1979. Item #90983
Sekine Toshio 関根寿雄, artist. Ammonite. Privately printed. Tokyo. 1979. Mamehon 豆本 miniature book numbered 48 of a limitation of 120 copies. 10 loose, folded sheets 4.2 x 4.2cm, with illustrations and Japanese text, all printed by engraving or blindstamped and laid in with a printed blue and black design wraparound. Each folded sheet has an approx 3 x 3cm illustration with a black background on one or both pages, with the exception of two: one that has a single, tiny, embossed design of an Ammonite on one side and another that has a single, tipped-in embossed design. Two sheets that are noteworthy: a sheet that has the limitation, with the number handwritten, on the right side and the artist’s signature underneath. The illustration opposite has “ex libris” within it. The other sheet acts as the colophon, with the artist’s name and the date written in English. The whimsical illustrations, which would be just as lovely were they large, are even more extraordinary given their size. A 3.7 x 8.8cm slip with typed English text that identifies the plaster model fossil as an Early Jurassic Ammonite Promicroceras planicosta from England is laid in.
Enclosed in a special box 5.7 x 4.8cm made of cork that opens like a book, with a three dimensional plaster ammonite shell on the front cover, inside a circular indentation that both highlights and protects it. The box has a clever, green “spine” with a printed title and the interior is covered in green paper with a blue border.
Enclosed in a heavy paper sleeve with a wraparound blue and green abstract design and placed in a corrugated cardboard slip in case with a laid down, printed green title slip that is decorated with the design of an ammonite shell with the title curved to fit inside the design. Both the cardboard outer wraparound and the paper sleeve are hand numbered.
Oil marks on the outer cardboard case below the title slip and on the rear and sides, not affecting the book itself or other containers. A wonderful production by an artist who was not prolific. Opening the book is like unwrapping an artfully wrapped gift.