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.
Easthampton, MA: Cheloniidae Press, 1982. Hardcover. UNIQUE COPY WITH A SET OF THE 26 ORIGINAL PENCIL DRAWINGS BY ALAN JAMES ROBINSON. There were 300 copies of this book published; 200 were regular copies, 50 were deluxe copies with quarter leather binding and 50 others bound in full leather. The deluxe editions were issued with a set of proofs of the wood engravings and a set of proofs of the line-cut initials, with a large calligraphic manuscript initial beneath each image. The wood engraving proofs are lettered and signed by Robinson, and the line-cut proofs are signed both by Robinson and the calligrapher, Elizabeth Curtis. This copy shows some variation from the copies described in the prospectus. The colophon has been signed and numbered VI of L and internally seems to be a straightforward copy of the deluxe full leather edition. The binding varies somewhat from that pictured in the prospectus but uses many of the same elements. Also, the chemise is thicker that the regular chemise because it contains the 26 pencil drawings. This may have been a special copy prepared by Robinson for a particular subscriber/collector. This wonderful abecedary illustrates each letter of the alphabet with a masterful wood engraving by Robinson. Each animal is described at the bottom of its page in texts chosen primarily from the earliest first-hand accounts of the animal depicted. The descriptions are printed in red. The printed source of each text is identified, and at the end of the book there is a detailed and useful bibliography of these sources. A page with a small, different illustration of the animal precedes each animal’s page, with the calligraphic letter written in red by Curtis. The animals depicted are often wondrous and strange, and some, such as the basilisk, may never have actually existed. This is a two volume folio (including a chemise containing an additional suite of illustrations, and the group of original pencil drawings). The bound volume is in full red morocco, done by David Bourbeau of the Thistle Bindery. The covers have a large central, slightly sunken panel, with the title in red and black and with a Sea Turtle device blocked in blind (Cheloniidae is the name for a species of sea turtles). The proofs contained in the chemise are unbound as issued within the original red morocco-backed, linen cloth covered boards. Both volumes are housed in a red morocco-backed cloth covered box, with the spine lettered and dated in gilt and a small Sea Turtle device in blind. “The blocks were cut by the artist at the Cheloniidae Press & printed by Harold P. McGrath in the summer of 1982.... Mackenzie-Harris set the types in monotype with some hand-setting by Arthur Larson. The text was compiled and annotated by Laurie Block. The hand calligraphy is by Betsy Curtis. The paper is Rives lightweight” (from the colophon). The 8-page prospectus is laid in. A remarkable production from this press. In fine condition. PRI/020112. Fine.
San Jose, CA: Prose and Letters Press, 2004. Hardcover. Number 24 of 50 copies. Signed and numbered by the artist. This printed book is based on a unique hand painted book by the artist. Bound accordion style in Lokta paper covered boards with hand painted gold accents and leather and bead closure. The inspiration for this book was the Lithuanian-American archaeologist, Marija Gimbutas (1921 - 1994), known for her research on the Neolithic and Bronze age cultures of Europe. Gimbutas theorized that the first writing predated Sumerian businessmen by a few thousand years, and instead grew out of symbolic marks on ritual objects made to venerate the Great Goddess in Old Europe. Artist, Cari Ferraro, was heavily influenced by this theory and created an alphabet style based on Marija's catalog of marks which she has used in this book. The background painting on all of the pages uses symbols found in the 5000-year passage grave Newgrange in Ireland, whose meaning has never been fully understood. The design is intended to feel like a cave wall with ancient symbols and writing. The text reads "The first writing/ not merely scribble/ devised by accountants to track livestock or record property/ the first writing/ made to track the moon/ inscribe spirit/ praise for the great mother." An attractive book. [10 pages] ARTB/042108. Fine.
Octopus Books Limited in association with Edgeworth Press, 1979. Hardcover. Oblong quarto. Fine in grey cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Pristine interior with illustrations on every page. Very good illustrated dust jacket with grey spine panel and black title to spine. A few short closed tears to edges of jacket. A is for Arbour, U is for Umbrella Seat, Z is for Zoological Garden, etc. Unpaginated. CHILD/103009. Fine in very good jacket.