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San Francisco: Arion Press, 2000. Number 343 of 400 numbered copies. Signed by the artist. From the acclaimed Arion Press: "Cane is regarded as the highest literary achievement of the Harlem Renaissance and a masterpiece of African-American writing. To call it a novel is misleading, for the book is made up of many parts, by turn fiction, poetry, drama, set in rural Georgia, urban Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. To say it was first published in 1923 is misleading, too, for parts were published earlier in magazines. While it may seem at first a collection of writings, it is a highly experimental novel, novel in concept and form, and is a unified artistic whole. Cane was praised when issued but sold few copies. Toomer isolated himself after the book was published, and it was not rediscovered until the 1960s with the rise of academic interest in black history and culture. Jean Toomer (1897-1967) wrote several autobiographies, other fiction, drama, poetry, and essays, but published only one other book, Essentials, a collection of aphorisms, in 1931. Leon Litwack is an eminent historian of the black experience in America. In his essay on Cane, Litwack shows how the book addresses the racial situation in the early twentieth century. 'In coming to grips with the present, Jean Toomer insisted on confronting the past and exploring the heritage of slavery to its very roots, in ways that would avoid both condescension and romanticization. Looking about him, he sensed an agrarian folk culture deeply rooted in the slave experience. There was still time, he thought, to explore that culture, indeed the very soul and spirit of the black South, before urbanization and industrialization rendered it unrecognizable.' Martin Puryear is a leading American sculptor. He read Cane for the first time when he was teaching at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and living in the South for the first time. The book has been important to him ever since. His woodcuts for Cane are on two scales. The seven larger images are abstract portraits of women characters in the book; the three smaller blocks are reinterpretations of the enigmatic arcs that Toomer placed on pages dividing sections in the first edition." Bound in full tan linen over limp boards with brown ties. The text type is Times New Roman composed by Monotype and printed on Biblio mouldmade paper from Germany. The display type is Lucian Bold, composed by hand. The prints are on handmade Kitakata paper from Japan. Oblong measuring 111/2 by 13 7/8 inches. Includes prospectus and box in which mailed. In fine condition. PRIV/091818.
Oregon: Artistically Declined Press, 2013. Hardcover. One of 20 copies signed by the poet, Hosho McCreesh who describes himself as a drunken poet. From reviews: "In the footsteps of Charles Bukowski comes Hosho McCreesh’s magnum opus of drunk poetry. Mammoth in size and scope, A Deep & Gorgeous Thirst is unlike any of McCreesh’s previous collections. Because writing and drinking go hand in hand, it may seem an impossible challenge for a poet to offer new perspective of this well-worn, symbiotic relationship. But McCreesh does, and in this brilliant collection he uses subject matter that might feel old and tired in the hands of a less capable poet and turns out exciting and irresistible poems. A perfect elegy to the illusions and delusions of alcohol." This is from the edition of 20 described by the press as "The DrunkSkull Flask Clamshell." It includes a handmade hardback book housed in a clamshell box custom-made by Bill Roberts of Bottle of Smoke Press. Hidden within the clamshell is the coup de grace - an 8 ounce black flask, engraved with the book's DrunkSkull logo, which is housed in a wood insert, along with some pieces of promotional ephemera that include two letterpress broadsides of unpublished drunk poems signed by McCreesh, a ticket also signed, and a third unpublished broadside hand written and painted by the poet. Hidden under the flash is a patch, a sticker, and a removeable tattoo - all featuring the DrunkSkull logo. The text of the book is printed offset and is bound in grey paper boards with black spine label and skull logo on the front cover. On the back cover is printed: "glister like remnant embers of all you've burned away in your mad and drunken joy." The clamshell box has a black cloth spine and grey paper covering the front and rear panels. The front panel features a reproduction of the book's cover and the spine panel has a matching grey paper title label. Box is 10 x 7 x 3 inches. In fine condition. 359 pages plus acknowledgments and colophon. ARTISTSBOOK/042016. Fine.
Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1925. Hardcover. 1 of 200 copies printed on paper. There were also fifteen copies printed on vellum. Printed by C. H. St. J. Hornby on the banks of “sweet Thames” with the help of I. Jenkins, Compositor, and G. Faulkner, Pressman. Printing began in May 1924 and was finished in July 1925. This superb book is a large folio bound in the original full vellum boards with brown leather spine titled in gilt. Raised bands and six compartments to the spine. Minor bumping to the corners of front board and minor rubbing to boards and hinges. The hinges near the foot of the spine were starting and have been professionally restored. The interior is beautifully and elaborately printed in black, red, and blue in the Subiaco type created by the press. Creasing to front endpaper and occasional light smudge marks to the interior, else very clean and bright. A fine production from this monumental private press. 216 pages. PRI/011513. Very Good.
Mission, BC: Barbarian Press, 2013. Simon Brett. Hardcover. Endgrain Editions Four. Limited to 120 copies in the regular edition. This is the first addition to the Endgrain Editions since 2003, and it is a major return to the series. It is a celebration of the work of Simon Brett documenting his fifty plus years as an engraver. Simon is acknowledged as one of the masters of wood engraving of the past half-century. With 134 engravings printed from the wood, an introduction by the artist, and a chronological catalogue of the more than 1,000 engravings Simon has so far engraved, this is a major work of 250 pages, and is certain to be an important reference on Simon’s work as well as being a splendid book from this important private press. Text printed in Joanna with Fry’s Ornamented for display in green and black on Zerkall Cream laid with engravings printed on Zerkall White Smooth. Bound in quarter green cloth with paper patterned boards and title label to spine. In fine condition. PRI/062014. Fine.
Mission, BC: Barbarian Press, 2019. Hardcover. An edition of 130, of which this is one of 50 copies in the regular edition. According to the printer: "Our fascination with [Wagener's] work is a response to the meticulous attention to detail which imbues all his engravings, combined with a ‘democracy of aesthetic’ which allows both realism and abstraction equal weight. In a Parenthesis review of Wagener’s early book with Peter Koch, Zebra Noise with a Flatted Seventh, Simon Brett said ‘No one else I know of is making such avant-garde grand opera in wood-engraved prints.’" Richard Wagener (1944 - ) is a Californian wood engraver known best for his depictions of nature and animals, often juxtaposed against abstract imagery. A specially commissioned frontispiece, new press device, and patterned papers have been created for this edition. Folio. Bound black and red checkered patterned paper with black cloth spine and red and white title label pasted down to spine. Includes over 100 engravings printed from the original wood plates on Zerkall White Smooth paper. Unpaginated. PRI/122719. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2006. Hardcover. Number 10 of 10 copies. This is a charming and beautifully produced book by Carolyn LaFrance, a San Diego architect who is affiliated with the gallery at the Bay Park Press. Maxine is Carolyn’s beloved feline friend and companion, and the book describes a day in Maxine’s life through text and illustrations. Maxine begins her story: “Sun’s up, I get to go out. Yes, yes, I know, ‘Be careful,’ the howling creatures may still be about. What, you think I don’t know that? What I need to know is, who has been in my yard? Mr. Smushy-face? Walter? Or that grey and white bruiser? ...” Each page includes a hand-colored intaglio print of Maxine at various moments in her day (11 prints altogether). The text is Bernhard Modern type on lovely Fabriano Rosapina Bianco paper. Oblong folio bound in grey linen with black spine. Paw prints decorate the front cover and endpapers. Housed in a black portfolio with a grey cloth square label illustrated with paw prints affixed to front and cream ribbon closure. In fine condition. Unpaginated. PRI/072012. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2003. Paperback. Number 31 of 150 copies. Founded by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek in 2000, the press produces artists' books, offers classes, and holds book arts' exhibitions. Their books address a wide range of subjects from the universe to gardening to opera to Yiddish and more. Most are letterpress printed, many have moveable pieces, and all are illustrated. This book’s poem is a moving tribute to the author’s friend, Nancy Morgenstern, who died in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. The book artists, Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek, say in the colophon that they were privileged to design and print Portraits in memory of all 9/11 victims. Bound in grey Rives BFK paper covered boards with the title blind stamped on the front cover. The free endpapers are Classic Crest tarragon and handmade washi papers. Printed in Times Roman on Chartham English vellum. A portrait of Nancy Morgenstern is printed on title page and there are small line illustrations on some pages. In grey and white envelope with title in orange on front. In fine condition. Unpaginated, 5.5 x 12 inches. PRI/072712. