Alfonso Bosco’s colour etched gothic bookplates, № 7 (of 25) copies of the luxury edition, 1913


Alfonso Bosco: Ex Libris. 12 original etchings mounted on passe-partouts signed by the artist. Nr. 7 (of 25) copies of the luxury edition. Vienna, 1913

Alfonso Bosco; L. A. Rati-Opizzoni, Ed.: Ex Libris. 12 original etchings mounted on passe-partouts, where of 6 in 2 colours, all signed by the artist. Nr. 7 (of 25) copies of the luxury edition. Edited and with a preface by Dr. L.[uigi] A.[medeo] Rati-Opizzoni, President of the Italian Ex Libris-Society. Vienna: Artur Wolf Verlag (Winiker & Schickardt, Brno), 1913.

4to (30:22 cm

, 28.5:21 [passe-partouts], ). [4 (title, preface, toc, colophon)] pages, 12 etchings. Etching, cliché printing and letterpress, loosely inserted in the original publisher's half-vellum slipcase with multicolour illustrated boards and flaps and with gilt pictorial cover title incorporating publisher's emblem.

№ 7 (of only 25) copies of the luxury edition portfolio containing 12 striking bookplates designed, originally etched and signed with pencil by Italo-Argentine artist and master of colour etching Alfonso Bosco.

Artist: The Turin born artist Alfonso Bosco (1885-1921) settled in Argentina and became a most influential graphic artist and engraver in particular; as such he also designed a series of Argentine banknotes. According to the instructive preface by Luigi Amedeo Rati-Opizzoni Bosco was the first Italian artist who dedicated himself to colour etching as technique to produce ephemera, including ex libris.

Content, Edition: Present portfolio, published by Artur Wolf, a Vienna publishing house with bibliophile zeal, contains a selection of 12 bookplates for just as many personalities, including the artist himself, the editor and the publisher. The designs, unconventionally large-sized, widely address eroticism and death as opponents of the scholar. All of them are printed on thin Japan paper, 6 of them are in 2 colours from 2 plates and contain additional drawings at margins. Wolf also published a trade edition of the portfolio with a print run of 225 copies.

Condition: Slipcase slightly bumped at corners and worn at edges, otherwise very well preserved set indeed.

Holdings, Rarity: None of the o6 copies to locate with WorldCat are from the luxury edition; RBH quotes one auction result only (2020).