In my original post about Storie Naturali, I said that it would surprise me if anyone released a trade edition of it. My feeling was that Serafini’s version was itself a deluxe edition of Jules Renard’s book, which is widely available as a cheap paperback, so it wouldn’t make sense to make a trade edition of the deluxe edition.
Well, good on Rizzoli for proving me wrong, since now the less financially reckless can enjoy this amazing book as well. The new edition is around $100 (US dollars) and it is available at Amazon.it and Deastore.com, among other places. It also looks as if the first version is sold out, so prices for that one should be going up (I have already seen $800 and $1250, but I suspect those are hostage prices). You lose the pull-out leaves and the signed bookplate, both of which are very cool, but I don’t doubt that the print quality is outstanding in this new version, and it is probably easier (though less interactive) to look through.
I think it’s neat that the design mimics the design of the Codex – unlike the original version with its facsimile of 1959 first edition on the cover, this is very much Serafini’s book, with his name first and and foremost (above the title, even). It’s exciting to think of a line of Serafini art books from Rizzoli that all use this design, like the world’s most amazing encyclopedia set. I will probably buy this even though I own the other version, just so I can satisfy my curiosity in case there are any new pages added, like the 2006 version of the Codex. I’ll post some better images when I do – this one is from an eBay auction I found.