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.
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Ogdensburg, NY: Caliban Press, 2017. Number 28 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/010419.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 2018. Number 7 of 42 copies signed by the printers and the author of the introduction. This is a delightful new edition of Lewis Carroll's famous poem, The Hunting of the Snark. It was produced by a writer, artist, and book designer and printers who are ardent and well-known Carroll admirers. The Cheshire Press was formed by book designer and printer George Walker in 1991. The press began when he and two colleagues produced new editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Edward Wakeling, who wrote the introduction, is an internationally known authority on Carroll. In addition to writing a recent biography of him, Wakeling also created a comprehensive catalogue raisonne of over 1000 photographs taken by amateur photographer Carroll. Byron W. Sewell is a prolific illustrator, author and bibliographer of works associated with Lewis Carroll. For this edition of Snark, Sewell created new illustrations inspired by contemporary carte-de-visit photographs that were so popular in Victorian England. He has one for each character in the poem, adapting images from actual photographs. They are ideal depictions for this fantastic nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll, written when he was forty-four years old. Bound in maroon cloth with title in gilt to spine and on cover label. Handprinted in New Caledonia type on Bfk Rives Cream paper. The printing was completed by George Walker and Andy Malcolm, and the book design and layout were by Walker. An original print inscribed and signed by Sewell is inserted in a sleeve on the front pastedown. Housed in a slipcase in the same maroon cloth with gilt title on cover. In fine condition. 6.5 x 10 inches. 72 pages. PRI/010319.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 2017. Number 19 of 42 copies. Signed by the printers and the author of the introduction, who are ardent and well-known Carroll admirers. The Cheshire Cat Press was formed by book designer and printer George Walker in 1991. The press began when he and two colleagues produced new editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Edward Wakeling, who wrote the introduction, is an internationally known authority on Carroll. From the prospectus: "Here finally is a book collecting all the Alice associated images into one volume. In this book is the work of the other PUNCH illustrators who were influenced by John Tenniel’s pictures for Lewis Carroll’s Alice. Oh yes we include Tenniel too! Through the many decades that Punch existed (1841-2002), references to the Alice books have been a common feature. Now you can have them all in one volume. The images are printed by hand directly from polymer plates made by Boxcar Press, except Alice Reigns Supreme (page 27) which is printed photo-mechanically. The plates were created from high resolution scans made directly from the original PUNCH publications. Printed on 115 gsm Rives Lightweight Buff 100% rag paper using a Vandercook Sp15 letterpress." Bound in green cloth with gilt title to spine and gilt ruling and Punch figure to front cover. Punch figure repetitive design to endpapers. Housed in a green cloth slipcase. In fine condition. 10 x 13 inches. 57 pages. PRI/010819.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 2017. Number 20 of 42 copies. Signed by the printers and the author of the introduction, who are ardent and well-known Carroll admirers. The Cheshire Cat Press was formed by book designer and printer George Walker in 1991. The press began when he and two colleagues produced new editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Edward Wakeling, who wrote the introduction, is an internationally known authority on Carroll. From the prospectus: "Here finally is a book collecting all the Alice associated images into one volume. In this book is the work of the other PUNCH illustrators who were influenced by John Tenniel’s pictures for Lewis Carroll’s Alice. Oh yes we include Tenniel too! Through the many decades that Punch existed (1841-2002), references to the Alice books have been a common feature. Now you can have them all in one volume. The images are printed by hand directly from polymer plates made by Boxcar Press, except Alice Reigns Supreme (page 27) which is printed photo-mechanically. The plates were created from high resolution scans made directly from the original PUNCH publications. Printed on 115 gsm Rives Lightweight Buff 100% rag paper using a Vandercook Sp15 letterpress." Bound in green cloth with gilt title to spine and gilt ruling and Punch figure to front cover. Punch figure repetitive design to endpapers. Housed in a green cloth slipcase. In fine condition. 10 x 13 inches. 57 pages. PRI/010819.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 1991. Hardcover. Number 96 of 177 copies. Around 1982, Walker, Poole, and Brambant founded the Cheshire Cat Press. They spent six years working on their well received edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published in 1988. George Walker's wood engravings were so admired that the Press decided to publish a book that would be devoted entirely to his engravings. This is that book, which is divided into three parts.: In the first part the 96 illustrations featured in Wonderland are reproduced by chapter in the story's order. The second part, Alice's Misadventures, has engravings that were not used in 1988 along with the reasons why. The last part reproduces some of Walker's preliminary sketches for Wonderland. The introduction describes the procedures the three used in deciding upon each of the illustrations used in Wonderland. Bound in red cloth with gilt titling to spine. Red and gold marbled endpapers. Printed with Century Schoolbook and Hadriano & Hadriano types on Noranda Recycled Antique paper. The drawings were reproduced from Polymer plates. In fine condition. PRI/011019. Fine.
