Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 37: Portes de Paris (Gates of Paris)

   The book-of-the-week for Week 37 is titled, Portes de Paris (Gates of Paris). It's an Ethiopian coptic book housed in a drop-sides etui box. The box measures 2½ inches by 2½ inches by 3 inches tall, and the book fits snugly inside. The box is covered in a black and metallic copper Japanese print paper and pages from a vintage 1950's Michelin® Guide to Paris. 
the Etui box with book inside
The book is influenced by the huge palaces found in Paris, the colorful scenery, and the flamboyant lifestyle of this historic and culturally rich city.
Luxembourg Palace gate in Paris, France
inside the box...a map showing the Arc de Trioumph
When the etui box is laid open and the little book removed, it all resembles the geometrical lines of the palaces, the streets, and the gates...
the book and it's box... like the streets of Paris
The angular lines of the cover paper reflect the pyramid entrance outside the Louvre Museum, as well as the carved stone facades of many of the palace gates and arched passageways.
the book, Portes de Paris
The colorful signature covers seen through the exposed spine, further reflect the light and colors that play out in the windowpanes, railings, doorways, and gates all over Paris. The sage green headband threads mimic the aged verdigris of the copper-work and the black refers to the forged and wrought iron.
exposed spine with coptic binding and headbands...
The pages of the book are an array of colors... as pastepapers, marbled papers, monoprints, and Japanese prints combine with a few vintage map papers to express the vibrant blend of cultures that constitute Paris. There are no words... other than the places on the maps... only colors and patterns... all bound up as a tiny book with the architectural drawings from the Michelin book.

inside the book, old book pages and pastepapers
spine shaped like the Arc de Triomphe...
colorful pages inside
Paris plaza on a Sunday afternoon... certainly one of the many Portes de Paris

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