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The Book of Genesis.
London: Philip Lee Warner, publisher to the Medici Society Ltd,, 1914. Now printed in the authorised version and illustrated after drawings. Quarto. Original limp vellum, titles gilt to spine and front, green silk ties, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. With the original glassine wrapper. Accompanied by the duplicate suite of plates in the publisher's gilt-titled grey cloth chemise. Housed together in a brown morocco-backed bookform slipcase and chemise by Macdonald. Title page with lettering designed by Edith M. Engall and central ornament by Cayley Robinson, 10 colour plates after Cayley Robinson bound at the rear as issued, with captioned tissue guards. Duplicate set of the Cayley Robinson plates included loose in the publisher's accompanying chemise. Fine but for the glassine jacket which is lightly creased and with a few small chips and tears around the edges. First edition thus, tête de tirage vellum copy, number one of twelve copies printed on vellum aside from 500 paper copies printed by the Riccardi Press, and accompanied by a duplicate suite of the plates by illustrator Frederic Cayley Robinson (1862-1927). The colophon declares that of the twelve vellum copies, only ten were for sale, making it likely that this was one of only two hors commerce copies. No vellum copy has appeared at auction for a decade. This Book of Genesis "constitutes [Cayley Robinson's] finest achievement as a book illustrator" (ODNB). His "The Death of Abel", reproduced as the third plate and held at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, is considered his most enduring work. He also illustrated Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird, and is known for his Acts of Mercy painting series executed for the Middlesex Hospital 1915-20, four panels of which were exhibited at the National Gallery in 2010. This copy of Riccardi's finely produced Book of Genesis has the bookplate of esteemed collector Charles Conover Kalbfleisch (1868-1943), whose library sale, entitled The Arts of the Book, went through Park-Bernet Galleries, 10-11 January 1944. A laid-in photocopy of the relevant annotated page from the auction catalogue for that sale reveals that this copy sold for $80 hammer then. It was, incidentally, from Kalbfleisch that Henry Folger bought the fifth of his many First Folio Shakespares, paying $9,000 for it in 1900.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-12-01           Check availability:      Biblio    


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