The Dog's Tooth

    The Dog's Tooth is the wiki of the Special Collections unit of Memorial University Libraries. It will be updated regularly with news about acquisitions, donations, exhibits, lectures and other happenings in Special Collections, as well as interesting pickings and choosing from literature about special collections, book history and bibliography. The wiki title refers to the medieval practice of burnishing gold leaf illumination with a dog’s tooth.


    Recent Acquisitions (2013): Miniature Books

    1. Koran. Glasgow: David Bryce, c. 1900). (824)pp. 1.0"x 0.75"

    From the collection of Hannah Rabinowitz, with her miniature bookplate to the front paste-down. Printed entirely in Arabic and representing one of the most famous of all David Bryce publications, these Korans were distributed to Muslim Ottoman soldiers fighting for the allies during World War I.
    Printed on thin tissue paper, with minute headers and ornaments throughout. Re-bound in red morocco with gilt decoration to the spine, and in a matching red morocco slipcase.

    2. The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments. Glasgow: David Bryce, (1901). 876pp. 2.0"x 1.25"

    Jointly published with Henry Frowde in London. A later edition of the smallest complete bible in the world, first published in 1896, and later under various imprints.

    Bound in the original limp black leather, with elaborate gilt-stamping to front panel and spine. Housed in the original metal case with a red cloth inlay to the cover that holds a magnifier.

    Contains full-page illustrations of biblical scenes.

    3. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Glasgow: David Bryce, (1904). 509pp. 2.0"x 1.25." With the additional imprint of Frederick A. Stokes of New York. One of a set of Shakespeare's complete works issued by David Bryce and dedicated to British stage actress Ellen Terry. Bryce published a number of literary sets dedicated to Terry, and according to Bondy, these volumes are "Bryce's greatest achievement as a leading promoter of miniature books." With the seldom-seen original printed dust wrapper.

    As Bondy notes, the type is clear and readable to the naked eye. Illustrated with a frontispiece engraving depicting a scene from the play.

    4. The Life of General Tom Thumb. Troy, NY, Merriam, Moore & Co., (c. 1850). 64 pp. 2.0" x 1.5". From The Tiny Library series.

    Illustrated with a black & white frontispiece. A biography of Charles Stratton, known as General Tom Thumb, intended for children. Stratton was the smallest man in the world at the time, and became a celebrity while touring the world with P. T. Barnum and performing at Barnum's American Museum in New York City. The biography is followed by rhymes and a short moral tale. Contemporary owners' inscriptions to front endpaper and paste-down.

    5. Burns, Robert. Saturday Night and Other Poems. Edinburgh, Andersons, (c. 1925). x, 372pp. 2.0" x 1.5"

    Illustrated with a black & white frontispiece depicting the Cottar returning home from his day's toil. A collection of Robert Burns's poems, focused on the experiences of the common people, bound in red, blue, and green silk tartan. With gilt leather lettering piece on the spine.

    6. Auslander, Joseph. [St. Onge, Achille J.] Five American Immortals. Worcester, 1940. 3.0" x 2.0"

    One of 475 copies printed by D. B. Updike at the Merrymount Press. Illustrated with original uncancelled postage stamps featuring portraits of the five poets under consideration in Auslander's text: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, James Whitcomb Riley, Walt Whitman, and John Greenleaf Whittier. The stamps were issued as part of the Famous American Series of Postage Stamps. This is the third book produced by St. Onge and is one of only two titles published in an edition numbering under 500 copies.


    Alcuin Society Book Design Awards 2012

    The Alcuin Society's 2012 Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada have been handed out and a selection of the winning titles will be on display in the main lobby of the Queen Elizabeth II Library from Nov 13-Dec 13, 2013. More information about this year's winners can be found on the Alcuin Society website.

    Memorial University’s Queen Elizabeth II Library’s First Space Gallery is currently hosting an exhibit of printers’ marks from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The marks have been selected from the holdings of Archives and Special Collections. A link to an online version of the exhibit may be found here. The exhibit runs until December, 2013.


    Three display cases containing thirteen books and broadsides from the outstanding Locks’ Press (Kingston, Ontario) are on display this spring in the main lobby of the Queen Elizabeth II Library. The pieces on display are: Fame‘s Trumpet: Twenty Rhymes; Know Thyself; Poem about Nothing; Alison; Autolycus’s Song; Hymn to Hephaistos; Deor’s Lament; The Legend of St. Laura; Farewell Ungrateful Traytor; Winter; “We work in the dark…”; Svmer is Icumun In; and Ulisses and the Syren.


