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Gryphon
1865. Original artwork in pencil. Approx. image size 85 × 60 mm with large margins all round. John Tenniel's monogram to the lower right. Mounted, glazed and framed. Portion of backing from previous mount cut round and retained, with ink inscription of Mr & Mrs Ben Wolf; framers' label of Kennedy & Co. Rare Prints, 693 & 5th Ave.; later sticker of Newman Galleries, Philadelphia. Fine. Tenniel's original preliminary drawing for the illustration of the Gryphon which appears on page 138 of the 1865 first edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll gave Tenniel the exact measurements of each image as they were to fit on the page around the text. The drawings were then traced onto woodblocks and engraved by the Dalziel Brothers. The final stage in the reproduction process was to make electrotype plates from the woodblocks, using them as masters. The electrotype plates were used for the actual printing. There were enormous difficulties preserving Tenniel's delicate pencilwork throughout this process, and Carroll famously cancelled the 1865 first edition on account of its poorly-reproduced illustrations. When one sees at first hand the extreme delicacy of line and tone in Tenniel's original, one must have some sympathy for the poor engravers and printers. Accompanying the drawing is a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: An 1865 printing re-described (Privately printed for The Jabberwock, 1990), which includes a census of the original drawings by Justin G. Schiller, this copy with a signed inscription by Justin Schiller on the half-title: "For the owner of the recently unearthed original art of the sleeping Gryphon (A33), a genuine Tenniel drawing used by the Dalziels for making the woodblock used in the 1865 "Alice" but not [double underline] in my census", signed and dated 16 April 2004.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2013-01-04           Check availability:      Biblio    

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