Collection of 46 Books and Ephemera from Norman Forgue of the Black Cat Press, many inscribed by him
by Norman Forgue, Black Cat Press
Chicago: Black Cat Press, Norman Press, 1951. Hardcover. Near Fine. Collection of 46 Books and Ephemera from Norman Forgue of the Black Cat Press. Many inscribed by Forgue, a cofounder of The Black Cat Press in Chicago, a small press that produced literature (notably poetry and prose that was politically to the left). 1. (Anonymous). Christopher Columbus. The Norman Press, nd (ca. 1940). Highlights in American History Number 1. 4pp, color illustrated by Dale Nichols. 2. (Anonymous). John Cabot. The Norman Press, nd (ca. 1940). Highlights in American History Number 2. 4pp, color illustrated by Dale Nichols. 3. (Anonymous). "Dear Diary" Nos. 1-7. The Norman Press, 1942- 43. 7 issues, each reading vertically like a stenographer's notebook and featuring glossy b/w photos on the covers of fetching young women, the "diary entries" in courier font, with illustrations by Barbara Bennett. Also included are 2 postcards. Advertising for Forgue's printing business as well as related businesses of his Chicago colleagues. No copies on OCLC. 4. "Author Unknown." He Is Nothing But A Little Boy. Black Cat Press, 1933. No. 27 of 75 copies. 12mo boards, some shelfwear. Inscribed, "To Jane, a little book for a big girl. Norman W. Forgue." 5. (Anonymous). The Christmas Tree. The Norman Press, nd (ca. 1940). 12mo, stapled wraps, inscribed with the names of the Forgue family, "letter follows." A holiday keepsake. 6. (Anonymous). "Greetin's from a Admirer" Small folded brown sheet hand printed to make 4pp. Done as a keepsake for the Distaff Side Dinner to give to Mr. Frederic W. Goudy on his birthday, printed "by Madeline Forgue with the help of N.F. & A.N., February, 1939." 2 copies on OCLC. 7. (Anonymous). Who Are the Twelve Greatest American Women. Black Cat Press, 1937. One of 500 printed. Sewn wraps, 4pp. 8. Cable, George Washington. The New Arrival. Black Cat Press. Sewn wraps, 4 pp, tanning. No date, ca. 1930s. 9. Concidine, J. Francis. Two Loves, A Poem. Black Cat Press, 1935. Sewn wraps. Copy No. 17 of a limited number, inscribed "for Jane. Norman." 10. Davidson, Gustav. First Editions in American Juvenilia. 8vo, buckram, 29 pp., color title page illustration of either Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer by Paul Hazelrigg. Inscribed, "Jane - look at the title page and skip the rest! Norman" 11. Davis, Frank Marshall. Black Man's Verse. Black Cat Press, 1935. Tall 8vo, black buckram decorated and lettered in silver. "To Jane Hodgins, lest she forget. Norman W. Forgue." Davis moved to Hawaii and figures as an early influence on Barak Obama, as related in Dreams of My Father. 12. English, Harold. "A Greeting to Frederic W. Goudy on his Birthday" from the Immortals. Black Cat Press, 1939. Single tan sheet folded to make 4 pp. 13. Fisher, A. Hugh. Jemshid in Exile and other Poems. Introduction by Walter De La Mare. Black Cat Press, 1935. No. 14 / 150 copies. Tall 8vo, boards, 62pp. 14. Forgue, Norman W. Poorer Richard. Foreword by R. Hunter Middleton, illustrated by Arthur Rahnfeld. Black Cat Press, 1954. Stiff raspberry wraps, 45 pp., illustrated. Smudge on front cover else VG. The author's reminiscences of the printing business in Chicago. 15. -- . Another copy. This one specially bound in half red morocco gilt. Inscribed, "This special copy for Jane, who was once a part of all this. Norman. 12-30- 54." 16. Forgue, Norman. "Purrings" Black Cat Press, 1938. Birth announcement for Forgue's daughter, Stepheny. Single sheet, folded. 