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2008. Hardcover. Number 46 of 50 copies. Signed and numbered by the book artist, who states that "this limited edition...was printed from the original artist's book of drawings done in gouache, watercolor and crayon of the woolen animals made by the women of San Cristobal in Chiapas, Mexico. These ' portraits' are an attempt to share the warmth and humor that these animals generate." The result is a brightly colored accordian style book with pictures of animals on one side and a blue & white design on the other. Bound in orange paste paper with yellow paper label with title and author on front cover. In fine condition. 5 x 5 inches. PRI/072712. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2006. Hardcover. Founded by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek in 2000, the Bay Park Press produces artists’ books, offers classes, and holds book arts exhibitions. Their books address a wide range of subjects from the universe to gardening to opera to Yiddish and more. Most are letterpress printed, many have moveable pieces, and all are illustrated.Number 3 of 10 copies. In her colophon, Sibyl Rubottom gives her love and thanks “to the father I never knew who named me Sibyl hoping I would be shrewd in business. That did not occur, but I did end up making books.” This beautiful book is about five ancient Sibyls, including how they were depicted in Western art. These Sibyls are the Cumean, Delphic, Erythraean, Persian, and the Libyan. They offered prophecies, often through the use of leaves, as being from the thoughts of the gods. There is a brief description of each, accompanied by an intaglio leaf print and a reproduction of each Sibyl from the work of Michelangelo (four plates) or Velasquez (one plate). Each Sibyl is presented within a fold-out page with the description on the facing page and the plate and illustration inside the fold. Bound in red cloth with green spine, with title and author on front cover. The book was printed on Dutch etching paper in Bodoni, Bernard Modern, Albertus, and Patatino types. There are eight intaglio prints, each signed by the book artist. Housed in a brown paper covered case lined with the same red cloth as the book covers. This splendid production captures the mystery and beauty of the Sibyls legends. In fine condition. Unpaginated. ARTISTSBOOKS/080112. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2010. Hardcover. Number 4 of 10 copies. Book artist Sibyl Rubottom grew up on Long Island Sound where Esther Williams was her hero. She grew up watching her movies trying "to relive the fabulous water ballet sequences." As an adult her love of water continued and she began swimming in La Jolla Cove near her home and later in an olympic sized outdoor pool in Mission Valley. She dedicates this book to La Jolla Cove, one of her regular swimming spots when the water is warm enough. Illustrated with six etchings and three unique oil paintings on mylar. Printed on Fabriano Rosapina Bianco paper using letterpress and intaglio prints, some with chine colle. Set in Bernhard Modern. Oblong folio. Housed in a blue clamshell box. Unpaginated. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press / False Bay Editions, 2009. Number 12 of 20 copies. An exquisite production fr. Hardcover. Number 12 of 20 copies. Founded by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek in 2000, the Bay Park Press produces artists' books, offers classes, and holds book arts' exhibitions. Their books address a wide range of subjects from the universe to gardening to opera to Yiddish and more. Most are letterpress printed, many have moveable pieces, and all are illustrated. This is an exquisite work from Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek. It was inspired by Sibyl’s interest in all things botanical and Jim’s family heritage. The result is what they hoped for - "a riotous colorscape for your senses” - with rich and luminous colors and beautiful illustrations. It includes 14 unbound folded folio sized leaves that are housed in a folding case. Twelve of the leaves are dedicated to different types of gardens, each in a different color, with designs and writings to reflect that garden. The gardens are: Japanese, butterfly, desert, night, orchid, primordial, mystical, rose, water, Eros, secret, and herb. Each features a poem or prose by such writers as John Milton, Rumi, Homer, Lord Byron, Robert Frost, Oscar Wilde, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The two other folded leaves are for the title and for the colophon. Printed on Fabriano Rosapina Blanco paper in Venus, Edwardian Script, and Palatino typefaces using letterpress, monoprint, and intaglio techniques. Housed in a custom box in brown cloth lined with handmade paper. The covers open from the middle with a title label on one side and a small metal rectangle with wooden peg closure on the other. In fine condition. Unpaginated. [56 pages.] ARTISTSBOOKS/081612. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2004. Glossy Pictorial Cover. Number 23 of 40 copies. Signed and numbered by the book artists. Founded by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek in 2000, the press produces artists' books, offers classes, and holds book arts' exhibitions. Their books address a wide range of subjects from the universe to gardening to opera to Yiddish and more. Most are letterpress printed, many have moveable pieces, and all are illustrated. Visiting artists including Carolyn LaFrance and others regularly print books at the press. Books created by Jim and Sibyl at Bay Park Press bear the imprint of False Bay Editions. It is named after False Bay, which was the original name of San Diego's Mission Bay and is located near the press. This engaging accordion book is an alphabetical melange of spice. Various spices are described by definition, quotes, or history, and accompanied by lovely images on tan color pages that were hand-tinted with spice dyes. Some of the pages had an "intoxicating 14 runs through the press." The accordion text pages are encased in stiff paper covers, with the top flap cut out in the shape of leaves. Comes in a burlap drawstring bag with title and press name printed on a label attached by string. In fine condition. 4.5 x5 inches.PRI/073112. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2000. Hardcover. Number 40 of 45 copies. This was the premier publication of the Bay Park Press. Its founders, Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Marachacek, have gone on to create many more wonderful books. This work is based on a poem by the 13th century Suni mystic, Rumi. It is constructed from a single sheet of white Fabriano Rosapina paper that has been cut , folded, and printed in shades of blue, light orange, and red. The cover paper is Fox River Confetti. The text is in various sizes of Bodoni and Times Roman. The images were created with polymer plates, monotypes, a linocut, and screen printing. The cover has cleverly cut out a diamond in a pleated page edge, and has printed a brief history of Rumi within the diamond. In fine condition. PRI/073112. Fine.
North Hill PA: Bird and Bull Press, 1982. Hardcover. Number 311 of 350 copies. Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was the son of famed actress Ellen Terry and stage designer Edward William Godwin. Gordon in turn became a well known actor, director, and stage designer. Early in his career as an actor, he also became interested in graphic design and wood cuts, studying under well-known artists of the day. This diary, written when he was sixty, recounts a difficult period in Craig's life, when he was experiencing health and money worries. As Franklin notes in his prologue, this was a low period for Craig and was also for Europe, as Hitler was rising in power. The text was composed in Baskerville types and printed on mouldmade Bugrbotton paper and bound in brown quarter leather by Gray Parrot. Red leather spine label with title, and boards in yellow and white striped paper. In fine condition. 154 pages. PRI/070711. Fine.
Toronto: Biting Dog Press, 2019. Hardcover. Number 18 of 35 copies. An examination of the "Necronomicon" - "a scientific diary of the putatively insane doctor known as Abdullah Alhazred. He was a scientist and an alchemist who believed cannibalistic funerary rites could both appease the spirits of the dead and access the divine" (page 13). It includes a fascinating discussion of previous translations, historical contextualization, medical and philosophical explanations behind Alhazred's practices, biographical facts about the doctor, and new translations of the five extracts. According to Alhazred, if performed using the correct rituals, ingestion of the dead could transfer their energy or life force, thus extending the life of the consumer. If true, perhaps he is still alive, wandering in the desert (or so this book suggests)! Digitally printed on laid paper with an original woodcut made by George A. Walker, signed and numbered 7 of 42, tipped into the front. The book is bound in grey cloth boards with a black dust jacket titled in white on the spine and front panel. A pattern of grey skulls decorates the jacket. Includes color photographic illustrations that depict fragments from the original Necronomicon, a page from the Book of the Dead, and other historical sources. 37 pages. PRI/011020. Fine.
Toronto: Biting Dog Press, 2019. Hardcover. Number 16 of 35 copies. An examination of the "Necronomicon" - "a scientific diary of the putatively insane doctor known as Abdullah Alhazred. He was a scientist and an alchemist who believed cannibalistic funerary rites could both appease the spirits of the dead and access the divine" (page 13). It includes a fascinating discussion of previous translations, historical contextualization, medical and philosophical explanations behind Alhazred's practices, biographical facts about the doctor, and new translations of the five extracts. According to Alhazred, if performed using the correct rituals, ingestion of the dead could transfer their energy or life force, thus extending the life of the consumer. If true, perhaps he is still alive, wandering in the desert (or so this book suggests)! Digitally printed on laid paper with an original woodcut made by George A. Walker, signed and numbered 5 of 42, tipped into the front. The book is bound in grey cloth boards with a black dust jacket titled in white on the spine and front panel. A pattern of grey skulls decorates the jacket. Includes color photographic illustrations that depict fragments from the original Necronomicon, a page from the Book of the Dead, and other historical sources. 37 pages. PRI/011020. Fine.
