Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2010. Hardcover. This is a short story by Prue Batten, an Australian award winning writer of fantasy and historical fiction. Pat Sweet, the book artist writes of Prue: "The Gisborne and Eirie novels are a wonderful source of design inspiration, and their author has generously allowed the Bo Press to produce miniatures based on the world they describe. Prue and I also collaborate on other projects." This story is set in Prue's fantasy world of Eirie and involves love at first sight, betrayal, beautiful costumes, tall dark strangers, and magic." Pat Sweet published this book in three editions, the deluxe, the trade, and this, the fine binding edition. It is bound in a specially printed blush-pink striped paper overlaid with a half binding of antique black lace, with a tiny gold mask on the spine. With six illustrations. In fine condition. Measures 2.25 x 1.50 inches. Unpaginated. [46 pages] ARTISTSBOOK/021518. Fine.
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Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 20102016. Hardcover. Signed by the book artist. This is a story by Prue Batten, an Australian award winning writer of fantasy and historical fiction. In this lovely story-within-a-story by Batten, a medieval troubadour tells his master's young son a legend of Occitan: A queen suspected of sorcery and shape-changing and how she was vindicated. The story is loosely based on the legend of Pedauque that has been part of the Occitan legend for centuries. The tale has ten illustrations with historiated initials drawn from medieval manuscripts. Pat writes that this is the sixth book that she and Prue have published together, and she has marked the event with an illustration opposite the title page with a Latin motto including both our names. The beautiful binding is an embroidered fabric of gold, turquoise, and dark blue, with a twisted ribbon spine that echoes the illustrations inside. In fine condition. Measures 2.75 x 2.25 inches. 45 pages. ARTISTSBOOK/021518. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2018. Hardcover. From the artist: "Girdle books were a fad of the late Middle Ages in Burgundy and the north of Europe. Small books of devotions, law, lists, recipes, or formulae were carried about the person by a clever device that elongated the bottom of the leather binding into a knot that could be slipped under the belt. The books were upside-down so that the wearer could read the book, still attached to the belt, by flipping it right-side-up. This book includes many depictions of girdle books in medieval art (far more than the number of girdle books that survive), a short history of the form, and some examples of the precious few that still exist. The book can be removed from its leather chemise, which had an antiqued brass closure and chain. Just remember to put it back upside down." The book is 2 x 1.5 inches, the chemise is 3.5 inches tall. ARTB/060121. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2015. Hardcover. Mary Roberts Rinehart and others of the "Golden Age" of mystery writing became known as the "Had I But Known" school for their use of this useful bit of prolepsis: a foreshadowing device that allows a work-around for the strictures of first-person narration. I've collected examples from all eras of literature and placed them each on their own page, like little jewels of purple prose. ~ "Had I but known that Saacho was his father, I woulf have poured a deluge of my blood to save one drop of his." The Spanish Friar, by John Dryden ~ "Ah,had I but known:: the agony! the deceit! You cannot possibly imagine the trials, the letters, the steps, this strange fantasy exacts. I have seen only a few Academicians, but already my nerves are completely upset." The Letters of Charles Baudelaire to his Mother ~"In a state of suffocating agitation the mistress gasped forth the words, "Had I but known: Freiscutz! Presciosa! I'll turn every soul into the streets!" - The Spectator, Volume 38 Carl Maria von Weber A choice collection ('though I say it myself), printed in Garamond Premier Pro on Monarch Superfine paper, and bound in a Japanese chiyogami paper printed with a stormy sea and turbulent waves, a fitting backdrop for a young woman in a lacy nightgown fleeing a dark castle with a single light in the tower window . . . Size: 2" x 2 1/2" inches. 100 pages, 7 illustrations. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2018. Hardcover. Limited to 10 copies. "When Duke Albert V of Bavaria commissioned his court painter, Hans Mielich, to make an inventory of the jewels belonging to him and his wife Anna in 1552, he may not have expected the over-the-top manuscript Meilich finally produced two years later. The jewelry wasn't the half of it. The 110 gouche on paper paintings showed the back and front of each piece of jewelry, life-sized, and each was surrounded by a different elaborate frame. The manuscript is a riot of cartouches, strapwork, acanthus, foliage, flowers, grotesques, and caryatids, and yet each jewel shines forth as an individual masterpiece. The book remained in the private ducal and electoral Chamber of Artifacts for almost three centuries—long after the originals of the jewelry depicted had been lost. Only in 1843 was the work presented to the Bavarian State Library by King Ludwig I. I have tried, in my presentation of the Jewel Book, to reproduce in miniature some sense of the outrageous Renaissance ostentation that makes the original such a brilliant and worldly example of wretched excess. My favorite page is the frontispiece of the Duke and Duchess playing chess, as though their real pursuits were intellectual, surrounded by their bored courtiers and a couple of puppies. This miniature copy of the Jewel Book of Anna of Bavaria is limited to ten copies. It is set on OldStyle1 and Palatino Linotype, and printed on Monarch Superfine paper with a Canon Pro-100 inkjet printer. The book is bound in gilded snakeskin with a beaded and embellished front panel of celadon snakeskin. The tri-fold box is bound in a gold on black Indian silkscreened paper with a raised rectangle on the front bound in a textured Japanese metallic gold paper. The interior of the box is lined in a Japanese chiyogami feather print. A small pocket on the front of the box holds a booklet containing information on the Jewel Book and its patrons. Both are of the same gold paper" (Pat Sweet). The book is 2 5/8" x 2" and the box is 3" x 2 3/8" x 1" 136 pages. ARTB/120219. