Almost certainly unequaled as a coffee-table presentation, The African Book is nearly beyond description. Published by the Amwell Press in 1984 as a limited edition of 975, this is copy number 134. Not only does it remain in unhandled condition, somehow the original owner thought to retain related promotional materials. Written and signed by Tom Brakefield and including the illustrations of Bob Kuhn, it wears an embossed pigskin binding and features 22-karat gilt edges, silk marker ribbon and silk moire endpapers. The slipcase is actually a hand-made box with double-hinged lid fronted with an inlaid leather map of Africa. Brakefield’s photography is outstanding, especially as presented on high gloss paper so thick one could use a single page as a cutting board. This is a book that, without apology, can command a position in the world’s finest trophy room. The price is firm. $750 plus shipping.


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