Charles van Sandwyk: A Guide for Collectors: 2008 to present
Charles van Sandwyk is one of my absolute favourite artists, and I have prepared the annotated bibliography and list of Charles van Sandwyk publications below as a guide for collectors. After I started adding in some sample pages from the books (you can click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the images), the page started getting too slow to load, so I have had to split it into two parts. This is the second part, covering publications from 2008 to the present. I recommend starting on page 1 of the collector’s guide first if you came here through another link!
The publications list below now also includes a mini-gallery for many of the books, just click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images. Some of the books also have links to video reviews and more in-depth dedicated posts if you’re interested in knowing more.
References used in preparing this bibliography include assistance from private collections (particular thanks to John and Florian for generously sharing their wealth of knowledge and photographs of rare pieces), the University of British Columbia Library, the Bruce Peel Special Collections at the University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University Special Collections, the Heavenly Monkey and Folio Society publishers’ websites, the Joyce Williams Antique Prints and Maps Gallery, and of course Charles’ own CVS Fine Arts website and Instagram account. Please note that all artwork is copyrighted by the artist and reproduced here for cataloguing purposes (and, let’s face it, some minor drooling).
Collector’s guide last updated 16 October 2020.
Charles van Sandwyk - The Annotated Bibliography, 2008-present
About the book: Mr Rabbit cannot sing, so he becomes a conductor and arranges the wonderful sounds of nature into a stirring symphony.
Green card cover featuring French flaps, hand-sewn pages, calligraphic text and 11 tipped-in watercolour illustrations. Included a folded “frolicking frogs” bookmark.
24p, 17cm x 22cm, printed offset. 2000 copies.
About the book: An Autumn poem about elfin revellers.
Calligraphic text & six watercolour illustrations. Two hand-sewn, doubled folded sheets with deckled edge, gilded title mounted on front page, bound with hand-dyed rainbow ribbon, including ribboned bookmark with a poem printed in sparkling gilt on a red tag.
“If visions of Fairyland dance in your head, then tie this old tag to a post on your bed. Your dreams will be rich and your heart will feel light as you wake up refreshed from the cool autumn night.”
Issued in paper wraps with red or grey-green background to the title. 8p, 18cm x 19cm, printed offset. 2000 copies.
About the book: A centenary celebration expanded limited edition of the earlier volume, the first of a small collection of “cherished tales” produced in this format by the Folio Society.
Hand-bound in quarter vellum, blocked on the spine in 22-carat gold, with vellum tips and paper sides blocked in three shades of metallic foil. Each copy contains a limitation spread with a signed tipped-in etching, hand-printed under the artist’s supervision. New illustrations were created for this edition (adding to those in the standard edition), with this edition containing 16 tipped-in colour plates, with gold edges and borders. Forty new pen-and-ink drawings have been added, including chapter heads and tails, and charming hand-drawn captions. New endpapers showing an architectural plan of Toad Hall have been printed by letterpress. The calligraphy has been printed letterpress by the Logan Press.
Gilded top edge, 280 pages. Book size: 13″ x 9¾”. Presented in a cloth-bound solander box with gilt lettered title label. Limited to 1000 signed, numbered copies and 30 additional hors commerce numbered in roman numerals. The 30 Artist’s Copies are numbered with Roman numerals. Several copies also include a full-page original drawing by the artist.
A very amusing 4p illustrated letter ‘from Toad’ by CvS was released by the Folio Society as part of its prospectus and advertising campaign – see the ephemera page for more details.
About the book: “Thoughts on how our forebears live within us.”
Marbled cover and two full-page letterpress engravings. Featuring hand-sewn pages.
18p, 25cm. Printed offset. Trade edition limited to 2000 copies.
About the book: “Thoughts on how our forebears live within us.”
Gilded cover and letterpress engravings on hand-made Italian paper (Nideggen mould-made, St Armand hand-made and Firenze Manani paper).
Featuring hand-sewn pages and an additional original etching of ‘Three Generations” signed by the artist.
18p, 25cm. Limited to 199 numbered copies.
About the book: A poem about Canada, “sending love to the natural landscapes and animals of Canada“.
An introduction by Waisiki Doughty is presented in the form of a folded typescript letter, tipped onto the verso of the upper wrapper. The main text is a poem inspired by Canada, and the illustrations are of various Canadian animals, including bears, beavers, and a cougar.
Featuring French flaps, hand-sewn pages, calligraphic text & watercolour illustrations, including a two-page centre spread. Issued in two states, with either beaver lodge or bear art on the cover. 24p, 18cm x 26cm, printed offset. 2500 copies.
