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Slavica / Book Design / Original Artwork: Strúnam / Deklétam / Pod ôknam


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France PREŠEREN (1800-1849), author; Miha MALEŠ (1903-1987), designer; Martin BENČINA, author of the introduction; VARIOUS ARTISTS, authors of illustrations.

Ljubljana: Bibliofilska založba 1940.


Ljubljana: Bibliofilska založba 1940.


Pod ôknam
Ljubljana: Bibliofilska založba 1941.

All 8°, 31 pp., with illustrations and original linocuts, original linen boards with illustrated cover, original calf spine, contemporary bookplate mounted on the inner side of the front cover (boards slightly dusty on the corners, but overall in a good condition).


A set for three fine booklets with a poetry by most famous Slovenian poet France Prešeren were published on the eve of WWII by a Bibliophile Publishing House in Ljubljana. The book design was made by a prolific Slovenian academic artist Miha Maleš. Each book includes a poem, followed by various illustrations on the subject by contemporary Slovenian male and female artists, accompanied by the description of the artwork and its origins. As some illustrations are reproductions from mostly larger paintings, the others are imprints from original plates.

Maleš was schooled at art academies in Zagreb, Vienna and Prague, where he graduated in 1927. Influenced by the contemporary Prague art movement with its vivid printing activity, he wanted to lift the art of printing from its reputation of second-rate reproductions to the level of original artwork.

Maleš founded the first Bibliophile Publishing House in Slovenia, where he was printing woodcuts and etchings as illustrations of bibliophile editions of books, to make original artwork more approachable to wider audience. Although a prominent artist in the post WWII era, exhibiting worldwide, his finest work is considered to be from the period of the late 1920s until the mid-1940s, when his activity was interrupted by WWII.

Our three books are fine products of Miha Maleš’s Bibliophile Publishing House and were sold with soft covers and in half-calf bindings, ours being the latter version.
University of California Los Angeles houses an example of Pod ôknam, otherwise we could not find any examples outside Slovenian libraries

References: OCLC 442980669, 442980711, 442980734.

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