Keepers Reserve Press, RC EE 1 to 24 & RC FF 1 to 11.
Notes on browsing the shelves of the National Art Library.

The question of what a book is is not straightforward.

The relationship between the reality of the specific object and the essential reality of the 'book' is something deliciously in flux.

Being confronted with a hand illuminated one-off object of incredible beauty, and contemplating its relationship with the reality with which it shares a name: The Koran.

Holding in my hands an object made in 1748, a rare, seldom read book on physiognomy, then finding it or its twin scanned page by page and available to read on Google Books.

Agonizing about what the most meaningful date of birth for each book would be.

Finding press-cuttings between pages, reading the hand written additions of a past owner, or borrower.

An amazing library like this one is just the place for plunging you in to thought about the push and pull between physical and intellectual existence, between objects and memories.

The following information acompqnies each print sold:


L'Ange Du Bizarre, Suivi D'Autres Contes. 1844

This is book is an example of what known as a Livre D'Artiste, in the mid 20th Century especially in France it was fashionable for artists to illustrate famous works and limited edition books were made, mainly sold un bound.
This is a french translation of The Angle of the Odd and other stories by Edgar Allan Poe, translated in to french by Charles Baudelaire, and illustrated with Aqua tint prints by the French artist Edouard Goerg (1893-1969)


Manifestes Futuristes. 1909 - 1923

A bound collection of 17 different Futurist manifestos, mainly in french translated from the original italian. plus several copies of a Futurist periodical from 1922.There are separate manifestos for different aspects of futurism including those for and on: Painters, musicians, the technique of futurist sculpture, the technique of futurist literature, futurism and philosophy, sound art, painting with sound, noise and smell, futurism and music hall, the theatre of surprise, geometry and mechanics, a manifesto against english art, this section has and english translation and includes a flyer for a noise art concert at the london Coliseum in 1914 at which Marinetti, The leader of the movement gave a talk and Luigi Russolo conducted his sound art compositions.


Lettres Philosophiques Sur Les Physionomies. 1748

This book is a 2nd edition. The form is a collection of letters on the philosophy of physiognomy, The study of character by an analysis of the appearance of the face, by Jacques Pernetti, a priest and Cannon at Lyon Cathedral and Guillaume Hyacinthe Bougeant a jesuit historian.


De venerandis imaginibus sententiae SS. Patrum a sancta generali Synodo VII comprobatae. 1562

This book has been rebound and the spine and beautiful marbled cover are more recent than the pages. It is an edition on divine images, by Saint John of Damascus who was writing in the 8th century against the Byzantine policy of iconoclasm. The main body of the text is in ancient greek. At the end of the text there is a section of biblical quotes each of which is printed in latin Greek and Hebrew.


A Welcome to Alexandra, A Welcome: to Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales from the Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson Baron. 1863

There is a spelling mistake on the spine of this binding the binder has put Alexander where it should be should be Alexandra.
This is a book celebrating the marriage of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the heir of Queen Victoria, to Alexandra of Denmark. The London born Welsh artist, architect and designer Owen Jones(1809-1874), who was important figure involved in the formation of the V & A has illuminated Tennysons text and it is reproduced in chromolithography by Day Son.


A folder containing publicity material about the political posters of the Ukranian American artist, Paul Peter Piech(1920-1996) who lived most of his life in Wales. Including an original lino-cut exhibition poster for a exhibition titled John F Kennedy 'Profile in Courage'.


RC EE 8 and 9

L'Heresiarque. 1959

A collection of short stories by the french surrealist poet Guilliame Apollinaire(1880-1918), with Illustrations by the French artist Jaques Ramondot(1928-1999). Another livre d'artiste, published by Les Francs-Bibliophiles. There are two volumes one with the illustrated text, RC EE 9 the other, a set of prints by Jaques Ramondot including 3 etchings all numbered 6/12 and an original ink drawing.

