Bernard Maybeck’s “Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon”

One of Paul Elder’s most collectible titles, Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon (1915) has often been described as Bernard Maybeck’s only book. It is a slim volume though, coming in at just 24 pages. In it Maybeck describes his approach to designing the Palace of Fine Arts, perhaps his most recognizable building and the only surviving structure from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The text is a revised version of a speech that Maybeck gave to the Commonwealth Club of California. The introduction by Frank Morton Todd, official historian of the Exposition, is as florid and grandiose as Maybeck’s speech is thoughtful and subdued.

In addition to the orange wraps shown below, this title was also issued in a deluxe version with gilt-embossed dark-green leather over boards.

Cover of "Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon"
Cover, "Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon"
Frontispiece, "Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon"
Frontispiece and title page, "Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon". (Not shown: tissue-guard with printed poem)
"Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon", page 10
"Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon", page 10

101 Epicurean Thrills

In 1902, May E. Southworth wrote a cookbook for Elder & Shepard called One Hundred & One Sandwiches. It was sold very well, and Elder asked Southworth to write more. In the 1904 Catalog From a Western Publisher (catalog C20), he writes:

The many who have experienced the gustatory joys of 101 Sandwiches will give a hearty reception to four additional volumes, affording them that multiple of the famous 101 Epicurean Thrills

The four new cookbooks were Salads, Chafing-Dish Recipes, Beverages, and Candies. The five cookbooks, including Sandwiches, were reprinted with a Tomoye Press title page and whimsical cover art by Spencer Wright. They were issued in two bindings: paper wraps, and the “Kitichen edition” of canvas over boards. Elder named the series “101 Epicurean Thrills,” and by 1908 there were twelve titles in the series:

  • One Hundred & One Beverages
  • One Hundred & One Candies
  • One Hundred & One Chafing-Dish Recipes
  • One Hundred & One Desserts
  • One Hundred & One Entrées
  • One Hundred & One Layer Cakes
  • One Hundred & One Mexican Dishes
  • One Hundred & One Oyster Recipes
  • One Hundred & One Salads
  • One Hundred & One Sandwiches
  • One Hundred & One Sauces
  • One Hundred & One Ways of Serving Oysters

In 1914, Southworth followed up the series with a cookbook entitled Midnight Feasts: 202 Salads and Chafing-Dish Recipes.

101 Sandwiches
101 Sandwiches, 1902 cover artwork.
101 Sandwiches
101 Sandwiches, 1904 revised cover artwork, in cloth over boards
101 Salads
101 Salads
101 Chafing
101 Chafing Dish Recipes
101 Candies
101 Candies
101 Candies cover cloth
Alternate cloth cover of “101 Candies”
101 Desserts
101 Desserts
101 Entrees
101 Entrees
101 Mexican Dishes
101 Mexican Dishes
101 Layer Cakes cloth
101 Layer Cakes, cloth over boards
101 Oyster Recipes
101 Oyster Recipes

A Balloon Ascension at Midnight

It would taken the pen of a Carlyle to describe our mysterious flight over Paris at midnight. The impression was so startling that for an hour we never spoke above a whisper.

George Eli Hall’s 1902 story A Balloon Ascension at Midnight is one of my favorite publications from the Elder & Shepard years. Gordon Ross’s color illustrations, including several of Notre-Dame cathedral, immediately sweep the reader back to the Belle Epoque. The book was published in two bindings: paper on boards (below), and green suede with gold trim on boards.

Hall (1863-1911) was born in Nice, France, and was an agent and importer. About 1895 he became the Consul-General of Turkey and Persia in San Francisco. The job evidently included some danger and intrigue: the 8 November 1898 edition of the San Francisco Call, in a note entitled “Lurking Death for Turkey’s Consul,” said that Hall “had been receiving anonymous packages for the past week containing high and deadly explosives. At first the matter did not seem of much consequence to him, but as these munitions of war continued to constitute a portion of his daily mail, he became apprehensive and reported the matter to Chief of Police Lees.”

Cover of "A Balloon Ascension at Midnight"
Cover of "A Balloon Ascension at Midnight"
Frontispiece of "A Balloon Ascension at Midnight"
Frontispiece of "A Balloon Ascension at Midnight". The sculpture is the famous "Le Stryge" on the parapet of Notre-Dame cathedral.
The balloon catches in a tree
The balloon catches in a tree
The balloon soars over the Arc du Triomphe
The balloon soars over the Arc du Triomphe

The Menehunes

Cover of “The Menehunes”

The Menehunes, Their Adventures With the Fisherman and How They Built the Canoe, by Emily Foster Day, 1905. This small volume was bound in Hawaiian kapa fabric, with delightful illustrations by Spencer Wright. The following year, Day wrote another book of Hawaiiana for Paul Elder, The Princess of Manoa. Emily was married to Francis Root Day (1859-1906), a prominent doctor. In 1887 they moved from Chicago to Honolulu, where they lived until their deaths.

Menehunes are popular characters in Hawaiian mythology; they are said to be a race of small people that live in the deep forest, far from the prying eyes of humans. The Menehunes arrived in Hawaii before the Polynesians, and were excellent craftspeople who built heiau (temples), roads, and fishing ponds.

Frontispiece and title page of "Menehunes"
Frontispiece and title page of “Menehunes”
Pages 2-3 of "Menehunes"
Pages 2-3 of “Menehunes”
The decorated endpapers of "Menehunes"
The decorated endpapers of “Menehunes”

Mosaic Essays

Beginning in 1901, Paul Elder compiled and published a series of booklets of aphorisms, each with a separate theme. Friendship was published first, followed by Happiness, Nature and Success in 1903, and finally by Love in 1905. They were quite successful—over 70,000 copies were sold by 1904—so in 1906 Elder reissued the five booklets as a single volume entitled Mosaic Essays. The cover and title page artwork is by Santa Barbara artist Robert Wilson Hyde.

Mosaic Essays cover
Front and back covers of “Mosaic Essays”

There are three known bindings: paper wraps, paper on boards, and leather wraps. The paper wraps edition seen below was issued with a matching presentation box; such a box was probably available with the other editions as well.

Mosaic Essays title
Mosaic Essays, decorated half-title page
Variant leather cover of "Mosaic Essays"
Leather-bound edition of “Mosaic Essays”
Mosaic Essays paper
Paper wraps binding of “Mosaic Essays”



Matching presentation box for the paper wraps edition of "Mosaic Essays"
Matching presentation box for the paper wraps edition of “Mosaic Essays”