About the book: A visit to a fairy market, dedicated to the “the everlasting memory of Arthur Rackham“.
Featuring French flaps, hand-sewn pages, 7 tipped-in illustrations and 6 tipped-in watercolour plates.
12 p, 21cm x 26cm, printed offset. 2000 copies.
About the book: A piece about various toads, including ink drawings, a short poem on green paper, and two copper plate prints from the animal wisdom collection.
A handmade book with marbled brown and green paper cover. 11p, 17cm x 24.5cm.
A copy of this work is available for viewing in the Bruce Peel Special Collections, who also kindly provided the images used here.
About the book: A reminiscence by the artist on his book ‘A Selection of Neighbourly Birds’.
A handmade book, with marbled orange and brown paper cover. 11p, 16.5 in x 5 in.
A copy of this work is available for viewing in the Bruce Peel Special Collections, who also kindly provided the images used here
About the book: The title is taken from a line from Charles’ earlier work Sketches from the Dream Isle of Birds: “The birds are above, the fish are below, and we are betwixt and between.”
This is a descriptive catalogue produced to accompany the 2011 UBC exhibition of the same name that explored some of the connections between van Sandwyk and the artists, writers and teachers who inspired his artistic career.
Features French flaps and hand-sewn pages. Trade edition limited to 2000 copies.
About the book: The limited edition of Betwixt and Between. Featuring French flaps, hand-sewn pages. Also includes a signed etching of a bee holding a candle and a book. Limited to 100 signed and numbered copies.
About the work: A musical CD by Charles and his band the Brandywine Boys, with cover and interior art by Charles. Contains the following songs:
1. Grandfather’s Clock (4:33)
2. Quality Time (4:36)
3. Healing Hands of Time (4:56)
4. The Imperial Clock (5:30)
5. Stardust (4:31)
6. Finale / As Time Goes By (1:06)
About the book: A collection of illustrations of tiny magical creatures. A miniature accordion-folded page book closed with a paper band, under which a signed and embossed leaf is laid. Accompanied by a leaf cutout of marbled paper, embossed with veins, signed by the artist.
Some copies are titled “for tiny hands” and some are titled “for little hands”. 9p, 62mm x 43mm. Limited to 35 signed and numbered copies.
About the book: “An Ode to the Wisdom and Forbearance of Owls.”
A poetic ode to the wise old owl with various owl illustrations (and one painter mouse).
Dark green or wine-coloured wrappers featuring French flaps, hand-sewn pages and 15 illustrations, including a foldout triptych reinterpretation of “Life is Art” from 1997. Some editions predominantly feature green internal pages and some wine-coloured pages.
18pp. 16 x 23 cm. 2000 copies.
About the book: A whimsical book featuring two poems (“Fortress on the Hill” and “I Believe” as well as a ‘hidden thought’ sewn in underneath the dust jacket. The book is full of literary tricks, such as the subtitle printed backwards on the title page (i.e. in mirror writing).
Maroon coloured paper wrappers and marbled end-papers, text block consists of a single gathering, with a ‘hidden’ folded printed card sewn in.
8p, 9in x 6.5in. 2000 copies.
About the book: A signed limited edition in green wraps, with a signed and numbered copperplate etching of “Crow with Field Guide to Humans” tipped in. Green and gold marbled end papers.
9 in x 6.5 in. Limited to 125 copies, numbered on a ‘literary mouse’ bookmark.
Charles van Sandwyk and the Children’s Literary Tradition by University of British Columbia, illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk
Publication: University of British Columbia, 2013
About the book: An exhibition catalogue for the UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections exhibition, held on 1-31 October 2013. 20p, 9in x 6 in. Limited edition of 100 copies.
About the book: “The Untold Tale of Bartholomew the Green (Cousin to our beloved Father Christmas) who left the Comforts of Antarctica to Help Restore an Old-fashioned Christmas to a Wayward and Needy World ‘translated’ by Charles van Sandwyk“
Featuring metallic gold endsheets, 16 pages of illustrations and 24 pages of text. Seven watercolour and 8 ink drawings printed on three papers. Matt gilt endpapers with a repeating holly sprig design. Four colours of foil stampings shine on on the cherry-red cover. 44pp, 16cm x 23cm, initial print run of 1500.
About the work: An original poem by the artist, printed in two colours as a keepsake for the Alcuin Society’s Annual General Meeting on 9 June 2014.
