(North Hatfield, Massachusetts: Pennyroyal Caxton Press, 1999). 405 x 290 mm. (16 x 11 1/2"). Two volumes. No. 399 OF 400 COPIES (and 30 deluxe copies printed in five volumes).
Publisher's vellum over boards, covers and pastedowns laced through, titling in gilt on front boards and spines. Each volume in the original fine folding cloth box with printed paper label on spine. With 232 relief engravings by Barry Moser. Initials and three rubrics printed in red. Signature of Barry Moser on leaf following colophon. As new.
This is the first Bible since Doré's "La Sainte Bible" of 1865 to be designed and fully illustrated by one artist. Its two substantial volumes contain well over 200 engravings by an eminent American artist, making this a major private press publication at the close of the last century. Born in 1940 in Chattanooga, Barry Moser attended college in Tennessee and Massachusetts and studied with George Cress, Leonard Baskin, Fred Becker, and Jack Coughlin. He illustrated his first book, "The Flowering Plants of Massachusetts," in 1969, and he founded the Pennyroyal Press in the following year. The Press issued modest books until Moser decided--fresh off his success as the illustrator of the Arion Press "Moby Dick" for Andrew Hoyem--that he would produce more ambitious work. With the help of a cadre of supporters and collaborators (chiefly the outstanding printer Harold McGrath), Moser circulated a questionnaire in the book world asking which among a small group of potential titles would be a choice to print in a special edition. "Alice in Wonderland" won the vote, and the rest is history: the book won the National Book Award for design and illustration in 1983, and a number of impressive large-format projects followed, all meeting with general applause. According to Nicholas Basbanes, "Barry Moser is probably the most important book illustrator working in America today," and the "American Book Collector" has said that "Moser has the technical virtuosity to pull more out of a piece of wood than any other contemporary American engraver." The engravings here were cut by Moser in a new synthetic polymer medium, developed to replace increasingly scarce and small boxwood blocks traditionally used in wood engraving. The type was generated on a computer, produced as polymer plates, and then letterpressed, thus combining modern technology with traditional hand work. The volumes are bound by hand, and printed on paper especially manufactured for this book, which bears a unique watermark designed from 16th century models. (Such an ambitious project required outside funding, which was provided by Bruce Kovner of the Caxton Corporation; "Caxton" was consequently added to the imprint as acknowledgement.). (CCS1517)
Add to Cart Price: $9,500.00
PJP Catalog: XMAS16.046