Upland CA: Blackbird Press, 2007 [Distributed in 2010]. Hardcover. Number 40 of 100 copies. Signed by the poet, the book artist, and the illustrator. A poem about the word and concept of "beauty", which is applied to a homoerotic experience witnessed in a machine shop. 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.
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New York: Nicholas L. Brown, 1929. Hardcover. One of 1410 copies printed from type on French Navarre paper. This was the author's own copy, with his bookplate affixed to the front pastedown along with a small oval pink and gilt decorative sticker showing two Greek figures. Tipped in is a charming original watercolor portrait of a young woman done by Franz Felix. He has inscribed it: "To Mitchell S. Buck, Esq in high esteem and friendship Franz Felix, NY 1929." The book is handsomely bound in quarter brown leather with black cloth covers. Raised bands to spine and gilt titling. Binding is near fine with the slightest wear to the corners. Interior pages are clean and bright. There are six stylized green illustrations with white background. A previous owner or bookseller has written in pencil of the free front endpaper that the book was the author's copy and includes an original watercolor. The rear pastedown has evidence that a bookseller ticket was removed. In about fine condition. Measures 6.5 x 8.5 inches. LIT/090523. Fine.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 2015. Number 16 of 66 copies signed and numbered by the publisher, Andy Malcolm, the writer of the introduction, Edward Wakeling, and the printer, George A. Walker. The press calls this fine production their Sesquicentennial Edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Edward Wakeling, who wrote the introduction, is an internationally known authority on Carroll. Wakeling writes in his introduction: Harry Furniss was born in Wexford, Ireland on March 26, 1854. He was a prolific artist and illustrator, best remembered for his humorous illustrations published in Punch, to which he contributed over 2,600 drawings from 1880 to 1894. Furniss was eleven years old when Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published. He regretted not being old enough to illustrate the Alice book for himself. He was delighted when Carroll singled him out to illustrate the Sylvie and Bruno books. Carroll recognized Furniss’s ability to draw both character likenesses and grotesques; an essential ingredient for his new book. Sylvie and Bruno was nothing like Alice’s Adventures. Furniss said that this was a bitter disappointment to him. Inwardly, he nursed the ambition to do his own illustrated version of Alice. When the copyright ran out in 1907, he drew twenty illustrations for the book. But few people have seen Alice as illustrated by Harry Furniss. The illustrations first appeared in three installments of The Children’s Encyclopaedia edited by Arthur Mee in 1908. This edition offers for the first time enlarged, high resolution copies of the original Furniss art. The portfolio of loose illustration leaves is made available for sale as a hand printed folio. The polymer plates of the illustrations were made from high resolution scans; sixteen of these images are from the original drawings from the archives of the Fales Library in New York City. Printed on Arches Velin Cream French 100% rag archival paper with Janson type. The portfolio is housed in a clam shell box made from the finest quality materials, with red cloth covers and a gilt illustration of the white rabbit on the top cover and gilt title on spine. In fine condition. Paper sheets measure 11 x 15 inches. PRI/111519. Fine.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 2017. Number 31 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/031221.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 2017. Number 29 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. Includes laid in prospectus. In fine condition. 10 x 13 inches. 57 pages. PRI/031323.
London: The Cresset Press, 1929. Hardcover. Number 347 of 450 copies printed on mould-made paper. An additional 30 copies numbered I-XXX were printed on handmade paper. This sumptuous edition of the biblical apocrypha as they appeared in the King James Bible has fourteen wood engraved illustrations, one for each book, each commissioned by a noted contemporary artist of the time. They are Blair Hughes Stanton, Gertrude Hermes, Leon Underwood, Stephen Gooden, Rene Ben Sussan, M.E. Groom, Eric Jones, Wladislaw Skoczylas, Hester Sainbury, Frank Medworth, Eric Ravilious, John Nash, and D. Galanis. The Cresset Press was a publishing company in London, England, active as an independent press from 1927 for 40 years, and initially specializing in "expensively illustrated limited editions of classical works, like Milton's Paradise Lost" but later going on to produce well-designed trade editions of literary and political works. Among the leading illustrators commissioned by Cresset were Blair Hughes-Stanton and Gertrude Hermes — The Pilgrim's Progress (1928), The Apocrypha (1929), and D. H. Lawrence's Birds, Beasts and Flowers (1930). [Wikipedia] Bound in full cream vellum over thick boards with a leather title label to spine. Spine label is rubbed and slightly nicked. The binding is tight and unbowed. The text pages are bright and fresh. The superb full page wood engravings are sharp and vivid impressions. The book was beautifully printed at the Curwen Press. Housed in a black slipcase. In fine condition in near fine slipcase. Measures 8.5 x 13 inches. 406 pages. PRI/121422. Fine.
