(Verona: Officina Bodoni, 1973). 255 x 182 mm. (10 x 6 3/8"). Two volumes. With an epilogue by Giovanni Mardersteig. No. 131 OF 160 COPIES.
Publisher's stiff vellum backed with green morocco, top edges gilt. WITH 68 FINE HAND-COLORED WOODCUTS by Ann Bramanti (66 of these full-page), colored via pochoir by Daniel Jacomet to recreate the illuminated miniature effect of the British Library colored copy of the Veronese Aesop of 1479 (upon which the present edition is based). Printed on Magnani mouldmade paper with goose watermark. Volume I: the Latin text of the 1479 edition, with Italian translation; volume II: the English text, based on Caxton's 1482 translation. Prospectus laid in. Mardersteig/Schmoller 182. Vellum grain showing variation, as always, otherwise in mint condition.
This beautiful limited edition of Aesop is generally considered to be the finest book from Officina Bodoni, and is thought by many to be among the half dozen greatest private press books ever printed. Probably the most important (certainly the longest-lived) 20th century Continental private press, Officina Bodoni was founded in 1922 by Hans Mardersteig, who later changed his first name to Giovanni. Like Sweynheym and Pannartz, the first printers in Italy, Mardersteig was born in Germany, but moved to Italy as an adult and set up his hand press in a small village there. Will Carter has called Mardersteig "probably the finest pressman the world has ever seen or is ever likely to see," and it is difficult to overstate the pleasure derived from the precision of the Officina Bodoni books. Based on a beautiful hand-colored copy of the Aesop of Giovanni Alvise, the third printer in Verona, the Officina Bodoni Aesop celebrates the golden anniversary of Mardersteig's founding of his press. (ST14304)
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PJP Catalog: CA19BF.038