Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1958-1987

Here is another thing that caught my attention a couple of weeks ago. In about four weeks Taschen, in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation will publish a great looking book titled Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1958-1987. It looks pretty awsome and there are a couple of photos that are familiar to collectors of the record covers, Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Liza Minelli, the Sticky Fingers jeans and Ultra Violet are all there. The Ultra Violet shot is interesting to me because i had not seen it before, the only one i’ve seen previously is the one on the back cover of the album. I have no idea if this is a “new” one or if i should just blame ignorance. The book will feature more than a hundred polaroids and supposedly many that have never been seen before. Other people have already written about this book in a better way and with more details than i ever could so i’ll just drop some links below.

Taschen
Vanity Fair
Brooklyn Magazine
Some other blog…

It’s currently available for preorder at Amazon for about $50, i haven’t ordered a copy yet beacause i’m waiting to hear back from local dealers if they will get it. One way or another i’ll get a hold of it though, looks great!

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samples

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25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy / Holy Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother

I forgot one thing in yesterdays little summary, maybe because i’m still shell shocked after finding something Warhol-related that’s even remotely interesting on swedish ebay-site Tradera. This thing is nothing absolutely spectacular but to see anything on that site besides overpriced prints is a very rare thing.

It’s hard enough to find some of Warhol’s dust jackets but for anyone looking for the challenge of a lifetime there are also a couple of privately published books that of course are both incredibly rare and incredibly expensive. Two of these are 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy and Hole Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother. I don’t know more about either of these than any other guy who’s able to use Google but if we start with 25 Cats… it was privately printed and published in 1954 and despite the title it consists of 16 drawings of cats namned Sam and naturally also a drawing of a blue pussy. Fairly good images of them all can be seen here, there you can also get a decent idea of this price of one of these. Ouch! Anyways, a guy namned Charles Lisanby who apparently was a good friend of Warhol’s at the time is credited as the author and from what i understand the reason for this is that he came up with the title. It appears there is also some uncertainty about how many copies were actually printed, the title page or whatever states that the total edition is 190 copies but i’ve read here and there that there might only have been about 150 copies produced. Whatever the case all copies were hand colored and numbered and most of them ended up as gifts for clients and friends. The calligraphy was done by his mother Julia Warhola and apparently Warhol was amused by little errors and imperfections so he didn’t want to correct her misspelling of “name/namned”. And besides that, who would ever think it was a good idea to correct your own mother?

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I don’t really care how many copies that were actually printed but i am a little courius as to how many survived. The wikipedia article on the book mentions that a mere three copies has been located but has no reference or source for one of them. I doubt someone is keeping track and constantly updating that page though, so who knows. Anyways, the auction i linked to above with the images is from 2014, here is another one from 2007 at Christie’s that mentions that the copy is dedicated to Paul Cadmus and here is very recent one from some german auction house called Ketterer Kunst. I can’t read german but with a little help from google translate it seems that last one was not really for the book but instead had all the pages individually framed. So yeah… who knows how many are still in one piece, but there seem to be more than three copies floating around. And needless to say i don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spare, so this thing is not going to happen anytime soon.

It’s a little more tricky to find information on Holy Cats, but the general facts are pretty much the same. This was also privately printed and published but i’m not really sure if this was also handed out to friends and family but i would guess that was the case. This article on Julia Warhola claims the book was published in 1957 as does the “official” or whatever Warhola family site thing. I’ve also seen a lot of “circa 1950’s” but i see no reason to not go with 1957. I’m also not sure about how many were printed, i’ve seen the mention of anywhere between 50 and 100 on a couple of sites but yeah, who knows… Between the covers are (if i counted correctly) 19 drawings of cats and angels and each drawings also has a short little sentence following the same pattern of “some do this or that… some don’t” Or something else that some don’t do… I quite like these texts and think they are pretty witty. Here is a pretty good site with images of all the drawings. Up until recently i actually thought this was also illustrated by Warhol, which considering the title makes me feel a bit stupid. But i’ve now learned that the work is generally attributed to Julia Warhola without any involvment from Andy. I guess that’s of the reason why this book is actually not THAT rare and won’t cost you a fortune. Naturally it’s not something you see on every shelf in every store but for example there are four copies on Amazon right now. Besides being on Amazon the book has also been sold at some “fancier” auction sites, here and here are two old listings from Christie’s and here is another auction from some Phillips site which also included the book A is an Alphapet. I’ve also seen just the cover for the book up for auction at a swedish site here, i was the only bidder at $50 and with an estimate of $400 or so of course my bid didn’t meet the reserve, but i won’t go after that with guns blazing if it comes back up. But it’s always fun and interesting to see Warhol related stuff on swedish sites, especially something as rare and obscure as this.

