from the Hillsborough Antique Show) you can gain entry to this fantastic event which features 506 booths of Antiques, Decorative Arts & Fine Arts, including Arader Galleries.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Exciting Opportunity for Collectors - December 5

On December 5th, Guernsey's is honored to be conducting the sale of hundreds of treasures acquired over the last four decades by noted gallerist Graham Arader. Recognized internationally for his extraordinary collections, Mr. Arader is generously supporting several fine universities by turning auction proceeds into meaningful donations. Prospective buyers should note that the majority of auction lots will be sold either without minimum reserve or with reserves well below the amounts Mr. Arader purchased the items for over the years. Following a nearly week long preview (Nov. 30 - Dec. 4), the auction will be held live at Arader's beautiful Beaux Arts flagship gallery on New York City's Madison Avenue at 78th Street. Naturally, Guernsey's will be accommodating those unable to attend by making absentee bidding available via the Internet ( and telephone. A massive, handsome auction catalogue (available from Guernsey's or Arader) thoroughly depicts and documents the extraordinary offerings.

Featured categories include eighty two of John James Audubon's stunning copper engravings of Birds and Quadrupeds. Many of the most sought after drawings, virtually all in uncut, pristine condition will be sold. Arguably the finest selection of historic maps and rare globes ever to come to auction will include the extremely rare hand-colored woodcut map of the Atlantic Ocean by Martin Waldseemüller, centerpiece of his groundbreaking 1513 atlas. The Natural History Section of the auction will contain sixty six lots of beautiful watercolors and color plate books including a magnificent collection of the books of John Gould, without question the most prolific ornithological artist of the 19th century. Fifty nine lots will be devoted to handsome watercolors and maps depicting early scenes of New York City. Auction lots include a 19th century landscape of Manhattan as seen from Hoboken, a wonderful Great Gatsby-era birds-eye view of Long Island's then-developing Gold Coast, and an extremely rare secret plan of the City created by a British officer on the eve of the Revolution. Additionally, there will be a fine offering of American and European paintings by such noted artists as Thomas Hill and George Henry Durrie.

Naturally, the items above represent only the smallest sampling from this extraordinary event. Interested collectors and those who appreciate amongst the rarest and most beautiful works ever created on paper are urged to contact Guernsey's for complete information.

You can download a complete catalog of all featured lots and estimates for this auction here: 

10 Facts from Betty Goerke's Choris Lecture

If you were unable to join us last night at the Betty Goerke lecture Louis Choris: Views of Native Life at Mission Dolores and San Francisco Presidio in 1816 then you missed out, so we would like to share 10 fun facts from the lecture:
  1. Choris is one of three people to have documented the native people of the Bay Area. Not only did he produce the most images of native life, but they are also the most accurate.
  2. Clam shell necklaces were the original Mission Dolores"bling". Wearing one indicated status and wealth.
  3. How one wore their hair communicated to others many things, including gender (men wore top knots, ponytails at the crown of the head) or marital status (widows and widowers cut their hair short and wore it down).
  4. Poison oak was used in many native traditions. One of which involved a young woman's grandmother carving a pattern into her face and rubbing poison oak into the wounds, tattooing her. This signaled to others that she had achieved marriageable age.
  5. How did the natives deal with poison oak? Possibly by rubbing either dirt or banana slug mucus on the irritated area. Maybe both (dirt to absorb the oil of the poison oak and the slug slime to act as an anesthetic.)
  6. Choris was not only a talented artist, but a musician as well. Thanks to his documentation, songs which were described as "melancholy" still survive today.
  7. While Choris was very talented, when he tried his hand at lithography he just wasn't very good at it. The Didot printing firm produced Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde, Choris supervised the process.
  8. Betty Goerke makes a strong case that Marin county is named after Chief Marin.
  9. Betty has met "Ötzi the Iceman" and explained that his tattoos were in locations where he likely suffered from arthritis. 
  10. Betty Goerke was this year's Milley award recipient for literary arts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Louis Choris: Views of Native Life at Mission Dolores and San Francisco Presidio in 1816

