Kentfield, California: The Allen Press, 1969. Dean, Mallette. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 140 copies, quarto size,  unnumbered leaves, with prospectus and original order envelope. Fine / near fine. Item #CNBR145
A "brilliant and unusually interesting text written by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) in 1604, between Parts I and II of "Don Quixote de la Mancha", when he was at the peak of his powers. The novella, one of his 'Exemplary Novels', was woven out of his own distinctive imagination and life experiences, and has been described as one of the most precious documents that we possess for becoming acquainted with Spanish culture and customs at the end of the sixteenth century. There the two dogs' witty arraignment of human vices and follies is a veritable moral tract, and reveals Cervantes' nobility of soul" (n.b., from the prospectus).
The thirty-third limited edition from The Allen Press. "The old Spanish lettering which appears in margins of the text were taken from some books of antiquarian types. The desired letters were photographed and the prints mounted for zinc cuts." The decorative initials for the columns are of late fifteenth-century design, found in an old book and produced by the Allens using zinc cuts. The other ornaments were engraved by Mallette Dean (1907-1975), 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 and other area presses such as the Allens.
___DESCRIPTION: Full cloth, hand-printed in Europe with the "El Prado" design from the Costa del Sol Collection: red poppies and olive green leaves on a yellow and white background, yellow paper spine label with red lettering, mustard yellow endpapers, fore- and tail-edges uncut, decorative title-page printed in yellow and orange, marginal decorations printed in orange and initial letters printed in yellow-green throughout the text; Goudy Thirty type set by hand, all-rag paper made at the Wookey Hole mill in England to the specifications of the press, with their watermark, quarto size (11.5" by 9"),  unnumbered leaves, limited edition, one of 140 copies. In the original clear acetate jacket, with prospectus printed in red and brown, and original order envelope loosely laid in.
___CONDITION: A fine copy, the cloth covers clean and unrubbed, the binding tight with solid hinges, the interior bright, and free of prior owner markings; clean, crisp, as new. The acetate jacket near fine with minor overall wear and a few very short, closed tears; the prospectus fine with only original folds and one minute spot of foxing at the top margin; the order envelope fine.
___CITATION: The Allen Press Bibliography, no. 33.
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