While Leonard Baskin is best known as a sculptor, it is his print work that I love best (to be fair, I am rather biased in this regard). Bio data, bibliographies, and examples of his work abound (google to your heart’s content) and I shall not reiterate such here. Rather, I wanted to show you three things I just packed away for our trip to New York in a week or so. Leonard’s work seldom fails to amaze in one way or another (design, detail, execution, etc…or some combination thereof). When he would issue some of his limited editions, he would create a handful of “super limited” copies within the edition (e.g. 1-4 might include extra material within the entire run of 40 copies).
It is unusual to have one of these “super limiteds” come to market. We are extremely pleased (and quite surprised) to have three of them at the moment. I took some quick snapshot as I was packing…please ignore strange angles and flakey lighting. I’ve included my descriptions after for some context. Come to the Park Ave. Armory if you want to see them close up.
Korn, Eric; Baskin, Leonard. Lepidoptera Fantastica. Northampton, MA: Gehenna Press, 1994. Limited Edition. Tight, bright and unmarred. Halfbound, dark lavander cloth spine (matching the archival case), burgundy leather spine label, gilt lettering, hand marbled paper boards, laid in related ephemera (see below). Small fo. 37pp; 14pp plates. Limited numbered edition, this being 5. Signed by artist and author. Hardcover. Fine in Fine Slipcase.
“Forty copies … were printed … Copies 1-10 have a second suite of the  etchings, a drawing & one of the copperplates [this being 5]; copies 11-30 comprise the regular edition; copies lettered a-j are hors d’commerce intended for the collaborators” (from Colophon). Text printed by Arthur Larson, plates by Michael Kuch, bound by Gray Parrot. With the etchings, drawing, and copperplate, signed by the author and artist.
Hecht, Anthony; Baskin, Leonard. The Gehenna Florilegium. Rockport, ME : Gehenna Press, 1998. Limited Edition. Tight, bright and unmarred. Full peach leather binding, gilt lettering and decorative elements, hand-made pastepaper endpages; laid in related material (see below). fo. 35pp plus 15pp plates. Limited,numbered edition, this being copy 10. Hardcover. Fine in Fine Archival Case.
Each poem accompanied by colored woodcut on facing leaf. “Fifty copies … printed … The edition is arranged as follows: ten copies numbered 1-10 contain a page of Anthony Hecht’s manuscript [in this case, "Poppy"], three [colored] drawings by Baskin and one of the blocks [in this case, thistle]; these copies also include a suite of the woodcuts printed in black [marked "Proof" and signed by Baskin] with three colored by the artist [these signed and numbered]. Copies 11-50 constitute the regular edition. All the prints were numbered & signed by the artist. The colophon is signed by Hecht & Baskin” (from the Colophon). Issued in a solander box. Woodcuts printed by Arthur Larson and hand bound by Claudia Cohen.
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von; Baskin, Leonard. Fancies, Bizarreries & Ornamented Grotesques. Leeds, MA: Eremite Press , 1989. Limited Edition. Tight, bright and unmarred. Halfbound, burgundy leather spine and fore-edge, leather label, gilt lettering, hand-marbled boards, unique frontispiece, signed by artist; black leather and cloth archival case. fo. 13pp plus 24pp plates. Signed limited edition, this being 4. Hardcover. Fine in Fine Archival Case.
This copy includes a unique bound in frontispiece portrait sketch by Baskin, inscribed, “1990 – For Tatiana & Serge from Leonard” and the extra set of plates. With an essay on The Arabesque by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The essay is a translation by Alex Page of Von Arabesken. “Thirty-five copies … were achieved … The edition is arranged as follows: copies numbered 1-3 have two extra suites, one hand-colored by the artist & the other in different inks & on other papers; copies 4-8 have the second suite of etchings [of which, this is one]; & copies 9-35 comprise the regular edition” (from the colophon). Text printed by Arthur Larson, plates by D.R. Wakefield, bound by Gray Parrot. A lovely copy of this “limited limited” with an additional unique work by the artist.