The Metropolitan Museum's
Bishop Jade Collection
— Very Rare in Commerce —
To view two more pictures establishing scale —
Art Scholarship Luxuriously Presented
Bishop, Heber Reginald. The Bishop Collection. Investigations and studies in Jade. New York: Privately printed by The DeVinne Press, 1906. Folio extra (63 cm; 25 in. tall). 2 vols.
- Heber R. Bishop (1840–1902) was a New York aristocrat who, among other things, was a hunting buddy of Teddy Roosevelt's. He was also the major American collector of Asian jade during his lifetime. His collection went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and forms the amazing foundation upon which all its later acquisitions are built.
Bishop's estate published this massive and important catalogue of his collection as a tribute to his passion. A stellar production from start to finish, it is limited to 100 sets (this being set 100) and was edited by the still famous gemologist George F. Kunz (1856–1932). It has contributions by Stephen W. Bushnell (1844–1908), Robert Lilley (1839–1914), and Tadamasa Hayashi (1853–1906); their essays transcend the specific items and even the collection described to address comprehensive questions of style, medium, technique, and even the mineralogy of the various types of jade. Bishop's executors had the text designed and printed, and the illustrations reproduced, by The DeVinne Press, and ordered bindings by Stikeman.
Very good condition. Some abrading, refurbished.
Illustrations: The two
large heavy volumes offer hundreds of in-text illustrations. Additionally
tendered are a portrait of Bishop and scores of plates representing painstaking
work by numerous artists in several media, including 13 original watercolor
drawings by Li Shih-ch'uan on 6 plates, 36 colored lithographs, 31 copperplate
engravings, and 17 woodcuts.
Binding: Full red, crushed morocco by Stikeman; wide turn-ins, gilt inner dentelles and board edges, moiré silk endpapers. Top edge gilt and other edges uncut.
This gigantic set was ALWAYS very rare in commerce. Upon publication two sets were sent to The Library of Congress to secure copyright and the remaining sets were given to friends, to libraries and museums around the world, and to certain European sovereigns. After publication the type was distributed and all the plates used for printing the illustrations were destroyed.
As our top picture shows — these books, lying on their backs, take an entire broad shelf of their own, and in imagining scale it should be noted that the books on the shelf above are GOOD-sized quartos.
A splendid presence — and studyable, too;
not just splendid.
This set of books "stars" in PRB&M's Adventure
in Bookselling No. 5 —
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