Praise of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi
Published by Errebi di Falconara, Italy in 2001
Unique Leather Binding and Clamshell Box by Stephen Conway
Full Title: Canticle of the Sun or Praise of the Creatures (Il Cantico delle Creature di Francesco di Assisi)
Binding Details: Il Cantico delle Creature di Francesco di Assisi is a unique fine binding designed and executed by Stephen Conway in 2002. The binding is a three piece construction with the edges of the boards covered with a strip of leather and the boards covered in hand-painted paper. The boards are cut away in the form of a cross on three levels. The lower level has text showing and the remaining levels have a cross inset covered in vellum on the front cover and hand-painted paper on the lower board. The vellum panel on the upper board is under-painted with red acrylic. All exposed edges are painted with a varnish, dye, and PVA mix to seal them. The book is sewn on line tapes with leather joined endpapers that were hand-painted by Stephen Conway. The book edges are colored in copper acrylic with hand sewn endbands.
Measuring approximately 10.5” x 7.5”, the book is housed in a leather spined drop back box with a recessed cross panel inlaid with pigskin suede on the front cover. The box is lined in pigskin suede. The drop back box with the book is contained in a functional slipcase.
Book Details: Published by Errebi di Falconara, Italy, 2001 with a limitation of 1200 (1000 of the 1200 copies were unbound and reserved for bookbinders) this being number 375, the poem by Saint Francis of Assisi is typeset in a calligraphic script in 165 different dialects and languages with the titles and text in red and black ink. The "Canticle of the Sun", also known as the "Laudes Creaturarum" ("Praise of the Creatures"), is a religious song composed by Saint Francis of Assisi. It was written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian but has since been translated into many languages. It is believed to be among the first works of literature, if not the first, written in the Italian language. Saint Francis is said to have composed most of the canticle in late 1224 while recovering from an illness at San Damiano, in a small cottage that had been built for him by Saint Clare and other women of her order. The binding was intended to be exhibited at the Canticle of the Second international Exhibition of Bookbinding Art in Macerata, Italy June 22 - June 23, 2002 in Assisi, Falconara, Errebi but due to time restraints the binding was never exhibited.
Artist Statement: Included with the book is a signed artist statement that contains information about the book and binding as well as 3 catalogues that highlight the binding as well as provide insight into the work of Stephen Conway.
About the Artist: Stephen Conway is recognized as one of the finest bookbinders in the world. Over his 30 year career, he has won numerous awards and currently serves as the President of the Guild of Designer Bookbinders which is one of the foremost societies devoted to the craft of fine bookbinding. Founded over fifty years ago it has, by means of exhibitions and publications, helped to establish the reputation of British bookbinding worldwide. Stephen currently runs a bindery in Halifax, West Yorkshire, working on private press editions, presentation work, and design bindings. Recently, he has been involved with a major collaboration to bind the Highgrove Florigelium for HRH Prince Charles. His design bindings are housed in private collections and institutions worldwide, including The British Library and The National Library of Scotland.
Condition Report: The book and clamshell box are in FINE condition. The paper slipcase is in FINE condition with some soiling to the spine label.
Photographs of the book, clamshell box, and slipcase appear in the photo section of the listing.