West Branch, Iowa: Cummington Press, 1970. Limited Edition. Hardcover. LIMITED EDITION. Number 116 of 300 numbered copies. First edition. Fine black cloth backed, beige covered boards with black title to front board. Interior is clean and bright with lovely color illustrations. In white dust jacket with no title or text. Small closed tear to top edge of rear panel of dust jacket. 20 pages. PRI/102516. Fine / Very Good.
New York: H. Bittner & Company, 1944. Hardcover. 1 of 500 copies. With 21 hand colored woodcuts by Fritz Kredel. A collection of tales that was originally published in Spanish in 1874. This edition is the newly translated (into English) version. Mustard yellow cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Bump to foot of spine. Foxing to first and last few pages, else clean. Letterpress printed by Victor and Jacob Hammer at the Wells College Press in Aurora, NY. In off-white dust jacket with black title to spine and front panels. Minor browning to spine panel and edges of front and rear panels of jacket. Minor wear to edges including a few chips to spine ends of jacket. 151 pages. PRI/010422. Very Good / Very Good.
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2013. Paperback. Number 13 of 26 copies, of which 22 were offered for sale. Numbered and signed by the printer. According to the foreword, “this work has its origins in an abandoned printing of Nicholas Jenson’s last will and testament, illustrated with Jenson’s Greek letters.” It includes quotes from Jenson in Greek from Noctes Atticae and quotes from other scholars in English. It also includes original poetry by the printer, some of which was created from words excerpted from Jenson’s will and translated into English. Bound in orange handmade Cave paper with “I, Nicholas Jenson alien & printer of books” printed in red and silver inks across the rear, spine, and front panels. A small spot of foxing to a few pages, but clean and bright overall. Illustrated with hand drawn Greek letters by Deirdre Hassed and printed from magnesium blocks. The binding style was created by Keith Smith. The book is housed in a blue cloth covered clamshell box with a magnetic folding closure. Unpaginated. [48 pages] PRI/111616. Fine.
Oldham, England: Incline Press. Hardcover. Number 32 of 160 copies signed by the artist. This is a handsome book with striking prints from artist Nick Wonham. From the press: "Collective nouns, the stuff of schooldays, always seem to amuse us. A parliament of magpies has to be a favourite, especially if you’ve heard a group of them cackling together in the Springtime. But we prefer the alternative, a charm of magpies, which certainly suits this poem better. It is one version of a folk rhyme which has many local variants, all superstitiously foretelling the future through random occurrence. Although Iona & Peter Opie’s Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes does not include it amongst the counting rhymes. It makes a nice counting or even skipping song, and we present it thus, with the numeral and its word facing each picture to encourage learning by mixing reading with the action of counting. Magpies are often known a thugs in the garden, stealing eggs and chasing off their more delicate rivals. As printers, though, we have a fondness for them because of their “ink on paper” plumage and their latin name pica pica, which recalls the printshop unit of measure. The heart of our book is the ten two-colour linocut prints. Each one 8 x 6 inches, their bold, dense colours add to the edgy feel of the images. Hand set in Monotype Bemb from 24 to 72 points in size. The numerals are Winchester 30-line woodtype from Stephenson, Blake. The paper is Zerkall. Bound with a dark blue cloth spine and light blue printed paper over boards with specially printed endpapers by Roger Grech at his Papercut Bindery. In fine condition. Measures 14.5 x 10.25 inches. Unpaginated [27 pages]. PRI/102518. Fine.