Louis Choris (1795 - 1828)
From Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde...
Danse des habitans de Californie a la Mission de St. Francisco
Paris: 1822
Hand-colored Lithograph

Arader Galleries & Betty Goerke

 Louis Choris: Views of Native Life at Mission Dolores and San Francisco Presidio in 1816

Please join Arader Galleries & Betty Goerke for a very special lecture at Arader Galleries on Louis Choris: Views of Native Life at Mission Dolores and San Francisco Presidio in 1816

Thursday, October 25, 2012
from 6 - 9 pm
434 Jackson Street

There will be a book signing by Goerke following the lecture of her book: Chief Marin: Leader, Rebel, and Legend.

Betty Goerke has been teaching anthropology and archaeology at the College of Marin for over thirty years. She has conducted archaeological fieldwork in California, Colorado, Greece, Holland, Kenya, and India. She has authored books and articles and has produced several videotapes, including Archaeology: Questioning the Past.

Arader Galleries currently has on exhibition over 40 genuine prints from Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde, illustrated by Louis Choris. The lectures will take place at our beautiful building at 434 Jackson Street surrounded by these prints, all of which can be purchased at the gallery.

This lecture is free to attend. Please RSVP by calling the gallery at (415) 788-5115, availability is limited!

We will look forward to seeing you!

The Arader Galleries Team

Coronelli's Celestial Maps

 Vincenzo Coronelli, a Franciscan monk born in 1650, is synonymous with 17th century cartography. He was a renowned theologian, geographer, cartogropher, and cosmographer throughout his life and still today. Over his lifetime, Coronelli contributed 140 separate works of cartography and cosmography. Coronelli completed his first map at the age of sixteen. In 1678, Coronelli was commissioned to construct a set of terrestrial and celestial globes for the Duke of Parma. The Duke was so pleased with his five feet wide globes that he appointed Coronelli as his theologian. Three years later he was commissioned to create a set of globes for King Louis XIV. These are some of his most impressive works. The massive globes weighed about 2 tons each and represented the most up-to-date French knowledge of exploration based on accounts from Rene-Robert Cavelier and Sieur de La Salle. His reputation continued to grow over the years and in 1699, he was appointed Father General of the Franciscan Order. In 1705 he returned to his hometown of Venice where he published Atlante Veneto and founded the first geographical society called Accedemia Cosmografica degli Argonauti.

This map displays the most complete knowledge of the celestial world in the late 17th century.This hand-colored copper engraving was completed in Venice circa 1690.It represents the major celestial and astrological theories circulating at the end of the century. Taking center stage is a large celestial planisphere displaying the rotations of the planets and signs of the zodiac calendar. This is surrounded by five illustrated wind heads and five planetary diagrams. This composition is bordered by 28 smaller diagrams including solar and lunar eclipses, terrestrial maps, and astrological maps.If you would like to learn more about this piece, please contact Arader Galleries.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Basso-Relivo Techniques in the 18th Century

Reliefs employ a sculptural technique to make an image appear as if it were raised above the background. In other words, the image is relieved from the medium. Basso-relievo is a technique invented and popularized by an 18th century Irish artist named Samuel Dixon. A copper plate was used to emboss particular areas of the paper which was then painted over with watercolors and gouache. The end result lends a 3-dimensional effect to the subject and embellishes specific elements. Around 1748, the artist published his first collection of twelve paintings featuring the basso-relievo technique. His paintings featured mostly flowers and exotic birds though his works were not based on personal research but rather sketches from George Edwards' Natural History of Uncommon Birds, published in 1743. Dixon went on to complete three sets of twelve paintings featuring the basso-relievo technique.

An English artist by the name of Isaac Spackman was inspired by Dixon's work and published his own set of basso-relievo paintings in the late 18th century. Spackman followed Dixon's technique extremely closely and drew his inspiration from Edwards' Natural History of Uncommon Birds.

William Hayes followed the method put forth by Dixon but used his own personal sketches to create his basso-relievo paintings. He drew from his two published books; A Natural History of British Birds and Rare and Curious Birds in the Menagerie at Osterly Park, Middlesex. Hayes' paintings not only featured the puffed paper effect but glass eyes as well. The combination of the two give his paintings a strong 3-dimensional look.

