Shakespeare's Harvest


 Limited Edition of forty-nine copies signed and numbered. 

*This edition is now sold out*

Golden apricots, perfumed quinces, and exotic pomegranates are just a few of the delicious edibles to which Shakespeare refers in his plays. The richly varied references that appeal to sight, smell and taste, carry meanings beyond words. For Shakespeare’s audiences this was especially true. The quince was anciently dedicated to Venus, the goddess of love. They would have known it was a love token and that quince pies were served at wedding feasts.

Falstaff called for eryngoes to aid his love tryst, in the Merry Wives of Windsor. The long, sweet-tasting candied roots were thought to have aphrodisiac properties and were taken medicinally.  Shakespeare’s Harvest was designed as a companion volume to Shakespeare’s Flowers and develops the idea of ‘books as precious objects’, to be treasured and enjoyed, as were Books of Hours in Medieval times. It can be worn around the neck, suspended in its case, from the silky neck cord.

Entirely handmade, the book is bound in amber coloured calf leather, using traditional bookbinding skills. Each element has been carefully designed and chosen to make the book appealing to the mind and delightful to the eye. Copies of early herbal woodcuts have been used to complement Shakespeare’s evocative quotations and are hand coloured with watercolors, in traditional 16th century style. The paper was made by hand at Griffen Mill in Somerset, England, using cotton and hemp fibers, and ancient techniques.

The gilded sterling silver clasp is in the form of an alpine strawberry, echoing the hand gilt design of strawberry flowers and leaves, which decorates front and back covers. The clasp was designed and made for this book by Judith Price. To hand gild, brass engraved hand tools are heated and impressed on the leather. In this case, the tools were not available ‘off the shelf’ so I had to design them and have them cut to my specification. Each flower, stalk, and leaflet is a separate impression.

Letterpress printed from metal blocks, the book measures approximately  3" high x 23/4" wide inclusive of case. There are seven quotations and seven illustrations, and the book is contained in a black ‘snake-print’ leather case, with silver-gilt chain and clasp, and neck cord.   

   © Janet Kellett 1996-2015   jan dot kellett at shaw dot ca