Minneapolis: Indulgence Press, 2012. Portfolio. Number 7 of 10 copies. Signed and numbered by poet and illustrator. This is one of several books produced by Wilber "Chip" Schilling, owner of the Indulgence Press, in collaboration with author-artist Thomas Rose. In this book they created a beautiful and mysterious work that combines Rose's haunting photographs with the poetry of Lo Ch'ing, a noted modern poet from China. In his foreword, Rose states that "art deals with primary intention and those aspects of objects and space that are unavailable to logic. His images are constructed from various sources including shadows and reflections. They are illusions, reflections in glass. Lo Ch'ing's poems give these images...depth and richness." The pairings of the photographs and poems are open-ended and ambiguous, allowing for conjecture as to how the images and text meet. The eight photographic prints are originals by Rose, and Lo Ch’ing wrote the interpretive poems for this book, with his original brushwork and translations. They were printed letterpress from plates by Schilling. Each image is printed in color on a fine woven paper. Each poem is printed in Chinese and English along with the striking black brushwork on a light and semi-transparent paper that slightly reveals the image beneath. The elephant folio sized sheets are housed in a green and black cloth portfolio with diagonal boards that fasten with a black bone closure. A stunning production from the noted Indulgence Press in fine condition. PRI/121312. Fine.
Monmouth shire UK: The Old Stile Press, 1998. Hardcover. Number 160 of 200 copies. Signed by the artist and essayist. From the Press: "When The Affectionate Shepheard was first published, in London in 1594, its author was 20 years of age and immediately became a celebrity -- although he ceased to write six years later. In the centuries since, however, both poem and poet have largely disappeared from sight. Printings have been few and this one is thought to be the very first to be accompanied by images. The poem followed the rich tradition of pastoral poetry and was influenced especially by the second Eclogue of Vergil, taking unrequited love as its theme and, as its subject, the love of a shepherd, Daphnis, for the young man, Corydon. An essay, putting the work fascinatingly in its historical and literary context, has been specially written by Dr. Peter Wakelin for inclusion in this edition. If the poem is an unusual and worthwhile rediscovery, so is the printmaking technique employed by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Involving glass and a layer of pigment, it is more akin to line engraving on, say, metal than to any form of drawing. This publication is also remarkable for being the first of our books to be printed entirely on paper handmade by Frances McDowall at The Old Stile Press." Printed in Bulmer types on McDowall's handmade paper.Illustrations on each page produced from autographic relief images using a variant form of cliché verre. Bound in vegetable parchment hand toned by the printer, illustrated on both covers with outline designs printed in grey, black spine titling. Special endpapers handmade by Frances McDowall. Foxing to some pages. Housed in a folding slipcase covered in burnt orange cloth, lined with blue Ingres paper. Octavo in near fine condition. 58 pages. PRI/061416. Near Fine.
Monmouthshire, England: The Old Stile Press, 2008. Hard Cover. Number 70 of 195 copies in Main Edition. Illustrated by Michael Onken and signed by him. This book came when the McDowells, proprietors of the press, discovered this text among the papers of George Mackay Brown. He wrote it in 1984 and it had a single public reading but was never published. The play draws on the tales of the Selkie folk. The American artist, Michael Onken, has found Orkney to be his "spiritual" home, and also was drawn to the Selkie legends. This book is a result of the play's discovery. Bound in cream cloth front cover with illustration in brown. Backing and rear board are blue linen. Housed in fine grey slipcase with paper illustration of Mackay Brown affixed to front. Designed and printed by Nicolas McDowell in Albertina type on grey Velin Arches paper. The artist's wood engravings, woodcuts,and linocut images were printed in black and white from the original blocks. Binding by The Fine Book Bindery using paper printed at The Old Stile Press. In fine condition. Unpaginated [56 pages]. PRI/061316. Fine.
Monmouthshire, UK: The Old Stile Press, 2010. Hardcover. 1 of 60 copies. Illustrated with textual descriptions by Natalie d’Arbeloff. The artist created these gestural pen and ink figure drawings over fifty years ago while she was a student in New York City studying under Jack Tworkov, a prominent abstract expressionist. D’Arbeloff is now a printmaker, cartoonist, and book artist with work in collections around the world. Bound in blue paper covered boards with gilt title to spine and black illustration to front cover. Printed on Velin Arches Blanc in Aries type. The images were printed at original size with photopolymer plates. The text is printed in grey with titles in blue and illustrations in black. In fine condition. Unpaginated. PRI/081111. Fine.
