Panels For the walls of heaven (Special Painted Issue)

[Berkeley]: Bern Porter, 1947. First Edition. No. 23 of 150 copies in hand-painted boards. Square octavo (20.5cm x 20.5cm); [2], 67 pp. Thick raw decorated boards; text tinted in blue with red & blue title page; interior monochrome illustrations from paintings by the author. Signed and numbered on the rear cover. Lacking the glassine dustwrapper called for by Morgan, but with a (later?) blue oilcloth jacket, possibly a variant supplied by Patchen, or possibly the work of a previous collector (no such copies are noted in Morgan). Some rubbing to board edges; typical offsetting to endpapers and a small stain to title page; Very Good.

The scarce deluxe issue, each copy of which had a unique, hand-painted cover. In our experience, the paintings Patchen executed on this, the second of his painted books, varied wildly in quality – perhaps unsurprising given the antipathy he is said to have had for the book; Morgan quotes publisher Bern Porter as saying that Patchen so loathed the design and finished look of this title that he "refused to aid the book sales in any way" and remained enemies for years with Porter. Happily, the current copy, quite early in the limitation, is among the best examples we've seen, an abstract horse in motion against a pastel green and red background, uncharacteristically varnished on spine and front cover which has served to preserve the colors nicely. MORGAN A12b.

Price: $2,500.00

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