H&W Brochure - page 32-33

Every-Player-Your-Partner System Tallies: Modern Author Series.
New York: Charles S. Clark Company, 1925. Boxed set of 24 unused bridge tally cards,
each 2 x 5 inches folded. Cards printed with twelve color pictorial designs, six for male
players and six for female players, with color-coded silk tassels (white for men, yellow for
women). Housed in publisher’s card box, lightly rubbed, with original bookseller’s stamp.
Pristine set of bridge tallies with a literary theme, featuring streamlined Art Deco
caricatures of bookish types, and identifying each player as one of twenty-four
bestselling modern authors. “EdithWharton” and “Ring Lardner” carry their
reading into the great outdoors; “J.M. Barrie” reads his book in an easy chair while
“Edna Ferber” reads hers in bed; “Ellen Glasgow” spills her coffee at the breakfast
table, lost in her reading, while “HughWalpole” and his book take refuge under
an umbrella. Other writers featured include Zona Gale, John Galsworthy, Gene
Stratton-Porter, and Arnold Bennett. Aimed at the cheerful general reader, the
set reflects a preference for entertaining realism over self-consciously “literary”
experimentation, targeting the middlebrow audience captured by the Book-of-
the-Month Club, founded the following year: no surprise that Ernest Hemingway
dismisses a would-be expatriate writer as “rather vain of his bridge game” in
The SunAlso Rises
. Fine complete set of twenty-four tallies, two cards each of ten
designs, with three cards of one design (a top-hatted dandy reading in the forest),
and one card of one design (the frustrated writer at his desk, surrounded by
crumpled drafts). A delightful literary artifact of the 1920s.
Zora Neale Hurston. Jonah’s Gourd Vine.
Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1934. Octavo, original dust jacket.
Presentation inscription by Zora Neale Hurston. $5200.
Scarce first edition of Harlem Renaissance writer Hurston’s first book.
Gourd Vine
follows a passionate folk preacher whose unchecked appetites bring him
down: “The mountains fell to their rocky knees and trembled like a beast / From
the stroke of the master’s axe.” Hurston began to inscribe this copy to fellow
folklorist HaroldWilliam Thompson, but overlaid the “Dr” with Thompson’s
daughter’s name mid-inscription, presumably at his request: “To / Kate Thompson /
A gold throne-angel / with shiny wings / Zora Neale Hurston.”
Paul Laurence Dunbar; [Paul Robeson]. Lyrics of Lowly Life.
London: Chapman & Hall, 1897. Octavo, publisher’s green cloth.
Frontispiece portrait of Dunbar. Ownership signature of Paul Robeson. $2500.
First English edition of Dunbar’s poems. The son of former slaves, Dunbar was
the first African-American to make a living as a writer; his poetry paved the way
for the Harlem Renaissance. This copy belonged to African-American singer,
actor, and activist Pau
l Robeson. Dunbar’s 1895 poem “Frederick Douglass” is heavily
underscored, likely by
Robeson himself, with an arrow pointing to the
line: “He died in action with his armor on!” Douglass was a mentor to the young
Dunbar, and a lifelong political hero to Robeson, who invoked Douglass’s legacy
in his 1956 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
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