Excerpt from the catalog of the collection
American Decorated Publishers' Bindings, 1872-1929
by Richard Minsky

The Hollywood Connection

and some bibliographic problems with attribution, edition identification, etc.

Book illustration and cover design evolved with developing technologies, and we see in this example how photography and then the movies were used. Grosset & Dunlap issued many editions of books that were illustrated by movie stills, called Photoplay Editions. The use of images of movie stars to sell books started early on.  This example is particularly interesting because we see the same cover design and text block being recycled with new dust jackets as the same book was used for three movies and three photoplay editions. 

The book has a 1904 copyright, and earliest Stokes edition in this collection is January, 1905.

The Garden of Allah >
by Robert Hichens    

32 illustrations from photographs by Hélène Philippe
New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company
(September) 1907, 21.5 x 14.5 cm.

Dark blue cloth, stamped in light blue, green and gold. Front cover: Desert night scene with starry sky in arabesque border with gold title. Spine: gold title with horizontal matching border. Dingman 139.

The Garden of Allah ^ 
by Robert Hichens
8 illustrations from photos by Hélène Philippe
New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company
(September) 1907, 19.4 x 13.3 cm. 

Biskra Edition. Green cloth stamped in blue, brown and gold. Front cover: Small desert scene with palm trees, gold title and arabesque border. Spine: gold title. Stylistic elements of this unsigned design are similar to other Stokes covers by George W. Hood.

Above: 1907 unsigned design
 (perhaps by Frederick Garrison Hall)

The Garden of Allah was issued in several variants by the Frederick A. Stokes Company of New York. The original 1904 cover design (below) was most likely by Frederick Garrison Hall, as the initial "H" is on the design and Hall did books for Stokes at that time. Grosset and Dunlap also issued a 1904 edition with the same binding as Stokes. Note that the camel in the 1907 image above is the same as the one on the 1904 edition below, without the pedestrians. This supports the attribution of this design to Hall. Additional evidence of Hall's aesthetic can be seen by comparing the borders on the two 1907 covers to Stokes' 1905 issue of The Heart of Lady Anne by A. and E. Castle, which is known to be a Hall design.

The Garden of Allah  
by Robert Hichens
New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company
(January) 1905, 19.5 x 13 cm.
[signed H, likely Frederick Garrison Hall]

Red cloth stamped in brown and gold. Front cover: Two camels, one with rider, and two pedestrians in brown, on brown outline pedestal enclosing gold title. Spine has figure of musician in brown. (reference copy with pigment gone from title on spine). This design was used in many variants for over 30 years on Grosset & Dunlap reprints.

It's difficult to assign accurate dates to the Grosset & Dunlap editions, as they all have no title page date and Copyright, 1904 on the back of the tp. Each edition, however, has a booklist in the back, and by looking up the editions advertised, we can ascertain an approximate date. The dust jackets also have booklists, and they may be updated more often than the lists in the books. Thus we know that DJ 1 below is after 1909 from the other titles on the jacket, DJ 2 is after 1913, and DJ 3 we can place after 1926, as it is the photoplay DJ of that year's film. But we have no guarantee that the DJ's that come from a dealer were originally on the copy of the book they arrive with. Several of these editions, including the 1926 photoplay, were listed in the dealer's catalogue as 1904 editions, because of the copyright date, though that is clearly impossible. 


Above left: Stokes edition published January, 1905 (stated on tp verso) (reference copy).

Above center: 1907 (?) Grosset and Dunlap edition (based on latest title advertised in back).  Beige cloth with black titles, brown images and border. 

Above right: 1909 (?) Grosset and Dunlap edition (based on latest title advertised in back).  Tan cloth with midnight blue titles, dark burgundy images and border. 


Above Left: 1910 (?) G&D edition (based on latest title advertised in back) in blue-gray cloth with dark blue title and dark maroon images and border. This arrived in dust jacket 1 below. 

Above Center: 1910 (?) G&D edition (based on latest title advertised in back) in blue-gray cloth with dark blue title and dark maroon images and border. This arrived in dust jacket 2 below (1912-1916 ?). Note that the type on the cover is slightly bolder and not as crisp compared to the previous copy.

Above right: 1927 G&D Rex Ingram Photoplay edition in green cloth with black title, images and border. This configuration was also used on the 1916 Selig Polyscope Photoplay edition. This copy arrived in dust jacket 3 below.

 Right: Dust Jacket 1 came on a copy inscribed 1914. The image on the cover is taken from the 1907 Stokes edition, and the latest advertised edition on it appears to be 1909. Note that all four DJ's were scanned in their plastic sleeves. >

Below: DJ 2 came on an uninscribed copy similar to the binding and text block of the DJ 1 copy. But DJ 2 has characters on it that appear identical to those in the 1916 film (see photos from the Selig photoplay edition below) but the latest book advertised is 1913. The illustration is signed While/N.Y. v

In 1916 (this copy has an advertisement for Booth Tarkington's Seventeen, which was issued in 1916) Grosset & Dunlap issued a "Photoplay" edition that included illustrations that were stills from the first (Selig Polyscope) silent film version starring Helen Ware, Thomas Santchi, A.W. Filson and Eugenie Besserer, with a dust jacket that was illustrated with a painting based on the movie. As you can see from the stills reproduced in the book, the cover includes characters identical to the actors in the movie. 

So the DJ that came on the other (undated, uninscribed, not illustrated) copy is likely to have been issued after 1916. It does not say "photoplay" anywhere on the DJ, so that image may have been used on other trade editions, but I have also seen a copy of the Selig photoplay edition for sale with this exact DJ. One would expect editions after 1913 to be listed on it, but in 1916 we were in the middle of a World War.  Could this artwork have been done from movie stills made before the film was released?  It's also possible that during the war a new image for this title was added to a "stock" dj due to rationing shortages, and that this was then used to wrap books in inventory to make them appear up-to-date.

Below: DJ 3 came on the green 1927 G&D Photoplay edition, with stills from the 1926 MGM silent film directed by Rex Ingram, starring Ingram's wife Alice Terry and Ivan Petrovich. It is also interesting because the back panel lists only photoplay editions. 

The famous 1936 Technicolor film of this story, starring Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer, was also issued as a G&D photoplay edition with a new DJ and the same stamping on the cloth cover, this time in red cloth with black lettering and images, but without the line border, making it similar to the 1905 Stokes copy, but without the gold title. The endpapers are stills from the film.

This collection includes all the copies illustrated above, including the 1936 version, although it is outside the collection's time frame of 1872-1929. 

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