Feb 21, 2008 - Sale 2137

Sale 2137 - Lot 223

Price Realized: $ 6,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 8,000
A NICE ASSOCIATION COPY (LITERATURE AND POETRY.) CUNARD, NANCY, Compiler and editor. Negro Anthology made by Nancy Cunard 1931-1933. Copious illustrations throughout. Large, thick 4to, original rough, reddish-brown linen, stamped and lettered in red; very slightest rubbing to the tips, paper flaw to the margin of leaf 64-65, otherwise a very fine copy. London: Wishart, 1934

Additional Details

first edition. One of 1000 copies printed, at least half of which were purportedly lost during the bombing of London. A fine association copy bearing the ownership signature of Guy B. Johnson, editor of the Amsterdam News, one of the longest ongoing African-American newspapers in the nation. Johnson has made a couple of pencil notes, one of which appears in the margin of Nancy Cunard's "Foreward" in which she states "At no time in the history of America have the been so many lynchings . . ." Johnson wrote "Phooey!" On the following page, Cunard wrote "Today in Russia alone is the Negro a free man, 100 per cent equal." Johnson wrote "Practically no Negroes in Russia." Despite Johnson's wry comments, Cunard's Anthology is an extraordinary compilation of writing by and about people of African descent. Contributors include just about every member of the Harlem literati, black scholarly and political communities of the day, with many historical entries regarding the Negro in Africa and the diaspora. The Anthology was dedicated to Henry Crowder, jazz musician and Cunard's lover, ". . . my first Negro friend." The daughter of Cunard Shipping magnate Bache Cunard, Nancy shocked her parents and their peers with her bohemian life in Paris. In 1931 she published a small booklet titled "Black Man, White Ladyship" (see lot 222) in which she discussed race for the first time.