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PHILLIPS, TOM. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Inferno: A Verse Translation by Tom Phillips with Images & Commentary. 3 volumes. 139 hors-texte plates in intaglio, lithograph and silkscreen on Inveresk mould-made wove paper, watermarked Tom Phillips, each initialled in pencil by Phillips. 420x317 mm; 16 1/2x12 1/2 inches, sheets. Folio, unique binding by Pella Erskine Tulloch in full brown calf, covers with inlaid borders in salmon morocco and central design of rose and light brown panels with embossed overlapping lettering in blind, spines with four raised bands and title decoratively spelled vertically along the full length; custom suede-lined leather slipcase with dividers and sliding feet for each volume. (SA) London: Talfourd Press, 1983
number three of only ten sets of the special edition de tête, described and signed by phillips on the colophon. In July 1982, in his prelude to this publication, Phillips recalled finding a lavish, red, gilded edition of Dante's Inferno illustrated by Gustave Dore while collecting books for pulping for the World War II effort. It was one of the grandest books he had ever seen. Phillips writes: "I learned how early one's destiny can be sealed or at least signposted... Actually before I knew this [story] I had already, from reprints, recycled many of Dore's illustrations in quite another way . . . I have tried in this present version of Dante's Inferno which I have translated and illustrated to make the book a container for the energy usually expended on large scale paintings... The artist thus tries to reveal the artist in the poet and the poet helps to uncover/release the poet in the artist. A masterly collaborative production with etchings worked, proofed, and editioned by Nick Tite and Phillips at Talfourd Press, completed by John Duffin. The silkscreen printing by Chris Betambeau and Brad Faine, lithography by Nick Hunter, and typography by Ian Mortimer; Anthea Toorchen was the project coordinator.