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Poe's Gold Bug perhaps in human skin

Lot 0312
Heading: (Fine Bindings)
Author: Poe, Edgar Allan
Title: Le Scarabée d'Or - purportedly bound in a piece of human skin
Place Published: Paris
Publisher:E. Dentu
Date Published: 1892

[8], iv, 128, [1] pp. Original wrappers bound in. (12mo) 13x7.5 cm (5¼x3") brown leather-backed marbled boards, raised bands, decoration of a gold bug descending front the eye-socket of a skull above a crossed sickle and shovel decoration on spine, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt.

The binding leather is purportedly made from human skin, stamped in gilt inside the front cover: "Reliè en Peau Humaine. G. Rykers." A note on the front endpaper in the pen of Charles Erskine Scott Wood reads: "Dear John - What a tribute to the morbid death-loving Poe to find the "Gold Bug" in human skin - or is it an attempt at a pun? Poe humani en peau humaine. C.E.S.W." A second note in the same hand on the front of a custom cloth dust jacket: "Poe's Gold Bug in French - bound in a piece of human hide." We have not had the skin tested to confirm its origin but we have no reason to doubt the binder's claim. If correct then a fine example of anthropodermic bibliopegy.


Lightly worn; near fine.

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Poe's Gold Bug perhaps in human skin

Estimate $500 - $800Aug 11, 2016
1233 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
United States
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