17. Forgue, Madeline. Beaten to a Pulp. Black Cat Press, 1937. Sewn wraps, 6pp. 18. Forgue, Stepheny. "Before I Forget, with apologies to Burton Rascoe." Printed by Norman Forgue, 1940, edition of 200. 16mo, boards, 26pp. Written as if from 2-year- old Stepheny Forgue. 19. Forgue, Stepheny. "A Six Month Autobiography." Black Cat Press, 1938. 100 copies. 24mo, sewn blue wraps, 10 pp. 20. Gernon, Blaine Brooks. Lincoln in the Political Circus. Black Cat Press, 1936. 1000 copies. Large 8vo, cloth, dust jacket. Inscribed, "Jane - here is a book from another day…my first 'big' book. Norman" 21. Goudy, Frederic W. "The Type Speaks." Black Cat Press, 1937. 93 copies. Sewn wraps, 4pp. Inscribed, "To Jane, best wishes, Norman" 22. Haas, Irvin. Bibliography of Modern American Presses. Black Cat Press, 1935. 300 copies. Tall 8vo, buckram, 95pp. Light freckling to binding. "To Jane Hodgins, my first bibliography. Norman" 23. Harris, Carla. "The Man in the Smock, from the Memoirs of an ex- Girl Friday." Privately Printed at the Sign of the Gargoyle, 1956. Stapled wraps, 10 pp. Design and typography by Norman Forgue. 24. Harris, Katherine. Winged Thoughts. Black Cat Press, 1937. 150 copies. 12mo, stiff tan wraps, ca. 30pp. 25. Hartman, Frank E. Sonnets. Black Cat Press, 1934. 150 copies. Tall 8vo, cloth backed boards. Inscribed, "To Jane for her Black Cat collection. Norman W. Forgue. 3/26/38." 26. Herndon, William & Rev. James A. Reed. Edited with an introductory note by Douglas C. McMurtrie. Lincoln's Religion…Black Cat Press, 1936. 140 copies. Small 8vo, red cloth gilt, 97pp. Inscribed, "For Jane, this early work. Norman" 27. King, Sherry. "Echo Over The Lethe" Presented to Catherine Angeline. Black Cat Press, 1934. Single sheet, folded. 12-line poem in italics. Some light discoloration and tanning. According to the colophon, "Two Copies of this typographic keepsake designed and printed by Norman W. Forgue at the Black Cat Press, Chicago." 28. Kipling, Rudyard. The Mother Hive. Norman Press, 1939. Sewn red wraps, 28 pp. In similarly mica-specked gray envelope with "Jane" in pen, and in matching red mica-specked larger envelope addressed to Jane Hodgins. 29. Klinefelter, Walter. Illustrations in Miniature. Postal Designs from Books & Manuscripts. Black Cat Press, 1939. 500 copies. 12mo, gray boards, 26 pp. Inscribed, "To Jane who I hope will fill in the illustrations. Norman" 30. -- . Books About Poictesme, an essay in imaginative bibliography. Black Cat Press, 1937. 150 copies. 8vo, cloth backed boards, 28pp. Inscribed, "Jane, a ghost from the past - the books, I mean. Norman" 31. -- . Ex Libris A. Conan Coyle, Sherlock Holmes. Decorations by Dale Nichols. Black Cat Press, 1938. 250 copies. 8vo, buckram gilt, 58 pp. Inscribed, "Jane - this is a collector's item on two counts - subject and illustrator. NWF" 32. Kramer, Sidney. Preface by Frederic G. Melcher. A History of Stone & Kimball and Herbert S. Stone & Co., with a Bibliography of their Publications, 1893-1905. Norman W. Forgue, 1940. 1000 copies on laid ivory. 8vo, red cloth gilt, 379pp, ill. Inscribed for Jane Hodgins from Kramer in 1940, and also, "the publisher adds his thanks for your help. Norman" 33. Larson, Fred T. Wood Engravings. Black Cat Press, 1938. 200 copies. 8vo, cloth in dust jacket. With a foreword by Jewell F. Stevens. Inscribed, "For Jane Peters, who I hope will one day own a set of the originals. Norman" 34. LeGallienne, Richard. Poets and Publishers. Black Cat Press, 1936. 