Each of these artists produced very few basso-relievo works making these pieces extremely unusual and treasured. All of the paintings are in their original frames. The glass eyes used in Hayes' pieces are also original making these pieces extra special. If you have any other inquiries about these 18th century paintings, please contact Arader Galleries.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Early 19th Century Sofas in the UK and the US

In 1811, King George the III of England was deemed unfit to rule and was replaced by his son who became the Prince Regent. Upon George III’s death in 1820, the Prince Regent was coronated as King George IV. The period directly preceding and following the Prince regent's rule has been dubbed the Regency Period. The Regency Period marked the peak of neoclassical design in home décor. Antique furniture from Greece, Rome, and Egypt were used as inspiration and very closely imitated. Ornate carvings, intricate gilding, and flora and fauna design elements were very popular. Anything reminiscent of the idealized Classical period was coveted.

This particular sofa features sleek and slender qualities while clearly displaying a taste for Neoclassical design. The feet splay outwards elegantly and the legs feature spiral fluting, picked out in water-gilding on an ebonized ground. The flowerhead design on the seat apron is also executed through gilding, a prominent motif of the Regency period.
The United States was undergoing its own fascination with the great ancient empires during this time as well. Early 19th century American furniture design was heavily influenced by the resurgence of opulent tastes in Europe. This mahogany couch exhibits characteristic splayed legs and lion paw feet.The mahogany is detailed with intricate fern carvings and cornucopiae design heavily influenced by Grecian models. This couch was recently reupholstered with a fabric that would have been very common in American homes.

Reliving the luxurious lifestyles of long-gone ancient civilizations led to changes in lifestyle, aesthetic preferences, and home decor in societies superseding country, culture, and continent.Here at Arader Galleries, these two couches are exemplary of the taste level in both England and the US throughout the Regency Period. Along with these two pieces, Arader is home to many extraordinary pieces of antique furniture. To learn more about the home decor pieces we have, please contact Arader Galleries.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guernsey's Auction, September 8, 2012

The recent Roger Tory Peterson and John James Audubon auction, as featured in the NY Times, conducted by Guernsey’s at Arader Galleries on Madison Ave., in New York this last Saturday, was an unmitigated success, and surely heralds a welcome return to a lively auction scene not often seen since the end of 2008.

Old friends and new packed the second floor at the Arader Galleries flagship store, which saw furious bidding for more than 400 lots of original gouache, watercolour and pencil drawings of birds that illustrate Peterson’s iconic Field Guides. With more than 90% sold by lot, Peterson’s place as the best known and best loved illustrator of birds in modern times is secured. “It is impossible to overestimate the role that Roger Tory Peterson played in 20th-century wildlife art and photography. Like the legendary John James Audubon before him, Peterson’s pioneering approach to the art of nature changed how everyday Americans interacted with the world around them, in particular with birds. The detailed paintings Peterson produced depicted birds in a realistic and easily recognisable way and in their natural habitat. That art, translated into his Field Guides to Birds, made modern bird-watching easily do-able by a regular person...” (Guernsey’s sale catalogue).

Audubon’s magnificent hand-coloured aquatints from the double elephant folio edition of  The Birds of America” (1827-1838), the single most important work on North American ornithology, were more than 80% sold by lot. Many, many lots by both artists achieved well over their high estimates; but by far and away the star of the auction was plate 431, Audubon’s life-size, vibrantly coloured American Flamingo at more than $125,000 inclusive. Other notable prices were achieved for Audubon’s Common American Swann at $97,600, and his Trumpeter Swann at $76,250.