Oldham, England: The Old Stile Press, 1989. Hardcover. Number 149 of 220 copies. Signed by the illustrator. The Gymnopaediae was an ancient Greek festival at which nude young boys would dance, sing, and display their athletic abilities to honor Apollo. Filled with linocut illustrations of nude male athletes in various poses. Bound in quarter black cloth with blue paper covered boards. Black title to spine and terracotta illustration of a Greek sculpture of a nude boy to the front cover. Printed on Saunders HP mould-made paper in Joanna and PerpetuaLight Titling type. Housed in a beige cloth covered slipcase printed in terracotta with a series of figures. In fine condition. [80 pages]. PRI/071112. Fine in Fine Slipcase.
Oldham, England: The Old Stile Press, 1989. Hardcover. 145 of 220 copies. Signed by the illustrator. The Gymnopaediae was an ancient Greek festival at which nude young boys would dance, sing, and display their athletic abilites to honor Apollo. Includes a brief textual introduction and the remainder of the book is filled with linocut illustrations of nude male atheletes in various poses. Bound in quarter black cloth with blue paper covered boards. Black title to spine and terracotta illustration of a Greek sculpture of a nude boy to the front cover. Printed on Saunders HP mould-made paper in Joanna and Perpetua Light Titling type. Housed in a beige cloth covered slipcase printed in terracotta with a series of figures. [80 pages]. PRI/071112. Fine in Fine Slipcase.
Lincoln, MA: Penmaen Press Ltd, 1979. Hardcover. Limited Edition. Number 193 of 300 copies specially bound, numbered, and signed by the author and artist. There were also 700 regular copies printed. A "Chaplin-esque" short story with wood engravings by Jerome Kaplan. Set in Caledonia type on Mohawk Superfine paper. Bound in three quarter blue cloth with patterned paper covered boards and gilt title to spine. Pristine. 44 pages. PRI/052411. Fine.
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.
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 in white cloth, with gilt spine lettering plus red titling to front cover along with a large Art Nouveau design in gilt. 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. Endpapers and pastedowns have varying degrees of foxing. Pages with some light aging to the margins and darkening to edges. First three pages of Volume I have brown splatters to bottom margins. Despite flaws still a beautiful set in very good condition.1546 pages. PRI/ 063022. Very Good.
Bennington, VT: The Bird Press, 2000. Since 1997, The Bird Press has been an artist-run publishing project that has focused on hand printed artists’ books. All projects utilize some inherent aspect of the book and often take the form of open-ended collaborations with writers. Each project is a response to the last, both in form and content, in order for the work to continually evolve. Poetry, broadly defined, is a major inspiration for most of the work. Editions between 15-40 utilize various print media including: flatbed offset lithography, stone lithography, etching, letterpress, wood blocks, and digital pigment printing. Book artist 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. His work is represented in numerous collections including Yale University Library, the Library of Congress, UCLA, Stanford University, and the Kunstindustri Musset (Denmark). Number 26 of 40 copies in the regular edition. There are also 10 special bindings and 5 unique artists proof bindings. Signed and numbered by the book artist. A collection of eight poems by Danish poet, typographer, art critic, and translator Peter Laugesen (1942 - ). He was awarded the Danish Critics Prize for Literature in 2003. These poems were written in Denmark in 1999 specifically for this collaborative project with artist Thorsten Dennerline. He describes his eight etchings in this book: “[They] are meant to be an accompaniment to the text that functions as a collaboration similar to the way musicians might play together.” Bound in quarter vellum over blue cloth boards, which are laced into a vellum covered spine with five strips of alum-tawed thongs. The endbands are buttonhole stitched with waxed yellow thread. The front cover is titled in black and the rear cover has a black star printed near the bottom edge. The text is in both Danish and English. The Danish text is printed on translucent Seikishu Japanese paper and the English translation is printed on a thicker stock. This allows the reader to view the poems in both languages mirroring each other through the transparent paper. Unpaginated. [50 pages.] Size: 9.75 x 10 inches. In fine condition. ARTB/032417. Fine.
