Monday, June 27, 2011

Old, cautiously optimistic bookmark

Here's another cool bookmark find, an old souvenir from Portland ME with a cautiously optimistic message. Wonder when it's from?  Most of my bookmarks come from between the pages of books that wander into my shop, but this one I found at a local outdoor flea market, down in Arundel on Route 1.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sea Pieces - charming sheet music

Here's another photo essay for your amusement and enjoyment! This time it is a type of material I rarely deal with, but it was too charming for me to walk away from. It is a paperbound edition of the sheet music collection Sea Pieces, written by Edward MacDowell, featuring a lovely cover designed by P.L. Jung of New York. This edition is dated 1899, and is published by the Arthur P. Schmidt Co., of Boston and New York.

While the cover is attractive, the contents are at least as enchanting. Titles of the piano pieces include To the Sea, From a Wandering Iceberg, Starlight, From the Depths, Nautilus, and In Mid-Ocean.

But Mr. MacDowell's delightful ingenuity does not end there, no sir, no ma'am! If you flip the booklet open, you find each piece sprinkled with such personable requests for the player's fingers as "In unbroken rolling rhythm," "Tenderly," "In languid swaying rhythm," "Ponderously," and "Gradually faster, but without hurrying. Mysteriously." Clearly Mr. MacDowell did not want any wishy-washy, landlubbery players mucking up his pieces' intended execution!

I snapped pictures of several of the most intriguing directions for posterity:

Friday, June 24, 2011

The art of the North Wind

Now and again, a book comes through my hands here at the shop which makes me stop in spite of the hurry of business. Today as I was pricing a 1950 copy of George MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind, I had one of those "stop and smell the roses" moments. The binding of this book, while fairly solid, is not what makes it special. What makes it special (beyond its lovely storytelling) is the series of wonderful illustrations that pepper its pages.

George and Doris Hauman illustrated this edition, and their work is simple, lively, and enchanting without being too airy-fairy, just as it should be. Working in bold but fine black linework, paired with a pale aqua-blue ink to offset it and give shade or color where needed, these pieces are enough to charm any reader.

I thought you all might enjoy seeing some of the pieces as much as I did as I leafed through these pages. You can click on the images to see more detail.
The facing title page
Each chapter heading is graced with a drawing.
Little Boy Blue calls to everything in the woods
"Now let's go and dig for stars."

The Haumans are also the ones who did the illustrations for the 1961 edition of The Little Engine That Could.

Friday, June 3, 2011

TONIGHT! "fast on the ground, fast in the air" art opening

WHAT: First Friday Artwalk! "fast on the ground, fast in the air"
WHEN: opening Friday, June 3 · 5:00pm - 8:00pm, on display through June 2011
WHERE: The Green Hand Bookshop, 661 Congress Street, Portland, ME

Drawings of airplanes and racecars by the inimitable Carlotta Valdez will be zipping into the public for the first time tonight during the Portland Artwalk! Plus, don't miss the grand opening of our new neighbors across the street, the Merchant Company! They're going to be packed with all sorts of nifty art, and tonight they have enough celebratory refreshments and groovy music to keep everyone happy.