In creating the Bandersnatch Edition of Alice, Amaranthine Books has combined top notch small press publishing of fine classic works with the creation of truly high-end fine art. Created with artisan love and old-school craftsman quality, the spectacular Alice Chess Set is significant a step above the norm. Marko’s focus on producing the best shines through with Bandersnatch. This has become the apex of my small press publishers fine edition collection!
The Jabberwock edition is absolutely stunning! Thank you so miuch
for making such a wonderful book. I've never spent so much money on a
book before, but I have to say, that it was more than worth it. This will be treasured and admired and loved! I am looking forward to your next publications!
Marko and his team really knocked it out of the park with this one! The artwork by Damir is top notch! The attention to detail is just unreal. The time and effort Amaranthine puts into each book is what makes them a next level publisher. The Alice Jabberwock edition is now my favorite book! I can't wait to see what they do next!!
What a stunning book. The artwork is amazing. The book is just so classy! The covers, the art, the case... everything!
The Aramanthine team have well and truly outdone themselves. Bravo 👏👏 Thank you!
Was amazed with Dracula but Alice takes it to another dimension. Can't wait for the next book. Only wish I had discovered you earlier and got Jekyll and hyde
Absolutely love this edition of Alice. Stunning work by the Amaranthine team.
Book looks excellent and love the velvet feel !!
This copy really made my Alice re-run somehow more intersting than the first time. A truly amazing copy, totally worth the price.
One of the best books I've seen! The quality is spectacular! Looking forward to thier next release...
Delivery faster than expected.
The book came in perfect condition and well packaged.
Good paper quality and amazing artwork.
it's a unique book and it is worth to have it.
I am literally lost for words which doesn't happen often. Amazing quality, feels solid and beautiful in the hands. Makes my heart happy. Thank you for creating this stunning masterpiece.
I never heard of this company before. I collect Easton Press and Folio Society limited edition. The Dracula book is something special with its velvet cover and creepy illustrations that glow in the dark. U Go Amaranthine Books.
Although it has been surmised that Carroll invented Alice to deride nouvelle mathematics he would no doubt have enjoyed the visual experience afforded by the geometrical rigor of Amaranthine’s Jabberwock edition.
Alice is Amazing! The pictures on the website look great, but, to have the copy in hand...it’s incredible! Thank you so much for the extras due to it being a preorder, very cool!
Here is our review. I did the first part on the edition itself, largely cribbed from your website. Andrew does all our illustration reviews, which is included. Please let me know if there are any mistakes. - Mark
Illustrated by Damir Mazinjanin
Amaranthine Books, 2021
Mark Burstein with Andrew Ogus
Marko Matijašević’s fine-press Amaranthine Books in Zagreb, Croatia, is “dedicated to creating beautifully designed special editions of great books.” (The adjective amaranthine pertains not just to the flower or its color, but also means “unfading; everlasting; eternally beautiful,” a fine goal.) Wonderland/Looking Glass comes in two editions: the Jabberwock (260 numbered and signed copies, $600, sold out) and the Bandersnatch (26 lettered and signed copies, $4,900). The books are in a tête-bêche format (one upside down relative to the other) and carry a “Foreafterword.”
The Jabberwock comes in a fully enclosed slipcase, with the optical-illusion cover illustrations woven with the Jacquard technique. The book is printed on Pergraphica Natural Rough paper and bound in blood-orange, richly textured cloth, with twenty color illustrations, two of them full-spread, and a small illustration for each chapter opening. One also receives a see-through Cheshire Cat bookmark, a standard-size deck of cards, and a notebook.
The Bandersnatch (weighing in at 30 kg = 66 pounds!) contains the same book, albeit draped in a luxurious, off-white fabric. It comes in a custom-designed “Alice Chess” set inside a wooden box, along with two chessboards, an oversized deck of cards with their own slipcase (the cards are too big for adult hands, just as regular cards would be too big for a child’s hands), and a pair of cotton gloves. The engraved boards are made of Slavonian oak; the chess pieces of copper and stainless steel, polished to high shine (hence the gloves).
The reason for two chessboards is that the design was inspired by “Alice Chess,” a chess variant invented in 1953 by V. R. Parton that employs two chessboards rather than one, and an alteration to the standard rules that allows pieces to transfer from one board to the other, like going through the looking-glass. Which is not to say you can’t play regular chess (or the chess problem as set out in the frontmatter of Looking-Glass) or even checkers on it.
And now, Andrew’s comments: Here is a singular and remarkable approach to illustrating the Alice books—or any book. Somewhat reminiscent of Barry Moser’s strategy, rather than picturing the various familiar events from outside the action as most books do, making readers passive, omniscient viewers, Damir Mazinjanin draws us in with what Alice herself sees while she is in Wonderland and through the looking-glass: we gaze through her eyes as if they were our own. We glimpse her body as she floats down the rabbit hole, the White Rabbit far below just as we would catch sight of ourselves while peering down from a great height — or even while simply checking our shoes. The pigeon’s enormous head is seen from above while Alice’s neck spirals down to a tiny body; a smiling Red Queen reaches forward to tousle Alice’s hair. Alice’s arms and hands break and reach into the pictures, recurring as simple shapes as she offers a comfit to a group of dubious creatures, seizes Bill’s pencil in the jury scene or the King’s on the table in Looking-glass house (the White King and Queen are mysteriously colored here); cross to shake those of the Tweedle brothers; or hold a knife and fork before the smirking mutton. The perspectives are simple, sophisticated, and convincing—and Alice’s. Only two colors, black and orange-red, are judiciously used to make the striking images. The text is elegantly and simply arranged. If only there were an affordable trade edition.
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