[Greenbrae, California]: [The Allen Press], (1981). Dean, Mallette. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 140 copies, folio size, approx.  pp., in slipcase, with prospectus and a small archive of related material, many signed by Lewis Allen. Fine. Item #22042701
The forty-sixth limited edition from The Allen Press, and a summation of forty-two years of the press's endeavors. "It contains all necessary bibliographical details on each title; also it is the history of a traditional private press and the philosophy regarding it." In sum it is the autobiography of Lewis and Dorothy Allen's lives as printers, and printing in both California and France. Though this was not the last book produced by The Allen Press, it was the last printed on the Columbian handpress, after which the smaller Albion handpress was used. As stated by Lewis Allen in the bibliography: "Our primary hope is that this Bibliography truthfully and accurately mirrors our pleasurable quotidian chore during the many years of devotion to the 'Black Art'."
Included with this volume is a small archive of material from the collection of D. Steven Corey (d. 1991), Special Collections Librarian for the University of San Francisco. Mr. Corey was one of two persons who compiled the check-lists of The Allen Press books which appeared originally in The Book Club of California's "News-Letter" (Spring 1960 and 1976), which serve as the bibliographical details at the beginning of each title listing in this bibliography (see the colophon page). Please note that we acquired the book and the archive separately, however, it seems appropriate to us to offer the archive with the Bibliography, as we believe Mr. Corey would have wished.
The archive includes a typed draft of the Bibliography for items 46 through 51 (three copies) with several annotations/corrections; two typed and one manuscript note from Lewis ("Lew") Allen to Mr. Corey ("Steve") dated Feb. 3, 1985, Mar. 13, '85, and Apr. 19 ' 85, each signed by Lew[is Allen]. While short, they are interesting glimpses into the partnership between the two men in bringing the Bibliography to fruition. In the final note (dated April 19, it being the MSS copy), Lewis Allen says to Steve: "Unfortunately, there is nothing constructive I can add to your opus. Considering my weakness for not dating my artifacts, you have done especially well." Also included is a typed listing of "Allen Press items at the Univ. of Utah not in the Gleeson Library" dated April 17, 1985, listing five items with a short description; paper-clipped to the list is a quarter-sheet "Memorandum....From the desk of D. Steven Corey" with the same date, with the name and address of the librarian at the Special Collections Library of the University of Utah.
In addition, there are three notes which pre-date the Bibliography: a short typed note dated 13 March '76, in which Lewis and Dorothy thank Steve for the checklist (see above paragraph) stating (in part) "You've done a superlative job with our bibliography...[s]omeday, if our energy permits, we will print and publish our bibliography; your...work will offer us an excellent foundation."; another short typed note dated 1 January 80 wherein Lewis and Dorothy notify Steve that they have asked The Book Club of California for permission to use the check-lists in the Bibliography; and the third dated 26 November 80, again a short typed note signed "Lew" which says (in part): "Concerning our Bibliography...if you are out of your mind and have to have it, return the enclosed card."
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter tan cloth imported from Paris, vermilion and beige classic hand-blocked (in Venice) Fortuny fabric covered boards, backstrip with title stamped in vermilion, fore- and tail-edges uncut, text printed in black, vermilion, blue and green, over eighty specimens of art work from the books and ephemera, many hand-coloured, with five or six four-page sheets sewn in; Romanee type from the Enschede Foundry in Holland, originally used for Tolstoy's "What Men Live By", Barcham Green paper which was handmade and watermarked to the press's specifications, folio size (14.25" by 9 7/8"), approx.  pp. Loosely laid in is the prospectus, a broadside folded thrice for mailing, printed in blue and orange, measuring 14 5/8" by 6 3/4" when open. Housed in a plain matching tan cloth slipcase. The archive is as described immediately above.
___CONDITION: A fine copy, like new, the binding clean and without wear, the corners straight without rubbing, the text block tight and square with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, and free of prior owner markings; perfect, as new from the press. Prospectus is fine, clean and utterly without wear. The slipcase near fine, strong and sturdy, with no tears or splits; a few light, stray marks and light overall dustiness, else fine. The items in the small archive generally near fine to fine, clean with a bit of light wear and a couple of marks from the paper clips. A stunning production from a preeminent fine press printer, capturing the essence of their years of work producing some of the loveliest fine press books to be found, with the unique archive.
___CITATION: The Allen Press Bibliography, no. 46.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard shipping charge does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
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