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Nature's Harmonic Unity
The rare first edition of Samuel Colman's first book on forms in nature, offered with an extraordinary addition of 2 framed, original, Colman mixed media color drawings on aspects of proportion and beauty, closely related by subject, perspective, and presentation to illustrations and text in the book. The 2 detailed finished drawings with underlying geometric figures and handwritten titles, measurements, and commentary are unsigned and undated, but likely executed ca. 1910-1920. PROVENANCE: Art formerly owned by Caroline Lexow Babcock, the distinguished women's rights and world government advocate, a friend of neighbors of Colman. CONDITION: Book: Good+. Drawing I: Fine. Drawing II: Nearly Fine. Frames: Fine. ORIGINAL DRAWING I: Title: "Congealed Vapor, or Snowflakes. Illustrating the Power of the Dodecahedron Over Beauty." A detailed finished pen & graphite drawing of snow crystals with 5 captioned individual examples in 3 colors, light blue, gold-brown, and black, executed with underlying geometric figures on a mounted sheet, measurements around the peripheries of the examples, title in ink below the drawing, 4 lines of explanation in pencil at the foot, one word-angle-crossed out and replaced in ink with word-form. The drawing isn't reproduced in the book. For related examples, see snow crystal illustrations in Chapter VII on Crystallography (pp 75-89). Condition: Fine. Size: Mounted Sheet (to mat margins): 163 x 143 mm (7.44 x 5 inches). Mat Margins (to frame): 49 mm. Frame: 303 x 271 mm. ORIGINAL DRAWING II: Title: "A Design for a Church Window on the Angles of the Egyptian Triangle of 51 Degrees 30" and 58 Degrees." A detailed finished, mixed media drawing in watercolors, ink, and graphite of a stained glass church window with arch in 7 colors, blue, green, purple, yellow, black, gray, and brown, executed with underlying geometric figures on a mounted sheet with exception of the apex of the arch, drawn on the underlying sheet, and with measurements in margins, penned label below the drawing, title in ink at the foot. The drawing isn't reproduced in the book. For related examples, see illustrated text on Egyptian triangles, pp 45-51 and plate 213, "Baptistry at Siena". Condition: Nearly Fine: minor margin soiling and 2 small top margin spots, likely intrinsic to drawing. Size: Mounted Sheet (to mat margins): 202 x 148 mm (7.94 x 5.8 inches) + Arch Apex (on underlying sheet): 10 x 80 mm. Bottom Mounted Label: 10 x 91 mm. Mat Margins (to frame): 57 mm. Frame: 382 x 308 mm. FRAMES: are identical with a raised black line moulding and gilt inner and outer edges. BOOK FORMAT: Publisher's dark olive cloth boards decorated and lettered in gold leaf with a beautiful floral design after Colman on the upper board. PAGINATION: Confirmed complete; [2] pp, flyleaf blank + [2] pp, b/w frontispiece plate (printed on 1 side of sheet) depicting a cathedral facade design, viii, [2] pp., division sheet, 327 pp with footnotes and index; pp 281-323, appendix notes by C. Arthur Coan; profusely illustrated with 302 captioned b/w reproductions of Colman drawings and designs, many full-page, with 22 plates printed on 1 side of the sheet. (Note, contrary to claims by some catalogers, there are no folding plates.) SIZE: 242 x 204 mm (9.5 x 8 inches). CONDITION DETAIL: Owner Markings: penned name with 1920 date of acquisition top of title-page. Pages: clean: occasional top corner bends from handling. Boards: sun-faded, particularly spine: light tip wear. Gilt: bright. Binding: excellent. COLMAN: painted two of the iconic paintings of the Hudson River School and with his close friend, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and DeForest and Wheeler, established the notable design firm, Tiffany & Associated Artists. Among their collaborations are the 1881 interior design for Samuel Clemens' house in Hartford and the 1882 redecoration of the White House. By the early 1900's Colman was preoccupied with his research & writing on aesthetics and the nature of proportion and he withdrew from commissioned work. "Nature's Harmonic Unity" was his first and most important book. ADDITIONAL IMAGES: by request. 
      [Bookseller: Steven Waldman]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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