THE LIFE AND PERSONALITY OF PHOEBE APPERON HEARST (with Original Fleece Bag)
San Francisco: printed for William Randolph Hearst by John Henry Nash, 1928. Vellum Binding. Very Good+ binding. Item #7549
Folio. , 155 pp., frontis, illus. errata. Limited edition, numbered 779 of 1000 copies. As issued if vellum over boards with small yapp edges; top edge gilt; title in gold on the spine and single gold fillet bordering the covers, this copy in the fleece bag purpose-made for this edition almost always often missing. An exceptionally bright copy with very little mellowing to vellum; boards are splaying a bit as is often the case; contents clean and binding sound; fleece bag is in very good condition. 1956 presentation letter from Robert C. Bassett, on Milwaukee Sentinel letterhead describing the gifted book which appears to have originated from "Hearst's vaults." The recipient's name has been clipped; additionally something else has been clipped above Bassett's signature.
In his biography of Nash, Harlan describes a book in which no expense was spared: custom made paper, beautifully printed by arguably America's preeminent printer, full bound in unbleached vellum by Hubel und Denck, one of Europe's finest binderies. Harlan writes, "The result of this great enterprise--the most technically perfect book that American and European skill could produce--was kind of superproduct that Hearst was able to appreciate. It was worthy of being collected" (p. 68-69). O'Day, in his Catalogue corroborates this. In addition to nice sketch of Mrs. Hearst's philanthropy, O'Day writes, "This book is an example of fine printing at its best. The paper was specially fabricated under Mr. Nash's direction at the Van Gelder mill at Appledoorn, near Amsterdam, Holland. The books were bound in Leipzig, Germany, by Bugel & Denck, whose treatment of vellum is unexcelled" (p. 58-59). Humorously, Bassett, in his letter, touts the qualities and production history of this volume and is mistaken on nearly every point except one, that it is a remarkable book. It is extremely uncommon to find this with the fleece bag. Harlan, Robert D. John Henry Nash: The Biography of a Career (1970); O'Day, Catalogue.