Karen Hanmer

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Title: Moby Dick limp vellum

Moby Dick limp vellum

Moby Dick limp vellum


Moby-Dick; or, the Whale. by Herman Melville | private collection, Seattle

Berkeley, Los Angles: University of California Press 1981. First printing, trade version. Facsimile of Arion Press 1979 edition with illustrations by Barry Moser.

Binding based on the non-adhesive “clip-on cover” structure developed by UK binder Kathy Abbott. Text block disbound, outer folios guarded, sewn long stitch with blue linen thread into calf vellum wrapper, covered in limp calf vellum case, tabbed corners. Hand titling in 22k moon gold, blue acrylic line applied through stencil. Endpapers of handmade Ruscombe Mill pale wove, single folio with hooked flexi endleaf. Graphite head.

10.5 x 7 x 1.5”

The pale vellum references the white whale, and the blue line a turbulent sea. The stark contrast between these elements mirrors the horror steadily building in anticipation of the Pequod’s encounter with Moby Dick. Use of blue inside and out also references the color of the initial caps in the Arion Press and Deluxe California editions of this text.