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2016. Hardcover. Pat Sweet describes herself as creating illuminated miniature books of curiosity, humor, and delight. She creates both miniature (under 3 inches) and macro-miniature (under 1 inch) books. She also makes miniature pocket globes, astronomical instruments, orreries, tellurions, and occasional oddities. She writes: "Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, (1774-1857) had no notion of poetry when he devised his long-needed standardized scale for the effect of wind on sailing ships, but his descriptions have a beauty and clarity that come close to it: 'Surface smooth and mirror-like. Calm, Smoke rises vertically. Scaly ripples, no foam crests. Smoke drift indicates wind direction, Still wind vanes.' I've paired Beaufort's poetic descriptions with land (and sea-) scape paintings that illustrate his wind levels, with technical details on the back of each fold out page. The twelve fold-outs have tiny tabs to pull out the pages." Printed on Monarch Superfine paper in UnZialish and Tempus Sans fonts, and bound in black watered satin cloth with endpapers of blue and silver Japanese paper. There are paper titles on the front and spine. In fine condition. Measures 2 3/4 x 2 3/8 inches. 46 pages. ARTISTSBOOK/021518. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2019. Number 4 of 20. At his height, Henry Irving (1838 - 1905) was the greatest actor in the world (and the first to be knighted). He was much more than an actor, he was an actor-producer, which in those days meant that he was responsible for everything, what we would call the artistic director, the director, the production manager, the production designer, and also the lead actor. And the scale of his productions at the Lyceum Theater in London were gorgeous and spectacular, using the latest technology in staging and special effects. Irving led the English theater for over thirty years, and died as he would no doubt have wished, still acting. I came upon his obituary in the Times, and it was a wonderful piece of writing, but also a very good valuation of his art and his place in theatrical history, which isn't so easy to do so near an actor's own time. The old joke used to run that he was an actor who would never play Faust when he could play Mephistopheles. He changed the status of the theater forever, bringing it from the shady demimonde of the 18th century to the height of a recognized and respected form of art. Everyone at the Lyceum called him the Guv'nor, a term of both affection and a well-founded wariness of his perfectionism. If in a former life I had worked as a costumer in his company, I would have been proud to do the same. This miniature book is bound in a gray paper with horizontal slubbed gold lines, and a black and gold marbled paper that wraps around the back to form a small pocket inside filled with theater memoribelia: programs, autographs, advertising posters, and other souvenirs. 2 7/8" x 2", 64 pages. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2014. This is a welcome reissue of one of Pat Sweet's most inventive miniature works. "Welcome to Hell" comprises twelve pieces of Hellish ephemera that play with some of the images and ideas of the infernal regions from popular culture. The result is a surprisingly humorous and engaging production. Pat described it as one of her most fun projects ever. She writes: "Most religions have discarded the idea of a retributive afterlife, but the idea remains in the popular consciousness as folk belief. Images of old-time Hell are much more common than those of Heaven: Dante invented a whole complex gradation of torments for an exactly sorted list of sins. But grinning devils with pitchforks continue to poke burning sinners, and Satan continues to offer shady your-soul-for-your heart's desire deals in folk tales and legends." The items are stored inside a shopping bag labeled "Welcome to Hell." Your goody bag from Hell includes: Welcome To Hell! (with FAQs! - for example, "Am I really here for all of eternity?" "Yes") A Gallery of Hell (Hell in famous paintings) Visitor's Book (Yes, some people get to leave) Hellhounds of the Underworld (Hell has a surprising number of dogs) Go To Hell (a board game for sinners of all ages) Devil Cards (collect 'em all!) Seven Deadly Sins Post Cards ( by Bruegel) Hotel Grand Pandemonium dinner menu (Annual Famous Last Meals Banquet),an extra gameboard, Hellmouth Pop-up Cards (three thrilling maws) Maps of Hell (maps of Dante's Hell). Also included is a complimentary fan - Hot Enough For Ya? - with picture of devil's head - not that it would do much good. The bag is 3 x 2 3/8 x 1 3/8 inches. The items in the bag vary in size but are all miniature. In fine condition. PRI/060121. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2018. Hardcover. An interesting miniature book from Pat Sweet's Bo Press. She says: "Our alphabet used to be a lot bigger. It used to include letters like ampersand (and), eng ( the sound at the end of words like 'sing'), and the famous long s, which still puzzles readers of old books when it appears in the middle of words looking like 'f' but sounding like 's'. I've taken eleven of these once well-known letters and given each of them a tiny spotlight: illustrating it against a background of medieval tracery, telling a little of its history, and giving some examples in modern fonts (yes, these old letters still turn up in modern typography. You never know when you'll need a conjoined ae.) The book is printed in Kelmscott and Thryomenes on Monarch superfine paper, and bound in a diagonal pattern of cream colored paper and a gold on red medieval-ish print." In fine condition. It measures 2 5/8 x 2 inches. Unpaginated [56 pages]. PRI/060121. Fine.