[Toronto]: Biting Dog Press, 2005. Softcover. Number 64 of 65 copies. Signed and numbered by the printer and artist George Walker. A beautiful edition of one of Poe's most famous poems, illustrated with four striking black and white wood engravings by master engraver Walker. Ms. Hogan-Walker's introduction describes the mysterious circumstances of Poe's death and the contemporary critical and popular reception of this powerful poem. Printed with Garamond type on lovely St. Armand handmade paper. Bound in grey paper covers with title and crow image on front cover. Housed in a handmade hinged wooden box with paper title label and flying crow image on top and George Walker's signature on paper label on bottom of box. In fine condition. Book measures 6.5 x 10 inches; Box is 7.5 x 11 inches. Unpaginated [24 pages]. PRI/090619. Fine.
Chicago, IL: The Black Cat Press, (1967). Paperback. Blue side stapled paper wrappers with black title to front cover. Printed in black and red. Lists names, authors, sizes, brief descriptions of bindings/ typfaces, and prices of books. [8 pages.] About 4.25 inches tall by about 3 inches wide. PRI/010920. Fine.
Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1985. Hardcover. One of 200 cloth trade copies. Inscribed on the title-page. "For Martin & Tracy / with all love on this / good day - in your / new space/ Joel Oppenheimer/ 2/22/86/ Swedesburg." Bound in the original quarter cloth with printed paper boards and dark blue paper title pastedown to spine. Top edge spotted, a few spots of foxing to covers, and small spot to front endpaper; otherwise very good in acetate jacket as issued. A few creases to acetate. 148 pages. POE/101316. Very Good.
Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1979. Hardcover. First Edition. Letter N of 26 copies hand-bound in boards, lettered and signed by the author. There were many copies issued in paper wrappers and also 200 hardcover copies signed by the author. "Rochelle Owens is the award-winning author of many controversial and innovative plays and a pioneer in the experimental off-Broadway movement" (last page, unnumbered). Bound in quarter decorated cloth with green paper boards and green paper title label to spine. Fine in acetate dust jacket. 152 pages. PRI/101416. Fine.
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1969. Hardcover. First Edition. Number 121 of 150 numbered copies in hardcover, signed by the author. There were also 300 signed copies issued in paper wrappers and 250 unsigned copies issued also in paper wrappers. Printed by Noel Young. Includes 17 poems. Bound in quarter patterned cloth and olive green paper covered boards with printed paper label on the spine and illustration on front cover. Clean and bright. Very fine in clear plastic dust jacket, with minor wear to edges of jacket. 33 pages. PRI/101416. Fine.
Upland CA: Blackbird Press, 2007 [Distributed in 2010]. Hardcover. Number 40 of 100 copies. Signed by the poet, the book artist, and the illustrator. Writes Gillingwators, "When I first read B. H. Fairchild’s poetry collection The Art of the Lathe, I knew I wanted to publish the opening poem “Beauty” as a letterpress limited edition book. The poem has book characteristics–narrative structure and four, chapter-like divisions–and its visceral, lyrical appeal motivated me." Fairchild's poetry has been widely published and he has been the recipient of numerous awards. The Art of the Lathe was described in the LA Times as "a contemporary classic...finely crafted and perfectly pitched." The book artist continues: "I knew from the initial reading that my book edition would have metal covers, reminiscent of the corrugated-metal buildings that often house machine shops [where the poem takes place]. The making of the book took three years as the book artist and illlustrator learned how to make the tiny metal hinges for the book and how to age the thin aluminum used for the book covers. Each step required research, test trials, and practice. Printed with Centaur and Arrighi monotype on Zerkall Book paper, with linocuts by Alquitela. Housed in a grey clamshell box with title and author in red to spine. In fine condition. 7 x 11". Unpaginated. [11 pages] PRI/031715. Fine.