Ogdensburg, NY: Caliban Press, 2017. One of 104 copies signed and numbered by the highly regarded book artist and printer Mark McMurray. This is a beautifully produced new edition of A Christmas Carol that captures the power of this timeless story through the inventive use of text, images, paper, type, and binding. McMurray writes in the prospectus: "We know the story, we know the characters, but the language of the text offers new rewards with each reading. This edition of Dickens' classic returns to the dark, sleep-deprived angst of the original complete text." The prospectus states that the text in this edition comes from the 1843 edition with minor corrections. Printed on a variety of handmade and mould-made papers including Zerkal Ingres and papers from La Papeterie-St. Armand. The text is printed entirely from metal and wood types, including monotype Bell plus many from the 19th century. There are wonderful images of the ghosts that visit Scrooge on that fateful night, and many other ornaments and designs throughout. They are done in various media including pochoir, collage, wood engraving, and relief blocks. Bound in black ribbed flexible covers with a red morocco leather spine with title in gilt on spine and inside a cutout on the front cover. Housed in a stiff black paper slipcase with a subtle chain design. Prospectus and errata slip inserted. In fine condition. 7.5 x 10.5 inches. 107 pages. PRI/120420.
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Ogdensburg, New York: Caliban Press, 2020. Softcover. Number 10 of 100 copies signed and numbered by the book artist. Mark writes of his new book: "As it thankfully draws to a close, 2020 has been a year of counting. Counting days, counting votes counting covid cases, counting hospital beds, counting death, counting lost jobs...so a book of numbers doesn't seem as strange as it did back in January or even back in 2009 when I first began it. Initially conceived as a way to document a growling collection of wood type which eventually filled some 53 cases with some 75 fonts. Then realizing that there was too much type...for a single volume showing alphabets, figures, punctuation marks, as well as whoe words. I decided to devote the first volume to figures - what printers generally call numerals or numbers. Volume 2 is planned to be complete alphabets, with volume 3 for words, phrases, and declarations....Printed on found, left over, and scrap papers that have accumulated at the press over time. In some instances, a lot of time." Includes papers from many countries and everyone's favorite papermill, Papeterie St. Armand in Montreal. Printed with black, silver, and red inks. As always with Mark's books a lovely volvelle is incorporated. In a red spiral binding measuring 9 x 11 inches. The book is accompanied by an inserted guide to volume 1 that describes aspects of type in general as well as more specific descriptions of wood type faces such as gothics, antiques, romans, etc. A beautifully done whimsical yet serious work on type and life. In fine condition. PRI/011821. Fine.
San Diego: Anne Covell, 2017. Paperback. Number 9 of 20 standard copies. There were also five deluxe and two artist copies of this beautifully conceived and executed work. Anne Covell is a book artist and hand papermaker living in San Diego, CA. . She has studied Asian and Western papermaking techniques with Timothy Barrett, and has taught for numerous professional organizations including the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory, Penland School of Crafts, and the University of Georgia study abroad program in Cortona, Italy, among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be seen in a growing list of private collections, special collections libraries, and museums worldwide. In her colophon Anne writes: "I first became interested in the Japanese beetle in 2012 during a particularly hot and dry summer in Iowa City. Perhaps it was a result of the season or of my having moved to a new home ripe with some of the beetle's most preferred foods, but I became overwhelmed by its pervasive, relentless assault on my garden. As the summer wore on, I began finding leaf remains gathering at the bases of trees...as if it were fall. Their presence was out of place; out of season. But when I began to look more closely, what struck me was the beauty of form that the beetle had inadvertently left behind. Starved of oxygen and drained of color, these leaf skeletons would soon crumble and return to the earth. But, for a moment they existed between realms and reflected a loss that spoke to the complexity of the natural world." The book contains 12 folios of 100% Japanese Gampi hand-dyed with persimmon tannin and treated with konnyaku to mimic the sound and texture of withering foliage. The illustrations of leaves, berries, and twigs were letterpress printed from drawings by Anne. Housed in a stiff brown paper handmade envelope. Measures 4.5 x 10 inches. Fine condition. ARTISTSB/010421. Fine.
Baltimore: Hill Press, 2014. Number 32 of 60 copies. This handsome book combines Heaver's interest in two subjects and their confluence: Dutch-Inspired type faces and English prayer books. He states in his preface that this fascination had its foundation in years of typographic contemplation and that his HIll Press, founded in 1987, was an early manifestation. In this book, Heaver and his contributors explore the early Dutch types and typographers and how the use of their types spread to other countries. The Book of Common Prayer was chosen for detailed examination because of its beauty and the need to narrow the scope of the analysis. Bound in red cloth with white titling on spine and cover labels. Printed on Twinrocker paper with Fry Baskerville type. With many illustrations and tipped in items throughout. Title page illustration by Chris Manson. In fine condition. Measures 7.25 x10 inches. 65 pages. PRI/021221.
Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, . This uncut proof of Keat's famous narrative poem, "Isabella; or, the Pot of Basil" is a lovely example of the fine printing of the Kelmscott Press. The uncommon proof comprises eight pages 181-188 and stanzas 40-63 from the poem and is printed in Golden type on Flower paper. Printed in red and black with red stanza numbers and red shoulder s with tittle. Unfolded the sheet is 21.5 inches long and eight inches high. This poem was written by a poet important to William Morris, who had a personal copy of Keats's poetical works and had admitted that the poetry of Keats had influenced his own poetry. This poem is a poignant one adapted from the Decameron about a young woman intended to marry a noble but falls in love with an employee of her brother. It doesn't end well for her or her lover. In fine condition. PRI/020721. Fine.
Dugort, Achill Island, Irelad: Redfoxpress, 2021. Hardcover. Number 8 of 150 copies of this engaging book whose title means "Playtime." Playful it is with facsimiles of colorful collages by the book artists. Lackner and Heuer have created collaborative collage zines and books since 2017. They use old brochures, altering them in several steps. The two artists work separately sending the materia back and forth by mail. This is their third collaboration [Publishers statement]. Bound in stiff paper illustrated boards with black cloth spine. Tiny bump to bottom edge of front cover. Interior is near fine. Unpaginated [30 pages plus colophon]. PRI/020321. Near Fine.
Chicago: Starshaped Press, 2020. One of 40 copies signed and numbered by the book artist. This splendid production from Jennifer Farrell's Starshaped Press celebrates her love for Chicago and showcases the impressive type and ornament collection that she has gathered and uses for her work. For this production she created ten multi-colored prints, or ELEVATIONS, that cover the themes of printing, women, labor, music, neighborhoods, architecture, motherhood and perseverance. Each tells a story in image and anecdote while featuring a grouping of typefaces based on her approach to the subject. Ten CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS designed to resemble traditional architectural bluelines explain and document the text and typography of the prints. Each set is held in an archival folder and housed in a clamshell box. She writes: "Since 1999, Starshaped Press has stayed true to the original craft of letterpress, disregarding the naysayers that claim antique metal & wood type is too limiting for quality design. With solid presswork and hard working midwestern gumption, I like to buck popular trends by showcasing the beauty and relevance of well-designed, historic type. Unlike most letterpress shops, Starshaped focuses on reusing existing materials (some over 150 years old) for all projects, meaning no plastic is ever used in production. The substantial metal type collection at Starshaped Press is constantly growing and evolving alongside my life experiences that are deeply rooted in Chicago. The urban environment is the backdrop for this typographic memoir that showcases the studio’s type collection and serves as a pictorial representation of the first 25 years of my life in the city." Printed on Mohawk Superfine Cover paper. The clamshell box is covered with red cloth with a pictorial title label affixed to the cover. Fine condition. Prints measure 11 x 17 inches. Box is 11.75 x 18 inches. ARTISTSB/061920. Fine.
Bennington, VT: The Bird Press, 2016. Number 6 of 38 copies, signed and numbered by the artist and translator. A collaboration between the illustrator / book artist and translator. This is a new translation of the prologue and first part of Mayakovsky's first long poem, originally published in 1915. The Russian modernist poet and cultural icon Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893 - 1930) committed suicide in Moscow 15 years after publishing this piece. According to the translator: "Thorsten Dennerline's twisting artworks suspended against a blue-sky backdrop seemed fitting for the existential crisis in this poem. Mayakovsky writes in verbal cartwheels and associative flights of language, allowing wordplay, sonic riffs, and rhyme to drive his rhetoric and imagery. I sought to preserve both each line's intended meaning and Mayakovsky's rhythm and music. I also attempted to make the poem's diction smooth, accessible, and idiomatically modern to a 21st century American ear." Fascinated with the intensity of Mayakovsky's work and life as well as the historical happenings that influenced him, Thorsten decided to illustrate his work with "monsters." As the drawings developed with layers of ink and detail he "began seeing [them] as bodies, less as monsters and more as physical, mortal, vulnerable beings." Bound in yellow paper wrappers with black title to front cover and binding sewn with red thread along spine. Printed with lithography and letterpress at the Working Dog Press and Horton Tank Graphics. The plate lithographs were printed in sixteen layers of ink. Housed in a grey handmade paper wrapper featuring one of Thorsten's illustrations snaking around the front and rear panels along with another on the inside flap. Thorsten Dennerline creates paintings, drawings, and prints in addition to artists' books. He has exhibited work across the U.S. as well as in Chile and Denmark; and his work is represented in numerous collections including Yale University Library, the Library of Congress, UCLA, Stanford University, and the Kunstindustri Musset (Denmark). Size: 8.5 x 7 inches. ARTB/120120. Fine.