Skip to content

ABC (1993)

Artists' Book (handmade)
Dale DeArmond
Edition of 8

Overall size (folded): 4 ½" x 5 "

AKA: A Prehistoric ABC

Editor's note: twenty-six color engravings are represented in this handmade artists' book, one for each letter of the alphabet and all depicting prehistoric animals. Titled on the cover as ABC, an inside page refers to the book as A Prehistoric ABC. Other than the handwritten names of the animals listed and the included colophon, there is no text or story. Not all copies have an outer slipcase. There are unnumbered and unsigned single prints with handwritten names that exist – it is unknown if any were editioned, although some proofs and samples were produced.

Reportedly, Dale was pleased with her wood engravings but was unhappy with the accordion-style binding she created. A few years later (c. 1995-96) DeArmond attempted to create a similar book, this time consisting of insects. She sought the advice of Artemis BonaDea, her collaborator and co-creator of their artists' book, From Long Ago: Crest Hats, Masks and Faces from Alaska's Past, to improve the binding for the insect book. She finished all twenty-six wood engravings and also pulled a few proofs (some of which have surfaced; see below) but ultimately it was not completed. Little else is known about this project.

From the colophon:
This book was designed, engraved, hand printed on an etching press on Rising Stonehenge paper, assembled and bound in an edition of 8.

The prehistoric animals titled and illustrated:​

  • Archaeopteryx
  • Brachiosaurus
  • Coelodonta
  • Dimetrodon
  • Elasmosaur
  • Frog (Palaeobatrachus)
  • Glyptodont
  • Holoptychius
  • Ichthyostega
  • Jurassic Coelurosaur
  • Kannemeyeria
  • Longisquama
  • Megathere (Megatherium)
  • Necrolemur
  • Ornithomimus
  • Procoptodon
  • Quetzalcoatlus
  • Rhamphorhynchus
  • Styracosaurus
  • Tyrannosaurus rex
  • Uintatherium
  • Victorians imperialis
  • Woolly Mammoth
  • Xenacanthus
  • Yangchuanosaurus
  • Zalambdalestes

These uncolored prints were not included in the portfolios – they were likely proofs or samples. It is unknown how many of these were produced.

Both of these examples are of Ant, originally intended as part of Dale's insect series (mentioned above). One example is unsigned; the other is titled, signed and dated. Both prints are similar but not alike in detail.

This stamp was found on eBay a few years ago. It is Archaeopteryx, or "A" in the series. It does properly credit the artist with a "© Dale DeArmond," though it's not known if this was authorized by Dale, how many were made, or how many other letters (if any) exist.