San Francisco: Deeply Game Publications, 2012. Hardcover. Number 45 of 55 copies. Signed by the author and book artists. Book artist Sara Press collaborated with Andrew Rottner to create this exquisite tribute to printing’s golden age. "The story, by Christina Lauritsen, mis-remembers H.C. Andersen’s classic tale of the same name, transforming it into a story of revelation and madness. The visual progression of the book mirrors the plot, pitting the beauty of the decorative arts against the intense and unpredictable messiness of human experience. This book confronts the inevitability of loss and bows to intellectual freedom and its attendant risks." [artists' statement]. The book is printed in Garamond and Bembo types on Moab Entrada paper. It features two 26 inch wide foldouts with illustrations by Rottner. The striking cover is done from a cut-marbled-paper and brocade. The book measures 7 x 9 inches. It is unpaginated. Deeply Game Productions creates and distributes the art works of Sara Press and her collaborators. Sara L. Press is a photographer, printmaker and book artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of her projects examine peculiar areas of overlap between nature and culture (for example: dog fighting, feral children, and our co-evolution with snakes). Sara has also wrestled with the relationship between creativity and the scientific method. Recently, Sara has turned to constructions of masculinity and femininity in our culture (such as human bloodsports and altered fairy-tales). Her work can be seen in public collections around the country and are also in many library and private collections. A lovely book in fine condition. PRI/021919. Fine.
London: Essex House Press, 1899. Hardcover. Number 627 of 750 copies. This was the third book published by the Essex House Press. Founded by C.R. Ashbee and Laurence Hodson “in the hope to keep living the tradition of good printing that William Morris had revived, and with the help of T. Binning and J. Tippett, compositors, and S. Mowlem, pressman, who came from the Kelmscott Press to that end” (from the printer’s note). A lovely book bound and signed by Bickers and Son in brown crushed pigskin with five bands and blind embossed title on spine, top edges gilt and marbled endpapers. Front hinge repaired. Printed in black and red type on fine handmade paper. Frontispiece illustration by Reginald Savage protected by tissue guard. Very good plus condition. 426 pages. PRI/012012. Very Good +.
New York: Private Printing for William Edwin Rudge, 1919. LIMITED EDITION. Hardcover. 8vo. 1 of 250 copies. Purple cloth backed marbled paper boards with gilt title to spine. Minor wear to corners and edges. Interior is very clean with B&W frontis. Elaborate headpiece and initial to first page. Glassine dj with wear/chipping to edges. Front hinge is cracked and rear hinge is starting. Front panel of dj is present, but nearly detached. Several large open tears along spine panel. 26 pp. PRI/031105. Very Good Plus in Good Plus dj.
Oldham, England: Incline Press, 2013. Hardcover. Number 16 of 50 large paper copies. Published to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of Sterne. The book was inspired by printing a pamphlet edition for the Trustees of Shandy Hall, one-time home of the author. Beautiful printed on acid-free Zerkall paper and bound by hand using marbled color paper commissioned from Jemma Lewis, done with the colors used in the first edition of Tristam Shandy. The Caslon typeface used retains the stylistic details of the 18th century, although modern spelling is followed nor is the long s (f) used. With a tipped in illustration of Sterne. Small quarto. In fine condition 21 pages. PRI/042814. Fine.
Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. This is a beautiful original leaf from the magnificent The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer issued by the Kelmscott Press. It is considered a landmark in the history of printing. This disbound leaf is the first page of text for "The Hous of Fame Liber Tercius - the Invocation". Chaucer’s 'House of Fame' is a surreal account of a dream in which the poet visits the palace where Fame herself sits in state. Chaucer’s tour-guide to this strange corner of the medieval universe is a comically garrulous eagle, and there is even time for the pair to stop by the House of Rumour. This page has a splendid illustration by Edward Burne-Jones, who provided the designs for the 87 wood-engravings that illustrate the book. It shows the poet wandering among the ice that have the names of famous people inscribed - but he cannot read them because all but a few letters have thawed and disappeared (fleeting fame...). The illustration is enclosed in a beautiful ornamental border designed by William Morris. There is also an ornate 16-liine opening initial and a six-line initial on the front page. The other side of the page has double column text with ten three-line initials. Printed in Chaucer type on Perch paper. In near fine condition save for pinholes along the left margin from binding, a few light spots of foxing, and two faint tape marks to the top margin of the verso. 11 x 17 inches. PRI/011519. Near Fine.