Arader Galleries retains a comprehensive gallery of works of art by both Audubon and Roger Tory Peterson, and we welcome all visitors at our galleries in New York, Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco, or to our website

The End of the Edo Period: Growing Curiosity in Japan

For roughly 250 years Japan was subject to one ruling family. The Tokugawa family was known for imposing rigid social orders and strict isolationism from foreign contact and trade. The little contact they had with Europeans from 1603-1868 came from Dejima, a small man-made island in Nagasaki's harbor. This island was home to the Dutch East India Company. Any other Europeans that docked in a Japanese port during the Edo period would be put to death without a trial. The complete isolationism nurtured a boom in Japanese culture. Art, entertainment, and fashion became points of interest among urban populations. Around the early 1800's European intrusions were on the rise. To understand these new "barbarians", Rangaku (Dutch studies) became important to the Japanese in understanding and defeating the foreign enemies. Growing interest in the west only increased after a peasant uprising in 1830 forced the Japanese to acknowledge the growing issues within their country. As more citizens looked to the West for answers, Japanese officials tightened their anti-foreigner policy once again. This only caused more unrest amongst the people and invited in more westerners trying to establish trade relations.
This map completed in 1850 is a prime example of the increasing interest the Japanese were developing in the West. This world map displays a fusion of the artistic culture that had blossomed in the Edo period and the desire to understand how the rest of the world functioned and interacted with each other. Instead of focusing solely on Japan's towns and provinces, the mapmaker indicates the value of trading internationally while stylistically holding on to Japanese traditions. Many maps made in this era disregard geographical accuracy, believing that this was inevitable. In comparison to European made maps from nearly a century prior, the level of accuracy is years advanced.
 Japan began reluctantly opening its borders to American traders. This hurt Japan's economy but opened up the country to Western culture. By 1859, western texts and literature were being translated by the government and western military schools led by the Dutch were allowed. Japan ushered in a new era in 1868 when the final Tokugawa resigned and all Japanese borders were opened. Maps from this point on take on a very distinctly European look and cartographers begin paying close attention to the accuracy of their pieces.

This map from 1850 is a rare piece representing a time in which Japan was on the brink of a major cultural change. It retains the Edo period's style and execution while acknowledging Japan's place in the booming world trade markets.

In addition to this historical map, Arader Galleries also offers a selection of Japanese works from this era on a variety of subjects including: whaling, botanicals, livestock, and commerce. For more information, please contact Arader Galleries.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Arader Galleries Presents: The Plant Hunters

Friends of Arader Galleries,

Arader Galleries is proud to present a fantastic botanical exhibition in partnership with Lotusland of Santa Barbara titled: The Plant Hunters: Botanical Illustration from the 16th through 19th Centuries. This exquisite exhibit presents an overview of the history of botanical prints starting with Fuchs’s early 16th century herbals through the explosion of plant material finding its way to Europe from all over the world through trade and exploration during the 17th through mid-19th centuries. Magnificent botanical prints resulted from this newly discovered plant material. The exhibit will focus on plants that can be found at Lotusland or grow well in the Santa Barbara area. The exhibit is in cooperation with Arader Galleries, All of the prints are for sale with of portion of proceeds going to Lotusland.

To learn more about Lotusland, please visit their website

Artists include:
Dr. Robert John Thornton
Pierre-Joseph Redouté
Basil Besler
Leonhart Fuchs
Giovanni Battista Ferrari
Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Draakestein
Maria Sybilla Merian
Mark Catesby
Johann Wilhelm Weinmann
Georg Dionysius Ehert
and more!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Besler's 'Hortus Eystettensis'

Basil Besler (1591-1629) was an apothecary and botanist from Nuremberg, who managed the gardens of Prince-Bishop Johann Conrad von Gemmingen (approx. 1561-1612) in Eichstatt, Bavaria. The Prince-Bishop’s remarkable garden was one of the most extensive in Europe, containing a huge variety of European shrubs and flowering plants as well as exotic specimens from Asia and the Americas. Besler was commissioned by the Prince-Bishop to compile a codex of the plans in his garden. This encyclopedic resource became the basis for the Hortus Eystettensis (Garden at Eichstätt) which took sixteen years to complete (the Biship died shortly before  printing) and was published in 1613 by Basil Besler and Ludwig Jungermann. The work contains 1086 illustrations of plants from 367 copperplate engravings, most of which were depicted in their natural size. The copperplates were engraved by a group of skilled German draughtsmen and artists including Wolfgang Kilian, Dominicus Custos, and Levin and Friedrich van Hulsen and according to the oversight and drawings by Basilius Besler. The accompanying descriptive text was written primarily by botanist Ludwig Jungermann (1572–1653).