RC EE 10

Descriptive Inventories of the Various Services of Plate c. Belonging to the Crown, in the Several Royal Palaces, and also of the Plate in the Several Royal Chapels in England. Taken by Command of His Most Gracious Majesty William IV. 1832

A book precisely listing and describing every item of table ware owned by the crown, from soup tureens and cutlery, to communion cups and salvers. It is arranged according to the palaces where the items were and their usage, for example one section is titled 'Luncheon at St James'. It is grandly bound for the 'Board of Green Cloth', this book was part of the Royal Household, and is inscribed by the King, William IV.

RC EE 11

L' Architettura di Leon Batista Alberti: tradotta di Lingua Fiorentina da Cosimo Bartoli. Con la Aggiunta de'disegni. 1565

The Architecture of renaissance polymath, humanist, priest Leon Batista Alberti, translated into the Florentine italian dialect by Cosimo Bartoli. The book is illustrated with many drawings plans and diagrams.

RC EE 12

La Prima Parte, Delle Vite, Overo Fatti Memorabili D'accuni Papi, et di tutte I Cardinali passati. Di hieronimo Garimberto Vescovo Di Gallese. 1567

A biographical work by Gerolamo Garimberto about Popes and cardinals, with the coat of arms of a Cardinal on its binding. Each paragraph starts with a printed illuminated letter which was a tradition that carried on for a while after the invention of the printing press

RC EE 13

La Gamme D'Amour. 1929

This book is an edition about a ballet written, composed and designed in 1907 by the Belgian artist James Ensor(1860-1949). The book contains colour lithographs of all the costumes by James Ensor, as well as an out line of the scenario and the full musical score.

RC EE 14 to 16

Bradley's Dictionary of Miniaturists, three volumes. Volume 1,1887. Volume 2, 1888. Volume 3, 1889.

A dictionary of miniaturists, illuminators, calligraphers, and copyists : with references to their works, and notices of their patrons, from the establishment of Christianity to the eighteenth century / compiled from various sources, many hitherto inedited.

This is John W. Bradley's own annotated copy of his Dictionary which gives biographical and critical information about the artists and crafts people who made the small images of Christian subjects that you find in contexts such as the earliest illuminated manuscripts, and other christian texts. These volumes were presented by his daughter after his death to Sidney Cockerell. The volumes are full of relevant material added by Bradley held between the pages: press cuttings, letters, illustrations cut from books, postcards, etc.

RC EE 17

Mr. Chesterton Comes to Tea. 1978

Mr. Chesterton Comes to Tea: or How the King of England Captured Redskin Island, written by Aidan Mackey to accompany sixteen hitherto unpublished pencil drawings by G. K. Chesterton, with an introductory essay on Chesterton as artist by Richard Ingrams. This copy is number 27 of a limited edition of 370 and is signed by Aidan Mackey and Richard Ingrams.

RC EE 18

Vida, Martyrio y Translacion de la Gloriosa Virgen y Martyr Santa Leocadia. 1591

A life of the martyr Leocadia by Miguel Hernandez. She was the patron saint of Toledo, where this book was published.

RC EE 19

The Private Press in Leicestershire 1976
by Ann Morris
Information and bibliographies for no less than 23 Private Presses in the county, active between 1970 and 1976. Published by the Plough Press.
1 of 500 copies

RC EE 20

Le Royaume du Printemps. 1913

A novel by Gabrielle Reval, with decorations by Raoul Dufy. Inscribed by the author.

