[Berkeley: Henry Miller & Bezalel Schatz, 1947]. First edition, signed, limited. Large quarto (14.5 x 12 inches),  pp., text (reproducing Henry Miller's cursive hand) and color illustrations by Bezalel Schatz are reproduced in serigraph (silkscreen); bound in blue cloth with silkscreen decoration and red felt patch on front board, spine lettered in black, slipcase. Slight fading to spine, rubbing to spine foot, slipcase recovered in style of original materials. Item #22098
The concept for this production was that of Palestinian artist Bezalel (Lilik) Schatz who, desiring to produce enlisted Henry Miller as textual collaborator. The text used is from Miller's "Black Spring." The book was printed entirely by Bezalel Schatz at his Berkeley home/studio over a period of 16 months. 800 copies were printed, but according to Shifreen & Jackson's Bibliography of Henry Miller "somewhat less than 200 copies" were bound up for sale in 1947. From the stored first edition sheets and binding materials, approximately 20-25 copies were issued in 1971 and another 190 were issued in 1977, while "Approximately 400 of the original 600 sets of sheets stored in Miller's closet were destroyed by 'worms' [also described by Miller as 'rats and fungus'." The 1977 copies were essentially those that could be salvaged and most exhibit small wormholes "on approximately 20% of the pages." Again referring to Shifreen & Jackson, among other points of identification, the primary difference between the first issue and the later ones is the absence of spine title lettering on the 2 later issues. Issued copies were signed and numbered in the colophon and S & J note that first issue copies have been seen "numbered through at least copy No. 164 . . ." The bibliographers make no statement concerning the numbering of the second issue, but the third issue copies were "numbered in the low 200's to the upper 300's." Which brings us to speculate that our copy - bearing all the first issue points but numbered in the colophon "This is copy #800" when coupled with Henry Miller's cryptic inscription on the front free endpaper: "For Theodore Bernardi who believes that the last shall come first - Bravo! (signed) Henry Miller" - was actually the first copy issued. Bezalel Schatz has also inscribed to the SF Bay Area architect and lecturer at UCB Theodore Bernardi (1903-1990): "For Theodore, a wonderful man and great architect, with warm friendship. Lilik, Berkeley." Shifreen & Jackson A60a.