GURREY, A. R., JR.
The Surf Riders of Hawaii. Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii: A. R. Gurrey Jr., [ca. 1914]
6 leaves (3 3/8 x 6 5/8 in.; 84 x 187 mm to 1 7/8 x 3 5/8 in.; 48 x 93 mm) of heavy brown wove paper. 8 mounted gelatin-silver photographs of surfers, ranging in size from 3 3/8 x 6 5/8 in.; 84 x 187 mm to 1 7/8 x 3 5/8 in.; 48 x 93 mm). Stab-sewn into stiff mottled wrappers, printed label to front wrapper; scattered minor discoloration, some toning to a few photographs, minor handling wear, wrappers just starting to separate at spine. This copy being the basis for:
[Together with] The Surf Riders of Hawaii [Centennial Edition]. Hanapepe, Hawaii: Timothy T. DeLaVega, 2014. Copy number 1, inscribed in gold pen by the publisher on the colophon "Mahalo Richard. Keep the History! Aloha ke akua. Tim DeLaVega." Both housed in a brown clamshell box with printed paper label to front.
The first book devoted solely to surfing, one of a handful of known copies — the exemplar copy for the Centennial edition, the only known copy with Gurrey family provenance.
The Surf Riders of Hawaii was self-published by A. R. Gurrey, a surfer and photographer, and copies vary in the number and selection of photographs. "Surf Riders combines artistically rendered prints with romantic poetry from Lord Byron and descriptive prose from Gurrey himself. It was his attempt to convey the feeling of the sport—its visceral excitement and its celebration of the senses. This photo compilation doesn't just document wave riding, it endows the sport with an almost ethereal sense of splendor" (Smith & Hall). It's extreme scarcity owes to a fire in the author's home, which destroyed many copies.
Gurrey was a member of the Hui Nalu, a surf club that counted Duke Kahanamoku as a founding member. The present copy was the basis for the Centennial Edition facsimile (also included in this lot), and was on view at the Surfing Heritage Museum.
Joel T. Smith & Sandra Kimberly Hall, "A. R. Gurrey Jr. The Genesis of Surf Photography," in The Surfer's Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, 2005 (citing "four known copies")
The descendants of A. R. Gurrey Jr. — Private collector
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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