Easthampton, MA: Abecedary Press, 1990. Hardcover. Number 8 of 10 deluxe copies signed by the artist. This Abecedary Press Production's book was written by Mark P. Carol, as a contemplation inspired by a trip to the Galapagos Islands to view Haley’s Comet. It is a humorous look at contemporary social and sexual values through the guise of rocks (occasionally referred to as the “pet rock turns 30-something.”) Alan James Robinson illustrated the book with two handsome wood engravings and seven line drawings depicting the Galapagos Islands, the Galapagos Tortoise and of course, the Banging Rocks. Alan is a renowned book artist who has been producing fine limited edition books since the 1980s. His work can be found in many institutions nationally and abroad. This engaging deluxe production's book is bound in quarter leather green Moroccan goat with a millimeter leather fore-edge and Japanese Chiri (bark) paper. The book and its set of two actual banging rocks of green Beryl crystals from Connemara, Ireland are “housed” in an elaborate hand crafted cherry dove-tailed jointed wooden box with expansion joints. This geo-stable enclosure was crafted by Allan Wheeler and protects the Banging Rocks, which are of a semi-precious nature. Printed in Centaur & Arrighi types set by Dan Carr at Golgonooza Type Foundry on T.H. Saunders Hotpress Watercolor paper. Printed by master printer H.P. McGrath. Bound in paper over boards by Kim O’Donnell. In fine condition. Book measures 5 x 8 inches. The box is 5.5.x.8.5 x 3 inches. Unpaginated [32 pages]. ARTISTB/071020. Fine.
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New York: American Illustration Inc. / Harry N. Abrams, 1986. Hardcover. First edition. The definitive collection of the best work by nearly 200 American artists, created this past year for books, posters, magazines, newspapers, advertising and animation. Fine in yellow cloth boards with maroon title to spine. Clean interior with 290 illustrations of which 268 are in full color. Fine illustrated dust jacket with green marbled pattern and black title to spine. 295 pages. CHILD/102609. Fine in fine jacket.
New York: Caliban Press, 2013. Paper. Number 39 of 48 copies. Initialed by printer. Mark McMurray founded the Caliban Press in 1985 after studying letterpress printing with the Red Ozier Press and bookbinding with Timothy Ely. Mark is the special collections librarian at St. Lawrence University, where he also teaches courses in book history and printing. This inventive and moving production joins Buddhist and Tibetan sutras – Sanskrit for an aphorism, saying, or collection of same – with contemporary environmental themes. The sayings are from sources that include Indian and Tibetan sutras, American authors, and the Adirondack Mountains region and are printed with metal and wood types on a variety of beautiful handmade papers. Many of the papers were dyed, dipped, and/or floated in an indigo dye bath. Includes a volvelle made from area maps, an ecoprint by Velma Bolyard, and a mountain paperscape. Housed in a stiff paper box with bone clasps. With colophon and table of contents and order. Pages are about 4.25 x 14 inches. Unpaginated. ARTISTS/100813. Fine in Fine Box.
