Rare Illustrated Books

    Member of ANZAAB - Australia

    Antiquarian Art Children's Books Classics Fine & Rare Books Illustrated Books

Rare collector’s books of international interest from 1850 - 1950. We buy and sell. Fine condition paramount.

We specialise in art books, architecture and design books, gift books, photo books and children’s books. Our stock is selected from around the world and includes limited editions, original photographs, drawings, watercolours, paintings, and ephemera. At Rare Illustrated Books, we see books as beautiful, tactile objects, as wondrous amalgamations of art & design. Our philosophy is focused on promoting the book as a work of art.

Founded in 2001, Rare Illustrated Books has grown to become one of the best-known specialist dealers in the Southern Hemisphere. We enjoy close working relationships with our clients, private collectors, libraries and institutions, and relish the opportunity to find books, expand libraries, and offer guidance in relation to restoration, conservation and insurance. Rare Illustrated Books is a Sydney based firm.


Illustrated Seed Catalogue & Garden Guide
HORTICULTURAL CATALOGUE & PRINTER’S SAMPLE Attractive dummy catalogue from horticultural printers, George Bishop, issued as promotional material to develop new custom. This is an actual horticultural catalogue with detailed botanical information with the lithographed wrappers, a sample to show to prospective customers the fine quality of their printing and the high style of their design work. Large octavo, 25cm, bound in highly decorative illustrated paper wrappers printed in colour, 41 pages, engraved illustrations throughout. A lovely copy of a scarce item.
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Les Quatre Livres de l'Architecture d'Andre' Palladio.
Rare French language edition of Palladio's famous Quattro Libri dell' Architettura, published in Paris by Edme Martin in 1650. This edition was the last to be printed from the woodblocks of the first Venetian edition of 1570. Prosaic practical advice for architects, not builders, hence an expensive book. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Printing and the Mind of Man, no. 92 (listing the second edition, with the same plates as here). A very good copy with splendid provenance from the Berlin Royal Library (with stamp to title-page). Leading architects of the day would have consulted this very copy.
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Forty-six fine watercolours by Francesco Novelli elegantly bound in a nineteenth-century album.
An exquisite suite of watercolours, including a beautiful series of scenes documenting a Venetian commedia dell'arte troupe, by the Italian artist Francesco Novelli. Francesco Novelli (1767-1836), one of the preeminent artists of his generation, lived in Venice where he was best known for his outstanding book illustration. He enjoyed a long and successful career that culminated in the landmark editions of Don Quixote (1819) and Gil Blas (1820). Novelli is also known for illustrating works such as the Fasti Veneziani (1794), hinting at his abiding interest in the theatre and performing arts.
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Gustav Klimt's 'Eine Nachlese'
An uncommon and unusually luxurious portfolio of prints after original oil paintings by Gustave Klimt. Although Klimt was not a printmaker, the publishers of this album were painstaking in their diligence, reproducing the detail, colour, and challenging tonality of his work in these thirty fine photogravure plates. Portfolio of 30 photogravure prints, some colour, and ten letterpress leaves (including title-page); each leaf measuring 480 x 460 mm., housed within the original publisher’s green cloth folding case (some wear); a fine set.
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Society of Artists, Selection Committee, 1907
Beautiful photograph of the Society of Artists selection committee having a picnic on the floor of the art gallery in 1907 picturing (from left to right) Julian Ashton, Mrs Norman Lindsay, Harry Weston, Will Dyson, Norman Lindsay, Young Souter, Sydney Long, and D.H. Souter. The panel of watercolours on the wall was the first ever exhibited by J.J. Hilder. BIBLIOGRAPHY: This photograph was reproduced in "The Story of Australian Art" by William Moore, (Angus & Robertson, 1934, Vol.1, page 171) and "The World of Norman Lindsay" edited by Lin Bloomfield (Macmillan, 1979, page 115).
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Original watercolour from "Pearl Pinkie and Sea Greenie" by Pixie O'Harris
A rare offering of a beautiful watercolour by Pixie O'Harris painted to illustrate the publication "Pearl Pinkie and Sea Greenie" (1935) Early works such as this one rarely come to market. A vibrant and exciting underwater tale, beautifully illustrated by Pixie O'Harris with her characteristic charm and grace, "Pearl Pinkie and Sea Greenie: The Story of Two Little Rock-Sprites" is a dainty little piece of fantastic story-telling. As an artist, Pixie O'Harris was Sydney's contribution to the Ida Rentoul Outhwaite "Elves and Fairies" school of illustration.
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RUSKIN, John: "Of Queens Gardens"
Published in Edinburgh and printed by the Ballantyne Press for George Allen, 1902. In this exquisitely well-printed book, Ruskin eloquently discusses the proper education of women, among other things. Drawing examples from literature and poetry, from the work of romantic poets like Dante Rosetti and great playwrights like William Shakespeare, Ruskin argues for the moral superiority of the fairer sex, and, at the mercy of his velvety prose, Ruskin's picture of the ideal woman shows a beautiful and nurturing domestic goddess. Elegant typography composed within decorative floral borders.
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Peg Maltby: "Playing in the Snow" (original watercolour)
Vibrant watercolour by British Australian illustrator, Peg Maltby (1899 - 1984). Peg Maltby, née Agnes Newberry Orchard, worked in England as an illustrator of chocolate-box lids before emigrating to Melbourne where she became a member of the Victorian Artists' Society holding successful exhibitions of her watercolours in the 1930s and 1940s. Maltby rose to fame with the publication of 'Peg's Fairy Book', published by Muffetts in 1944 and selling over 180,000 copies in five editions. Note the rare inclusion of a native koala in the composition.
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