[Seattle]: [Frank McCaffrey, Printer], . Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 265 copies, octavo size, 60 pp. Near fine. Item #22021301
An incredibly lovely book by a highly-regarded Seattle printer, Frank McCaffrey (founder of the Dogwood Press). The binding is distinctive with patterened paper over boards, Japanese characters debossed on the front in a shimmering, emerald green, the spine being covered with a woven piece of fabric in jewelled tones.
Once one can tear one's eyes away from the binding (no small feat) one notices the title page, in yellow with raised white letters and a centre illustration, two historiated initials, and scattered small decorations throughout in various colours. In addition, there are eight plates bound in throughout with half-tone reproductions of black-and-white photographs, several photos to each plate, each with a lettered hand-made paper guard.
We are fortunate to have a contemporary clipping discussing this book, which states: "So unusual is this book considered by collectors that it has been requested by various museums and shown in many exhibits. It was awarded first prize at the Photo and Arts Exhibit in Chicago. The edition is limited for each book was hand bound and the amount of detail in arrangement of photographs, art work, and printing is near perfection" (Long Beach, March 1930 stamped at the bottom of the clipping and written on the back "The Virginian - Long Beach CA").
The author herein recounts the true story of the ship onto which they had embarked, the S.S. Dakota, sinking off the south-east coast of Japan in March, 1907. "Mr. Schoenfield [sic], his parents and sister were forced to take refuge in a tiny Japanese village where English people had never traversed....their observations, experiences and the friends they made are both amusing and charming...." (ibid).
Scarce in the marketplace, as of this writing we see no other copies online, no auction records (RBH), our search of OCLC locates fourteen copies with institutions.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound as described above, fore- and bottom edges uncut, limitation statement on the verso of the half-title with this copy unnumbered (out of series), yellow title page, several small decorations throughout, eight pages of half-tone photographic reproductions as set forth above; octavo size (8 5/8" by 6 3/8"), pagination: [i-ii] [1-4] 5-58.
___CONDITION: Near fine and could likely be deemed fine, with clean boards, straight corners with minimal rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the cloth covering the spine with a hint of wear at the head and tail, the boards slightly splayed. Even with its few minor faults still a visually stunning volume.
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