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Animal Pairs

  • $20.00
We’re back with four(!) new handmade letterpress prints featuring the legendary work of Dutch artist Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (1868-1944). We teamed up once again with Daniel Gardiner Morris from The Arm Letterpress in Brooklyn to revamp these historical gems in richly textured letterpress form.

We’ve revived four of de Mesquita’s Animal Pairs—Sea Lions, Cows, Gazelles, and Pigeons—in delightfully distinct 5.25”x10” prints, each with their own unique imprint and form. Using a deep charcoal ink on creamy warm paper, these letterpress lovelies are a modern spin on traditional methods.

We first collaborated with Daniel Gardiner Morris on our letterpress remake of Albrecht Dürer’s Six Studies of Pillows. While Dürer’s sketches were originally produced as a copper engraving, de Mesquita worked in woodcuts. Ink is applied to the raised areas of the carving in the former and to the recessed areas in the latter. Hundreds of years later, both styles of printmaking are still very much in use, albeit with a few modern conveniences. To produce our modern reimaginings, Morris creates a digital vector of the original image, outputs the negative image to film, and exposes a photopolymer plate. This plate can then be washed out to create the relief artwork from which a print can be made. He then inks the plate and creates letterpress prints using a hand-fed 1960s Vandercook press.

de Mesquita’s Animal Pairs are playful presentations of duets in the wild. Originally produced between 1912 and 1931, each pair showcases the creatures’ individual characters with graphic flair. Sea Lions stars the drama queen and the dozer—and a passing gull—in reclined resplendence amongst tenuous water ripples. The Cows rest rump to rump in a pastoral scene, their patterned coats mimicking the cloudy sky, while the two Gazelles’ fuzzy zigs fit satisfyingly into the grassy zags. Finally, in the latest of the four, Pigeons displays a further streamlined rendering of silhouetted forms punctuated only by light hatchwork feathers.

These new letterpress prints are sure to be certified crowd-pleasers. Whether you’re a history buff, animal lover, or simply an arty appreciator, these tactile treasures are for Y-O-U. Plus! Though small in size, they pack a powerful art punch, making them fabulous gifts for the discerning giftee. Collect one, collect them all. Letterpress loves company.

+ Each hand-pressed print measures approximately 5.25”x10”

+ This print is only available for domestic shipping

+ Custom framing is not available for this edition

+ All orders for this edition are final sale and not eligible for discount or return.

+ 118 cotton Flurry, soft white with impression and charcoal ink