Longstreet, Stephen (pseudonym of Chauncey Weiner). Sportin’ House: a History of the New Orleans Sinners and the Birth of Jazz. Los Angeles: Sherbourne Press, Inc.,  26 cm, brick-red paper boards with black lettering and publisher’s colophon on the front cover, end papers are reproduced sketches of the author-artist. First edition, signed. Extra-illustrated copy, with 20 original watercolor illustrations, 4 added on extra leaves pasted in, and the other extra-illustrations painted directly onto the book’s pages, in addition to the black-and-white and color illustrations of the publisher as issued. Both book and dust jacket are in fine condition.
A list of the illustrations is as follows:
1. Inside the front fly leaf, a full-page watercolor of a nude woman, untitled and unsigned, extra-illustration 1;
2. On the half-title (i), a full-page watercolor of a man in a top hat, smoking a cigar, holding a cocktail glass, titled in pencil “Liberty Hall” and signed “SL”, extra-illustration 2;
3. On the verso of the half-title (ii), a half-page watercolor of two liquor bottles and two glasses, untitled and unsigned, extra-illustration 3;
4. An added leaf, between ii and iii, a piece of Royal Viking Line stationery, “Aboard the M/S Royal Viking Sky” with a pencil annotation “extra illustration SL” on the recto, with a full-page illustration titled “The Professor” of an African-American pianist playing an upright piano with a woman listening, seated to his left, signed “SL” thus giving this copy an original, signed watercolor frontispiece, extra-illustration 4;
5. The title-page (iii) is decorated with a full-page watercolor illustration painted over the publisher’s page of a table holding pieces of fruit and a cocktail glass, with the author-artist’s painted signature in full “Stephen Longstreet vi 78”, extra-illustration 5;
6. The verso of the title-page (iv) is decorated a three-quarters page original watercolor of a fruit bowl and a knife, painted above the stated publisher’s information, First Edition, etc., extra-illustration 6;
7. At the top of the table of contents (v) is an original watercolor of a trumpet, extra-illustration 7;
8. On p. vii an original one-third page watercolor of a woman half-concealed behind a curtain, extra-illustration 8;
9. On p. xi (mis-numbered as xi, instead of p. 1) a half-page original watercolor was added of a large slice of watermelon, a knife, a glass and a cut pear, extra-illustration 9;
10. Between pages 2 and 3 is a second added leaf on which a full-page watercolor titled in pencil “Old Trade” of an older man and younger naked woman, signed “SL”, extra-illustration 10;
11. On page 3, at the top of the page is added a watercolor of a large smoking cigar in an ashtray and a glass of liquor, extra-illustration 11;
12. Between pages 20 and 21, a third leaf was added with a full-page watercolor titled by the artist in pencil “Private Party” of a naked woman wearing a prosthetic device, initialed by the artist “SL”, extra-illustration 12;
13. Page 25, a one-quarter page illustration of the top of a wash basin holding a soap dish, with a towel hanging to the left, extra-illustration 13;
14. Between pages 36 and 37, a fourth leaf was added, another piece of Royal Viking Line stationery, “Aboard the M/S Royal Viking Sky” on which was painted an original watercolor illustration of an African-American man, dressed as a cowboy playing the guitar, with a earthenware jug of liquor labeled “XXX” titled by the artist “Yellow Gal Blues” and initialed “SL”, extra-illustration 14;
15. On page 45, a half-page watercolor of a lady’s high-button shoe, her garter, a tube of lipstick, a bottle of perfume and an ashtray with a cigar in it, extra-illustration 15;
16. On page 66, a three-quarter page original watercolor of a bust portrait of a man smoking a cigar looking at a woman (extra-illustration 16) wearing only a camisole, a full-page watercolor (extra-illustration 17) painted on the original publisher’s blank page 67;
17. See description 16 above for extra-illustration 17;
18. Page 69, extra-illustration 18, a one-third page original watercolor of a gentleman’s bowler hat, gloves and cane;
19. Page 90, extra-illustration 19, an original watercolor of four pieces of fruit;
20. Page 93, a full-page original watercolor of a man and woman making love superimposed on the first page of Chapter 5, illustration 20.
The book and dust jacket are both in fine condition. Stephen Longstreet (1907 – 2002) published more than 100 books during his long life. He wrote under various pseudonyms, and was born Chauncey Weiner or Wiener. A self-described surrealist, Longstreet started his career as an artist, contributing art work to The New Yorker, Colliers and The Saturday Evening Post. There is a presentation inscription in red ink on the front fly-leaf, possibly made aboard ship, which reads “To our friend / Harry Godwin / Stephen Longstreet / Joe Erdelac / 1/20/1972”. Not in Longstreet’s hand, Harry Godwin may be Harry Easton Godwin, and Joe Erdelac, Joseph M. Erdelac.
This book is a virtuoso performance, recounting the birth and growth of jazz in the sporting houses of New Orleans, as well as a detailed history of prostitution in New Orleans, brought to vivid life in these extraordinary watercolor extra-illustrations.
The depictions of women and African-Americans in this extra-illustrated publication do not reflect the view, opinions or belief of the bookseller.