Riverside CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2010. This inventive limited edition book is designed to explain little books, or rather, little case-bound books. Case-binding constructs the body of the book separately from the covers, and combines them at the end of the binding process. It is a quick and reasonably sturdy way of bookbinding, and almost all commercial hardbound books are produced like this. Every part of this book’s binding is labeled, and the back cover is left unglued to show the inner workings of the spine and hinges. The pages of the book itself contain publication data, each page labeled as itself, all the way from half-title to colophon. The book artist Pat Sweet included all she could think of that a book might possess: a tipped-in plate and barrier sheet, a fold-out diagram of the relative sizes of books (from double elephant folio to 64mo), a laid in list of extraneous matter which includes the list itself, and a note on the type, written in the typefaces used in labeling the book’s parts. The book also has examples of things attached to books: a dust jacket, a bookplate, an interior pocket containing a miniature Bo Press bookmark, a binder’s ticket, a slipcase, and a vellum belly band. This is a wonderful self-referential little reference toy for lovers of publishing and binding alike. In fine condition. 2 3/16 x 1 11/16 inches. PRI/060121. Fine.
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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, 2010. Hardcover. Limited Edition Miniature Book. A collection of splendid dragon portraits in color from all of history and all around the world. There are a total of fifty dragons, ranging from 5th century BC to Maxfield Parrish, all trying their best to escape from their frames. The book is bound in lizard-printed green paper, with a spine of brownish-black real lizard skin and a small line of gold metallic paper between them. Decorated endpapers. Inkjet printed with handsewn binding. In fine condition. 1 7/8 x 2 1/4 inches. Unpaginated.. PRI/060121. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2020. Hardcover. Number 15 of 24 copies. Signed and numbered by Pat Sweet. She writes: “The English Toy Theatre” is the first book devoted to this charming souvenir of the Victorian stage since George Speaight’s “A History of the English Toy Theatre” in 1946. With texts by artist and toy theatre enthusiast Tom Knechtel and illustrations drawn from Knechtel’s extensive collection of toy theatre sheets, it is a beautifully detailed portrait of the 19th century English stage as seen through the lens of a children’s pastime.The book is, in itself, a theatrical performance, as it moves from surprise to surprise, from tableau to spectacle. It is the most ambitious book in Bo Press’s history of creating books that entertain us while challenging our preconceptions of what the book is. The three-volume set is in a limited edition of 24, with the first volume (the one with the history) produced as an unlimited edition The book consists of three volumes in a black moire silk-covered slipcase, each volume bound in the Union Jack with black moire silk spines. The first volume consists of a history of the toy theatre and its publishers, a short memoir by Knechtel of how he fell in love with the theatre, and a fragment from a toy theatre play. There are numerous black and white illustrations with colored endpapers drawn from the theatre. The second volume is an elaborate set of black and white pop-up scenes from toy theatre plays, which culminates in an anarchic recreation of one of the surreal pantomimes that are such a feature of toy theatre plays. The third volume is a portfolio which, when opened, reveals a complete toy theatre in glorious color. The theatre includes a curtain which can be raised and a trick in the pantomime taking place on stage. (The proscenium was painted by Knechtel and includes an orchestra of cats.) Below the stage is a small pocket containing a tiny book , “The Toy Theatre in Performance,” which describes how the theatre actually worked." The books are 2 7/8 x 2 1/8 inches. The slipcase is 3 3/8 x 2 5/8 x 2 1/8." 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.
Berkeley: The Codex Foundation, 2019. One of 50 copies. The CODEX Foundation recently published WORDS on the Edge, a limited edition portfolio of poetry and lyric prose in broadside format. This portfolio, consisting of twenty-six poems and lyrical texts powerfully addressing themes of nature and its irresponsible destruction, is a part of an international artists' intervention—EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss that is sponsored by the CODEX Foundation as a commitment to art and the environment. It is a multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention that will investigate extractive industry in all of its forms, from mining and drilling to the reckless exploitation of water, soil, trees, marine life, and other natural resources. For this impressive project, twenty-six notable poets, artists, and writers were paired with an equal number of highly regarded letterpress printers from four countries to produce an editioned broadside/print especially for this portfolio. Poets and writers include Margaret Atwood, Wendell Berry, Peter Coyote, Jo Harjo, and Barry Lopez among many others. Printers include Peter Koch, Ninja Press, Taller Martin Perscador, Barbarian Press, Foolscap Press, and Midnight Paper Sales. The broadsides have all been signed by the writer and the printer. They of course vary greatly with the use of different papers, types, and illustrations and all display a beautiful mastery befitting the importance of the effort. The broadsides are housed in a handsome custom box. Size: Folio, about 19 x 12.5 inches. In fine condition. PRI/052720. Fine.