Published one hundred and fifty years before Linnaeus created his thorough system of classification, Besler’s great florilegium represents an impressive early attempt to classify plants for the benefit of botanists, doctors, and apothecaries. Each plant is given a distinct and often descriptive Latin title, and related species are grouped together on the same plate, or over a series of plates. Almost all specimens are shown complete and accurately colored, including delineations of their root systems. While Besler’s work is obviously motivated by a scientific impulse to document and describe a remarkable collection of species, the beautiful presentation and dramatic stylization of the illustrations also convey a sense of the visual grandeur of the Bishop’s great garden. Each specimen is placed on the page with an artist’s understanding of formal and spatial relations. Most notably, the stylized depiction of foliage and root systems betrays a lively baroque sensibility, as the plants seem to dance across the page.

Basil Besler’s great botanical work is a landmark of botanical documentation and pre-Linnaean classification, as well as one of the most splendidly stylized and aesthetically powerful botanical works ever produced.

The work was published twice more in Nuremberg in 1640 and 1713, using the same plates, plates which were destroyed by the Royal Mint of Munich in 1817.
Sadly, the original Eichstatt gardens were sacked by invading Swedish troops under Herzog Bernhard von Weimar in 1633-4; however reconstructed gardens were opened to the public in 1998.

French botanist Charles Plumier honored Besler posthumously by naming a climbing bush Beseleria.

These illustrations of various flowers are among the most dramatic and desirable of Besler’s illustrations. Each is in excellent condition, and would represent wonderful additions to any collection of European botanical art. Please contact Arader Galleries for further information.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Today in History: August 8th

 British naval officer Joseph Whidbey led an expedition to search for the Northwest Passage near Juneau, Alaska as part of Captain Vancouver’s expedition of the American Pacific Northwest.

A veteran of the American war for Independence, Whidbey was given a peacetime appointment aboard the HMS Europa, where he conducted detailed surveys of Port Royal with then-Lieutenant Vancouver. Once his berth was completed, he was commissioned to the HMS Discovery along with Vancouver.

George Vancouver was born in King's Lynn, Norfolk, England on June 22, 1757. He began his naval career aboard the HMS Resolution, captained by James Cook. Upon completion of two voyages with Captain Cook, Vancouver was commissioned as a Lieutenant aboard the HMS Martin surveying coast lines. It is this work that would set him apart from his peers. Following the Nootka Crisis - which resulted in skirmishes between the Spanish and the English as both tried to assert their authority over the territory - Captain Vancouver was given command of the Discovery and the Chatham and charged with the task of surveying the Pacific Northwest coastline.

The mission was time-consuming as the ships Discovery and the Chatham were too cumbersome to fit into the lithe channels and inlets along the coastline; instead, small boats were sent in every direction to examine the coast in detail. The Vancouver Voyage lasted four-and-a-half years, circumnavigating the globe, landing in five continents and had a great and lasting affect on the indigenous people it encountered as well as encouraging colonization of the Americas.
Captain George Vancouver’s maps were so great in detail that they were used as the key reference in coastal navigation for generations to come. In addition to his contributions to navigational records of the Pacific Northwest, he also contributed many surveys of Australia, Galapagos Islands, Sandwich Islands, Mexico, and Chile.

To recognize Whidbey’s outstanding service, Captain Vancouver named the island that forms the northern boundary of Puget Sound -incidentally named for another navel officer on the Vancouver expedition - Whidbey Island.

 Arader Galleries is proud to offer you a fine selection of Vancouver Expedition survey maps. Please contact the Gallery for more information.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grecian Themed Art Just in Time for the Olymplics

With the 2012 London Olympics just over half-completed, Arader Galleries thought it was high time to show our Olympic spirit. Sport, like art, brings together people of all classes, creeds, and countries to remind us that at our very core we are the same.

