San Francisco: The Arion Press, 1975. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 425 copies, unnumbered, octavo size, 175 pp., with prospectus. Near Fine. Item #19051401
The second book of the Arion Press, a self-proclaimed "commonplace book by commonplace people", full of familiar lines relating to the most essential of pastimes - eating and drinking. Compiled by the inimitable Robert Grabhorn who began collecting stray snippets of gastronomical wisdom at the age of 30, beginning while on a visit to Europe to study bookbinding.
With a delightful introduction by M.F.K. Fisher (who better?), opening with "For anyone addicted to reading commonplace books, which are rarely compiled by commonplace people, of course, finding a good new one is much like enduring a familiar recurrence of malaria, with fever, fits of shaking, strange dreams. Unlike a truly paludismic ordeal, however, the symptoms felt while savoring a collection of one man's pet quotations are voluptuously enjoyable, as I have found lately with Robert Grabhorn's deep and tantalizing book".
___DESCRIPTION: Original quarter blue cloth with patterned paper boards, paper label printed in blue and orange affixed to backstrip, fore-edge uncut and bottom edge rought-cut, blue Fournier borders, vignettes from wood engravings in Ecole des Cuisinieres, Paris, c.1870; types Goudy Monotype Garamont, Narciss, and Typo Upright, English Inveresk cream mould-made paper, octavo size (9.5" by 6"), 175 pp., limited edition of 425 copies, unnumbered. This copy without the tissue dust wrapper, however, with the incredibly scarce prospectus; one sheet folded to four pages, the first page mirrors the title page of the book, the second through fourth pages are partly an essay by Andrew Hoyem on how the book came about and partly an announcement with publication details, including the original purchase price of $37.50; octavo size (approximately 9 1/8" by 5 3/4"), on cream paper, two illustrations in sienna, decorative blue Fournier borders on all four pages.
___CONDITION: A near fine copy, with straight corners which are unrubbed, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, text block edges clean, bright crisp leaves, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the spine label lightly toned, a couple of very light spots of soil to the cloth spine, and the paper boards with a few minor signs of wear including two shallow marks to the fore-edge of the boards (we had a professional restorer strengthen the lower front corner and adress a small part of the front board, restorer's name available upon request); otherwise a beautiful copy; near fine overall. The prospectus also near fine, clean and without any marks, a shallow vertical crease in the fore-edge margin and a bit of light edgewear only.
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