RC EE 21

De Humana Physiognomonia. 1586

A first edition of an illustrated book in latin about human physiognomy (see RC EE 3) by the renaissance scientist and dramatist Giambattista Porta(1535-1615) De Humana Physiognomonia has been republished many times and has been translated into many languages. The illustrations mainly feature comparisons between human and animal faces

RC EE 22

Accueil 1958

Another Livre d'artist, the text contains 6 prose pieces by the French surrealist author Rene Crevel(1900-1935) it is illustrated with aqua tints by the American surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning(1910-_)
60 numbered copies printed, signed by Dorothea Tanning

RC EE 27

Reponse pour le sieur Basset, Graveur Marchand Mercier: contre les Sieurs Esnauts Rapilly, Marchands Etaleurs D'estampes. 1779

This binding contains the volume with the above title: A pamphlet in which Basset an engraver and dealer in haberdashery, is attacking Esnauts Rapilly, publisher of the famous 'Galerie des Modes' an 18th century fashion magazine, and actual pages of Galerie des Modes. The nature of the dispute is possibly indecency or could be plagiarism, or some other business matter.

RC EE 28

Aubrey Beardsley Zeichnungen. 1964

A monograph on the English artist Aubrey Beardsley(1872-1898) the book has many reproductions of Aubrey Beardsley's drawings, introduction in German by Franz Blei printed in Berlin.

RC EE 31

Tracts on English Handwriting, Oxford 1926-7, With Supplementary Letters Addressed to Sydney Cockerell and Others

This book is a private binding combining two books: S. P. E. Tract No. XXIII, English handwriting, with thirty-four facsimile plates and artistic and Paleographical criticisms by Roger Fry and E. A. Lowe and S. P. E. Tract No. XXVIII, English handwriting, Continued from Tract XXIII with thirty-one additional Edited by Robert Bridges, With Notes on Penmanship by Alfred Fairbank. The two books have been rebound such that alongside the facsimile plates real letters by the same hand have been inserted, these letters are mostly addressed to Sydney Cockerell, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, who presented the book to the V and A.

RC EE 32

Washi, The world of Japanese Paper. 1978

A book all about Japanese paper by Sukey Hughes, including samples of many different types of paper.

number 293 of a limited edition of 1000

RC EE 33

Picturesque representations of the Dress and Manners of the Turks, Ilustrated in Sixty Coloured Engravings with Descriptions. 1814

The Illustrations are coloured prints made from drawing made by Octavian Dalvimart while he was in Turkey, has chosen 60 categories of Turkish men and women and illustrated each with a drawing reproduced in color of one or two figures. The text is atributed to William Alexander, in the books there is no direct mention of an author however the publishers introduction states that the descriptions were drawn up using following authors as sources : Mouradja D'Ohsson, Mr. D'Herbelot, Mr. Olivier, Mr. Tott, Mr. Montague, Mr. Tournefort and the research of the illustrator Octavian Dalvimart.

RC EE 34

Pan-Pipes. 1883

A Book of Old Songs, Newly Arranged With Accompaniments by British composer, singer and poet Theophilus Marzials, Set to Pictures by influential English children's book illustrator Walter Crane(1845-1915), Engraved and Printed in Colours by Edmund Evans.
2nd edition.

RC EE 35

Proverbial Sayings, Being some Old Friends in NEw Dresses. 1901

This is a picture book with comic illustrations in color of proverbs by English artist and Illustrator Gordon Frederick Browne (his father illustrated Dickens books). Engraved and printed at the Raquet Court Press by Edmund Evans, 1901
(This book is in a envelope on the shelf)

RC EE 36

The History and Antiquities of the City and cathedral Church of Hereford: Containing an account of all the inscriptions, epitaphs, etc upon tombs, monuments, and graves-stones. With Lists of the Principal Dignitaries and an appendix consisting of several valuable original papers. 1717

This book is by English clergyman and antiquarian Richard Rawlinson, the title is pretty explanatory. The main body is in English and the apendix is in Latin. It is Published by R. Gosling and It includes a list of other books from the same publisher.

