San Francisco: The Arion Press, 1979. Item #04811
"A Feat of Craftsmanship Unexcelled in Modern Printing"
A 'Special Presentation Copy' with an Original Pencil Drawing of 'Moby-Dick' on the Title-Page
Additionally Every Illustration Signed in Pencil by Barry Moser
[ARION PRESS]. [MOSER, Barry, illustrator]. MELVILLE, Herman. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. San Francisco: The Arion Press, 1979.
Limited to 265 copies on Barcham Green handmade paper. This a presentation copy, signed by Barry Moser on Colophon "For Ray". Additionally there is a fine pencil drawing of 'Moby-Dick' on the title-page signed by Moser.
Folio (15 x 10 inches; 381 x 254 mm). xv, [xvi blank], 576  Epilogue, [1 blank,]  Colophon, [1 blank] pp.
Typeset by Andrew Hoyem in 18 pt. Goudy Modern with Leviathan titling, designed especially for this book by Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes. Printed in black and blue on handmade Barcham Green paper bearing a whale watermark. With 100 wood-engravings by Barry Moser. Edited from the edition published by Northwestern University and the Newberry Library by Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle. Special copy with every illustration signed in pencil by Barry Moser.
Publisher's full blue morocco, spine lettered in silver. Top edge trimmed, others uncut as issued. A very fine copy in the original (faded) publisher's blue cloth cloth slipcase with printed spine label.
“Barry Moser's intricate boxwood engravings were intended as informative depictions of the whaling industry in general rather than Melville's story in particular, thus leaving "the Pequod, Ahab, and Moby-Dick described only by Melville's words." In order to render his subject matter with authentic detail, Moser spent many hours doing research at whaling and maritime museums in New England and San Francisco. This project marks his only collaboration with Andrew Hoyem, proprietor of the Press. The sixth book issued by Arion Press, Moby-Dick went into production more than ten years after Robert Grabhorn and Andrew Hoyem began planning it." (Prospectus).
One of the most important and majestic private press books produced in America. Moser has said, "Moby-Dick was the project which broke more new ground for me than any other…"
"The printing commenced in March of 1978 and was completed in May of 1979" (Colophon).
"Historically, the two great typographical edifices of West Coast printing are the Grabhorn Leaves of Grass and the Nash Divine Comedy. Now the Arion Press Moby-Dick takes its place beside them. This constitutes a feat of craftsmanship unexcelled in modern printing." (William Everson, Fine Print.)
In the 1990's The Grolier Club named this edition as one of the most beautiful books of the twentieth century.
Pennyroyal, A Miscellany, 8.
Arion Press, 6.