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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, 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 out-of print book 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. 1 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/031221. 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.
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.
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.
Washington DC: Blue House Press, 1989. Softcover. Number 34 of 500 copies. Signed and numbered by the book artist. Nancy Garruba is a writer, photographer, and graphic designer. Her artists' books have been collected by many museums and libraries. This scarce work is a meditation on birth and death after the loss of a baby. The contemplative text is accompanied by monochromatic photographs of sky, clouds, water, along with that of a woman giving birth and a solitary unmoving figure. The book can be opened as a codex or fanned out in carousel fashion to see all of the pages at once. Transparent covers reveal the photographic paper boards with title. In near fine condition with slightest wear to corners of covers. 7.5 x 7.5 inches. Unpaginated. PI/050218. Near Fine.
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.
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, 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, 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.
Pasadena: The Castle Print. Softcover. 1 of 300 copies printed by Grant Dahlstrom as a limited edition for fellow typophiles, friends of the press, and the author. This charming work recounts famed artist and illustrator Will Bradley's early days from childhood until his early 20s. In light green paper wrappers with a string binding and title on front cover. Interior pages clean and bright with frontis photograph of a young Bradley. Some pages are unopened. In near fine condition. 21 pages. PRI/082319. Near Fine.
Putney, VT: Bridge Press, 1990. Portfolio. Based on Inferno from the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. Ten prints of the edition were issued with etchings by Brian D. Cohen. Fifty additional copies of the poems only were issued in individual portfolios. This is one of those fifty printed on Mohawk Superfine 100 lb in Caslon type. Housed in a grey paper portfolio with the title embossed on the front cover. There are two short closed tears along the edges of the portfolio. PRI/033010. Near Fine.
Essex, England: Alan Brignull, 2012-2014. Softcover. Alan Brignull took over this fine little letterpress annual in 2012, which has been published since 1955. Each volume binds together the several contributions received from letterpress printers in England and the United States. The submissions vary greatly by style and layout but they all concern some aspect of printing, design, or typography. Each volume is bound in white glossy paper covers with a color linen spine. The title and issue number appear on the front cover. All are in near fine condition. Measures 5 x 7 inches. Unpaginated. PRI/040920. Near Fine.