Mad Parrot Press, 2022. Hardcover. Number 45 of 75 copies signed by the printer and binder, Chad Pastotnik. This is a marvelous edition of The Wind in the Willows, the incomparable book by Kenneth Grahame. In his introduction, Peter Hunt, author of The Making of The Wind in the Willows, writes: "It is a book which makes you feel that, though everybody in the house loves it, it is only you who really appreciate it at its true value, and that others are scarcely worthy of it." This book is beautifully produced, with fine letterpress printing on special paper, and is accompanied by artist Vladimir Zimakov's exuberant linoleum cut illustrations of the characters and their adventures. Quarter bound in green Moroccan goatskin and orange cloth. Orange titling to spine and leather and gilt illustration affixed to the front cover. Printed in the Centaur font with Arrighi for italic on special Saint Armand Canal paper developed especially for this work. There are 12 full page color illustrations and numerous text illustrations throughout. Housed in a black cloth slipcase. In fine condition. Measures 10.25 x 14.25 inches. 132 pages. PRI/050522. Fine.
Oakland, CA: Prototype Press, 2017. Hardcover. Number 21 of 52 copies. A finely printed edition of Bukowski's semi-autobiographical work about coming of age in Los Angeles during the Great Depression. Huge fans of Bukowski's work, printers David Johnston and Mark Sarigianis, aspired to print this modern classic in their early days of working together at the Arion Press. Years later, after forming The Prototype Press in 2014, they began the process of acquiring the printing rights, and Johnston digitally keyboarded the novel in preparation to begin typecasting. Unfortunately, he tragically passed on within a week of completing it. Over the next few years his partner Sarigianis completed the book, which necessitated a two-part casting of type and printing - with the first half of type melted down in order to cast the second. Illustrated by Sean StarWars, a woodcut artist living in Laurel, Mississippi with his wife and five children. He is also a proud member of the Outlaw Printmakers. Following is a note about this project from the artist: "Nobody really gets a Charles Bukowski quote right, so I’m just gonna paraphrase him: 'You’re only a writer when you’re writing’. I have taken that to heart as an artist, specifically as a printmaker. 'You’re only an artist when you’re making art, not when you’re talking about it…' With that in mind I have spent the last 25 years with my nose to the grindstone blasting out print after print after print. Being invited to illustrate Ham on Rye has been one of the most personally gratifying projects I have ever worked on. It has also been one of the most challenging. This project has forced me to do a number of things I don’t do well or easily, such as working small and working detailed. But there’s one other thing I learned from my years of devouring Bukowski and that’s to trust your gut, and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at doing that. I hope you see my woodcuts as Inspirations by Bukowski and not simply illustrations of his words.’’ Bound in handmade black paper from St. Armand over white pigskin with black title to spine. Light rubbing to boards, else fine. Letterpress printed in Goudy Powell with heads in Headline Bold. The chapter numbers and title page are printed with Condensed Gothic Bold woodtype. Printed on custom handmade paper from St. Armand with the watermarks of "CB" (the author's initials) and "HC" (the author's alter-ego, Henry Chinaski). The illustrations are printed from the original hand carved wood blocks over tinted blocks of cyan, magenta, and yellow. The type was cast and the book was printed and bound by the Prototype Press. Housed in a black paper covered slipcase titled in gilt to spine panel. 364 pages. PRI/051923. Fine.