RC EE 39 a, b c

Catalogue Raisonne des Tableaux, Sculptures, Tant de Marbre que de bronze, Desseins et Estampes des Plus Grands Maitres, Porcelaines Anciennes, Meubles precieux, Bijoux, et Autres Effets qui Composent le Cabinet de seu M. le Duc de Tallard. 1756

Theses three books are each rebound copys of the same auction catalogue by Les Sieurs Remy and Glomy, A, is annotated with prices, and includes illustrated frontispiece and marbled end papers, B lacks the frontispiece and end papers but includes an extra printed list at the end of lots sold 27th April to the 13th May and is heavily annotated, including prices by Pierre Jean Mariette, C has marbled endpapers, the illustrated frontispiece and gilt foredge (the surface created by the edges of the pages when the book is closed is gilded). It is interleaved with blank pages which have been annotated with prices and names of buyers.

RC FF 2 and 3

Tableaux, Pastels et Dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir

A 1954 reprint of the 1918 book of reproductions of Pastels and Drawings by the French artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). Compiled by Ambroise Vollard (one of the most important art dealers in early 20th century France)


The Green Box

This is an artists book made by the Artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) Printed 1934 this copy is number 88 of 300.

The green box contains 93 documents: facsimiles of notes, sketches, diagrams and photographs, connected to the making of: La Mariee Mise a Nu par ses Celibataires Meme
(The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors Even) also know as The Large Glass


La Mer Des Histoires

An illustrated encyclopedia and history of the world.

This is a French free (loose with changes and editions) translation of the Rudimentum Novitiorum, an encyclopedia of the world, first printed in 1475. Neither the author of the latin work nor the french version is known.

The first editions of La Mer Des Histoirs were printed in 1488, this copy is from 1543

This book contains two maps which are thought to be the first printed maps to try and show places and countries topographical relation to each other, one of the world the other of palestine


En Cage et en LIberte, The Caged and the Free.

Writtern and illustrated by the British (Hungarian/Irish parentage) artist, Basil Rakoczi (1908-1979)
The text is printed in english and french, the french translation being made by Bernard Citroen
The book is unbound and is one of an edition of 100 containing several color lithographs all signed and numbered by the artist.

Livre d'artist
Printed in Paris1955



A bestiary is an illustrated book describing mostly animals and birds but also other natural phenomina, such as rocks, they became popular in the middle ages, and were also a popular subject for the livre d'artists of the mid 20th century.

this Bestiary is Illustrated with original wood cuts, and etchings by the Polish artist Abram Krol (1919-2001)
The text is an extract from De Proprietatibus Rerum (On the Order of Things) a 13th century encyclopedia by Barthelemy de Glanvil
Although often described as a Bestiary De Proprietatibus Rerum includes information theology and astrology as well as the natural sciences)
Livre d'artist


An early 19th century hand illuminated Koran
From Kashmir, India.
There are incredibly intricate illuminations in predominantly gold, blue and black, with a little pink and red.
The cover is hand painted lacquered papier mache with a floral design
between 1800 and 1850

RC FF 10

La Fontaine Fables. 1955.

Another Livre d'artist. Some of the Fables by La the famose French Poet and Fablist Fontaine(1621-1695) illustrated with original Lithographs by the Swiss artist Hans Erni(1909-).

RC FF 11

Candide: Ou L'Optimisme.1948.

Another Livre D'Artiste, This copy of the famous novel by the French writer and philosopher Voltaire(1694-1778) is illustrated with original black and white lithographs by the Spanish artist Antoni Clave 1913-2005

Charlotte Mann for Clariant, Artist's statement.

Why would Clariant, who's business is the chemistry of colour choose an artist who's work is entirely black line on a white surface?

I was thrilled to be invited to make this wall drawing because the deliberate absence of colour, which is a central element in this commission, touches at the very core of what motivates me. Clariant appreciated that this deliberate absence of color from the form of my work correlates not to an indifference to or dismissal of color but to the importance played by the subject of color conceptually, in my work.

