Friday, January 1, 2010


This blog post messes up my new resolution completely -- it covers old and new in one post (I suppose that's not a bad thing...)

The book I'm posting about today is called THE SONG OF SONGS WHICH IS SOLOMON'S.
(see Solomon). This particular edition is a Heritage Press edition published in 1935.

I know -- Heritage Press....groan... not another one of those *** copies.

Well, I'll have you know that OCCASIONALLY Heritage Press did more than slap out mediocre reprint copies of books.  In this case, the book was published in two states -- the aforementioned reprint edition, AND a limited edition which includes a signed original lithograph.

The copy shown above is one of the second.  At the end of the volume, there's also a note: Here ends THE SONG OF SONGS WHICH IS SOLOMON'S. The book is designed and decorated, and the initials illuminated with pure gold by hand entirely, for the Heritage Press by Valenti Angelo.

I've had this book since approximately 1998 (I changed databases around 1999 and my listings all got re-dated at this point, making it very difficult to exactly date books before 2000).  So -- the book has stuck around for a while.

The reason it's lived on my shelves so long?

Because of the condition (and the resultant description). The book had some damage to it that, while not major, was certainly off-putting.

BUT --

At the last book fair in Pasadena, I ended up having a very nice chat with David Weinstein (nephew of the Weinsteins of Heritage Book Shop in Los Angeles) who turns out to be a book restorer. A month later I have a book that has been completely restored and is now in saleable, wonderful condition.

So, now I'm going to update my description of the book and put it on line. 

Valenti Angelo,  

 the illustrator of this book, is a sought after illustrator / artist who not only illustrated books by other authors, but later, became a children's author / artist in his own right. He received a Newbery Honor for his book Nino  in 1939.

Here's the book cover -- it's leather (though I have to admit it's not the best quality of leather binding there is).

If you looked closely at the lithograph at the top of the page, you'll see that Angelo signed his name in pencil on the lithograph and so small that it's easy to miss.

This is a cool book. I'm glad I held onto it for so many years -- AND -- I'm really glad that the restoration done to it makes it a wonderful new addition to my stock.


Anonymous said...

i was digging through some of my old books and have a copy of the solomon book as well...however no extra lithograph that is signed...beautiful book...angelo did a beautiful job..


James Greenberg said...

I've got one, too. Also, without signed lithograph, but beautiful nonetheless. Also, in the back of the book is a review by William D. O'Brien of the World-Telegram.

Jim in Pittsburgh (

srikumar said...


I have one too. It is black leather cover and happens to be one which was issued to members of the Heritage Club, New York. So says the four page note that came along with it.

srikumar, India.

Anonymous said...

In Fritz Lang's "The Woman in the Window" (1944), the main character can be seen reading this particular book just before the plot thickens.