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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Newnham-Waugh Collection Label


I found this label for the Anthony Newnham Collection of Evelyn Waugh mixed in with a batch of William D. Wittliff items I bought last month. I'm not sure yet what it was doing hanging out with the Wittliff ephemera, nor do I know of any relationship this collection or label may have with Bill Wittliff. I suspect, though, that he designed the label.

The label indicates a library collection, measures one inch by two, and was likely a prototype or copy of the design already in use. Its simple, tasteful design features a facsimile signature of Evelyn Waugh, and the abbreviated Colln., with the "n" in superscript.

This collection resides in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin where Wittliff ran his Encino Press. Depending on the year of the donation, this might add support to the assumption of a Wittliff design.

From the HRC link above, the paragraph on this collection states:
Manuscripts of all of Waugh's novels (except for two), much correspondence, and the entire contents of Waugh's personal library, including some of the furniture and works of art, arrived in Austin in 1967. The Ransom Center's collection of Waugh first editions was completed in 2006 with the addition of his suppressed pamphlet An Open Letter to His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster (1933), thought to exist in only a single copy. The Anthony Newnham collection of Waugh provides an additional layer of bibliographical depth.
I can't find any specifics on Newnham's donation, but it very likely consisted of first edition books. Newnham was a well-known and respected bookman on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Larry McMurtry, in Books: A Memoir, provides some background and a bit of color commentary on the personality and life of Anthony Newnham, who had worked in Austin for Franklin Gilliam at the Brick Row Book Shop:
Anthony Newnham, by contrast [to Gilliam], was a Byronic Englishman who, in the fullness of time, married something like nine women; these unions produced I don't know how many children. With the onset of pregnancy Anthony's interest in a given wife was likely to go into sharp decline....

Anthony knew nineteenth-century English books and autographs as well as any dealer I've known. For a time he had his own bookshop on the Isle of Wight, but he allowed Franklin to move him to Austin, where he produced a string of excellent catalogues with a heavy emphasis on the nineteenth century. Anthony was a very disciplined man, and energetic to an extreme, whereas his partner, Franklin, liked to wander around in his bathrobe drinking tea all morning, after which he would get dressed and amble off to a leisurely lunch; then he might catalogue a few books for his long a-building Southern catalogue, have a martini, and proceed to a long dinner, during which, well into the second or third bottle of wine, he would usually nod off....

Anthony Newnham tended mainly to marry against type. His first wife, I am told, was a proper English housewife -- thus, in America, he usually went for wild, drug-taking motorcycle girls.... He was a very attractive man, even though, for a time, he had no front teeth, these having been knocked out by a cricket ball when he was nine. He lost his bridge and, for some years, didn't bother to replace it.... All along he kept on marrying and siring children he could not support. Finally he went back to England, a child-support fugitive.... He fell dead, I'm told, while lifting a wineglass to his lips -- an ideal exit, all things considered.

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