Friday, 20 January 2017

The Flacks Family Collection

On 16 September last year, a selection of 46 lots from the collection of Marcus and Debby Flacks were auctioned at Christie's in New York.

Marcus Flacks is one of the pre-eminent sources for classical Chinese furniture, rare scholar’s objects and contemporary Asian paintings. Among the highlights are an extremely rare pair of 17th century huanghuali and spotted bamboo scholar’s cabinets, perhaps the only known pair in existence.

This is the auction catalogue produced by the Flacks family and Christie's for the sale. Size is 210x268mm, portrait.
The publication has 148pp text pages printed on Neptune Unique SoftWhite 135gsm (a bespoke weight). The cover is printed on Dali Neve 320gsm, with 133mm flaps on the inside front and back covers.
An important feature that makes all the difference to this publication is the binding. It is a square backed limp bound book (spine is 13mm) but the binding type that is used is called OTASTAR. This is a method of bookbinding that offers an elegant binding solution with advantages over conventional soft cover binding. One of the main advantages is that it lays flatter than a conventional section sewn book. It mimics the construction of a case bound book, so the spine of the text is free from the cover (see image below). It is this that results in the text and whole book laying flatter.
The publication is printed in CMYK throughout and the imagery is truly striking. The Neptune Unique SoftWhite used for the text is an uncoated off-white, smooth (yet tactile) text and cover paper - the printed result is simply fantastic.
Click on images to enlarge
Below is the pair of 17th century huanghuali and spotted bamboo scholar’s cabinets. These are possibly the only pair in existence.
Click on images to enlarge
Below is Liu Dan’s Far-off Journey, painted in 2006 for Marcus Flacks.
Click on images to enlarge

The below images show the detail for the inside of the cover, printed in mono, showing the detail of the spotted bamboo.
Below is a detail of the outside front cover printed on Dali which is a felt-marked paper with a linear effect and a natural, tactile feel. If you click on the image, you will be able to see the texture in the paper.
Click on images to enlarge
The book is published by Sylph Editions. Design is by Ornan Rotem and production is by Num Stibbe. The superb printing is offset litho by Robstolk in Holland. The printed result on this uncoated substrate is simply superb, which combined with the superlative binding makes this a piece of print that is seriously noteworthy.
Posted by Justin Hobson 20.01.2017

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