February 2017 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Rare Book Week West: A Bloody Alphabet

We're highlighting Rare Book Week West offerings this week, and today my morbid curiosity gets the better of me. Check out this awesome objet du livre, for sale at the 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, which opens on Friday at the Oakland Marriott: a limited edition, red morocco-bound copy of Jack the Ripper: A Bloody Alphabet, housed in a papier-mâché human heart-shaped box, and including a handmade wooden anatomical specimen stand for display. The book--and its custom cardiac enclosure--was crafted in 2014 by Sean E. Richards, director of Byzantium Studios, Ltd. in Norman, Oklahoma, with illustrations by Kristi Wyatt.  

John Howell_ Jack the Ripper_2.jpegJohn Howell_ Jack the Ripper.jpegAccording to the bookseller, John Howell for Books, "This artist's book reflects Sean Richards' life-long fascination with Jack the Ripper and his years of research on the Victorian crime spree attributed to this shadowy character. It also displays Richards' virtuosity as a visionary artist and creative bookbinder, who manifests his ideas in leather and papier-mâché."

In other words, it's just incredibly cool. The price is $5,500.

Images courtesy of the CA International Antiquarian Book Fair.