Two variants of the cover of the Thirty-sixth Series prospectus
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The Thirty-sixth Series prospectus was issued with two different covers: an understated plain brown one (which I like) and a more daring two-tone one (which has not aged well, materials wise). Does anyone know why?
Also, were any other prospectuses issued with variant covers?
Apologies for the opportunity to geek out.
Interesting anomaly! In fact, I happen to possess 2 copies of the Prospectus for the Nineteenth series with different covers but identical designs--plain colored paper with the title in a panel (Jack, is this the correct terminology?) surrounded by a gold border. The color paper on one is the color of an avocado (horrors! shades of 1950s kitchen appliances!), whereas the other is a very desaturated blue--almost charcoal. Aside from the color, the avocado green pamphlet is titled "A Prospectus of the Fine Books to be published by The Limited Editions Club in the Nineteenth Series" with the date 1949. The blue covered version is titled "A Prospectus of the Fine Books to be published by The Limited Editions Club in the Nineteenth Series" with the date 1950!
The 1950 version has rather brief descriptions of the following books (in this order): The Brothers Karamazov, The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor, The Turn of the Screw, Crainquebille, The Physiology of Taste, The Golden Cockerel, Gulliver's Voyages to Lilliput and Brobdingnag, Three Instalments (sic) of The Evergreen Tales, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Madame Bovary.
The 1949 version has much more elaborate descriptions of the following books (in this order) The Brothers Karamazov, The Turn of the Screw, Don Quixote, The Physiology of Taste, The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor, The History of Tom Jones, Anna Karenina, Le Morte d'Arthur, Crainquebille, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Golden Cockerel and Madame Bovary.
The descriptions in both follow the identical 10 pages of salesmanship on why you want these books (twist my arm!) As a further note of interest, the 1949 version has laid-in a very fancy invitation from the Directors to a Dinner Party on the roof of the St. Regis Hotel on May 11, 1950, to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the Club, the 50th birthday of Mr. Macy and the presentation of the Aldus Award to Bruce Rogers on his 80th birthday. This was quite the affair and a book detailing the speeches and the menu (with all vintages of the wines 21 years old 'like the Club") was printed (I happen to have a copy, and though I don't need to have additional years added to my already weighty sum, I wish I coulda been there!)
On an altogether different note, the brief 1950-dated version contains a laid-in letter from George Macy to the subscriber informing him that it appears there will be nearly 18 vacancies in the Membership for the upcoming Nineteenth Series, and that rather than going to the existing Waiting List, if the subscriber wishes to propose a friend for membership, that friend will be given priority over other applicants. As a thank-you for helping to fill the forthcoming vacancy, the subscriber will receive the first book of the 19th Series gratis. The reason for the difference between the 2 versions can be found in the following sentence in Macy's letter:
"A list, which has been brought up to date, of the publications in the current series is attached: together with an Application Form."
So, I'm not sure if the variant covers of the Thirty-sixth Series prospectus you have are due to such a circumstance, but we all know that what was originally announced for the LEC series often underwent changes, for one reason or another, and that perhaps in trying to find additional subscribers, the Club sent out an alternate version of the Prospectus after the content of the series was definitely fixed. (Incidentally, my Thirty-sixth Series prospectus has a cover of mottled dark brown and gold.)
"plain colored paper with the title in a panel (Jack, is this the correct terminology?) surrounded by a gold border."
Ah, this is one of those times when we miss Don and his experience with printing and bookbinding. Looking at it I would describe it simply as having a framed title imprinted in gold, whereas a panel seems to suggest something set into the cover, or giving the impression of being inset which seems to be the case with the 36th series:
Oak Knoll has two variants of 37th Series and describes them as having labels, which I take to mean stuck on:
(both have the same number of pages)
I'm not sure which type of label/imprint/whatever the Thirty-Fifth-Series cover has from this rather dim picture:
Jack, my 37th Series Prospectus is the feather-pattern marbled version. The "label" (not sure about that terminology, either) is not pasted or glued on, and is integral with the paper, in fact the border and text is so deeply embossed the indentations are visible and tactile on the reverse of the cover, the same is the case for the Thirty-sixth Series Prospectus. My Thirty-Fifth-Series cover also features the same style of embossed text and border, gold on a brown field. My Prospectus (Prospectuses?) for Series 30, 31, and 32 have actual pasted-on paper labels on the covers. Of the 20-odd Prospectus I own, the majority have the embossed style, or the text printed on. Only a half-dozen have the pasted labels.
Yes, I'm sure Don would have known the correct terminology and even the high-temperature brass font method of creating it. I certainly miss him. Incidentally, all of my Everyman's Library hard cover books feature this same framed title treatment on the front cover.
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