“The Alcuin Society is proud to announce that its Annual General Meeting will have a special guest in the person of Charles van Sandwyk […] The dreamy, ethereal feel of his work, evocative of old print, gives his illustrations a distinctive, compelling style. The participants to AGM have the unique opportunity to receive a limited edition keepsake designed by Charles himself for this occasion.”
4pp, 16cm x 23cm. Limited edition of 70 signed and numbered copies.
About the work: An expansion of the earlier Alcuin keepsake. Includes a two-page poem with two interior illustrations of dragons and books. Contains six bookplates and five (rather than four) bookmarks (all with different illustrations), as well as a bookplate containing a short poem.
Metallic gold card sleeve with tipped-on illustration on front. 4pp, 16cm x 23cm. Two printings each limited to 100 sets (the reprint has only one illustration and bookplates are on white paper).
A separate non-limited edition collection of these bookmarks and bookplates is also available (see the ephemera page).
About the book: Based on the limited edition of the Folio Society Alice in Wonderland, including a signed artist’s proof print of the White Rabbit.
Originally planned as a limited edition of 100, but “only a small number” of unnumbered artist copies were released in green, red or black wraps. 8 pages, 23cm.
About the book: A collection of eight etchings. 20 x 24 p. Limited edition of 10 holographic copies.
A copy of this work is available at the W. A. C. Bennett Library (Simon Fraser University, Burnaby), who kindly provided the photo.
About the item: A moving tribute to Charles Van Sandwyk’s mother, Beatrice M. Van Sandwyk. Includes memories from loved ones, images of her life, and a few touching stories.
Two sketches, one of an angel child on the first page, another of a sleeping mouse on a candlestick with a book. Metallic wrappers, with a photo of Beatrice laid on the cover.
14p, 9 x 5.5 in. Limited edition of 100 copies.
About the book: An illustrated poem.
This was a trial publication for the later full-size 2015 edition, with oatmeal painted paper wraps, gold foil endpapers. 6 pages. 16cm x 23cm. Limited edition of 8 copies.
About the book: A fanciful poem written by the author, accompanied by his delightful illustrations.
Maroon wrappers with a string-tied fold-over brown paper jacket featuring a mounted colour illustration on the front cover with a gold and black decorative border surrounding and continuing to the back page. Features two tissue printed illustrations, with several other colour illustrations throughout the text. 24 pages. 16cm x 23cm. 600 copies.
About the book: Deluxe edition of Tree Whispers, with a green fold-over paper jacket and including an original signed limited edition print. 24 pages. 16cm x 23cm. Limited edition of 120 copies.
Eight 6-page ‘trial’ publications for this title were also released, with oatmeal coloured painted wrappers and gold foil endpapers.
About the book: Hand-printed with hand-set Goudy and Civilite types on a Vandercook SP 15 press on Hanhnemuhle and Canson papers; hand bound in soft yellow cloth with printed paper title label on spine, decorative Florentine endpapers, pictorial label mounted on front panel. Watercolour frontispiece and interior pen and ink illustrations by Charles van Sandwyk. Each frontispiece has been hand signed by Charles and Giclee printed. Printed in sections of French and German paper with hues of rose, custard, soft green, and blue. A small letterpress print of The Old Man Of The Sea was also included with the book. 44p, 24cm.
Limited to 80 copies plus six out-of-series artist copies bound in leather by Richard Smart of the Old English Bindery.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (FS Limited Edition) by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk.
Publication: The Folio Society, 2016.
Release price £495 (with member’s discount), raised to £545
About the book: Quarter bound in vellum with vellum tips, blocked on the spine in 24-carat gold, case sides blocked in four foils on Merida paper. Limitation spread blocked in two colours on two shades of Hahnemühle Bugra Butten laid paper, inset with a hand-printed etching hand-printed on Somerset Velvet Buff hand-made paper; signed and numbered by the artist. Eleven plates printed in full colour with gold borders on Art paper, tipped into the text within ornamental gold borders and nine scraps printed in full colour on Art paper, individually cut out and tipped in place. Set in Founders Caslon types, with hand-drawn initials and circa 50 line-drawings; printed in warm black and gold inks on Ambassador Cream twin-wire laid paper. Endpapers printed letterpress in dark red ink on Hahnemühle Bugra Butten laid paper. Issued in Solander Box bound in Paradise cloth, lined with Hahnemühle Bugra Butten, spine titling label blocked in two colours on laid paper. Gilded top edge, 172 pages, 13″ x 9¾”. The edition is limited to 1000 copies, signed and numbered by the artist on the etching, and 30 hors commerce copies numbered in roman numerals.