Sir William Hamilton (1731-1803) was sent to Naples as Chief British Envoy to the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV. Once there, he was inspired by the cultural heritage of Italy and began studying archaeology and antiquity; he soon embarked on a project to publish illustrations of the objects that so fascinated him. Hamilton assembled perhaps the finest collection of ancient Greek ceramics found in Italy, and then chose the finest examples for his publication, Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities (Naples, 1766-67). Hamilton saw his mission as one to remind Europe of the beauty of form and lines and to “annihilate those Gothic forms which habit alone renders supportable.”

Hamilton’s Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities contained two kinds of illustrations: First, narrative and pictorial plates, each one with decorative motifs taken from a vase, cup, or plate; and second, black and white perspective drawings of the pieces so that artists and craftsmen could recreate the ancient forms.  The narrative plates exhibit the classical black and terra-cotta color scheme, with touches of accent coloring on some of the plates. The subject matter ranges - as it did on the original ceramic pieces - from activities of the mythical gods and creatures, to feasting and the daily life of ancient peoples. The black–and-white perspective drawings were intended to provide guidelines to artists “with as much truth and precision as if he had the Originals themselves in his possession.”
For his tireless research in the fields of volcanism, archaeology, antiquity, and Italian geography, Hamilton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society as well as awarded the Copley Medal in 1770 for his paper, An Account of a Journey to Mount Etna. His book, Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities, became a virtual dictionary of Classical form throughout the l8th and l9th centuries. His collection became a cornerstone of the British Museum’s Department of Classical Antiquities.

It is in this Grecian spirit that Arader Galleries is pleased to provide a collection of Hamilton prints.
 For more information or inquiries, please contact the gallery. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Interests Turned Collections

George Arents, Jr. was the grand-nephew of Major Lewis Ginter of Allen and Ginter tobacco manufacturing company, later acquired by the American Tobacco Company. With a Bachelors from Columbia University (and a  Masters degree at Syracuse University at the age of 57), Arents joined the family business and served as a member of the American Tobacco Company firm from 1896 to 1905. In 1922, he became a director and, from 1924 on, the treasurer of both the American Machine and Foundry and International Cigar Machinery, a subsidiary. For his contributions, Arents is considered one of the founders of the American Machine and Foundry. With his partner Rufus L. Patterson, Arents received a patent on a cigar-rolling machine in 1900 and eventually they produced two-thirds of the cigars manufactured in the United States.

In conversation with Sue Dickenson of Commonwealth Magazine, Arents recalled a talk given at the College of William and Mary in 1939 where he discussed some advice his great-uncle once gave him:

“On one of my many visits, Major Ginter gave me some advice which I have never forgotten; it has added greatly to my happiness and I think may be of value to many of you here – he said, ’When you are young, have many hobbies, but let your business or profession come first; as you grow older, you will have to abandon some of them, the more you have, the less you will miss those you have to give up.”

Image Courtesy of Wikicomons
In 1893 Arents purchased a pamphlet entitled “A Pinch of Snuff” for $2.25 while perusing an antique bookshop. This was the start of what would become a lifelong passion - as well as the largest and most important collection of tobacciana in the world. Perhaps the most noteworthy item in his tobacco collection is the vary rare 1507 volume of Cosmographiae Introductio by Martin Waldesmuller. As the first printed reference to tobacco, it cites an account of explorer Amerigo Vespucci having observed Native Americans chewing a certain green plant. Arents continued to collect books, images, and other paraphernalia that referenced tobacco. By 1952, five illustrated volumes were published on the collection: Tobacco, its History Illustrated by Books, Manuscripts, and Engravings in the Library of George Arents, Jr.

Rosa Macrocarpa
from Redoute's Les Roses
Arents’ other great contribution, The George Arents Collection of Books in Parts, contains over 1,200 items dating from the 18th to the 20th centuries and is one of the most important collections assembled on the subject. In the words of Sarah Augusta Dickson, the first curator of the George Arents Collection: “Books in parts may be defined as works by an author or authors which are published piecemeal over a period of time, each unit having its separate cover, usually paper or boards, and in many cases with the title-page and other preliminary matter for the volume or volumes at the end of the last part.” These items were acquired with a keen eye intent on collecting only the best copies of these publications with an emphasis on original condition and original wrapping. Several titles in bindings were added to the collection including Redouté's Les Roses and Audubon's Birds of America (the octavo edition of 1840-1844).

