[New York]: [The Press of Valenti Angelo], . Angelo, Valenti. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 52 of 150 copies, signed by illustrator/printer, 4to - over 9.75" to 12" tall, 22 pp. Near fine. Item #17082102
The "Hymn to Aphrodite” is the only poem of the ancient Greek lyric poet Sappho to survive in its entirety, composed ca. 570 BCE. Although Sappho is recorded in antiquity as producing many books of poetry, very little of her work has survived intact; the only reason we have this complete poem is because a Roman orator called Dionysus (who lived in Rome about 30 BCE) quoted it in full in one of his own works. Sappho used to organize a group of her young female students into a “thiasos”, a cult that worshipped Aphrodite with songs and poetry, and “Hymn to Aphrodite” was most likely composed for performance within this cult (N.B., above info from the web site of Ancient Literature, by Luke Mastin). This lovely version was illustrated, printed and self-published by Valenti Angelo (1897-1982), who was a highly-regarded designer, illuminator and decorator of books over a career that spanned decades.
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter vellum over blue laid paper boards, gilt lettering and decoration on the spine, fore- and bottom edges uncut, plain endpapers, frontispiece by Valenti Angelo in black with a red initial capital and three stars hand-illuminated in gold and outlined in black, two additional hand-drawn initial capitals by Angelo, the colophon mark hand-illuminated in black and gold; printed on FJ Head handmade paper, with their watermarks, quarto size (approximately 10" tall), unpaginated with 11 leaves, limited edition of 150 copies, this no. 52, made at the Press of Valenti Angelo in Bronxville, NY, which was "a one-man job: from typography to presswork, cutting blocks, illumination of text pages, and other decorations relevant to the enhancement of the printed page" (n. b., quote from BCC publication "Valenti Angelo; Author, Illustrator, Printer"), and signed by him on the colophon page.
___CONDITION: Almost fine, the binding is clean, the corners straight, the text block square and strong with solid hinges, the interior is clean, crisp and bright, and the volume is entirely free of prior owner markings; the only condition issue we see is the corners being slightly rubbed, with the top back corner seemingly slightly built up (to be square) by a prior owner.
___CITATION: Valenti Angelo; Author, Illustrator, Printer (BCC, 1976), p. 79.
___POSTAGE: International customers please note that additional postage may apply, please inquire for details.
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