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The Henry Miller Trilogy, Signed First Editions, Unique Sculpture by Rick Tuttle

SKU: rtmiller


Richard Tuttle


The Henry Miller Trilogy: Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, and Black Spring

First U.S. Editions with Tropic of Capricorn and Black Spring being signed by Henry Miller

Includes a rare copy of “Obscenity and the Law of Reflection”, 1945


Details of the Artwork

As with all of Richard Tuttle’s pieces, this is a one of a kind piece of artwork that captures the spirit of the books and returns us to a time when books were beautiful to display as well as read. In a world of mediocrity and mass produced books, he believes important literary works are special and should be treasured and passed on to future generations.

As a tribute to Henry Miller and the struggles he endured in getting his works published, Rick Tuttle has created an amazing piece of art that houses 4 important works by Henry Miller. The custom valise/suitcase was designed by Richard Tuttle who also created all the travel stickers that adorn the suitcase.  The inside lid of the case includes the history of the books publication, censorship and eventual distribution. Rick has stated that the best moment of creating the piece was the moment when he got to slice open the “Banned Materials” stickers. Long Live Freedom!

The piece was created in 2009.

Details of the Books

Tropic of Cancer, 1961, Grove Press, First U.S. Edition. Although not signed, the Review Slip dated June 24, 1961 is laid into the book. The condition is Near FINE in a Very Good unclipped dust jacket with small abrasions to the blue areas.

Tropic of Capricorn, 1961, Grove Press, First U.S. Edition. Signed and dated by Henry Miller on the title page. The book is in Near FINE condition with slight bumping to the spine ends. The dust jacket would be FINE but for being price clipped.

Black Spring, 1963, Grove Press, First U.S. Edition. Signed by Henry Miller on the first free endpaper. The book is in Near FINE condition in a Near FINE unclipped dust jacket.

Obscenity and the Law of Reflection, 1945, Alicat Book Shop. A rare copy of Millers treatise in which he discusses the crises in censorship that would keep his books from being distributed in the United States.

Artist Statement

Included with the book is a signed artist statement by Richard Tuttle on the making of “The Henry Miller Trilogy”.

About the Artist

Richard Tuttle is a painter, writer, graphic designer, carpenter, bookbinder and lover of literature. For the past 20 years, he has combined his many interests to create one of a kind works of art that merge the written word with fine leather, paper, paint, wood and veneer.  These original book bindings have been exhibited in numerous galleries and were featured in a PBS documentary on the Chicago Art beat. Richard describes his work as follows:  “I make literary artifacts. They are designed to pull books down off the shelf and display them in the salon, gallery or home as if they were works of art, which, of course, they are. Whether binding books with leather, paper, paint, wood, and found artifacts or building sculptures to encase the volumes, I seek to find a perspective that shouts out a piece of the essence of the literary work. I try to put myself in the author's or character's mind to say something about the time it was written in; the attitude that is explored and expressed; the magic that makes it a work of art. While I obviously respect and admire the books I work on, the humor, wit and raw energy I find so attractive in their works leads me to places that some might call disrespectful, but are, for me, essential parts of these literary works. Motivated by Marcel Duchamp's attempts to elevate the object into art and William Blake's efforts to remake his world and James Joyce's efforts to include all culture and all action in one whole: Motivated by the ongoing conversation of Jazz musicians between its earliest practitioners and its most avante garde practitioners: Motivated by the great world library of "what we are" as extolled by Jorge Luis Borges: Motivated by the desire to live in a world that is conscious of itself and conscious of its ability to create itself: I create these art objects out of books in order be surrounded by a physical environment that reflects the world of ideas I want to live in.”

Additional Images

Photographs of the suitcase/valise as well as the books contained in the valise along with the signature treatments appear below. Please note that although the photographs appear digitized as thumbnails, they are viewable in the photo viewer by clicking on the thumbnail.


PRICE:  $4,985.00
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Franklin Books Guide to Condition Descriptions

We realize that buying books online is difficult because you don't have the luxury of actually seeing the book before you make your decision. At Franklin Books, we strive to make your purchases as risk-free as possible. We follow four basic rules:

  1. We grade our books conservatively;
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The following are the terms used to describe our books:

Mint - As New: The book is in the same immaculate condition as when it was published and most likely will be in the original publisher's shipping box or shrink wrap.

Fine: Normally, our highest rating. A Fine book approaches the condition of As New. Any superficial/minor fault will always be noted.

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