Lot 312 of 461:
Poe's Gold Bug perhaps in human skin  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,020
$500 - $800

Le Scarabée d'Or - purportedly bound in a piece of human skin

Poe, Edgar Allan


E. Dentu



[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.

Lot Amendments

Lightly worn; near fine.

Item number:
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