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Dante Bestiary

Item date(s): 1989

Judith Mason  - (book artist)
Peter Carstens  - (bookbinding by)
Bruce Attwood  - (printed by)

Pages: unpaged
Size: 430mm
Inscription: Signed by the artist.
Edition: #13/100

Place publication: New York
Publisher: Ombondi Editions
Cat. 191
Exhibition 1996; 2014

Additional notes:
A guide in offset lithography by Judith Mason To diverse beasts, creatures, monsters, Figures, and spiritual beings from La Divina Commedia of Dante Alighiei, the Florentine. With selected texts in translation.

A Dante Bestiary is published in English in a signed, limited edition of 110, of which 100 are numbered from 1 through 100; 5 artist's proofs numbered I through V, and 5 copies hors de commerce, numbered HC I through HC V. An Italian version is published in an edition of 15, with 10 copies numbered from 1 through 10, and 5 artist's proofs numbered I through V.

This is a remarque edition: each lithograph to Paradise XXXIII, The Direct Vision of God, is embellished with gold leaf by hand. In addition, each book should contain two erotic oil paintings on vellum, tipped into the embossed nest at Inferno V, the story of Paolo Malatesta and Francesca de Rimini. However, most copies are missing these oils: they are 'Erotica' (CMD 928) and 'Two Plums' (CMD 929)

A Dante Bestiary was printed on Rives BPK paper (250 gm) on a lithographic offset press by Bruce Attwood at the Broederstroom Press, Broederstroom, South Africa. It is available as an unbound portfolio or in book form with a variety of bindings, variously combining sheepskin Nappa from the Karoo (with buffalo imprint), calf vellum and printed bookcloth. The books are handbound by Eric Zimmerman at Markey & Asplund, Foster, Rhode Island. It is housed in a lipped clamshell box, manufactured by Stuart Einhorn at Portfoliobox, Inc., Providence, Rhode Island.

The text is set in Visigoth, a typeface specially designed by Cynthia Hollandsworth of AlphaOmega Typography, New York for Ombondi Editions after a calligraphic hand by Arthur Baker, Rhinebeck, New York. The face was digitized and the text was set by High Technology Solutions, Ploughkeepsie, New York.

English translations of the Dante texts are reprinted with permission of the publishers: Penguin Books for the Barbara Reynolds version of Paradiso XXXIII (1962) and the Dorothy Sayers version of Paradiso XIII: 76-78 (1962); and New American Library for the rest of the texts, translated by John Ciardi (1954 - 1970).

Translations of colophon, titles and Mason's essay into Italian by Amerigo Marras and Stephen Sartarelli, New York. The Dante text is that edited by Manfredi Porena of Bologna (1956) and used with the kind permission of his heirs.

This copy and three others bound in 2008 in quarter brown leather and buckram with slipcase.

Referenced on p49 of ADA #6: Article: The Biggest Problem by Casper Schmidt. A full page on plans for the intended publication of this book.

Exhibition notes:
Item 191 in the exhibition 'Artists Books in the Ginsberg Collection' at the Johannesburg Art Gallery 25/8/96-27/10/96.

Book Arts: Artists' Books, Curated by Wilheim van Rensberg and Alet Vorster, AOP Gallery, 44 Stanley Ave, Johannesburg, 25 October - 15 November 2014

Ref: GB/11746

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