Oakland CA: Littoral Press, 2002. Hardcover. Number 6 of 125 copies. This is one of the ten copies from the Deluxe Edition that are signed on the colophon by sixteen of the seventeen contributors to this poetry and prose anthology (alas, not Frida Kahlo). They include Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran, Claribel Cone, Martha Gies, Robert Hass. Steve Hellman, Marie Howe, Frida Kahlo, Vickie Karp, Stephen Kessler, Rachel Loden, Jane Miller, Janell Moon, Sharon Olds, LIsa Rappoport, Mark Salerno, Joseph Stroud, and Gary Young. Rappoport writes that this book "is dedicated to those we love with a blazing passion, to those we hope will burn in hell, and ideally, to the future separation of the two." She has been a book artist for almost twenty years and her books can be found in many institutional collections. This beautiful accordion book is bound in red and black Thai Unryl reversible paper with a black title label to front cover. Printed with handset Garamond type on Johannot paper with black and blood-red ink. Each volume has unique pastepaper endpapers. With title page drawing of a heart in flames by Bobbe Besold. The book is 11 x 7 folded and 18 feet long unfolded. In fine condition. Unpaginated. [25 pages] PRI/030915. Fine.
Portland, Maine: Thomas Bird Mosher, 1926. Hardcover. LIMITED EDITION. Very good light blue paper covered boards with white title label on spine. Fading along spine and edges. Minor chipping to head of spine. Light soiling to front board. Decorative endpages. Interior is clean and bright. Frontis is portrait of the editor. 135 pages. Poetry Anthology. POEANT/8262. 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, 1992. Howard Coale. Hardcover. Number 55 of 200 copies. Originally published in The New Yorker in 1980. George Trow was a writer and critic for The New Yorker for more than thirty years. This essay may be his most acclaimed and influential single work. It is about television and its effects on American culture, but more than that, an indictment of the emptiness of modern discourse. It has been described as a work in which Trow foretold his own descent into madness. This is a handsomely designed book with elegant printing and four interpretive illustrations. Bound in black cloth with grey design with a hat on the cover and paper spine label. Printed in Centaur and Arrighi types on Johannot paper. Designed by Robert McCamant, handset and printed by Jennifer Hughes, and bound by Trisha Hammer. Signed by McCamant. In fine condition. 110 pages. PRI/071615. Fine.
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.
Turtles Quill Scriptorium, 1975. Paperback. Number 120 of 125 copies. "Jim Baker's Bluejay Yarn is based on a tale told to Mark Twain in the winter of 1864-5 at Jackass Hill by Jim Gillis, a prospector friend with a literary bent. It appeared in 1880 in 'A Tramp Abroad'" (page 21). Blue paper wrappers with black title to spine and front cover. Minor fading to spine panel and a few spots of foxing to covers. Clean interior. Very Good.
Paperback. Acceptance speech read by the Honoree for 2002, Ms. Saxeston. She discusses finding an original manuscript by O. Henry (which was written while he was in prison) amongst a collection of car manuals owned by Henry J. Kaiser. Black paper wrappers with an ad for a Ford car to front wrapper. Pristine. An April Fools day keepsake. [8 pages] PRI/072408. Fine.
Toronto: George A. Walker, 2014. Hardcover. Number 49 of 80 copies. Signed by Walker, Ravvin, and Smart. Master engraver George Walker has created this splendid work celebrating the 80th birthday (September 21, 2014) of Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen. The eighty wood engravings commemorate Cohen's artistic accomplishments and explore how images of Leonard Cohen have appeared in popular culture over his six decade career. The black and white engravings are arranged chronologically and depict scenes from Cohen's varied creative endeavors. The book also presents portraits of some of the many famous people in his life, including Allan Ginsberg, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Andy Warhol. In his images Walker strives to communicate the importance of Cohen's Zen Buddhist philosophy and plays with numerology and the symbolism behind the number 8. This beautiful book took over one year to make. The engravings were hand printed on Folio Rising Stonehenge archival rag paper. The text pages used Garamond type for the text body and Bernhard for the headings. Bound in black Japanese Asahi bookcloth and housed in a clamshell box covered in the same cloth. The book cover has an inset of an engraved portrait of Cohen and has a brown cloth spine label. A different portrait is inset on the clamshell box. 6 1/4 x 8 x 2 1/2 inches. Unpaginated (22 pages printed recto). PRI/041916. Fine.