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Fine Bindings

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  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – Trans Edward Fitzgerald

    The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – Trans Edward Fitzgerald

    A Folio Society production from 1970. Their usual lavish production works well in this case – we are not always a fan.

    Edward Fitzgerald had a couple of goes at translating The Rubaiyat – this is his first and best we think.

    Tall octavo, unpaginated, 75 verses after introductions and a page of helpful notes at the end. Nicely, artistically, illustrated by Virgil Burnett. Decorative end paper, gilt and silvered ornate pattern over red cloth covered boards, gold paper covered custom slipcase.

    A nice and attractive Rubaiyat that would make a super gift.


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  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan – Peter Pauper Press

    The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan – Peter Pauper Press

    A lovely little production by the superb Mount Vernon, Peter Pauper Press printed delightfully on rag paper.

    The Edward Fitzgerald translation illustrated by Jeff Hill. No date but likely 1970′s

    Unpaginated but 62 pages with 9 full page illustrations, the verses printed crisply within decorative borders. Decorated paper covered boards the design of which carries over to the dust jacket. Very good condition albeit a little ageing to the jacket.

    The Rubaiyat should require no introduction .. every library should have several versions of which this a special one.

    The Rubaiyat by the special Peter Pauper Press.


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  • Covent Garden Drollery: Printed at The Whitefriars Press for the Fortune Private Press 1927

    Covent Garden Drollery: Printed at The Whitefriars Press for the Fortune Private Press 1927

    A seriously special book. Octavo, vi,2,123pages bound in quarter cloth over paper boards, in pictorial speckled paper dust jacket. Illustrated frontispiece, facsimile title from 1672 first, decorated with vignettes. A lovely reprint of the original work. Couldn’t be a better copy.

    Subtitled .. A Collection of all the Choice Songs, Poems, Prologues and Epilogues, Sung and Spoken at Courts and Theaters, never printed before. Written by the refined’st Witts of the Age. And collected by A.B. With explanatory notes at the end. Edited by Montague Summers (1880-1948) author and clergyman, who wrote on the occult.

    This book is numbered 342 of a limited number of 575 copies. All printed on English unbleached handmade paper … absolutely lovely paper.

    Drollery from the past still amusing in the present and beautifully presented


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  • D.H. Lawrence and the Body Mystical – Frederick Carter – First Edition 1932

    D.H. Lawrence and the Body Mystical – Frederick Carter – First Edition 1932

    An unusual book on aspects of Lawrence’s thinking and a fine production, printed in “Private Press Style” published by Denis Archer, London.

    Largish octavo format, 63 pages with extra blanks. Frontispiece of D.H. Lawrence by the author who was a skilled etcher. Printed on sumptuous Japan Vellum. Bound quarter black cloth over lightly marbled paper covered boards. Design, partly in gilt to front with titles, gilt titles to spine. A little rubbed at the corners and a slight stain to one of the rear blanks otherwise a very good copy.

    Frederick Carter (1885-1967) knew D.H. Lawrence very well … Lawrence would stay with Carter at his house in Shropshire. There they would share and develop their views on humanity. It was a time in Lawrence’s life that he was concerned with his health and the English cold and damp. He craved warmer climes. One of his favourite if not most favourite places was Mexico where he saw something unusual and special in the people.

    Fine and worthwhile book on D.H. Lawrence by a man who knew him well.


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  • Silver Mist – Joan Sutherland – First Edition 1935

    Silver Mist – Joan Sutherland – First Edition 1935

    1935 first edition with a lovely art deco inspired dust jacket. Published by Cassell, London etc, octavo, 287 pages. A ripple to the front board and the odd spot on page edges, really a very good copy in a super dust jacket.

    A romance but with some heat. Penelope falls for Sir Garth. The good looking Garth (they both are) is cited in a divorce 1930’s style. The case failed but Sir Garth was left with the stigma (nothing’s changed there). Lady Olivia is a pursuer but maybe Penelope has some tricks in store.

    1935 First Edition by the much admired Sutherland.


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  • Le Morte d’Arthur – Sir Thomas Malory – Shakespeare Head Private Press Limited Edition 1933

    Le Morte d’Arthur – Sir Thomas Malory – Shakespeare Head Private Press Limited Edition 1933

    Full title … The Noble & Joyous Boke Entitled Le Morte d’Arthur Nothwythstondying it Treateth of the Byrth Lyf and Actes of the sayd Kynge Arthur; of his Noble Knightes of the Rounde Table. Theye Merveylous Enquestes and Adventures. Thachyevynge of the Sanc.Greall and the Ende the Delourous Deth: and Departynge out of this Worlde of Them al. Wyche Boke was Reduced in to Englysshe by the Well Dysposyd Knyghte Syr Thomas Malory.

    Two volumes, quarto, number xxx of 350 copies for sale (a further 20 copies were not for sale) with 22 woodcut illustrations. Original binding in terra cotta half Morocco over ivory buckram, flat spines with gilt titling, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. Other edges untrimmed.

    The revered Shakespeare Head, Saint Aldates Oxford, edition of the most famous of the Arthurian tales, reprinted from and resembling in layout and typeface the 1498 edition of Wynkyn de Worde kept in the John Rylands Library, Manchester.

    Volume I comprises 4 initial blanks; half title; title with limitation on verso; prologus i-iv; table v-xxviii; Fyrste Boke to IX Boke 1-316 with woodcut in each; 3 final blanks. VolI comprises 4 initial blanks; half title; title with note to verso; Boke X – Boke XXI 1-373 with woodcuts to each and a further one in Boke XXI; notes 3; 3 final blanks. All as should be.

    Written in the 15th century by Thomas Malory the sweeping Mort d’Arthur includes the youth of Arthur, the romance of Guinevere and Lancelot, the Quest for the Grail, the tragedy of Tristan and Iseult etc.

    This superb work directly tied to the early days of printing in England, with broad margins, quality handmade paper and the impeccably reproduced typeface … all hallmarks of the Shakespeare Head Press.

    The Shakespeare Head Press was started in 1904 at Stratford Upon Avon by Arthur Bullen after he had had a dream about finely printing all of Shakespeare’s works at his birthplace, something that had not been done before. Much of his equipment and initial typeface came second had from William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. After Bullen’s death in 1927 the business was moved to Oxford under its new owners Basil Blackwell and Bernard Newdigate who was the typographer. They continued in the Morris tradition. The building in which they operated was commandeered by the American allies in 1942.

    King Arthur and his Legends and Death – Shakespeare Head Private Press edition.


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