Search: South African Art Monographs


Basic |  Guided |  Advanced |  Tips


    Full Details


Humument (Tetrad Edition)
A Treated Victorian Novel

Item date(s): 1970

Tom Phillips  - (book artist)


Pages: 367pp
Size: 230mm
Inscription: Signed by the artist
Edition: #4/5


Place publication: London
Publisher: Tetrad Press
Cat. 5;036-MPM3
Exhibition 2017; 2019

Additional notes:
Two volumes in divided black slipcase.

The first box, bound in green leather, contains loose pages 1-180.

Colophon on a card illustrated with a watercolour painting contained in the pink folded card of the 1973 (1970) edition:

This is number four of five copies (plus one hors de commerce made for the artist) of a special presentation of the first version of A Humument. It celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the completed publication by the Tetrad Press of the work's first issue, in parts, in 1973. The pages are here gathered together as the artist originally intended in a single binding comprising two leather bound boxes each featuring an original watercolour (also worked from A Human Document). The bindings are lined with facsimiles of those that ornament two 1896 editions of the novel. Each box also includes the spines of containers within which the Tetrad Press edition was issued. The Tetrad emblem appears in the leather inlay on the back of the second box. The two boxes are housed in a slipcase, the whole fabricated by Bookworks in 2013 to the artist's design. A leaf inserted at the end of the contents includes a brief history of the Tetrad Humument. The above image replaces (with a self evident adaptation) an insert for the special limited hardback issue of the third Thames & Hudson edition.

The second box, bound in purple leather, contains loose pages 181-367, plus the brief history refered to above in a yellow folded cover.

Both boxes have a watercolour drawing inset into a window in the front cover which is covered with transparent Mylar; volume 1 is round and volume 2 is square.

A suite of forty additional pages suitable for framing is also included: Pages 2, 8. 11 (signed), 15, 18, 20,25, 28, 29 (signed), 31 (signed), 33, 36, 40, 44, 51, 53, 68, 76, 90 (signed), 111, 117, 120, 131, 132, 143, 149, 157, 161, 165, 183, 190 (signed), 195, 204, 217, 229, 235 (signed), 249, 318, 350, 359.

Fom his email to me: The published editions by Thames & Hudson each feature 40-60 revised pages, in increments. (1987 - 55 new pages, 1997-98 new pages, 2004-40 new pages). Tom's aim is to have 'treated' every page of the original novel twice. The first version was completed 1966-1973 and makes up the content of the Tetrad edition. The second versions are still being produced, 1973-present. One day the Tetrad version will be replaced by a second version but he is not there yet! The T&H trade editions catalogue this progress. The exhibition at MASSMoCA shows the work in the fomat of the two revisions (see photo), top row is the untreated Victorian book, row 2 is the '66-'73 Tetrad version, and the bottom row is the second version in progress. The frames have grey placeholder paper where the 2nd version does not yet exist.

See also GB/15732 for additional material.

Exhibition notes:
;Item 5 on TEXTures: an exhibition of texts, textures and structure in artists’ books

Archives & Special Collections, University of Johannesburg

5 March to 18 April 2014

Item 036 - MPM3 on Booknesses: Artists' books from the Jack Ginsberg Collection.

UJ Art Gallery, University of Johannesburg

25 March to 5 May 2017



Ref: GB/14005















© Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts (JGCBA). All rights reserved.