Easthampton, MA: Cheloniidae Press and Wonder Books Editions, 2019. Letter K of 26 lettered copies, lettered and signed by the book artist and Roberts of Wonder Books Editions. This portfolio is an impressive new production from Alan James Robinson and his Cheloniidae Press. The press has issued many fine limited edition books since its founding in 1979 by master printer and artist Robinson. Now he and Roberts and letterpress printer Arthur Larson have collaborated to create this homage to great books and authors that have influenced and changed lives. The portfolio has a suite of letterpress broadsides each beginning with the phrase "If there were no books." They honor Hound of the Baskervilles, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Unicorns, Moby Dick, Headless Horseman, Nevermore, Black Cat, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Ophelia, Alice in Wonderland, Call of the Wild, and Jabberwocky. There are one hundred broadsides to be sold individually and an additional thirty available in portfolios, lettered A-Z , with four Artist Proofs. Each portfolio has twelve broadsides from original pen and ink drawings by Robinson. He has lettered and signed each one. This special set also includes copies of two of the illustrations that are hand watercolored by the artist - Alice in Wonderland and Jabberwocky. There is an additional suite of twelve different illustrations for these works that will only appear in print in these thirty portfolios. The type and illustrations are printed from polymer plates on Cranes Lettra paper. The two suites are each in a stiff paper folder housed in a tan linen portfolio and housed in a linen clamshell box with a paper title label affixed to front cover. They are accompanied by a title page and colophon. In fine condition. Measures 11 x 14 inches. PRI/121219. Fine.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, n.d. Number 50 of 71 copies signed and numbered by the book artist. A charming broadside from master designer and printer George Walker. Donne's famous quote "no man is an island" is paraphrased in this broadside and printed both pictorially and in text. There is an image of a bee, an knot, and an eye for those words. Printed in black and yellow on handmade paper. In fine condition. Measures 7.5 x 14.75 inches. PRI/091919. Fine.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, n.d. Number 114 of 125 copies signed and numbered by the book artist. A charming broadside from master designer and printer George Walker. Shakespeare's famous quote from Hamlet, "to be or not to be," is printed both pictorially and with numbers. It uses the number 2 for "to," a bee for "be," an oar for "or," and a knot for "not." Printed in black and yellow on handmade paper. In fine condition. Measures 7.5 x 14.75 inches. PRI/091919. Fine.
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2013. Paperback. Number 13 of 26 copies, of which 22 were offered for sale. Numbered and signed by the printer. According to the foreword, “this work has its origins in an abandoned printing of Nicholas Jenson’s last will and testament, illustrated with Jenson’s Greek letters.” It includes quotes from Jenson in Greek from Noctes Atticae and quotes from other scholars in English. It also includes original poetry by the printer, some of which was created from words excerpted from Jenson’s will and translated into English. Bound in orange handmade Cave paper with “I, Nicholas Jenson alien & printer of books” printed in red and silver inks across the rear, spine, and front panels. A small spot of foxing to a few pages, but clean and bright overall. Illustrated with hand drawn Greek letters by Deirdre Hassed and printed from magnesium blocks. The binding style was created by Keith Smith. The book is housed in a blue cloth covered clamshell box with a magnetic folding closure. Unpaginated. [48 pages] PRI/111616. Fine.
Tuscaloosa, AL: Hand Papermaking / Word Way Press, 1998. Paperback. Number 91 of 150 copies. "Between 1984 and 1996, Dorothy traveled to Nepal four times. She sought out those who have preserved Nepalese papermaking and she visited new mills, some of which practice traditional Nepalese methods, others using adaptations and imported techniques. While in Nepal, she met with papermakers, discerned their methods, and collected their papers. The samples she assembled, many made using traditional lokta fiber, make up the specimens in the portfolio" (introduction). A portfolio of 18 sheets of handmade paper created in Nepal with an accompanying booklet that supplies descriptions for each sample as well as an introduction and an extensive essay about Nepal and its paper. The yellow paper wrapper covering the booklet is letterpress printed. The images within are from traditional Nepalese woodblock prints and were designed by Berinji Narayan Shrestha. Each paper sample is mounted within a folder labeled from A to P. The accompanying booklet and mounted samples are all housed in a red clamshell box with paper title label to spine. Each paper sample is approximately 7 x 10 inches or smaller. The box is 11.5 x 9 x 1.5 inches. The booklet is 40 pages. PRI/050218. Fine.
Foolscap Press, 2016. Hardcover. Number 16 of 100 copies. The Snails is a short story by Patricia Highsmith (author of The Talented Mr. Ripley) about giant snails with huge teeth that inhabit a remote island. When an out-of-shape professor decides to visit the island in hopes of capturing one of the snails in order to secure fame for himself, his plans go awry. A seemingly peculiar topic for a story, it was perfect for Highsmith who kept snails as pets and was known to take them to parties on leaves of lettuce in her handbag. The book is housed in a brick red cloth box with a cast-paper sculpture of a snail shell to the top cover. The book is bound in tan cloth with an illustration of a snail pasted down to the front cover. Within the folds of the accordion structure binding are smaller gatherings of pages, which include the text. Illustrations of snails roaming the island and encountering the professor are printed on the larger pages. An interesting structure, as is frequent with books issued by the Foolscap Press. Letterpress printed from polymer plates. In fine condition. Unpaginated. [44 pages] PRI/022217. Fine.
