Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Necronomicon: Ustino Edition

Venetian artist and bookbinder Dario Ustino appears to have done something that I thought was close to impossible: produce a full prop version of the Necronomicon. I might quibble about some of the details, but the level of craftsmanship and dedication required to produce work like this is astonishing.

I love the use of traditional occult imagery here on the cover, but I think the gold title is a bit overpowering. The weathering on the leather is wonderful.

More masterful distressing. Not too much, not too little, just right.

I think this close-up reveals some of the details of how the weathering was done. From the look of that sinuous brown stain on the right I'd guess that he used the soot and flame from a lit candle to create it. The pattern of wear on the left looks like a rag saturated with charcoal dust was rubbed over the paper and then the excess wiped away. I love how both approaches brought out the texture of the handmade paper.

Another figure decorates the back cover. The layered leather approach is something I would never have thought of, but I like how it looks.

Based on the prices for the traditionally rebound books Mr. Ustino sells on the linked page I can only imagine how much this Necronomicon would sell for. The hours of labor required to detail each and every page boggles the mind.


Christopher B said...

Wow O_o Nice find!

Although, is it me, or does the page count seem a little light?

Propnomicon said...

I'd estimate it has about 70-80 pages, so you're right about it being a bit light. On the other hand, that's one of the reasons the full Necronomicon is such a difficult project- filling it with appropriate, stylistically unified material is major undertaking.