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Jacket - Constructed of coated black, marbleized stock, notched in the center of the open edges. There is an incised outline of a circle on the front, just above center.
Book, front and back covers: Dark green cloth; spine bound in black cloth, which extends about two inches, front and back.
Front cover: Imprinted a/ Mystery, the a italicized; mystery in serif-style capitals; in gold. Centered below the title is a key design, also in gold.
Spine: With the object lying flat and back cover faced downward, the viewer may read the title, imprinted horizontally in a smaller version of the front cover type, accompanied by thin gold lines, gradually narrowing from the center outward. With the object standing up, M&Co/ Vol.1 may be viewed at bottom.
Inside front cover: Marbleized paper in tones of beige, bordered in black; divided into eight variously sized rectangular sections, separated by thick black lines. In small beige capitals, a quotation attributed to Marcus Aurelius makes its way around the border, beginning and ending at the top, left. The pattern continues in the imprinting of discrete aphorisms on the five vertical and two horizontal outlines dividing the sections. A long, narrow section (here called # 1) on the left, titled Pencil Making in/ Today's Modern World, in small capitals, continues in small upper and lower case with a description of pencil-making, separated every few lines by stylized illustrations composed of circles, dots and lines. Moving across, the next section (#2), equally long but narrower than #1, lists three different categories of measurement, headed by related line illustrations: a V-shaped compass; balance scales; cup and saucer. An eleven-line quotation from William Strunk, Jr.'s Elements of Style, imprinted in italics, comprises the adjacent section (#3), ending at the spine. Two sections underneath together match the width of the rectangle directly above; the smaller one (#4), on the left, quotes from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, while the larger, on the right (#5), quotes from a [George] Meredith poem. The bottom row, left to right, features a quotation from Edmund Burke, in a sans serif type, in the smallest rectangle (#6); another, from Thomas Jefferson, in a serif style type, in the next largest rectangle (#7); and in the third and largest rectangle (#8), eleven lines, in sans serif type, about vulcanization.
Spine: In sans serif type, a quotation referring to dictionaries occupies the entire space. An ideogram of a dictionary opened on a bookstand appears between the second and third lines. The attribution to Jean Paul Sartre, The Words, and the date, 1964, are imprinted on three lines just above the lower edge.
Inside back cover: An uncovered wooden box is divided into eight sections corresponding to the configuration of the inside front cover. Sections #1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 are lined with the same beige-toned paper used on the inside front cover. Section #1, featuring an illustration of a tree in leaf, holds a dozen sharpened, shiny black pencils imprinted Cheers from M on the left, above, handy/ rubber eraser; on the left, below, basic black/ finish. In Section #2, a metal ruler is placed on top of a paper wedge. The ruler is pierced by a hole, for hanging purposes, on the top short edge. On the recto, seven inch markings are imprinted in dark Roman numerals. Reading across, inch and metric equivalent measurements are imprinted in the spaces between the edge and one inch, one and two inches and five and six inches; M its paper binder is imprinted in italics A Nice Stack of Paper Perfect for Writing Notes, separated between the words paper and perfect by a line illustration of a pair of crossed pencils. The section liner shows a design of a hand, extending to the left from a shirt cuff within a jacket sleeve edge, holding a pen, poised over a piece of paper on which part of a word has already been written.
Section #4 contains brass-colored clips in a box of the same material as the pencil wrapper, imprinted on a curve in small capitals about 75 clips/ they're bendable. Arrows extend from the center to line illustrations of clips, three at the top edge and three at the bottom, bent into various shapes and labeled accordingly. The section liner is imprinted vertically in a hand-drawn style 1+1 are 2. In Section #5, a round metal tin of Italian-manufactured mints, labeled Tabu/ bianco/, followed by the manufacturer's Italian-language motto, is placed on a liner imprinted with a line illustration of a leaf on a stem. Section #6 contains a two-holed, brass-colored, wedge-shaped pencil sharpener on top of a liner imprinted with a line illustration of a gavel or hatchet. In Section #7, a rectangular, off-white eraser is placed in a black wrapper, imprinted in the center with a design of a duck within a circle; the quotation, to err is human to forgive divine is imprinted in a curved format in unattached script type, beginning on the wrapper with the first four words and concluding on the liner. Section #8 contains a bunch of rubber bands bound at the center in a black paper wrapper; the liner is imprinted in the center with a design composed of the letters h and c connected by horizontal and vertical lines.
- Douglas Riccardi, probably American, active late 20th century, Alexander Brebner
- Chicago citation style
- Douglas Riccardi, probably American, active late 20th century, Alexander Brebner. A Mystery. 1989. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Achndm_1993-151-91-a_aa&repo=DPLA. (Accessed October 17, 2019.)
- APA citation style
- Douglas Riccardi, probably American, active late 20th century, Alexander Brebner, (1989) A Mystery. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Achndm_1993-151-91-a_aa&repo=DPLA
- MLA citation style
- Douglas Riccardi, probably American, active late 20th century, Alexander Brebner. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Achndm_1993-151-91-a_aa&repo=DPLA>.