WITH 22 BEAUTIFUL ETCHED PLATES OF NEW YORK STREETSCAPES, ONE OF ONLY 50 COPIES SIGNED BY ARTIST BERNHARDT WALL
WALL, Bernhardt. Greenwich Village Types Tenements & Temples. New York: Privately Printed, 1947. Quarto, original half maroon cloth, pictorial cover label, uncut. $2300.
Signed limited edition, number 17 of only 50 copies signed and numbered by Bernhart Wall on the title page of this collection of 22 etchings of Greenwich Village signed in the plate by Bernhardt Wall.
"Artist and historian, Bernhardt Wall was a pioneer etcher and producer of fine press books who treated a vast array of subjects… Historians of fine press printing have compared him to William Blake" (Texas A&M, Berhardt Wall Collection). Greenwich Village reveals both the range of his interests (Wall was better known for his work on the Civil War and the Southwest) and his obsession with printing. Wall was a printer and re-printer, continually seeking perfection in the appearance of his plates, even as he courted failure with his experimentation. This, the last limited edition of Greenwich Village, shows Wall, finally as in control of his technical ability as his talent, producing a memorial to a New York lost during the decades spent attempting to capture it. This work has a complex publication history. Its first manifestation was evidently as a set of 10 etchings of Greenwich Village in 1920. The first edition with this title appeared in 1921; the only known recorded version of several presumed states is the so-called "third state," which was limited to 50 copies and collates identically with the present edition. A 1930 limited edition also preceded this edition, but was limited at 26 copies when the zinc plates immediately began to deteriorate.
Plates lovely, front inner hinge expertly repaired, light wear mainly to extremities of binding. An exceptionally good copy.