NY: Abrams and The Grolier Club, (2007). Small quarto. 215pp. One of 250 deluxe copies for sale, signed by the authors and including a facsimile of the book in miniature format. Lavishly illustrated in full color throughout, this set won first place in the Gift Book category at the prestigious New York Book Show in March 2008. Beyond its award-winning interior design, this copy has been specially bound by Brother Edgard Claes of the Holy Cross Fathers in Diest, Belgium. Claes' kinetic binding, which encompasses the miniature book, the full-size book, and a matching box, in shades of red, orange, gray, and black, is a striking feat of engineering, consisting of 388 parts in total. The miniature book hinges on its ten-part polycarbonate boards, which form a protective clamshell around it. The full-size book consists of four milled plates with twenty-nine movable gears and shafts that create a kaleidoscopic effect when turned. The box, which protects both books, consists of four milled boards and ten pieces of polycarbonate to make up a slide closure. The result is a testament to Claes' expertise with machined materials, and the gadgetry reflects the larger mechanisms, both philosophical and literal, of millennia of miniature book production.
After training in art, design, and layout, Claes studied binding with Renatus de Cock and August Kulche at the Rijksinstitut in Malines, where he was later appointed professor. His original intent was to do restoration work in the monastery library, but his creativity and zeal led him to the use of innovative materials and cutting-edge abstract designs which emphasize the structure of the book. He won the Prix International de Reliure d'Art in 1986 and was given a one-man show in Paris in 1993. In spite of his many monastic duties, he does all the work painstakingly himself, and master binder August Kulche said of his student, "He is one of the few whose hands obey his brain to perfection."
Box protected with suede cloth bag. The whole in fine condition. (Box measures 11 by 10 3/8 [288x262mm]; full-size book measures 10 5/8 by 9 13/16 [270x250mm]; miniature facsimile measures 3 1/16 by 2 7/8 [78x72mm]). Item #30148