16 July 2009

Escher at the used bookstore

During yet another excursion to the used bookstore a couple of weeks ago, I found a near perfect copy of M. C. Escher, His Life and Complete Graphic Work. The price of $12 for an oversized 350-page book was one of those rare bargains.


At the cash register, the proprietor was almost embarrassed for the price: "If it had a dustjacket, I wouldn't be selling it for this price. An art book without a dustjacket is almost valueless."

What matters for me is what's inside the covers. A dustjacket is only good for getting torn anyway.

According to the caption, this was a tin can Escher designed in 1963 for a company called Verblifa.

What is nice about this book is that besides reprints of M. C. Escher's works, it also features several essays by Escher himself, including his memoirs from a trip he took to Canada in 1960.

An old post of mine about a snail in one of Escher's prints is here.


Simla said...

who the hell cares about the book jacket??? and for an art book! like you said--what matters for an art book is what's inside!!!!!

John said...

Wow, that's quite a find! I don't care much for dustjackets myself, but I can understand how they might affect the marketing of a particular book.

Deniz Bevan said...

I was wondering that myself - I've never heard of a dustjacket adding that much value to a book. Heck, if someone was selling a first edition of the any of Tolkien's works, I doubt they'd lower the price cos it was missing the book jacket! And this wasn't even a first edition or anything; he could price it at whatever he wanted to!
Still, lucky for you :-) What does Escher say about Canada?

Anonymous said...

Ah, there is my tin! My grandfather designed the productionline for this tin in 1963 or 1965. it was filled with cake and given to the workers of verblifa and their suppliers.

And Yes, it is as good as it looks. (got one n my desk over here in the netherlands, if you want to see it, it is n display in many musea in the USA)

Though it hasn't got a dustcover.....