Lot 98: SHAHN, BEN / PAUL BONET. The Alphabet of Creation: An Ancient Legend from the Zohar.
December 1, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: SHAHN, BEN / PAUL BONET. The Alphabet of Creation: An Ancient Legend from the Zohar. One original signed ink drawing of the letter daleth by shahn and illustrations throughout the text by him. 4to, rebound in an extraordinary binding by paul bonet in full polished calf of red and green with Hebrew lettering in gold calf, green and red suede endpapers, signed and dated 1962 in gold along lower turn-ins; all edges trimmed and gilt; matching chemise and slipcase, some light scuffing, original pictorial linen covers bound in; book label of owner Saul Shapiro on front blank. Printed by The Spiral Press. New York: Pantheon, 1954
Notes: number 47 of only 50 copies signed by shahn with an original drawing on Umbria hand-made paper, from an edition of 550. The volume was bound by the great 20th-Century French binder, Paul Bonet, and the lot contains 3 autograph letters signed by bonet to collector Saul Shapiro, over the course of 20 years (1950; 1963; 1970), discussing the commission. Three 8vo pages, on Bonet''s letterhead. In addition, a typed letter signed by shahn to Shapiro, describing the availability of the book, is included. 1 page, 8vo, 20 November 1958. Castleman, A Century of Artists Books, 109.