Illustrated Books

An illustration from L'Odyssee de Homere by Francois Louis Schmied, and an illustration from Arthur Rackham's English Fairy Tales
At Bromer Booksellers, we focus on the visual book, with fine images that both enhance narrative and stand alone as independent creations. Among our holdings in this area are costume books, emblem books, examples from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, the fantasy illustrators in the tradition of Arthur Rackham, and modern books with original graphics.
 
We look for the successful fusion of picture with text from any century, any country, and across a variety of artistic movements and media. We are especially fascinated with books of other cultures, and you will occasionally find items such as Japanese illustrated woodblock books and Eskimo tales without words.

 

Season's Greetings catalogue produced by Bromer Booksellers, with cover design by Edward GoreyOne artist we knew and admired was Edward Gorey (1925-2000), quirky, macabre fabulist who wrote and illustrated nearly one hundred offbeat books. He was introduced to millions of Americans through his opening and closing credits for the PBS Mystery series and his Tony Award-winning costume design for Broadway's production of Dracula.
 
We collaborated with him on the publication of two miniature books: The Eclectic Abecedarium (1983) and Q.R.V. (1989). Gorey's prancing teddy bears adorned our 1996 Holiday Catalog. To read more about Anne Bromer's recollections of Edward Gorey, read her post written for the Edward Gorey House blog here.
 
In 2000, we issued a catalog of his original art, books, and ephemera, which was the first, and remains the only, color-illustrated catalog devoted to Gorey's work. We are always interested in purchasing unusual examples of his work, and we continue to offer Edward Gorey first editions and rare ephemera, as well as our two Gorey-related catalogs.
 
Signed and numbered copies of the 1996 Holiday Catalog are available for $65.
 
Book of Common Prayer, bound by Edwards of Halifax, featuring a contemporary fore-edge painting
Revealing a fore-edge painting on a book brings wonder and delight. As you carefully fan and hold the pages, you behold the magical painting that has been created on the tips of the book's page edges. As you release your grip, the image vanishes beneath the gilt edge. This hidden art flourished in England between the late-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth century, and is still practiced today by a few skilled craftsmen. Most early paintings depict countryside vistas or portraits. Modern fore-edge painters treat a wider range of topics and consider the content of the texts they are embellishing. You will find double and even rare triple or wraparound edges at our shop, in both full-size and miniature formats. We were the major purchasers of the fore-edge paintings at auction from the famous collection of Estelle Doheny. We continue to acquaint private and institutional clients with this unusual form of book illustration. For more information on fore-edge paintings, go here.