"Tranquility" Southern MD: Prototype Press, 2021. Hardcover. Number 13 of 50 copies. A finely printed edition of M.F.K. Fisher's culinary classic about oysters, originally printed in 1941. Head of the Prototype Press, Mark Sarigianis, first encountered Fisher's book at the Mills College Library in CA and was entranced. He says: "Even though it was written in 1941, I was immediately struck by the passionate 'foodie' sensibilities with which she waxed poetic about oysters. In fact, she made any modern writer of the subject seem incredibly boring. A serendipitous connection led me to be able to ask M.F.K. Fisher's daughter, Kennedy Golden, directly for her permission to print the work." Sarigianis hired Martin Mazorra, a Brooklyn based artist with work in collections around the U.S., to create engaging anthropomorphic linocuts to illustrate the text. His playful illustrations pair nicely with Fisher's often humorous observations, such as this one: "An oyster will taste like what the taster expects, which of course depends on the taster. Myself, since I was seventeen I have expected all oysters to be delicious, and with very few exceptions they have been. In the same way, some people wait, if they manage to swallow these shellfish at all, to gag more or less violently. And they gag" (page 28). In addition to recipes accompanied by witty observations and commentary, Fisher includes chapters on the life of an oyster, people who have died from eating them, flavors of oysters depending on region, the making of pearls, personal oyster anecdotes, possible aphrodisiac qualities of an oyster, appropriate drinks to accompany a meal of oysters, and more. Bound by the press in quarter white goatskin with handmade gray paper covered boards and silver title to spine. Clean and bright. Printed in Monotype Goudy Light with Windsor Elongated typeface for the blue headlines on custom paper from the Saint-Armand paper mill. The paper used for the binding and box were also produced by the Saint-Armand paper mill. Housed in a box covered in handmade white paper with a detachable magnetic lid. Issued with a custom oyster shucking knife, stamped with the title of the book and author, which can be used to assist with opening the lid of the box housing the book. 76 pages. PRI/031423. Fine.
"Tranquility," Southern MD: The Prototype Press, 2023. Hardcover. Number 9 of 28 copies. This is a handsome and inventive edition of Kipling's famous short story from The Jungle Book about a mongoose, Rikki-Tikki, who bravely battles two large cobras that threaten the family who adopted him. After a devastating flood separates Rikki-Tikki from his parents, a family finds the mongoose and nurses him back to health. Mark Sarigianis writes: My first introduction to Kipling’s Rikki-tikki-tavi was through the Chuck Jones animated film. Although it was made before my time, a home-recorded VHS from a network rerun was in my childhood home. Even at an early age, I knew there was something serious and cared for in the art direction and style, especially when compared to the standard Saturday morning cartoons of the day. When my oldest child fell in love with the cartoon last year, printing an edition of the original story seemed like an easy choice for the press. It was not until reaching out to the Chuck Jones estate that the project took on an unusual direction for a fine press edition. The estate did a fantastic job archiving early sketches that Chuck made for the movie, and as I looked through them, I was drawn to a series focused specifically on the evolution of the titular character and his movements. This is the series that made it into the book, printed from photopolymer plates made from high resolution scans of the sketches. The artwork focuses on Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, while the book's design elements are meant to evoke the stories king cobra villains, Nag and Nagaina. He continues to write about Chuck Jones: "In a career spanning over 70 years, American animator-director Charles Martin Jones (1912-2002), more famously known as Chuck Jones, forged a legacy during the Golden Age of Animation, creating some of the most acclaimed and brilliantly designed cartoons and films during his lifetime. He made more than 300 animated films, winning three Oscars as director and in 1996 an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. Jones's animation mastery was unparalleled. His character creations, such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, have possibly inspired more laughter across the globe over six generations than any other film maker." The Prototype Press is operated by Mark Sarigianis and is based in Southern Maryland. It was originally founded by David Johnston in 2011 as Sharp Teeth Press in San Francisco. Mark and David rebranded as The Prototype Press in 2014 in Oakland shortly before David tragically passed away in 2015. By producing fine press books, the press aims at fulfilling its primary mission of preserving the traditions of typecasting, letterpress printing and hand bookbinding. The Prototype Press edition of Rikki-tikki-tavi is printed in an edition of 28 copies. The typeface used for the text is handset Italian Old Style, designed by Frederic Goudy. The gold-foiled typeface in various sizes is Libra, designed by Sjoerd Henrik de Roos, which was chosen to reference the use of an Uncial typeface in the movie. The pages were printed damp on custom handmade cotton paper from The Saint-Armand paper mill. It is half-bound in black goat leather with yellow covers. A copy of the 1975 animated film is included on a USB drive and the book is housed in a slipcase. In fine condition. It measures 11x15 inches. 25 pages + colophon. With prospectus. PRI/091223. Fine.