I am aiming through my work to engage with the physical presence of a conscious being in an environment, the most essential element, the perceiving person is never drawn. That presence can only be provided by the viewer. That is the basic rule around which my practice is formed, and other decisions follow from it. As my work has developed, a set of rules have emerged, intended to let the subject be what it is, without the distraction of an imposed subjective interpretation.

1) No effects of light, no shadows, no clouds, no weather.

What I'm interested in drawing is the physical, technical identity of objects, from a leaf to a cog, I photograph everything from as many viewpoints as I can, and wherever possible I draw directly from the physical object. What I'm trying to get at is the "this-ness" of my subject matter, so I strip away light and shade and all other atmospheric effects in order to concentrate on the material form.

2) No frozen movement.

In terms of experience and thought, time and it's passing is a subject I'm very much engaged with, but in order for it to be experienced solely in the body of the viewer and their spatial relationship to the work as they move through it, I can't allow any indication of movement, there will be no airplane in the sky, the shape of any piece of fabric will be solely dictated by gravity and friction, there will be no floating or billowing. Neither must the transience of the perceptual moment be represented in the form or appearance of the work, again this comes in to play only in the body of he viewer.

3) Scale is derived from a one-to-one picture plane.

I'm fascinated by the paradox of attempting to represent an environment with depth, life-sized but in two dimensions. The question of scale therefore is always based on the viewers physical proximity.

4) Vanishing points follow the viewer.

The same is true of how perspective functions in my drawings. There can be no single, fixed point of view, so perspective is resolved for each object or grouping or area. Looking at the work, especially the long walls such as the Clarient commission, becomes a combination of seeing the wall as a whole and scaning across the surface.

5) Make the objects physical.

Before I draw something I like to fully understand what it is and does, to hold it, feel it, walk round it, explore it. Im as, perhaps more interested in how something feels than how it looks. I need to experiance my subject through all my senses'. I like the challenge of dealing with these issues, with restricted means, two rather that three dimensions. I would love to be able to activate the physical, tactile experience areas of the brain through a pared down, two-dimensional visual trigger. The work is not finished until it is being experienced bodily.

These rules create an environment I can work in, they are not my subject in themselves, alongside feeling the tension of their nesesity I break all of them some of the time.

Tina - An installation by Charlotte Mann, in collaboration with Peter Jensen.

The Peter Jensen Spring/Summer 2007 collection: Tina was inspired by the American photographer Tina Barney. Charlotte Mann drew the back drop for the catwalk show of this collection, an 108 foot long black marker pen, line drawing, a life size recreation of the atmosphere of an interior from a Barney photograph.

Every element of this drawing, each plate, picture frame, armchair or can of coke was drawn from photographs in the book 'Theatre of Manners', although the point of view from which we see these elements in the drawing, and the way in which they are compiled is an invention of Charlotte's imagination. Through this process of making life size drawings directly from the experience of looking at the photographs Charlotte became incredibly familiar with the places, people and objects in the Barney photographs.

This installation is something that has grown out of that initial piece of work, especially that feeling of knowing the rooms of Barney's photographs so well. This knowing is made particularly tangible by the physicality of drawing life size: each object is handled in the imagination then set on paper according to the scale of the very hand doing the drawing, and the space is measured by the body of the person who is doing the drawing. Again these drawings are made in black marker pen, working from the photographs via the interpretation of imagination. This time the subject matter has a more direct connection with particular photographs: The main inspiration being Ada's Interior. The figures that inhabit this space are taken from other photographs (The Son, The Cousins, The Pink Lemonaid) but instead of wearing their own clothes they are all wearing items from The Peter Jensen Spring/Summer 2007 collection.

In Barney's photographs there is a distinct sense of the look of a thing. The objects, people and places she photographs feel looked at, seen and known. known with intense familiarity. However different the environment of the viewers home is from the homes in Barney's photographs the feeling of familiarity will be familiar. This installation is about the experience of being somewhere, somewhere real, peopled with real people in real clothes.