(Jenkins, John). The Immense and Distinguished Half-Title Collection. Ardsley, NY: Haydn Foundation for the Cultural Arts, Inc., 1980. Twenty-five copies of this book have been designed and printed by Ink, Inc. of New York City. A great spoof of Johnny Jenkins' half-title collection. Tipped in plates of hightest quality Xerox images. Johnny's poker card marking prowess may be the only absolutely true part of the book. This copy signed by William S Reese, and with his history of the production to the first blank.
A brief history by William S Reese:
This book was compiled by the famous collector Michael Zinman and myself as an elaborate practical joke on the bookseller John Jenkins. Many of the books sold by the Jenkins Company were imperfect, and pamphlet material (especially in Michael's area of collecting, early American imprints) often lacked pages and especially the half-title leaves. Johnny, who had a dead-pan sense of humor, claimed this was because he collected half-titles himself, and so had removed them for his collection. Mike decided we should produce a catalogue of that supposed collection.
Mike went to a local used bookstore and (with the permission of the owner) removed the half-titles from books in the 10 cent bin. The preface was written by him and the history of half-titles by me. The book was designed and printed by my friend Thomas Whitridge. We xeroxed the half-titles and Mike paid his kids a nickel apiece to paste them in. 25 copied were produced.
We presented a copy to Johnny at a bookseller's poker game one evening during the 1980 New York Book Fair. We gave all of the copies away to friends of Johnny, mostly bookseller's who knew him well. I don't think we made any list of who got them, and those who I know treasure them as one of the most elaborate book jokes of modern times. This is the only copy I know of to come back in the market.
William S Reese
April 1, 2006
Jenkins, John Holmes, 1940-1989