Studio City, CA: State of Man, 1995. Hardcover. Filled with artistic but erotic black and white nude male photography. "The men within these pages are not professionals. They are real men of incredible beauty, from the artist's hometown of Minneapolis" (jacket). Fine in blue cloth boards with gilt title to spine and front board. Black and white illustrated jacket with gilt title to spine and front panels. Minor rubbing to jacket and minor wear to edges including a few short closed tears. Old price sticker to rear panel of jacket. Clean and bright interior and binding. Unpaginated. Size: Quarto. PHOTO/070919. Fine / Very Good.
New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1989. 1 of 140 copies. Signed by the author and the book artist. This scarce and intriguing limited edition work was produced to benefit the Library of the Whitney Museum of Art. "Heat" is a classic short story by the renowned and prolific writer Joyce Carol Oates. "It tells the story of the murder of eleven-year-old identical twins, Rhea and Rhoda Kunkel, through the eyes of a childhood friend who is now an adult. Oates weaves the story together like bursts of heat on a sultry day. The story begins with a reference to the “rippling” heat of the summer day as the girls ride their bicycles toward Whipple’s Ice. In the next scene, the twins are in matching white caskets in a funeral parlor. Again, reference is made to the heat. In a narrative that borders on stream of consciousness, Oates introduces the girls, the narrator, and Roger Whipple. The child narrator describes the girls as inseparable, full of life, and drawing energy and power from each other. She describes their lives and their death with the innocence of a child’s perceptions."[Enotes.com] The book's production is inventive and fitting for the story. It was produced and edited by May Castleberry of the Whitney and Leslie Miller of the Greenfell Press. The work's two volumes resemble a young person''s diaries. They are bound in white leather with gilt title and ruling to the front covers and closed by a gold clasp. The text was handwritten by Robert Gober and printed on Saunders paper. It was handbound at Booklab in Austin. Gober's illustrations for the endpapers are lithographs printed at Derriere L'Etoile Studios in New York. The volumes are housed in a custom purple cloth clamshell box. The volumes are fine in a near fine box.
Chicago: Sherwin Beach Press, 1998. Heather McAdams. Hardcover. Number 57 of 200 copies. Numbered and signed by the illustrator and the bookmakers. This is a quite handsome contemporary edition of Mark Twain's travelogue with the text following a copy of the first edition in the collection of Northwestern University Library, and with cartoon illustrations by Heather McAdams. "The people of those foreign countries are very, very ignorant. They looked curiously at the costumes we had brought from the wilds of America. They observed that we talked loudly at table sometimes. They noticed that we looked out for expenses and got what we conveniently could out of a franc, and wondered where in the mischief we came from. In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language."So wrote Mark Twain in 1867, in one of his most exuberant nonfiction works. The companion themes that fill it—the shallowness of the sites to be visited and the shallowness of the visitors—prove to be prophetic of tourism today, as is seen in Heather McAdams’ witty 1995 cartoons, completed for this edition.The non-adhesive binding with exposed spine sewing consists of 7 black double raised cords attached to hard covers wrapped in red cloth. Each volume has a cut-out to front cover with small black and white illustration along with author, title, and volume number. The two volumes are in turn housed in a black and white linen covered hard case wrapper with black leather straps over brass studs and a leather suitcase-type label, intended to suggest a portmanteau. Printed in Montype Bell on Johannot paper. Designed by Bob McCamant and printed by Martha Chiplis. The binding was designed and executed by Trisha Hammer. The book is numbered and signed by the artist and bookmakers. In fine condition. Each volume is 7 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches. Continuous pagination with 445 text pages and 20 pages of illustrations. This set may require an extra shipping fee. PRI/072015. Fine.
