Arion Press, Photos of The Ballad of Lemon and Crow & The Voices of Marrakesh

I always get excited running across Arion Press books that I have not seen before, so I was thrilled when I saw a couple that I had not seen before in my local bookstore (Book Gallery in Phoenix — no I am not a paid spokesman(!), nor do I have any interest, other than the store is great, Mike Riley (the owner) and his staff are extremely knowledgeable and are passionate about fine books).

{ed note: Note that prices listed reflect what the purchase price was when released and when purchased direct from Arion Press.  They are not meant to imply current market cost, sales price at Book Gallery or any other store}

The first book is Arion’s 63rd edition,  The Ballad of Lemon and Crow by Glenn Todd, with six photogravures and ink-blot drawings by Bruce Conner and Anonymous Artists, from 2002.   I knew nothing of this book, and frankly had never heard of it.  What I do know is the book looks and feels amazing (as happens often with Arion Press books).  The book is simply beautiful, especially the pages with the illustrations.  The author actually worked for Arion (printer, editor) in years past.  The illustrator is renowned American artist Bruce Conner.

Here is the book description, straight from Arion:

The book is octavo in format, 10.25 by 7 inches. The type is English Old Style, composed and cast in Monotype by Mackenzie & Harris, San Francisco. The text paper is Ruysdael, an all-cotton machine-made sheet. The paper for the prints is T. H. Saunders buff loan, an all-cotton mouldmade sheet. The ink-blot drawings in gray beneath the folios and the rebus on the title page were printed from photopolymer plates. Printing of the type and plates was by letterpress. The book is bound in yellow cloth with an ink-blot pattern in black, from a drawing by an anonymous artist that is continuous front to back, interrupted by a black cloth spine. The book is enclosed in a black slipcase. Both book and slipcase have yellow spine labels. The six images are photogravures from collages of wood engravings. The original collages are ovals, 6.5 by 4.5 inches.

The book edition is limited to 300 copies for sale, of which 30 copies accompany an extra suite of prints. Each copy is numbered and is signed by the author and artist.  Edition of the book only (270 copies) $500. Out of print.   Edition of the book with the extra suite of six larger prints (30 sets) $6,000 which is available from Arion Press.

Here are some photo’s of this gorgeous book.

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided to highlight and visualize the work being reviewed.  A side benefit, hopefully, is encouraging healthy sales of fine press books for the publishers and fine retailers that specialize in these types of books (of which Books and Vines has no stake or financial interest). Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Slipcase
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Cover/Spine
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Front Cover
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Title Page
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Sample Illustration
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Sample Text
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Second Sample Text
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Second Sample Illustration
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, Arion Press, Colophon

The second book is Arion’s 61st edition, The Voices of Marrakesh by Elias Canetti, with an afterword by Ferdinand Protzman, six etchings by famous contemporary American artist William T. Wiley, and 29 photographs by Karl Bissinger, 2001.  This was first published in 1968 in German, and has become a classic of the travel writing genre.  Count this one as another that I had never heard about, though some quick research (and the beauty of the book itself) has me quite interested in it.  Elias Canetti, the author, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981. The book is non-fiction, a record of the author’s travel and time spent in Marrakech, Morocco’s second largest city and formal imperial city.  A quick flip through of the photographs by Bissinger, and the etchings by Wiley really connected with me (you will see samples below).

Here is the book description, straight from Arion:

Large octavo, 11 by 8 inches, 124 pages, plus 12 unnumbered pages for the colored leaves to which the etchings are attached. The type is Goudy Old Style, printed by letterpress. The photographs appear on verso pages, the etchings on recto pages. The etchings are 9.25 by 6.25 inches. The paper for the text is Mohawk Superfine. The paper for the etchings is Rives Lightweight. The paper for the mounting of the etchings is Fabriano Ingres. The photographs were printed in duo-tone and four-color offset lithography. The edition is limited to 350 numbered copies for sale, signed by the artist and photographer. For 300 copies of the edition, the book is bound with a brown cloth spine and red paper over boards. These copies are presented in an envelope made of the cover paper, with a fragment of the etching attached. For 50 copies of the edition for sale, those accompanied by the print, the book is bound as above, but with a brown leather spine, and presented in a slipcase of cloth and paper, with the fragment of the etching attached.

The book edition of 300 copies was priced at $650 per copy direct from Arion Press but is out of print.  The book and print edition of 50 copies is pricedat $750 for the book and $1,250 for the print (only sold together), for a total price of $2,000, which is available direct from Arion Press.

Here are some photo’s of this beautiful book.

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided to highlight and visualize the work being reviewed.  A side benefit, hopefully, is encouraging healthy sales of fine press books for the publishers and fine retailers that specialize in these types of books (of which Books and Vines has no stake or financial interest). Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Book Envelope
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Book Envelope Side View
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Cover/Spine
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Cover
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Title Page
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Contents Page
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Sample Text and Photo
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Sample Etching
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Sample Text Page
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Second Sample Text Page with Photo
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Second Sample Etching
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Sample Photo
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Second Sample Photo (w/ Signature)
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Third Sample Etching (w/ Signature)
The Voices of Marrakesh, Arion Press, Colophon

7 thoughts on “Arion Press, Photos of The Ballad of Lemon and Crow & The Voices of Marrakesh

  1. I know exactly what you mean – I thought I had ‘reined in’ my book buying, but if you catch biblomania…. !! If you keep on stumbling over books like that, please keep on posting the images and impressions.

  2. Amazing how I can never have heard of a book, like ‘Voices of Marrakesh’….then I see it one day, and the next I am dying to have it! I hope to keep stumbling across these.

  3. Your spoiling us! Two beautiful books. I especially like ‘Voices of Marrakesh’. Looks like an intriguing read with lovely illustrations and the design appears perfect for the text with the sky-high production values you expect from Arion. It’s great to be able to view so many images of Arion books. Thanks again!

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