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Sale 2497 Lot 20
BASKIN, LEONARD / THE GEHENNA PRESS. Diptera: A Book of Flies & Other Insects. Note by Jose Yglesias. double suites of the 33 etchings, each numbered and signed by baskin, many with watercolor in-painting, printed from the original plates on various English handmade papers. Title-page, note, and plate list sewn into one fascicle, the four suites of plates sewn into their own separate fascicles; all five laid into full tan morocco chemise with gilt-stamped cover label and silk moiré endleaves with coordinating morocco and marbled paper clamshell box, by Gray Parrot. Easthampton and Leeds, Mass., 1983
Estimate $6,000 - 9,000
a sumptuous and rich production, number 8 of only 15 sets specially dedicated and inscribed by baskin and gray parrot to eliot stanley of the baxter society. In addition to the limited edition of 15, which contains a suite on different papers and in variant colors, this specially bound set also includes copy number 41 of 45 of the regular edition. Each suite has a signed colophon; that of number 8 reads: "For Eliot Stanley, Founder & First President, The Baxter Society, Portland, Maine, from Leonard Baskin 1987" and by Gray Parrot: "Signed with best wishes on the occasion of the Baxter Society Summer Field Trip 1993."
"Exploring a long-held interest in natural history, Leonard Baskin embarked upon a project to record flying insects in near-microscopic detail. Diptera: A Book of Flies & Other Insects, 1983, is at its core an ode to insects. Diptera is the order that comprises all insects with one pair of wings, including mosquitoes and flies. The artist's unusual choice of subject matter recalls the work of nineteenth-century naturalists and entomological illustrators, another example of how easily Baskin crossed traditional artistic boundaries.
Baskin conceived the project with the help of his friend, the poet Jose Iglesias, who wrote the introduction. Diptera also signaled the artist's new interest in color etchings. Many of his plates were meticulously inked à la poupée, an antique French technique that employed multiple colored inks"--Cornell University Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections.