Skip to content

Biblio logo: Used, Rare and Collectible Books for Sale

																The House of Orchids and Other Poems by  George Sterling
	 - Hardcover
			 - Signed
			 - 1911
		 - from Swan's Fine Books (SKU: CNWB02)

The House of Orchids and Other Poems

Click for full-size.

The House of Orchids and Other Poems

by Sterling, George

  • Used
  • very good
  • hardcover
  • Signed
Very good
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Walnut Creek, California
Item Price:
Or just £226.68 with a
Bibliophiles club membership
£3.16 Shipping to USA
Standard delivery: 5 to 14 days

More Shipping Options
Ask Seller a Question

Payment Methods Accepted

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Paypal

About This Item

San Francisco: A. M. Robertson, 1911. Hardcover. Very good. Duodecimo size, 140 pp., inscribed by George Sterling (most likely) to San Francisco actress Katharine Emmet. Poet and playwright George Sterling (1869-1926) was much acclaimed on the Pacific coast; a prolific poet, Sterling was part of the group of writers and artists in the San Francisco Bay Area and then in Carmel that included Jack London, Joaquin Miller, Mary Austin, and Robinson Jeffers. In addition to poetry, Sterling wrote several plays, and he was a regular performer in the Bohemian Club's theatrical productions, held in the Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio, California.

Highly regarded in his lifetime, upon his death his friend Albert Bender, the great patron of the book-collecting world and the arts, wrote a tribute for Sterling ("George Sterling, The Man") and, in part, spoke of him thus: "Every action of his, every poem he wrote, was colored and animated by love of harmony and sublime music, the melody of spring, the open fields, 'the clouds of fire,' the golden lightning, the sea, the cosmic vistas; of art and literature, the sorrows and joys and passions, the hopes and ideals and spirit of our common life - all were transmuted into gold of the soul by his rich imaginings and his articulate translation of those imageries for others" (ibid p. [6]).

This volume of poems features an intricate publisher's binding designed by Porter Garnett (1871-1951), with his initials P and G in the lower corners of the design on the front board. Garnett was a prominent San Franciscan, a contributer to the Bohemian Club, he establishd the Laboratory Press and was assistant curator of the Bancroft Library at University of California, Berkeley (per "P G, The Green Knight", published by The Book Club of California, 1951).

The front free endpaper carries an inscription from the author, "For / Miss Katharine Emmet / with the admiration and / best wishes of / George Sterling. / San Francisco, / Sept. 4th, 1916." While we cannot be entirely certain, it seems highly probable he was referring to the stage and early screen actress Katharine Emmet (1878-1960), a native of San Francisco who, by the time this book was published, had already appeared in several Broadway plays. Given both of their involvement in the theatrical world, there is no possibility that she and Sterling were unacquainted; particularly given the words Sterling used ("with the admiration of"), we believe he inscribed this to our actress.

___DESCRIPTION: Full purple cloth, gilt illustration on the front board, gilt lettering on the spine (now faded), fore- and bottom edges uncut, several signatures unopened; duodecimo size (7.75" by 5.25"), pagination: [1-6] 7-140, inscribed by George Sterling on the front free endpaper. Manuscript corrections on pp. 22 and 137 in what appears to be the author's hand.

___CONDITION: Very good overall, with clean boards, straight corners, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; small spots of light soiling to the rear board, sunning to the spine and fore-edge, some rubbing to the head and tail of the spine and the front bottom corner, most noticeable to the head of the spine with some loss of cloth, and offsetting to the free endpapers.

___CITATION: BAL no. 18756; according to several auction records, the first issue of this book (500 copies) was stamped in silver; this copy stamped in gold.

___POSTAGE:  International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.

___Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.


Review this book and you’ll be entered for a chance to win !

(Log-in or create an account first!)

You’re rating the book as a work, not the seller or the specific copy you purchased!


Swan's Fine Books US (US)
Seller’s Inventory #
The House of Orchids and Other Poems
Sterling, George
Book condition
second hand - Very good
Quantity available
A. M. Robertson
Place of Publication
San Francisco
Date Published
Publisher's Trade Bindings, Poetry, Inscribed, George Sterling, Porter Garnett, Bohemian Grove, San Francisco, California Poets

Terms of Sale

Swan's Fine Books

We cheerfully accept returns for any reason within 30 days, so long as the book(s) is/are returned in the same condition as when sent. We will refund the price you paid for the book plus shipping.

About the Seller

Swan's Fine Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2017
Walnut Creek, California
Ask Seller a Question

About Swan's Fine Books

Swan's Fine Books offers collectable and rare books on a wide variety of classical subjects, with specialities in Fine Press and Illustrated Books.We have many more books than are currently listed online, so if you are looking for a special book and don't see it listed, please call to inquire.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Good describes the average used and worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted. (as defined... [more]
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in... [more]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [more]
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.
Bibliography of American Literature (commonly abbreviated as BAL in descriptions) is the quintessential reference work for any... [more]
... [more]
... [more]
... [more]
The heel of the spine.
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a... [more]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [more]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [more]
When a book is described as being inscribed, it indicates that a short note written by the author or a previous owner has... [more]
text block
Most simply the inside pages of a book.  More precisely, the block of paper formed by the cut and stacked pages of a... [more]

This Book’s Categories