Sunday, August 6, 2017

Some more snapshots and scans of my photoplay book collection

My last post, featuring some snapshots and scans of my photoplay book collection, was so well received that I decided to reprise it with some more images. This is a visual bouquet, but I will add a few comments here and there.

These first four images of various book spines all contain some interesting detail, like the swastika symbol on The Squaw Man, the portrait of director Rex Ingram on the Scaramouch, the three movie stars on Imitation of Life, and the notation of "Billie Burke Edition" on The Mind the Paint Girl.

This book, Tess of the Storm Country, is not a photoplay edition, just an old illustrated book. BUT, it is signed by the author and the star of the film made from the book. That makes it unusual. To me, it is curious that this book was signed and dated three years after the film was made. I haven't been able to track down anything on "John A Thomas".

Here are a bunch of attractive covers from some swell films. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea describes itself as a special "Submarine Edition."

I am especially pleased to have found a number of small press books, or books not published by Grosset & Dunlap or A.L. Burt, the usual publisher of photoplay books. Here are some examples.

And then there are these cherished Baby Peggy books. I adore this diminutive actress and her films, and am honored to know her. And yes, she did autograph my books.

Here are a few that caught my eye when I found them. Chances are I purchased these in some old dusty bookshop, or from Emil Petaja, who sold off much of his collection long before I got to it. The "Photo Drama Edition" of The Eagle's Mate (pictured below) has an illustrated binding as well as pictorial end papers. Nifty! 

And here are some other favorites. Besides Thomas Hardy, I also have a couple of Willa Cather and Edith Frome photoplay editions.

I will end with this pic of three softcover photoplay editions (published by Jacobsen Hodgkinson), followed by two in the "Little Big" series (published by the Saalfield Publishing Company of Akron, Ohio).

p.s. A few years back, I mounted an exhibit of some of my film related books at the San Francisco Public Library. The exhibit was called "Reading the Stars," and I wrote about it on the San Francisco Chronicle website, SFGate. Check out my article HERE. It contains a few more nifty illustrations.

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