Boston: Daniel B. Updike at the Merrymount Press, 1904. A first edition of a scarce and lovely book. From the colophon:"Here ends the life of the divine Michelagnolo Buonarroti, written in Italian by Ascanio Condivi, and first printed at Rome, on XVI July , MDLIII, by Antonio Blado, printer to the Camera, and now done into English by Herbert P. Horne, and newly printed at Boston in the United States of America, at the Merrymount Press, by Daniel Berkeley Updike, I September, MCMIII, with the types and ornaments designed for him by the translator." In original paper grey boards. Wear to spine and torn along rear cover. Soiling and rubbing. still a nice copy of a fragile book with interior pages in very good condition. With bookplate of author William Greenough Wendell. Small octavo. x, 85 pages. PRI/042921. Very Good.
Baltimore: The Hill Press, 2001. Hardcover. One of 40 copies. Signed and dated by the printer, Stephen Heaver, owner of The Hill Press. This passionate and beautiful tale was written by William Morris at age twenty-one and published with many other of his writings in the short-lived Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. In his introduction, Morris scholar Theo Rehak quoted Joseph Dunlap as having observed that this particular story was the most perfect example of the works published, "a separate thing, better than the rest of the lot." Rehak also said that Morris did not allow these early pieces to be reprinted during his lifetime, and that he does not recall ever seeing an instance of their being done in a fine press book. The story tells of the journey of a Mediaeval stone cutter, his sister and her husband-warrior, all now departed. The prose is lyrical as it tells their story, and the land on which the church sat is described in all its beauty through the seasons. Morris writes of how beautiful the church is "in the solemn starry nights, so solemn that it almost reached agony - the awe and joy one had in their great beauty." This book was printed in Cloister Old Style type on paper made by Twinrocker for this book. Renowned engraver Simon Brett's engravings are printed from the blocks and include a full-page frontispiece of a cathedral interior, overlayed by by an image printed on transparent Japanese paper, and an historiated initial. The title page calligraphy by Sheila Waters was printed from an electro-plate. Bound in quarter black leather and tan decorated paper boards. Housed in grey cloth slipcase. In fine condition. Unpaginated [nine pages of text and three of introduction]. MOR/072921. Fine.
Toronto: The Aliquando Press, 1987. Softcover. One of approximately 100 copies bound in Mayfair Goldenrod covers, out of a total edition of about 235 copies. A charming chapbook designed and collaged by William Rueter with a series of black and white collages produced for the 1987 Grimsby Wayzgoose Anthology and the Typocrafters. In wraps. A fine copy. Measures 5.5 x 8.5 inches. Unpaginated [8 pages]. PRI/032521. Fine.
London: Printed at the Chiswick Press for George Allen, 1897. Hardcover. One of 1000 sets on paper (there were an additional 28 on vellum).A magnificent edition of The Faerie Queene with Crane's glorious illustrations. Walter Crane (1845-1915) was renowned as an illustrator, artist, decorator, and designer during his career. This was Crane’s most elaborate and extensive commission as a book illustrator. It was inspired by the revival of the private press, particularly the Kelmscott Press, as well as by the transition from Art Nouveau to Arts and Crafts, and by the importance of the illustrator in book production, bound white cloth, with gilt spine lettering plus a large Art Nouveau design in gilt stamped to the front boards. This was originally issued in 19 parts, and all of the original salmon colored pictorial front wrappers are bound in. There are 88 mostly full page (one double page) black on white and white on black illustrations and 132 head or tail pieces, all from woodcut designs by Crane. The boards show very light wear and spines are slightly darker than covers. The texts are very tight throughout with front hinge to volume I somewhat cracked. Pages with some light aging to the margins and just a few have a light speckle. All volumes are in very good or better condition. 1546 pages. PRI/ 042821. Very Good.
Tartu, Estonia: TYPA, 2019. Hardcover. Number 29 of 150 handbound copies. An additional 150 copies were letterpress printed and machine bound. This is a letterpress edition of the classic children’s story. It was printed at TYPA, a print and paper art centre in Estonia, specializing in letterpress publications. In 2020 TYPA won the Europa Nostra, Ilucidare Special Prize for heritage-led innovation. It is a unique museum and studio as every item of their machinery is still in use, and they continue to create fabulous hand-printed publications using traditional techniques. Hand bound by Pauline Rummel in natural linen with black title and illustration silk screened to front cover. In full color illustrated dust jacket with yellow title to spine panel and blue title to front. The illustrations were re-drawn for letterpress and the layout was redesigned by Mana Kaasik. Body text composed with Literaturnaya Bold on a Linotype machine. Title page and dust jacket set by hand with Admiral typeface. Composed and printed on Holmen Book Cream paper by pressman Jörgen Loot. 95 pages including a two page epilogue by Lemmit Kaplinski, former director of TYPA. Size: About 8 x 6 inches. PRI/090721. Fine / Fine.