London: Published by Susan Allix as Willow Press, 1977. Item #04107
A Spectacular Production, Designed, Printed, Illustrated and Bound by a Single Artist
Susan Allix's Second Book and One of Her Most Beautiful
ALLIX, Susan, designer, printer, illustrator, and binder . The Song of Solomon. With etchings and aquatints by Susan Allix. London: [Published by Susan Allix as Willow Press], 1977.
One of Fifty copies (this being number 46). "Each copy has been signed and numbered by the artist. [Signature]. This copy has been bound by Susan Allix. Willow Press London WC1". (Colophon). "The text of the Song of Solomon is taken from the Authorized Version of the Bible and is used with permission. The letterpress has been hand set in 18 point Monotype Bembo italic, and printed on BFK Rives Velin Cuve paper. The etchings and aquatints have been made and printed by Susan Allix." (verso of title-page).
Folio (12 7/8 x 9 3/4 inches; 327 x 247 mm.). , [1, colophon], [3, blank] pp. Twenty-one original, sometimes a little erotic, etchings or aquatints on folded sheets.
Bound by Susan Allix in full blue oasis with a full cover floral and leaf design onlaid in various colored morocco's, tooled in gold and blind. Smooth spine with a single blind line adjoining the front cover design to the rear cover design. Wide decorative turn-ins with onlaid flowers and leaves in various colored morocco's, wood veneer liners and end-leaves, rear turn-in stamped "SA", top edge rough trimmed, others uncut. Housed in the original felt-lined blue cloth clamshell case, spine lettered in gilt. An absolutely fine copy of Susan Allix's second book and one of her most beautiful.
Over the years we have seen a few copies of this book and it would appear that no two bindings are identical (DJB)
A spectacular production, designed, printed, illustrated and bound by a single artist.
Susan Allix - frequently cited as 'the greatest bookmaker of her generation' - often creates limited editions from her private press with original prints, letterpress printing and hand-binding. Since establishing her own press she has created a series of fifty works that have been exhibited internationally, featured in the collections of the National Art Library; the V&A; the British Library; The Hague; the Library of Congress; Harvard and the New York Public Library, among others.
Susan Allix (born in England in 1943) "comes to the world of fine books by way of printmaking and paper-making. She began as a printmaker, having studied at the Royal College of Art in the 1960s. She won a Prix de Rome which gave her the opportunity to study and live for a time in Italy. She created her first hand-crafted book in 1973. After more than four decades and over fifty books, Allix continues to be true to her vision.
Because she insists on creating the entire book - from letterpress to illustration to binding - her work has a certain recognizable aesthetic; a malleable signature that responds to the particular character of a piece, but is still unquestionably hers. Allix conceives each book visually. 'I am concerned with visual things so I see books as full of colour and form in a pictorial sense as well as through the images created in my mind by the words, and through the sculptural qualities a book possesses.' The real narrative of her books is the flow of color and image as they move throughout the piece." (www.annexgalleries.com)
The Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, Canticles, or the Canticle of Canticles, is one of the "scrolls" (megillot) of the Writings (Ketuvim), the last section of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. It is also the fifth book of Wisdom in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The Song of Songs is read on the Sabbath during the Passover, marking the beginning of the grain harvest and commemorating the Exodus from Egypt.
Scripturally, the Song of Songs is unique in its celebration of sexual love. It gives "the voices of two lovers, praising each other, yearning for each other, proffering invitations to enjoy". The two each desire the other and rejoice in their sexual intimacy. The "daughters of Jerusalem" form a chorus to the lovers, functioning as an audience whose participation in the lovers' erotic encounters facilitates the participation of the reader. Jewish tradition reads it as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel. Christian tradition, in addition to appreciating the literal meaning of a romantic song between man and woman, has read the poem as an allegory of Christ and his "bride", the Christian Church. (Wikipedia).
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