San Francisco: The Book Club of California (printed by Vivien & Mallette Dean), 1953. Dean, Mallette. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 325 copies, quarto size, 76 pp. Fine. Item #19052014
A perfectly lovely retelling of the old legends. Fifty-four illustrations, including those on the title page and half-title, were all drawn and hand-coloured by Mallette Dean; hand-coloured decorations throughout. Due to the time-consuming demands of hand-colouring the decorations, this book took a year to print. Included in the Exhibition of Western Books of the Rounce & Coffin Club (n.b., much of the above info from the Magee bibliography).
Based on the first Greek bestiary, a collection of legends of animals, plants and stones, which dates back to the second century A.D. and which was prepared by a Christian monk based in either Egypt or Palestine, who found in each legend a mystic meaning.
Harold Mallette Dean (1907-1975) was a painter and illustrator who worked for most of his career in San Francisco, on projects such as the WPA Mural Project, the murals in Coit Tower, and for fifteen years illustrating books for the Grabhorn Press. He and his wife Vivien also established their own printing press in Fairfax, California, in 1953, with Mallette doing the illustrations for most of the books they issued.
___DESCRIPTION: White parchment boards with a pattern in grey-blue, red lettering on the spine, fore-edge rough-cut, bottom edge uncut, hand-coloured illustrations and decorations throughout (as described above), marginal chapter numbers and titles in red, 49 legends ("chapters") total; type is French Elzevir, set by hand; paper Arches mould made; quarto size (11" by 8"), unpaginated with the following collation: title [i], copyright notice [ii], introduction [iii-x], list of chapters [xi-xii], text including half-title [1-61], blank , colophon with Mallette Dean device in red , blank ; limited edition of 325 copies, unnumbered.
___CONDITION: Overall fine, with a strong, square text block, solid hinges, straight corners with absolutely no rubbing, the interior is clean and bright, and it is entirely free of prior owner markings; the parchment boards with the usual toning (although less than many copies we have seen).
___CITATION: BCC 100, no. 85; Hawk, no. 314.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply, please inquire for details.
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