Fine printing - The collection M.B.B. Nijkerk and K.J. Nijkerk (part 3)

A magnificent collection of modern typography and fine printing

Martinus Benjamin Barend (Bob) Nijkerk (1894-1987) and his son Karel Joost Nijkerk (1926-2007) were prolific collectors of modern typography and fine printing. Bob Nijkerk’s friendship with many of the major authors, illustrators, printers and publishers of his time lead to the publication of various finely printed books. Many of these books bear witness to his friendship with for example Alexandre A.M. Stols, Arthur van Schendel, G.H. ‘s Gravesande, Jan Greshoff, John Buckland Wright and Jan van Krimpen: they come with an autograph dedication to him, or are printed on his name. In other cases, the provenance of these books can be linked directly to his friends: they were sold or presented to Nijkerk or bought by him from their collections at auction. Both father and son Nijkerk often searched for years to find the best copy available in the market, not only in terms of quality, but also in terms of exclusivity. Only the best editions were suitable for their collection, with equal attention given to the artist, illustrator, typographer, printer and binder involved. In this way, the collection can be seen as a fine survey of the state-of-the-art bookproduction of the twentieth century in continental Europe.
Father and son Nijkerk were active in various bibliophile societies, but they also acted as maecenas for a large number of private presses in the Netherlands, Belgium and in France. The books published by these societies and presses were sent to them on a regular basis. In many cases, Bob and Karel Nijkerk collected almost the entire oeuvre of the authors they knew personally, and were not satisfied until they got all their books in the best available edition.
It is difficult to underestimate the influence of Alexandre Stols on Dutch 20th century publishing, and Bob Nijkerk often contributed financially to the projects of Stols. His loyalty to Stols’s publishing house can be seen as the conditio sine qua non for the Halcyon Press series. Nijkerk not only bought all the books published in these series, but he even bought different copies of the same title, in increasing levels of luxuriousness.
The large quantity of deluxe copies in Bob Nijkerk’s collection and his personal enthousiasm to talk about his books soon led to the interest of museums and organizers of exhibitions of books in The Netherlands, but also abroad. Many of the books here offered have been exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (from 1930 onwards) or at the World Fair, New York in 1939. Nijkerk’s warm relationship with the Stedelijk Museum eventually lead to a permanent loan of many of his books to the museum. Nijkerk, who was of Jewish origin, managed to make a ‘fictitious donation’ of many of these books during World War II, in order to prevent their seizure by the German occupier. In the collection on offer, some copies still have the ex libris of the Stedelijk Museum in it. It was pasted in the books in order to mislead the Nazis: by presuming that Nijkerk had donated them to the museum, they couldn’t be confiscated. In fact, many of these copies were returned to him after the War.
When the War was over, the literary world in Holland had changed immensely. Bob and Karel Nijkerk remained active as bibliophiles, and continued their focus on typographie pure and its new representatives in Holland. It is with great pride that we present the second part of their collection in this catalogue.


Dutch historical avantgarde typography (incl. photographs)

Dutch historical avantgarde typography - The Piet Zwart collection of Johan Venema (with additions from other properties)

An important part of the collection of Dutch historical avant garde typography offered for sale in the current auction consists of works by Piet Zwart (1885-1977). These works are collected by Johan Venema (1940-2013), a passionate collector of graphic design from the period between the two World Wars. This auction follows the series of 6 auctions with works by Zwart from his personal archive organized by us in the years 2013-2016, and comprises, beside the inevitable overlaps, an interesting supplement to these sales, i.a. featuring three higlight from the rich oeuvre by Piet Zwart: the cinematic Delft Kabels booklet (1933), a deluxe copy of the NKF catalogue (1928) and the extremely rare complete copy op the Normalieënboekje (1924-1926), by many considered one of the most important works by Zwart. Added to the Piet Zwart collection of Johan Venema are works by contemporary kindred typographers/ designers like Henny Cahn, Gerard Kiljan and Paul Schuitema, as well as works by artist related to De Stijl: Theo van Doesburg, Vilmos Huszár and Bart van der Leck.


Works on Paper from the ABN AMRO Collection (part 8) – INFORMATION and SEARCH

Auction no.66 includes the eight (and final) part of Works on Paper from the ABN AMRO Collection. The works by modern Dutch artists are included in the section "Modern art. Prints, drawings, watercolours, paintings", which will be auctioned on Thursday 1 June at 10.00 a.m.

All lots with works from the ABN AMRO Collection are marked [Coll. ABN AMRO] at the end of the description of the lot and can easily by found by entering the term "ABN AMRO" in the search field of the current auction.


WE AUCTION AN AVERAGE OF 200 to approx. 250 nos. PER HOUR

WIJ VEILEN GEMIDDELD 200 tot circa 250 nrs. PER UUR