300 copies. 12mo, boards, 36 pp. Inscribed, "To Jane - from, according to this small volume - a knave - Norman" 35. -- . Anarchy in a Library, a fable for socialists. Zonne & Co., Binders, 1936. 500 copies. Design and typography by Norman Forgue. Small 8vo, boards, 20pp. Inscribed, "For Jane - and I hope it causes no anarchy in her library. Norman" 36. -- . The Philosophy of Limited Editions. Zonne & Co., 1936. 500 copies. 12mo, boards. Inscribed, "Jane - from Norman" 37. Lincoln, Abraham. "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand; The Text of this Celebrated Speech…" Black Cat Press, 1936. 140 copies. Tall 8vo, blue cloth gilt. Inscribed, "To Jane for her 'collection' Norman" 38. Lucretius. On Life & Death. Translated in the metre of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat by W. H. Mallock, introduction by Frank E. Hartman, decorations in color by Calvin Brazelton. Black Cat Press, 1936. 150 copies. 8vo, black cloth, leather gilt spine label, 51 pp. Inscribed, "For Jane, with the best of wishes from Norman" 39. Middleton, R. Hunter. Making Printers' Typefaces. Black Cat Press, 1938. 36pp plus plates. 8vo, cloth in dust jacket. Inscribed, "Jane, this was one of the '50 books' Norman" 40. Orton, Vrest. Goudy, Master of Letters. With an introduction by Frederic W. Goudy. Black Cat Press, 1939. 500 copies. 8vo, red buckram gilt, 100 pp, ill. Inscribed, "To Jane, Here was a man - a wonderful man. Norman" 41. Paul, Louis. The Man Who Left Home. Black Cat Press, 1938. 149 copies. This one signed at the colophon by Paul. Tall 8vo, cloth backed boards. Inscribed, "To Jane from Norman" 42. Rein, David. Vardis Fisher: Challenge to Evasion. Preface by Vardis Fisher. Normandie House, 1938. 400 copies. 8vo, deep red buckram gilt, 63 pp. Inscribed, "To Jane - Just because - Norman" 43. Starrett, Vincent. Oriental Encounters, two essays in bad taste. Normandie House, 1938. 249 copies. Signed by Starrett at the dedication. Tall 8vo, orange cloth gilt, 43 pp. In worn slipcase. Inscribed, "This dear Jane is one of my favorites. Norman" 44. Todrin, Boris. 5 Days. Austria: February 12 th to 17 th , 1934. Black Cat Press, 1936. Tall 8vo, red cloth, 44pp. Poetry. 45. Van Dyke, Henry. "Christmas Giving & Christmas Living" Privately Printed, 1934. 150 copies. Small 8vo, wraps, ca. 20 pp. Design and typography by Norman Forgue. 46. Zara, Louis. The Santa Who Was Late. Norman Press, 1951. Wraps. Norman W. Forgue (1904-1985), a lifelong resident of Chicago, started the Black Cat Press in 1932 while working for the Ludlow Typographic Company. Many of his early books owe a debt to the great typographer Frederic Goudy. Forgue was fairly progressive politically and aesthetically and established connections with some of the Midwest's more forward- thinking writers. He was the first to publish books by the African-American poet Frank Davis, for example, who later figured in Barak Obama's early life. In 1961 Forgue began publishing miniature books and the Black Cat Press became acclaimed for those books and known more for their miniatures than for small press items. The items in this collection date back to the earliest years, however, comprising a fine cross-section of books and ephemera - prose, poetry, bibliography, typography, holiday greetings, advertising - from one of Chicago's finest 20 th century small presses, many inscribed to a close friend of Forgue.
(Inventory #: 0083070)
Literature, Arts & Photography, Western Pennsylvania, General Scholarly
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