So… with both of these having the price tags that they do you have to settle for the next best thing. And the next best thing is usually a reissue or reproduction. Luckily there is a facsimile with both of these books included in a little box thing. I’ve seen the set on Amazon and Abebooks for a while and prices usually start at around $100 so in common fashion i’ve been waiting for something to turn up at a bargain price. I don’t keep track of Warhol items on this swedish site Tradera, the only thing i get from there are usually old NES games. Anyways, at the start of the summer i happened to see this box with a starting bid of just $10 or so, and i ended up being the only bidder so i can’t complain. Not a fantastic or thrilling find or item by any means but i do love these pre-pop drawings and i’ve wanted to get the box eventually. So all in all a great deal for a great set of books!

There seem to be two editions of this box, the first being published in 1987 by Random House and then another one published a year later in 1988 by Chatto & Windus which is an imprint of Random House. I have no idea if there are any small differences between the two editions but i would guess they are exactly allike and i got the one by Chatto & Winus, like many other books and editions i think it’s as simple as one US and one UK edition. This seller claims that his copy is numbered and that the facsimile edition, like the original, should be limited to 190 copies. I’ve not seen any mention of this anywhere else and my copy is not numbered so i don’t know if i believe his claims, and who cares anyway… Whatever the case i think both books are pretty cool and i’m happy to add them to the pile!

Ps. I just got word from Frank Edwards that the $9 ticket price for a chance in The Adventure of Maud Noakes lottery paid off and that i was the lucky winner!

Sunday, monday, happy days!

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A summer summary…

Things are usually slow on ebay during the summer so it’s nice, and probably also quite healthy, to be able to put all of the manic updating aside for a couple of months. We’ve also been pretty busy moving to a new place so even if there was something exciting on there i probably would have missed it anyway. That said it still seems that something “big” always happens during the summer months. Two years ago i finally got a hold of the Ratfab record and it was also at that time that i started my book collection, and last year i got a hold of a copy of the Latin Rhythms Boston Pops cover and one or two hard to find books. And this summer was no exception.

Most exciting? Well, i finally put on a pair of pants with really deep pockets and got one of the two books needed to make my collection complete. I’m still waiting on this to be delivered to it’s first location though so i haven’t  gotten my hands on it yet but judging from the images i think it looks pretty good. Can’t wait to see it up close!

esty

And there are more books… First i decided to take a chance on a copy of The Adventures of Maud Noakes which supposedly is the edition published by New Directions. I’ve seen it in my list on Amazon for a very long time but the seller is this annoying place called Betterworldbooks. I’ve been in contact with them a couple of times before and they always refuse to provide images of the books claiming they have such an incredibly massive stock that it’s “impossible” to do so. I don’t know if it’s this place, but if so then granted they have a lot of books but to say it’s impossible, i don’t know…. It seems they are partly doing the whole thing for a good cause though. Anyways, the only advice or information i could get from them was some kind of general rule that if a book was listed as “very good” and originally came with a dust jacket, then it was now also sold with the dust jacket. At least most of the time…. This particular copy happened to be listed as “very good” and started out been priced high enough that i didn’t want to take a chance at it. It has then gradually been marked down or whatever and now being priced at a bargain $9 i figurered i might as well have a look at it. Still waiting on this to be delivered also, so can’t say if i should feel stupid or lucky yet.

Then just a couple of days ago i jumped on another copy of The Strange Case of Lucile Cléry that popped up on Amazon priced at a mere $30. Not quite the bargain i got the first time around and it looked to be in similar condition, so… still a good enough deal to pass on. Maybe somewhere down the line someone willing to make a nice trade will come along.

It’s not all about books though. I’ve also gotten a couple of records among which there is at least one that i pretty excited about. But as with the rest of all this stuff i don’t have my hands on it yet…

More things to come shortly i hope!

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