1994. Hardcover. First Edition. "One of the first editions of reproductions of modern orthodox icons, presenting the most important works of church fine arts of the last decade. The works of the best icon painters are included in it: of monk and icon-painter Zinon, priest Vyachester Savinykh, Moscow icon painters Alexander Chashkin, Igor Kislitsyn and others. Short biographical essays, autographs and portraits of the icon-painters will give readers an idea of teh personality and life of the authors of the icons." Fine in black cloth boards with gilt title to spine and front cover. Minor bumping to corners. Clean, bright interior with very slight yellowing to margins. Filled with full color illustrations. In white illustrated dust jacket with black title to spine. Minor rubbing / soiling to edges and spine panel of jacket. In English and Russian. 304 pages. ART/031015. Fine / Very Good.
New York: Mark Batty, 2002. Hardcover. One of 40 copies of this special edition that is hand bound and contains tipped-in original specimens of Daniel Berkeley Updike's work referred to in the text. Signed by the editor William Peterson on the colophon. Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941) founded Merrymount Press in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1893. He was committed to creating books of superior quality and believed that books could be simply designed, yet beautiful. Upon his death in 1941, the Press was taken over by his partner John Bianchi, but ceased operations in 1949. Updike and his Merrymount Press left a lasting impression on the printing industry, and today Updike is considered one of the most distinguished printers of the twentieth century. Stanley Morison, the typographer responsible for creating the ubiquitous Times New Roman, had this to say of the Merrymount Press after Updike's passing: “The essential qualities of the work of the Merrymount Press...may be said without exaggeration…to have reached a higher degree of quality and consistency than that of any other printing-house of its size, and period of operation, in America or Europe” (Wikipedia). The editor, William Peterson provides a valuable introduction to Updike's life and work. Of particular interest is Peterson's comparison of Updike to the giant of 19th century printing, William Morris and his Kelmscott Press. He notes the differences in their approaches, with Morris seeking the ideal book and Updike's. There are 31 illustrations throughout the text. Following the text is the section of tipped-in original specimens mounted on grey paper along with a a digital copy of an unpublished photograph of Updike taken in 1940. Bound in grey paper boards with darker grey linen spine. Gilt titling to spine and front cover. Printed in Founder's Caslon type on Cougar Opaque Natural Paper. Housed in a grey paper covered slipcase. Book and slipcase are in fine condition. Measures 6 x 9.5 inches. BOB/070820. Fine.
New York: Museum Books, Inc., 1954. Hardcover. Number 119 of 1000 copies initialed and numbered by Zapf. Also signed by him on free endpaper in Washington in April 1966. Zapf (1918-2015) was a German typographer, book designer, and calligrapher who is considered one of the most influential figures in the twentieth in these fields. This magnificent book has 100 typographic pages with quotations from the past and present about types and printing in sixteen different languages, selected and designed by Hermann Zapf and printed at the house printing-office of the Stempel type foundry in Frankfurt/Main. The types used were historic faces taken from the foundry's archives. Zapf wrote in his introduction: "This manual seeks to show the myriad possibilities of the expressiveness and beauty of type, whether individually or in massed text, by the use of purely typographic means. The letters' indwelling wealth of form is a fresh, unending astonishment." The manual more than achieves these aims. The authors are listed in a small booklet inserted on the rear pastedown. The booklet is titled "Quoted Texts of Manuale Typographicum in Original or Rendered English. Bound in grey cloth with cream spine with gilt titling and the letters ABC debossed on the front cover. In a cream dust jacket with black titling to spine. There are small tears to the top of the spine and along the front flap, and creasing and some abrading to rear cover. The book and binding are in near fine condition. With the handsome bookplate of printer and typographer Roland Hoover affixed to the front pastedown. Housed in a blue cloth slipcase with some wear along edges. Book measures 9 x 12 inches. Page numbers are blind-stamped on lower right corner of each page. BOB/041620. Near Fine.