Notes: A "loose leaf book", issued in a paper clamshell box with original examples of Asian manuscripts and printing, each laid into a paper folder with a brief printed description on the front. An introductory leaf of text by the editor is laid into the box as well. The contents of this set varies somewhat from copy to copy.
In his brief introduction, Brown notes: "The Oriental manuscripts and printed books represented in this portfolio are fairly representative of the progress of the art of writing, and to a lesser degree of printing, throughout Asia." One of 120 copies (there was also a version with additional leaves, limited to 45 copies).
The present set includes 23 leaves in 15 folders, from:
1) A Nestorian Syriac manuscript, 16th century, with a printed leaf from an 1843 Syriac New Testament for comparison;
2) An Armenian catechism and book of prayers manuscript, 1741, with a printed Armenian ritual book from 1831;
3) Hebrew Responsa printed in Istanbul by Moses Kasabi, 1736;
4) A manuscript Koran from Algeria "of comparatively recent date";
5) An Arabic (probably Egyptian) manuscript Koran, 17th century, with a printed work on health and hygiene printed from Arabic type in Cairo in 1833;
6) An Arabic manuscript book of rituals, 16th century;
7) A Persian manuscript of Sufi biographies, Kandahar, A.H. 883 (1478), with a printed Persian textbook leaf from Calcutta, 1827;
8) A manuscript Gulistan in Persian, 1563;
9) A Sanskrit manuscript, ca. 1800, with a leaf from a Sanskrit Bible printed in Calcutta in 1844;
10) A manuscript Sanskrit Mahabharata, ca. early 19th century;
11) Burmese and a Sinhalese Taliput palm leaf manuscripts, ca. 18th century; the Burmese leaf was cut in half and hinged with cloth (now detached);
12) A Javanese manuscript history of Rama, 19th century;
13) Printed Chinese Buddhist sutra of the multitude of silent souls, 17th century;
14) A Chinese Buddhist scripture manuscript copied in Japan in 1449 and a 17th century Japanese manuscript of the Ise Monogatari;
15) Two printed Japanese leaves, one illustrated, from the 18th century.
The printed label on the top of the clamshell box describes this issue in the Foliophiles series of leaf boxes as, "A portfolio of original leaves taken from rare Oriental books and manuscripts. Apart from their picturesque qualities and historic interest, these specimens will indicate the rare beauty of calligraphy throughout the east, whereas printing, as it was with us four centuries ago, is but a humble handmaid. Though complete in itself, this portfolio is one of a series covering the world's literature, both written and printed, from early to modern times."
The clamshell box measures 10 by 13 inches, with the folders inside just slightly smaller.
Edition + Condition: First edition. A complete set of fifteen folders with the enclosed leaves, plus the printed introduction, all laid into a very good box with short splits at the outer joint. This is copy 16 of 200 assembled.
Publication: New York: The Foliophiles, Inc., 1928.
Item No: #362937