1936 – THE STORY OF THE BOOKWORM – LEARY’S BOOK STORE, PHILADELPHIA – PLATE and BOOKLET
In the early 1990s my bookshop was in Haddonfield, NJ, across the river from Philadelphia. Many of the libraries and collections of books I purchased had an old price in blue pencil on the front pastedown. A sign that the book had been sold at the iconic Leary’s Bookstore- that is how they marked their used books. Also over those years I collected much Leary’s ephemera which I need to get to get to the next “home.” But, I just got into a box from an estate I purchased almost 30 years ago – it was three generations of book collectors. Stuffed inside I found an 9 1/2 inch by 11 1/2 inch envelope addressed to the first generation of collectors. Inside is a copy of THE BOOK WORM sent out to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Leary’s Old Book Store in 1936. This copy (I have my own that I framed years ago) is still in the original glassine, but over time there was some shrinkage to the glassine thus causing some folds on the plate — BUT that is in the margins, and can be matted out easily, in fact my copy the way it is matted you would not see this fault.
AND, really scarce and included is THE STORY OF THE BOOK WORM, a small booklet measuring about 4 1/16 inches by 5 13/16 inches with 8 pages. The frontis is a B&W image of the BOOK WORM plate, and the rear cover a color image of Leary’s Store. Reprinted in 1936 from an article in The Evening Bulletin, laid in is a sheet indicating the recipient would also be receiving a “reproduction in full color of the famous painting.” This family dated (in pencil) almost everything. They received the booklet September 10, 1936. THIS BOOKLET IS EXTREMELY UNCOMMON.
Below you can see the effect the original glassing had on the margins of the plate – easily covered by a mat.