San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2009. Wiley, William T. Limited Edition. Leather. Volumes I and II, number 28 of 400 copies, 1208 pp. total, signed by artist William T. Wiley in both volumes, with both prospectuses. Fine. Item #18082707
The story that many consider to be the earliest novel written and a seminal work of Western literature, the tragi-comical figure of Don Quixote and his faithful companion Sancho Panza have become part of our culture, as has the phrase "tilting at windmills".
First published in 1605, this magnificent edition by the Arion Press "stands as one of the major accomplishments of the Press" (N.B., from the Arion Press web site). Lavishly illustrated by William T. Wiley, who has exhibited at the Venice Biennial, the de Young Museum (San Francisco), and the Corcoran Gallery of Art (D.C.) - for this set, Wiley produced forty-two illustrations for volume I and fifty-five for volume II. The Edith Grossman translation is considered to be the unsurpassed version in English. The work required to produce this work must have been intensive; in his cover letter to subscribers, Andrew Hoyem wrote "Please be patient. Cervantes has had to wait over four hundred years for this treatment of and homage to his masterpiece. You will not have to wait that long."
Accompanying this set are the prospectuses for both volumes ("Prospectus for a deluxe limited edition of Don Quixote..." and "Announcing the completion of..."), the cover letter which accompanied the initial prospectus, and a card, in colour, that shows an extra print by William T. Wiley that was available for purchase with the book; on the verso of the card is a full-colour photograph of the set showing both the lovely binding and sample pages.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full goatskin, dark brown for the spine and tan for the boards, the front board having a DQ monogram in gold that was designed by Wiley and gilt lettering on the spines, brown endpapers, the sections were sewn by hand with hand-sewn headbands at top and bottom, title pages in rust and black, initial capital letters were drawn by Mallette Dean in 1963 for the Grabhorn Press; type is Centaur, designed by Bruce Rogers, printed by letterpress on all-cotton paper. Small quarto size (10.25" tall), volume I has 576 pages and volume II has 632 pages. Limited edition of 400 copies for sale (plus 26 copies NFS), this no. 28, signed by the artist at the colophon of both volumes; volume I is the 86th publication of the Arion Press, and volume II is the 89th. Each volume encased in its own slipcase covered with tan cloth on the top, bottom and spine, both sides covered with brown laid paper, a brown paper spine label with gilt lettering on each slipcase. The initial prospectus is of two sheets of paper folded once to form eight pages (no binding), initial capital on the front and press design on the back in brown, with two sample illustrations; the completion prospectus of a single sheet folded once to form four pages, with a vignette on the front and press design on the back in brown; both measure 10.25" by 7". The card showing the additional Wiley print of heavy paper with a matte finish, in full colour, also measuring 10.25" by 7".
___CONDITION: Both volumes fine; with strong, square text blocks, solid hinges, perfectly straight corners with no rubbing, the interiors are clean and bright, and the set is entirely free of prior owner markings; there are a few very light marks to the back board of Volume I which appear to be natural imperfections of the leather. The slipcases are also fine, strong and sturdy, with absolutely no wear; a hint of a bump to one corner of the opening of the slipcase for Volume II, else perfect. All the accompanying material also fine, clean and without edgewear, with only original folds. The set appears unread, it is clean, crisp, as new.
___POSTAGE: Please note that due to the size and weight of this set additional postage may apply; we are happy to ship at cost to both domestic and international addresses, please contact us for details.
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