Californian Partridge
from Birds of America
John  James Audubon
George Arents, Jr.’s other interests included auto-racing, music, books, and sports. In 1904 he participated in his first and last international road race, the Vanderbilt Cup; unfortunately, Arents flipped his car during the race injuring himself and killing his mechanic. Always appreciative of fine music, Argents family donated a 21-bell carillon to St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue. George Arents, Jr.’s social activities included the Century Association, The Racquet and Tennis Club, the Friends of Yale Library, the Huguenot and St. Nicholas Societies, the Grolier Club, and the American Society of the French Legion of Honor.

George Arents, Jr. died in December 1960 at the age of 85. The George Arents, Jr. Collection, now in New York Public Library on 5th Avenue, is in two Georgian-style, pine-paneled rooms.

Arader Galleries is proud to offer its services in helping you find your passion and collectables. Our skilled professionals are happy to help clients begin their own collections with artwork that stuns and only gets better with age. Sample works include the finest prints of Audubon, Redouté, maps, architecturals, Americana, furniture and globes, and rare books. Below are just a few examples of what we would be delighted to show you. Further offerings may be viewed at our website:

Bayard Taylor Illustrated Library of Travel, Exploration and Adventure, Wonders of the Yellowstone

Scribner, Armstrong & Co: New York, 1875. 

Homann Heirs
Planiglobii Terrestris Mappemonde
Nuremberg: 1746
Hand-colored copperplate engraving

Andreas Cellarius (1656-1702)
Typus Selenographicus Lunaephases et Sectus Varios ad Umbrans
From Atlas Coelestis seu Harmonia Macrocosmica
Amsterdam: Schenk and Valk, 1708
Hand-colored copperplate engraving

Please contact Arader Galleries for further information. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In the City and in the mood for a little art? Summertime is the perfect time to check out the new and exciting exhibits offered around San Francisco. Here are a few that will scratch that artistic itch.

Courtesy of the California Historical Society

Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco – Legion of Honor 

July 14, 2012 - October 14, 2012

July 14, 2012 - November 11, 2012

July 14, 2012 - October 14, 2012

Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco – deYoung Museum

September 10, 2011 - July 29, 2012

November 30, 2011 - August 30, 2012

March 24, 2012 - August 19, 2012

SF Museum of Modern Art

Selections from the SFMOMA Collection
May 18 – August 12, 2012

July 14 - October 08, 2012

July 14 - October 08, 2012

June 07 - October 08, 2012

Asian Art Museum

May 18 – September 2, 20102

Contemporary Jewish Museum

An Exhibition and The Dorothy Saxe Invitational
Through September 9, 2012

Jewish Life in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present
Through October 16, 2012

California Historical Society

February - October 14, 2012
Image courtesy of The Huntington Library

And for those of you in Southern California, may we recommend…

The J. Paul Getty Museum – Los Angeles

July 3 – September 23, 2012

June 5 – January 13, 2013

May 29 – August 2012

The Huntington –  San Marino

June 16 – September 17, 2012

July 28 – October 29, 2012

Timkin Museum of Art – San Diego

May 10 – September 9, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

John A. Noble, American painter and mariner

"Anywhere men work or build on the water is of interest to me...My life's work is to make a rounded picture of American maritime endeavor of modern times."
John A. Noble (1913-1983)
Dying in the English Kills, Man & Mast #2 (Brooklyn)
Lithograph, edition of 300
Signed and titled in pencil
23" x 26 3/4" framed
Born in Paris in 1913, John A. Noble was the son of the noted American painter, John “Wichita Bill” Noble. He spent his early years in the studios of his father and his father’s contemporaries, innovative artists and writers of the early 20th century. A graduate of the Friends Seminary in New York City, Noble continued his studies in France at the University of Grenoble. There he met his wife and lifetime companion, Susan Ames. When he returned to New York, he attended the National Academy of Design.

