Sale  741
Lot   205
[MINIATURE ROOM] -- [FLEMING, John (1910-1987)]. Miniature of his 57th Street Library and Gallery. 

380 x 572 mm, encased in a leaded glass enclosure.  With 6 miniature books, numerous miniature "book" models, and miniature furnishings including miniature silver (see below). Provenance: a descendant of John F. Fleming.

JOHN F. FLEMING'S BARONIAL 57TH STREET GALLERY

John F. Fleming began working as a clerk for A. S. W. Rosenbach at the age of 15.  Under Rosenbach's guidance, he advanced as salesman, manager, and was named vice president of the Rosenbach Company in 1947.  After Rosenbach's death in 1952, Fleming purchased a large portion of Rosenbach's collection of books and manuscripts, and he continued business as John F. Fleming Incorporated.

He operated his business out of Rosenbach's former apartment at 322 East 57th Street until his death in 1987, "where he worked in baronial splendor. His office, a 60-foot room with 20-foot ceilings, was hung with tapestries and paintings, including a life-size portrait of the actor David Garrick. He worked at a 20-foot-long Spanish refectory table surrounded by polished oak bookcases" (New York Times, 21 December 21, 1987). According to a 1969 New York Magazine profile of Fleming and his firm, Fleming preferred "buying to selling and has been known to refuse handsome offers from those he considers unworthy of the distinction the particular book confers. The result is 6,000 or 7,000 volumes housed in an apartment/office so large that a Rolls-Royce parked in one corner would be about as conspicuous as a footstool."

MINIATURE BOOKS, comprising:
The Book of Lambspring, concerning the Philosophical Stone.  Bristol: The Lilliput Presss, n.d. Green morocco gilt. LIMITED EDITION, number 80 of 100 copies signed by the printer.

The Bristol Psalter. Bristol: The Lilliput Press, n.d. Illustrated by Richard Pope. Black morocco gilt. LIMITED EDITION, number 79 of 100 copies signed by the printer.

Types in the Cases of William M. Cheney. Black morocco gilt. Los Angeles: Wm. M. Cheney for Dawson's Book Shop. LIMITED EDITION, one of 100 copies signed by the printer.

WATSON, John H., M.D. the Adventure of the Discerning Thespian. Black silver-stamped leather by the Cincinnati Bindery, Inc. Cincinnati: Mosaic Press, n.d.

Pensees Slaves. Geneva: Sro-Kundig, 1986.  Leather wraps gilt.

WHITTLE, Jenny. A Beetle Assembly. Bristol: The Lilliput Press, 1985. Illustrated. Red cloth.

MINIATURE SILVER, comprising:
George III Style Silver Four-Piece Tea Service, with Teapot and Stand, Helmet-Form Creamer, Serving Tray, and Sugar Bowl
George III Style Silver Card Tray
Silver-Gilt Figural Bookends
Empire Style Gilt Metal Mounted Encrier
Silver-Mounted Decanter
Regency Style Campagna-Form Wine Cooler with champagne bottle
Two Mexican Silver Three-Light Candelabra.

MINIATURE FURNISHINGS by Judy Beals, Terry Rogal, and others, comprising: 
Hundreds of model miniature "books"
Wooden Refectory Table
Renaissance Revival Oak Armchair (signed "Ram P.W."?)
George III Library Globe (signed "M.N. King")
Fireplace with Andirons
Regency Style Mahogany Rotating Bookcase End Table 
George III Library Stairs
Glass Vase with flowers (signed Hope Elliott '93")
Renaissance Revival Oak Chair and Footstool (signed "BSV 1983")
Settee (signed "S. Hoeltze 1982")
Wingback Chair and Footstool (signed "J. Beals 1989")
Wooden Canterbury
Brass Floor Lamp
George III Style Mahogany Cellarette (signed "T. Rogal 3/78")
Wooden Cigar Humidor (signed "R. Simms '86")
George III Style Tea Table (signed "BSV")
Wooden Goblet
Gothic Revival Mantel Clock (signed "Alan W[?] 199[3?]", signature and date partially effaced).
(A few glue repairs to some of the furnishings, a few cabinet doors lacking.)

Property from the Collection of an Arizona Estate

  • Estimate$1,500 - $2,500
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