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WEST-ÖSTLICHER DIVAN. GOETHE';S WEST-EASTERN DIVAN
Northampton, Massachusetts: Gehenna Press, 1970. ONE OF 100 COPIES with a portrait of the author signed by Baskin, from a total edition of 300 copies. Hardcover. 197 x 114 mm (7 3/4 x 4 1/2"). 1 p.l. (half title), 236 pp., [3] leaves, 237-243, [1] pp. Translation and commentary by Alex Page. ONE OF 100 COPIES with a portrait of the author signed by Baskin, from a total edition of 300 copies. Very pretty gray crushed morocco by Gray Parrot (his ticket on rear pastedown), covers with gilt rule border and delicate foliate frame, upper cover with Goethe's initials within three joined vase-shaped ornaments, raised bands decorated with plain and floral rules, turn-ins densely gilt, handmade batiked endpapers, top edge gilt. In a marbled paper folding box backed with (slightly faded) matching morocco. With frontispiece portrait of Goethe and 25 etchings in the text by Leonard Baskin, and with an additional etched color portrait of Goethe on Japanese paper, signed by Baskin and identified in pencil in the artist's hand as a "touched proof." Printed in Baskerville monotype on Monadnock WvG paper by pressman Harold McGrath. Brook 65. A hint of creasing to gutter edge of additional mounted print, otherwise a near-mint copy, immaculate internally, and in an unworn binding. This is the limited version of a lovely little work from a leading American private press, bound by one of the best living binders in the country. The text is Goethe's collection of poems inspired by Islam and the East, presented here with the German text on the left-hand page and the English text, in italics, on the right. The poems are enriched by Baskin's imaginative etchings, and our special copy has a colored etching of Goethe as an older man. Leonard Baskin (1922-2000) was a sculptor, book-illustrator, wood-engraver, printmaker, graphic artist, writer, and teacher. He founded the Gehenna Press in 1942 while still a student at Yale (the name coming from a line in Milton's "Paradise Lost": "And black Gehenna call';d, the type of Hell"). The press has published more than 100 fine books and certainly must be considered one of the most successful private presses ever, given its longevity, its consistently high aesthetic achievement, and the unusual size of its output. In addition to the signed Baskin etching, the full morocco binding here sets our copy apart. Over the years, master New England binder Gray Parrot has produced a substantial amount of very respected work for Dard Hunter, for Pennyroyal, and for other private presses, and his services are highly sought after.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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