Los Gatos, California: The Cats [Privately Printed by Edwin & Robert Grabhorn], 1929. Boynton, Ray. First and Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of "approximately" 200 copies, octavo size, 91 pp., inscribed by Charles Erskine Scott Wood and signed by Sara Bard Field. Very good +. Item #20072401
A chronicle of the wedding in 1929 of Katherine Field (b. circa 1907 - 2003) to James Caldwell; making this book noteworthy is the lengthy inscription opposite the title page, written by Charles Erskine Scott Wood, signed by him and dated 1930, which is also signed by his wife, Sara Bard Field, the mother of the bride, Katherine Field.
Wood and Field, who met in 1910 (having been introduced by Clarence Darrow) became a couple in 1918 and would finally marry in 1938. Sara Bard Field (1882-1974) was an untiring and noted suffragist and social reformer, as well as a poet. Sara became sensitive to social issues around 1902 and quickly became active; when she and her first husband moved to Oregon she joined the Oregon College Equal Suffrage League and was the only paid organizer for the suffrage movement in Oregon, traveling and speaking around the State. After divorcing her husband in 1914, she moved to Berkeley where she joined the San Francisco Political Union, a radical splinter group of the National American Woman Suffrage Association; she would become a national figure in the movement and, while becoming a published author in 1927, would remain socially active her entire life.
Charles Erskine Scott Wood (1852-1944) was equally as socially conscious as his wife; a West Point graduate, he participated in the Nez Perce War of 1877 and was present at the surrender of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce - they became life-long friends and Wood became an advocate for Native American causes. He became a prominent attorney in Portland, Oregon, where he became known for defending labor unions and other "radicals", including Margaret Sanger, the birth-control activist. Wood himself became a noted author of the day as well as a well-known landscape painter; he and Field lived from 1925 onwards in a home they built in Los Gatos named "The Cats", where would gather around them friends such as Chief Joseph, Eugene Debs, Robinson Jeffers, Margaret Sanger, and John Steinbeck.
This chronicle of Sara Bard Field's daughter is told in a lovely, loving style and is replete with references to personages both in the book world (such as Albert M. Bender) and in the San Francisco of the day (such as the famous chef Guiseppe Coppa, of Coppa's Restaurant, San Francisco). This copy is not only inscribed to the bride and groom by Charles Erskine Scott Wood and Sara Bard Field, but must have been used during the ceremony itself, as written in ink at the bottom of p. 64 is "Then I read the following"....
A lovely example of the work of the inimitable Edwin and Robert Grabhorn fairly early in their career (with them being mentioned in the text itself), and with an opening chapter headpiece by Ray Scepter Boynton (1883-1951), one of the artists who painted the murals in Coit Tower.
___DESCRIPTION: Green laid paper over limp boards, paper spine label with black lettering and decorations, inscription on the verso of the second flyleaf being a full page opening with "To / Kay & Jim this account / of their own wedding is / lovingly inscribed by / The Chroniclers...", signed by both Charles Erskine Scott Wood and Sara Bard Field and closing with "The Cats - Los Gatos California / 1930", the title page simple with the title itself, the text with an illustration on the opening page by Ray Boynton, surrounded by a border of red lettering with "The Cats, Los Gatos California, 1930"; octavo size (8.75" by 5.5"), pagination: -89, [90, blank] [91, printer's device - Grabhorn device "O"].
___CONDITION: Volume overall near fine, the boards mostly clean with a few scattered spots of light soil, the corners unrubbed, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and other than the inscription and direction on p. 64 (both referred to above) entirely free of prior owner markings; some light edgewear to the head and tail of the spine, the spine label sunned, and the aforementioned few spots which prompt us to grade as very good plus.
___CITATION: Grabhorn Press bibliography no. 123, Printer's Device "O".
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
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