Close Up: Renaissance

closeupRaymond F. Jones
1951

Part of a bunch of 4 books I got from Joe.  He bought them and some others in the ’90s as a kind of investment.  He’s offloading them now.  The book is in pretty good shape but a couple of salient flaws are apparent.  As usual, we look at the cover first, and it looks ok at first glance, but if we inspect a bit closer we can see some nasties.
Nice cover.  Some pretty general and standard edge wear to the jacket, but with a closer image we can see the issues.

A small hole on the wrap-around edge and a spot of something that looks like gum or glue or some such thing.  To be fair, Joe alerted me to these issues here so I did know what I was getting.
With the jacket off the book looks super.  Boards are clean but a kind of a strange crimping or folding at the tail of the spine.  Something Joe didn’t mention and which surprised me a little when I peeked under the front flap, you can see below.

Stewart got this book from someone (I can’t make out the name) back in ’55.  I’d love to know the history here.  Anyway, you can see the paste-down and the endpaper are a little darkened, the same is true at the back of the book.  If we turn a couple of pages, we can see the block itself is still nice and white.
And also an inscription and signature from Gnome Press co-founder, cover artist and book designer David A. Kyle.  Cool.  Note those two spheres, we’ll look at them later on.
No dramas from the top or bottom of the book.
Spine sits nice and square and the block is nice and white with no staining or foxing.  The head and tail of the spine reveal no surprises, except we can see the wear there in a bit more detail.
Just a couple of small closed tears there.  Isn’t the block nice and white though??
I’ve mentioned a couple of times in other Close Ups about the small touches that I really like about Gnome Press book design.  There is another example in this book.  Remember the two spheres I mentioned earlier?
The tag-line for the book is “A Novel of Mankind on Two Worlds” or “A Science Fiction Novel of Two Human Worlds” depending on where you look in the book.  The two little spheres obviously represent that.  These are the only two places in the book they appear, and it’s such a small, subtle touch.  I like it.
The final major issue appears on the back.
Nasty.  Big chunk out there.  Aside from that, very little discoloration or staining on the back.
Despite the issues, I am very happy to have this particular copy of this book.

Year: 1951
Paid: $40
Art: David A. Kyle
Quantity: 4000 copies
Binding: Blue boards with red lettering on spine.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated.
Comments: Pretty good copy. Nice with Mr. Kyle’s signature. Unfortunate flaws, but I’m not too worried about them.
Expand Upon: wikipedia.com, Internet Speculative Fiction Database

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