A 2p illustrated ‘proclamation’ by the White Rabbit was also released by the Folio Society as part of its prospectus and advertising campaign – see the ephemera page for more details.
About the book: A delightful production which was inspired by a letter to the artist from a 9-year-old English girl who asked for advice on attracting fairies to her garden.
Original pale sage green linen-textured pictorial card covers with decorated turn-ins on cream linen-textured stock. Front and rear covers both affixed with marbled card pockets containing a neatly folded letter (including facsimile stamps and postmark) purportedly from Emma Gladstone to the artist and printed in van Sandwyk’s characteristic calligraphy; the rear pocket containing an accordion-folded 6-leaf panorama of Little People Common to the Natural Forest printed throughout in colour to both sides; also included are 4 other loose inserts in pockets including a letter; illustrated fairy bank notes; a Royal Summons from the King of the Woodland Gnomes; and a note written on a folded paper leaf. Includes three folded letters, three postage stamps, one leaf-shaped letter, and one accordion-folded illustration.
12p, 23cm. Limited edition of 200 copies.
About the book: A tiny glimpse into the lives of the most diminutive race in the Enchanted Isles of Fiji. Original hand-marbled card covers, with decorated paper label laid on, individually hand-sewn with bronze metallic inner covers; Printed on apricot and cream card with additional bound-in pictorial tabs, a 4-page transformational scene of a landscape, pictorial title in colours, and 2 finely etched fairyland plates in sepia on hand-made paper with untrimmed edges and protective cobweb tissues. Issued with an accompanying bookmark printed with an owl in olive green and hand-numbered with the limitation details. 20p, 22cm. Limited edition of 100 copies.
About the book: An illustrated diagram showing the travel path of the eclipse from Brandywine Cottage to Fiji (taking in Owyhee and Christmas Island).
Hand-marbled card covers (by Waisiki Doughty) seamed with gilt, with onlaid pictorial roundel of the moon assembled from marbled blue and cream card with title in red and black and a vignette in colours; illustrations of the transit of the moon after pen-and-ink drawings; one of Brandywine Cottage; one coloured vignette of the sun; another tiny coloured pictorial label; and a full-page image of an owl at the rear, in colours; also with, bound at the centre, two pictorial roundels on coloured card recreating the eclipse and, loosely attached to the rear cover, a folding 3-panel. 16p, 17cm. Limited edition of 150 copies.
About the item: A cream coloured printed letter (42cm x 14cm unfolded) with 7 illustrations, describing Charles’ thoughts on pen and ink.. Folds into the shape of an envelope replicating the style of a 19th century letter, wrapped by a ribbon with a sliding wax seal (14cm x 10cm folded). Limited edition of a 125 copies of which 25 are hand-coloured by the artist.
About the book:A collection of Fairy poems and vignettes – originally printed as individual volumes by The Fairy Press – gathered together here for the first time. Includes a new Preface, and reproduces The Fairy Market, How to See Fairies, The Gnome King’s Treasure Song, Pocket Guide to the Little People, Afterglow, Wee Folk, and The Fairies’ Christmas.
This edition features 72 integrated colour and 30 black & white illustrations. It is bound in linen-coloured blocked cloth with a printed inset paper label. Set in Caslon with printed endpapers and a red decorative slipcase. 128 pages plus a 3 page fold-out. 10″ x 6¾”.
Published in series with the FS edition of Mr Rabbit’s Symphony of Nature and Other Tails. Limitation unknown (in print).
About the book: An imagining of inhabitants of the fairy realm, featuring a reproduction of the ‘enlarged edition’ of the panoramic chapbook that first appeared in Letters From Fairyland, folded in a small pocket.
Original marbled covers over brown card with a metallic copper finish, with onlaid pictorial label to upper panel, handstitched to spine; 3 exquisite illustrations (2 in colours and one series in sepia) together with a 6-leaf accordion-folded panorama of 11 fairy folk in full colour within a tipped-in marbled card pocket affixed to one page, with calligraphy throughout.
4p, 22cm. There is also a more rare wrapper which is fully illustrated on the front cover rather than using marbled covers.
About the book: A fold-out triptych, declaring declaring that “Life Is Art”; “Art is Life” and “From the Roots of Wisdom Grow the Trees of Knowledge”
Created from a single sheet of cardstock, folded to make 6 pages, sewn into paper covers. Colour illustration tipped-on to the front cover, three tipped-on colour illustrations to the inner triptych, as well as black and bronze illustrations throughout.
