This edition has been described as one of the most beautiful books produced anywhere in the last thirty years. On a recent visit to meet John Bierer I had the opportunity of handling the copy featured below and can tell you that this description is very apt indeed!!
At this point my sincere thanks must go to John Bierer for his kindness and generosity towards this project. John has amassed surely the finest collection of Powers material anywhere and has been good enough scan some of it for me to add to this site. His library - which includes many other authors besides Powers - contains some of the most exclusive and exceptional Powers collectables there are - including manuscripts, artwork and rare editions and tons of stuff that just does not fit neatly into any known catagory. John has also been instrumental in helping Tim with his research - you'll see his name listed in the "With thanks" section of Earthquake Weather.
Amongst the rare editions John has acquired over the years is this copy of the Charnel House 26.
Only twenty-six copies were manufactured by Charnel House in April 1992. Originally priced at $600, this lettered state was issued with the ISBN 0-927389-04-5. Very occasionally this edition appears on the collectors market. I recently spotted one offered with the following description.
"Charnel House, Lynbrook. 1992. First edition, lettered state. Limited to 26 lettered and signed copies. Hand bound in full green Morocco (goat skin) with a tarot card and two authentic Flamingo Hotel poker chips recessed into front cover, gilt lettering on spine, endpapers made from uncut sheets of one-dollar bills, limitation page made from an uncut sheet of two-dollar bills signed in silver ink. With a piece of a two-dollar bill laid in for a bookmark. Tarot card illustrations by Peter Richardson inside borders by J.K.Potter, with tissue-guards laid in."
Offered last year in the catalogue of Barry R. Levin - Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, this edition would have set you back at least $3000! I have seen one offered more recently (Dec 1999) for $6000!!!. The above description fails to mention that this edition also features an extra poem and a slightly different text to the Morrow edition.
If the above copy were ever to come up on the market, it would probably set you back even more! For this is Powers own copy and below, in the authors own hand, is the provenance. My thanks again to John Bierer for allowing us to the rare opportunity to see this.
Page created 2nd May 1999 - Last Updated:
© John Berlyne