Beginning at the age of 15 and continuing for almost two decades, Noble worked aboard schooners and in marine salvage. It was during this time that the artistic bug caught hold and Noble began drawing and painting. In 1928, while on a schooner that was towing out down the Kill van Kull- the tidal strait that separates Staten Island from New Jersey- he saw the old Port Johnston coal docks, “the largest graveyard of wooden sailing vessels in the world”, for the first time. He would later comment that this sight changed his life forever. In 1941, Noble began to build his floating studio out of parts from the vessels he salvaged. Noble would use a rowboat to explore the harbor, taking detailed records of the boats, workmen, and industries that came and went.

Despite his artistic provenance and critical praise of his work, Noble always remained intimate with the people of the coal docks. “I’m with factory people, industrial people, the immigrants, the sons of immigrants. It gives life to it,” he stated. Late in his life, Noble recalled his first compelling views of New York Harbor. “I was crossing the 134th Street Bridge on the Harlem River on a spring day in 1928, and I was so shocked--it changed my life. I was frozen on that bridge, because both east and west of the bridge were sailing vessels. And I thought sailing vessels, you know, were gone... There it was, and I couldn’t eat, or anything; I was so excited.” By the time of his death in the Spring of 1983 - shortly after the passing of his beloved Susan - the sailing vessels he loved were all gone, and the maritime industry in the area had diminished significantly.

Arader Galleries is proud to present John A. Noble’s Dying in the English Kills, Man & Mast #2 (Brooklyn). This exquisite lithograph portrays a mariner atop the mast on a sailing vessel navigating the English Kills, a tributary along the Newport Creek separating Brooklyn and Queens.

Edward Lear- artist, illustrator, author, poet

Edward Lear (12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888) was born in Halloway, England to a middle class family. As the second-to-last of twenty-one children, he was raised by his oldest sister, Ann, due to poor family finances. Lear also suffered from epilepsy and asthma from an early age - illnesses that would plague him his entire life. Lear became a paid artist at the age of 16 when he took a job with the Zoological Society as a “ornithological draughtsman.” He continued his work drawing the private menagerie of the Earl of Derby. His publication, Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidea, or Parrots, came about in 1830, when the artist was 18. His work was favorably received and compared to contemporary artists such as John James Audubon. At the age of 25, failing eyesight caused Lear to give up his detailed ornithological work. He moved to Rome in 1837 in an attempt to bolster his poor health.

For the next 50 years, Lear would travel all over the world exploring; supporting himself through his drawings, watercolors, and writings. His travels included forays in Greece, Palestine, Egypt, India and Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka). While traveling he produced numerous colored wash drawings that he would later build up with watercolor and oil. To share his experiences, Lear kept detailed journals documenting his day–to-day experiences and sketched the local topography. He later annotated his journals, letters, and sketches often purposely misspelling words and adding nonsensical phrases for publication.

Courtesy of 

The Project Gutenberg eBook, A Book of Nonsense, by Edward Lear

Lear passed away at his Italian villa in 1887 from heart disease. Sadly, none of his friends were able to attend the funeral.

Great Britain marked the centennial of his death with a set of Royal Stamps in 1988 and an exhibition at the Royal Academy. To mark the bicentennial of his birth, a range of events have been planned throughout the world on May 18 – International Owl and Pussycat Day – including a Google Doodle depicting the titular Owl and the Pussycat.

Arader Galleries is please to present a rare first edition of Lear’s Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidea, or Parrots. This publication marked the transition from engraving to lithography in natural history works. This work contains 42 lithographs with original hand-painted color. A run of only 175 books were produced, of which only 100 survive today. The quality of this work established Lear’s reputation as one of the best natural history artists of his time.

Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots
London: Edward Lear, 1830-1832
Book Condition: Near Fine
Folio (21 x 14 inches)
Letterpress title-page, dedication leaf, list of subscribers, list of plates,
42 fine hand-colored lithographic plates by and after Lear.
Fine modern half diced calf marbled boards antique,
Please contact Arader Galleries for further details.