(New York: [Printed at the Devinne Press for] The Century Co., 1908). 220 x 200 mm. (11 3/8 x 7 5/8"). xix, , 548 pp. PRESENTATION COPY.
Tasteful contemporary grayish-brown crushed morocco, gilt, by The Atelier Bindery of New York (stamp-signed on verso of front free endpaper), covers with double gilt fillet border, raised bands, spine compartments framed by plain rules, large acanthus leaf cornerpieces, small fleurons at sides, gilt titling, turn-ins with gilt fillets and floral roll, gray-brown watered silk endleaves, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. With a black & white illustration in the text, three maps, one full-page, and 100 PLATES, two of these folding, 20 in color, many with lettered tissue guards. Front flyleaf INSCRIBED BY KUNZ: "To Miss Julia Halsey Munson, with the compliments of the senior author George F. Kunz / New York July 10 1913." Sinkankis 3690. Just a hint of shelfwear, but A SPLENDID COPY, entirely clean, fresh, and bright internally, in a virtually unworn binding.
Printed the same year as the first edition, this is the beautiful luxury edition of a book said by ANB "to be the best work ever published on pearls," and our copy has distinguished provenance, being presented by the author to Tiffany jewelry designer Julia Munson. Considered the greatest American gemologist, George Kunz (1856-1932) began studying minerals on his own when he was unable to afford college, and went to work for Tiffany & Co. in 1879 as a gem expert. He assisted collectors like J. P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, and Irénée du Pont with acquisitions for their personal collections, and served as honorary curator of precious stones for the American Museum of Natural History. He wrote widely on gems: according to ANB, "he made the world of gems, jewelry, and minerals exciting and interesting to the public (especially those gems known today as semiprecious, which were virtually ignored before his efforts on their behalf), a legacy that survives to this day." Sinkankis has high praise for our edition, saying "this beautiful example of modern book design, executed in high quality materials, is prized not only for the enormous amount of reliable information that it contains, indeed still unmatched in any work since, but also for the large number of high quality illustrations in black and white." No doubt it was also appreciated by the person to whom it was presented, jeweler Julia Munson (1875-1971), who ran Louis Comfort Tiffany's jewelry workshop from 1902 until 1914, and organized the firm's exhibit at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Tiffany and Munson worked closely with Kunz in designing jewelry made with the unusual gemstones--tourmalines, lapis lazuli, turquoise, moonstones, opals--that Kunz enthusiastically promoted. (ST16508)
Add to Cart Price: $2,500.00
PJP Catalog: 78.220