Some Evidence of Things Seen.
Children of South Africa.Rivonia, South Africa: Open Hand Trust, 1997 Stock Code: 130076
NotesSigned limited edition, number 48 of 50 copies signed by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Albie Sachs and Paul Alberts. A remarkable collaboration, this is the only limited edition signed by both Mandela and Tutu - Nobel Peace Prize winners in 1993 and 1984 respectively - alongside a third major figure in the anti-Apartheid movement, Albie Sachs, who became a judge on South Africa's Constitutional Court and has received numerous international awards for jurisprudence. The book gathers photographs of South African children taken by Paul Alberts, predominantly from before the end of Apartheid, with an introduction by Mandela, and text provided by Tutu and Sachs (both additionally signing the start of their section).
The signing of the book proved controversial, as Nelson Mandela initially rubber stamped his signature on the books, despite having agreed to sign them, and his government was then facing accusations of corruption and malpractice. The whole edition was therefore recalled and the books properly signed by Mandela. Desmond Tutu had also provided only signed bookplates, but added his signature once Mandela did his own. Both Mandela's rubber-stamped signature, and Tutu's signed bookplate, remain on the half-title.
Accompanying the book are three letters serving as certificates of authenticity, each signed by an assistant verifying that the named individual signed by the book: the first on behalf of Nelson Mandela in May 1999, the second on behalf of Archbishop Tutu in September 2000, and the third on behalf of Justice Albie Sachs in October 2000. At the point of signing, the individuals were President of the Republic of South Africa, Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa respectively.
The edition has the stated limitation of 50 numbered copies, with a further unstated ten copies numbered with Roman numerals; a regular unsigned trade edition was also issued. Due to the controversy surrounding the signing, only a small number of the copies were ever sold. Most were retained by Paul Alberts until his death, and thereafter recently acquired by Peter Harrington directly from his descendants. The books are consequently a great rarity in commerce.
Quarto. Original green calf, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, green speckled edges. Housed in the original green morocco slipcase.
Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs.
A few trivial rub marks, tight in the slipcase, else near-fine.
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