Alice in Wonderland Bandersnatch edition
Median Market Value
Bandersnatch Edition combines Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There into a beautiful lettered edition limited to 26 copies and packed with features that go beyond the physical book. Their goal was to expand upon the already wonderful numbered Jabberwock Edition and completely go into the rabbit-whole and through the looking-glass.
Creative concept for this edition was based on the idea to put the reader into Alice’s shoes. That is why all twenty illustrations (done by Damir Mazinjanin) that you’ll find inside are from Alice’s point of view; each pulling you a bit further into the story and showing the plot from a unique angle. Besides these twenty, of which two are full-spread illustrations, there are certain illustrated bonuses, like small chapter illustrations and an illustrated surprise that can be find in the middle. This surprise is placed there since the two sequels are fused into one book, each beginning on one cover and ending in the middle. This is also a small tribute to the Looking-Glass world. Another thing that heavily influenced the creative concept was the writer’s love for math and logic (and not psychedelics like many seem to think), which he loved to bend, twist and break in his writing. That was channeled through the use of optical illusions on the covers, which do exactly that kind of thing to logic in the real world.
When you open the book, you are greeted with orange-red endpapers with cards and squares motif, while on the next page you can find the title written by hand in shimmering ink. The same goes for the sequel on the other side, but there the title is written backwards (also by hand) so it can only be read properly when pointed to a mirror. There is a small introduction from Lewis Carroll on one side, as well as a so-called “Foreafterword” on the beginning of the sequel, which explains the creative concept and the thought process behind it.
But most importantly, this edition comes in a luxurious wooden box, with beautiful carving of the title on both of its sides and with a lot of surprises on the inside. Once you open it, you are met with two chess boards and a set of chess figures that are neatly stored into the sides. The reason for two chess boards is because the design of this set was inspired by the special chess variant called Alice Chess, which uses two boards and one set of pieces, because they “move” from one board to the other, like going through the looking-glass. Of course, nothing is stopping you from playing regular chess or even checkers using only the pawns. The chess pieces were designed with simplicity and symmetry in mind. Their design was somewhat inspired by their movement, but also by the idea that they could be flipped upside down and still look the same. In other words, once they go “through the looking-glass”, their design remains the same. The chess squares are made from the same fabric we used for the covers and the slipcase, and are each carefully placed by hand in order to achieve a random pattern with the flow of the cloth, which creates an illusion of various shades of orange-red, thus guaranteeing that every chess set is truly one of a kind.
Each chess board contains its own feature. One board can be lifted to reveal a full enclosed slipcase that contains the oversized deck of cards that were specially designed for this edition. Again, since the goal was to put the reader into Alice’s shoes, just like regular cards would be too big for her, this deck was oversized to emphasise that idea once again.
The slipcase was designed to be a functional part of the chessboard, so the same type of cloth on all levels – book covers, slipcase, chess squares – in order to create a unified look and feel of the chess set. It is also an integral part because it completes one of the boards, while inside it hides a small surprise if you look into the cap. Also, with each copy comes a transparent Cheshire Cat bookmark.
The whole run has only 26 copies, with three additional ones marked with roman numerals for the key participants of the projects, making this a true rarity in the book world.
You can see more pictures of the book and the illustrations in the gallery of the Amaranthine Books website.