This book is by the amazing Jonathan Vanderholm, the genius book artist behind Artifice Books.
I have written about Artifice Books before, here. My two Artifice books are my favourite handbound books. They are full of secret codes and pockets.
This one is EAST INDIA, and it has several secret pockets in it. The top of the front cover opens up to reveal stone panelling, carved in leather.
And this one is SATELLITE MIND. It has secret codes carved into it
So, about four years ago I commissioned a custom book from Jonathan. We had some wonderful in depth discussion about likes and dislikes and we settled on Elizabethan England as a general theme, and John Dee as inspiration.
During the whole process, I had no idea what the book would look like – not the size, the colour – nothing!
It arrived today and I was absolutely speechless. I just cannot explain the work and the love that went into the cover and the three books that will fill it. I cannot put into words the beauty of it. Every time I look at it I see something new, something more.
This is the cover and the first refill of three. The photos are not the best but I just wanted to capture it today. If anyone would like more details and better photos, please ask and I will do so with pleasure 🙂
The the front and back covers fold out, and the different parts are kept secure when folded together by means of buttons. The entire book is full of codes, riddles and secrets which it will be my task to unravel. For example, my birth date is on the front cover but in a form I do not recognise!
The book insert is one of a series of three and each of them have a theme. This one has a carved leather cover and all the pages have been handbound. Some of the internal pages are illustrated, also with things I am going to attempt to decipher.
I have seen the Book of Kells and some of the illustrations in here remind me of those!
And the last and most fantastic thing – the leather is perfumed using an authentic recipe from those times. And the perfume is AMAZING!