Some variants have bronze wraps, some have black, string and paper bindings also vary. A limited collection of 20 string-bound sets containing all 4 variants was also released.
About the book: A whimsical conversation with Old St. Nick.
A small business card for “Fr. Christmas, Esq.” is tucked into a marbled paper envelope that has been tipped-on to the third page. A fold-out illustrative map of the North Pole and coloured illustrations throughout.
8pp, 23 cm.
About the book: An adorable collection of little folk “drawn from memory at Brandywine Cottage, Autumn, 2018”.
This accordion book consists of a single signature, with hand-drawn, hand-coloured illustrations. Sewn into marbled paper covers.
8 unnumbered leaves, 20cm. Between 3 and 5 copies, each unique with hand-drawn images and calligraphy.
About the book: An excerpt from Charles’ Fiji diary.
“…it is as close as I can get right now to my beloved Fiji Islands which I miss terribly. “
Manuscript book consisting of a single signature of text, followed by a single sheet folded accordion-style with 3 etchings. Sewn together and bound in gold cloth. Gilt accents.
14p, 20cm. Produced in master copy, trial edition and special edition (below).
Days are a Dream [special edition] by Charles van Sandwyk
Publication: Published by the artist, 2018
About the book: An excerpt from Charles’ Fiji diary. Manuscript book consisting of a single signature of text, followed by an etching. Sewn together and bound in illustrated card covers.
14p, 20cm. 30 copies (*estimate from numbered etching)..
About the book: Consists of a single signature containing 8 etchings and some handwritten text. Each etching has a small amount of gilt decoration.
The companions include the Literary Crow; The Spirit of Etching; Bee, book and candle; Hedgehog scribe; Literary Lion; Literary Mouse; Creativity rests; and Tree scribe.
Bound in gold-coloured cloth, with endpapers marbled by Waisiki Doughty. 12 unnumbered leaves, 8 illustrations, 26 cm. Limited edition of 10 copies, printed, lettered, hand-decorated and bound by the artist.
About the book: This new edition includes many of the same design details as the limited edition, plus a series of additional newly coloured illustrations.
This edition features 37 integrated colour illustrations and 44 black & white illustrations. It also has new printed endpapers featuring a hand-drawn map. Bound in red blocked cloth with an inset printed pictorial label. The dark green slipcase also features a gilt patterned design by the artist. 168 pp. 10×6¾ in.
Limitation unknown (in print).
► Look for a copy at the Folio Society
About the book: This new volume is a compendium of various nature stories and poems that were previously privately published by the illustrator, including Mr Rabbit’s Symphony of Nature, Full Moon Eyes, Neighbourly Birds, Canadian Content, and Mr Rabbit’s Christmas Wish. Many of the illustrations are newly drawn for this edition, including a six-page illustrated foldout of the wise old owl, and an insightful new preface by Mr Rabbit himself.
This edition features 61 colour illustrations, 20 line drawings and illustrative borders and page decorations throughout. It has decorative endpapers, and a printed slipcase with a design by the illustrator. Bound in dark aqua blocked cloth with an inset printed label, set in William Morris’s Golden Type. 112 pages plus 6 page fold out. 10˝ x 6¾˝.
Published in series with the FS edition of How to See Fairies. Limitation unknown (in print).
► Look for a copy at the Folio Society
About the book: This FS volume reproduces the original handmade book released in 2016. The book contains miniature envelopes filled with ephemera from Fairyland, including three letters, a cache of fairy money, and a concertina of fairy portraits, along with a tipped in leaf letter.
This new edition is in a larger format (twice the number of pages) and contains new illustrations such as His Imperial Majesty Watson Wimplewort Rex in his royal mound and a comprehensive double-page illustrated map of Fairyland.
This edition features burgundy paper binding blocked in gold lettering with an inset label, illustrated endpapers, and is presented in an illustrated gold slipcase. Printed in 4 colours throughout, 24 pages plus 12 page fold out. 9˝ x 6˝.
Limitation unknown (in print).
► Look for a copy at the Folio Society
About the book: A signed, numbered limited edition of the FS edition of Letters from Fairyland includes an original etching handprinted by CvS, cloth binding with three foil blockings, and foiled spiderweb endpapers. It is presented in a clamshell box lined with Swallow chevron paper.
Limited to 250 copies.
► Look for a copy at the Folio Society
And a peek into some private collections...
I thought I might end here by adding a few photos here of creative ways that collectors and galleries are showcasing Charles’ beautiful handmade books. If you have a photo of your collection (any size) you’d like to share here, please drop me a line.