    New Catalogue

    Medieval Manuscripts & Early Print Works at Memorial University highlights twenty-six manuscripts and print works from the holdings of Archives & Special Collections and the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.

    Recent Acquisitions

    1. Wither, George. A Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne. Quickened With Metricall Illustrations, both Morall and Divine: And disposed into Lotteries, That Instruction, and Good Counsell, may bee furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation. London: Augustine Mathewes/Henry Taunton, 1635-34.

    Frontispiece (above). The work contains 200 fine circular engraved emblems by Crispin de Passe the Elder that were first published in Gabriel Rollenhagen's Nucelus Emblematum Selectissimorum, Cologne, [1611] (see below for example).

    “Wither divides the 200 plates into four parts, each of which is accompanied by a "Lotterie" of 56 verses referring to the various plates. These, when combined with the two woodcuts on the last leaf form a fortune or character-telling game of chance. By spinning the two pointers the player is directed to one of the four books and then to one of the 56 chances which in turn relate to the 50 plates, numbers 51-56 being blanks. Some of the chances are labelled "M" or "W" and relate exclusively to men or women; if you land on the wrong one for your sex then you take the next chance: ‘This Game occasions not the frequent crime, Of Swearing, or mispending our our Time; Nor losse of money: For the Play is short, And, ev'ry Gamester winneth by the sport. Wee, therefore, know it may as well become The Hall, the Parlor, or the Dining-roome, As Chesse, or Tables; and, we thinke the Price Will be as low; because it needs no Dice.’” The above text is from the dealer's description. See below the "two pointers."


    2. Fortunetelling. Warsager Kunst. [Frankfurt]: [Christian Egenolff], 1541. [36] pp.

    Title woodcut from Fortunetelling (above). The pamphlet also contains 48 smaller woodcuts (sample pages below).


    3. Luther, Martin. Ain Trewe Ermanung Zu allen Christen Sich zu verhuten vor Auffrur unnd Emberung. [Augsburg: Melchior Ramminger, 1522]. 20 pp


    4. Greiffenberger, Hans. Ein christenliche Antwordt denen, die da sprechen das Evangelio[n] hab sein krafft vo[n] der Kirchen verlegt mit götlicher Geschrift auff das kürtzist zu trost den Christen inn Christo. Hanns Greyffenberger. [Bamberg: Georg Erlinger, 1524]. [8] pp.

    5. Exquemelin, Alexandre Olivier. The History of the Bucaniers of America; from the first original down to this time; written in several languages; and now collected into one volume.: I. The exploits and adventures of LeGrand, Lolonois, Roche Brasiliano, Bat the Portuguese, Sir Henry Morgan, &c. Written in Dutch by Jo. Esquemeling, one of the bucaniers, and thence translated into Spanish -- II. The dangerous voyage and bold attempts of Capt. Barth. Sharp, Watlin, Sawkins, Coxon and others in the South sea / written by Basil Ringrose and examin'd with the original journey -- III. A journal of a voyage into the South sea by the freebooters of America from 1684 to 1689 / written in French by the sieur Raveneau de Lussan, never before in English -- IV. A relation of a voyage of the Sieur de Montaubon, capt. of the freebooters in Guinea in the year 1695, &c. The third edition. London: Newborough, J. Nicholson & B. Tocke, 1704.

    One of seven folding engraved maps:

    6. Cerati, Antonio, Count. Le ville Lucchesi con altri opuscoli in versi ed in prosa di Filandro Cretense, Pastor Arcade (pseud.). Parma: Dalla Stamperia Reale [Bodoni], 1783. Printed within ornamental type border throughout; fine, thick paper, uncut and partly unopened.


    7. Swammerdam, Jan. Miraculum naturae sive uteri muliebris fabrica. notis in D. Joh. van Horne prodromum illustrata, & tabulis, ... Adjecta est nova methodus, civitates corporis ita praeparandi, ut suam semper genuinam faciem servent. Ad illustriss. Regiam Societatem Londinensem. Leiden: Apud Cornelius Boutesteyn, 1679 (1672).

    First edition, reissue of the 1672 gatherings with new title page. The image below is one of three large folding engraved plates of female reproductive organs.