The Gentle Cynic, Being a Translation of the Book of Koheleth, Known as Ecclesiastes

[San Francisco]: [The Book Club of California, printed by the Grabhorn Press], 1927. Angelo, Valenti. Limited Edition. Vellum. No. 185 of 250 copies, duodecimo size, 45 unnumbered pp., with slipcase. Near fine. Item #20031701

"The Gentle Cynic" is a translation of the Book of Ecclesiastes, the title of which is a Latin transliteration of "Kohelet", a pseudonym used by the author (n. b., info from Wiki). Morris Jastrow, Jr., (1861-1921), a librarian and scholar of Judaism, translated the work in 1919, writing, "I have chosen the book commonly known as Ecclesiastes, because of the intensely human interest attaching to this specimen of the ancient literature of Palestine."

This edition was published by The Book Club of California and printed by the Grabhorn Press, and includes an illustration and initial capitals in red, blue, and gold by printer and illustrator Valenti Angelo (1897-1982), who created a myriad of book illustrations for the Grabhorn Press and others. This book was intended as a companion volume to "The Song of Songs", the eighteenth publication by The Book Club of California.

___DESCRIPTION: Full vellum (per BCC bibliography; cited as parchment in Heller & Magee), with linen ties, black lettering on the spine, fore- and bottom edges uncut, title page with black lettering and red ornaments, black line drawing headpiece by Valenti Angelo, twenty-four initial capitals in red, blue and gold by Angelo; handset Goudy Antique type, handmade Whatman paper, duodecimo size (7.5" by 5"), pagination: 45 unnumbered pages, one of 250 copies, this number 185. In a brown paper slipcase with the volume number "185" written in red ink at the head of the spine.

__CONDITION: Volume near fine (could almost be deemed fine), with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, with the original ribbon ties, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; ribbon ties are faded in colour (originally blue, per BCC bibliography and Heller & Magee), a miniscule amount of rubbing to the bottom joints, else fine. The slipcase also near fine, strong and sturdy, clean overall with a spot or two of minor soiling, some rubbing to the head and tail of the spine and to the edges of the boards. Overall an uncommonly nice example of this lovely work.

___CITATIONS: BCC no. 27; Heller & Magee no. 91; Valenti Angelo Bibliography p. 40.

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Price: $300.00