The perfection that is Anatomia Humani Corporis

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My passion for hand bound books is well-known. This is probably the most beautiful one I will ever own.
It took over a month to make and the specially treated paper can only be made in summer as it needs hot weather and sun to be able to dry. Alex of AlexLibris, the amazing book artist who made it, worked especially hard to finish it for me in time for the new year.

Fate had other plans, however. Unfortunately,  postal services all over Europe suffered great interruptions this year due to the way that Christmas public holidays fell. The Swedish postal service alone only delivered post 7 days of 21 around Christmas, so all my post was very late. This parcel travelled all the way from Serbia so got stuck somewhere for 2.5 weeks and updates just stopped. Alex was more than wonderful. As always, he kept in constant contact for moral support even when the parcel was not moving. When it got to last Friday and the parcel had not reappeared, Alex even refunded me (without even being asked) so that I would not worry. He said I could just pay him back when the book arrived. Two days after that, it arrived! He is such a kind helpful man and his work is, truly, the best I have ever seen. I have had dealings with him for close to a year now and he is not just brilliant at what he does but his customer service is EPIC! He seems like not just a seller but a friend. Always willing to answer questions, sends photographs of all progress and keeps in contact while the item is in transit.

Oh boy was I excited when that parcel landed at the local post office. Have never wanted to see anything as much as I wanted to see this beauty. I even got a new calligraphy pen for it (a left-handed one too – I usually just use right handed nibs).

Some of the photographs are a bit dark and cluttered because I had to race to beat the winter darkness. Will take some better ones one day when I have time and sunshine on my side.

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Alex packs his books in light, form fitted polystyrene covered with sticky plastic. The books thus do not jiggle around or get jarred in transit.

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The polystyrene completely encases the box

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Inside, the box is snugly encased by the polystyrene shell. I am not quite sure how he does it and I have never seen anyone else do this.

Inside, the box is snugly encased by the polystyrene shell. I am not quite sure how he does it and I have never seen anyone else do this. He must be a wonder at sculpting polystyrene!

The box - custom made for each book. It is a little dusty here from the polystyrene. My other one is tan in colour so I am glad this one is black.

The box – custom made for each book. It is a little dusty here from the polystyrene but that soon disappears. My other box from Alex is tan in colour so I am glad this one is black.

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Inside, there are more polystyrene bumpers and the book is covered in plastic. The chain is encased in tissue paper.

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First look

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I knew what it looked like but it still took my breath away. I have never seen anything more perfect and more beautiful. This man is a genius.

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The chain represents an old library chain for reference works.

Look at this workmanship

Look at this workmanship

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The detailing and colour on the spine are astounding

 

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The work on the clasps and the way the leather of the straps is integrated into the book cover is amazing. There are 500 pages.

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Look at the gold tooled leather on the inside of the spine.

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This photo is a bit cluttered so will take a better one soon. The paper is thick but light and has been specially treated for an antique effect.

This photo is a bit cluttered so will take a better one soon. The paper is thick but light and has been specially treated for an antique effect.

When I have books handmade with unusual paper I usually request spare sheets for patching and fixing. It is very difficult to match these papers and I prefer to patch over mistakes instead of crossing them out.

When I have books handmade with unusual paper I usually request spare sheets for patching and fixing. It is very difficult to match these papers and I prefer to patch over mistakes instead of crossing them out.

If you want to see the book being made (that is another wonderful thing Alex does – send photos of the work in progress) I have this article here. And my previous AlexLibris book is here.

Together with the book came this cuff, also made by Alex. I have a tattoo on my right wrist which I cover with cuffs and this is the perfect width. It is also light and supple. I have never felt such nice leather in a cuff actually – it is soft but sturdy and the underside feels like velvet against your skin.

I find it very hard to find cuffs my size as I have very thin wrists, despite being tall. So I usually have to have them specially made or wear children’s ones. This one Alex adjusted when I gave him measurements and it fits perfectly. It is also very comfortable.

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Categories: Bookbinding, Diaries and Journals, Jewellery

Tags: ,

6 replies

  1. I saw it once on Etsy and stunned by its beauty as well. Unfortunately I couldn’t afford those books. Pure windowshopper.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on On Writing & Editing and commented:
    now there’s a book…

    Like

Trackbacks

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