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ID QUOD VISUM PLACET
Waltham St. Lawrence: Printed by Robert Gibbings at the Golden Cockerel Press for Eric Gill, 1926. No. 79 OF 150 COPIES, SIGNED "ERIC GILL T. S. D.. Hardcover. Hornby's Copy of a Gill Book with IllustrationsJuxtaposing a Giant Slug, Flying Buttresses, and an Aviator. 203 x 117 mm (8 x 4 5/8"). [26] pp. No. 79 OF 150 COPIES, SIGNED "ERIC GILL T. S. D." Publisher's linen-backed blue paper boards, paper label on upper cover. With Gill's "Veritas" device on title page, printer's cockerel device in colophon, and two fine full-page copperplate engravings by Gill. Front pastedown with book label reading "FROM THE LIBRARY OF / C. H. ST JOHN HORNBY / SHELLEY HOUSE, CHELSEA." Gill 11. One tiny (wax?) spot on lower cover, quarter-inch faded strip at head of boards, otherwise A VERY FINE COPY, pristine internally. This is an essay on the nature of beauty in the form of a philosophical argument in the Scholastic style used in the "Summa Theologica" of St. Thomas Aquinas. The title, which means "that which pleases by being seen," is Thomas' simple definition of beauty. The striking engravings depict (1) a peculiar juxtaposition of a nude David with an immense slug, a very large earthworm, and a dead tree, and (2) the flying buttresses of Chartres Cathedral with the sun and French aviator Blériot's monoplane--the first to fly across the Channel--in the sky above. The author/artist tells us in his "Prologue" that the "illustrations are more to amuse than to elevate or instruct and serve merely to remind the reader of the subject matter under discussion." The work was published at a time in Gill's life when his Catholic faith was having a strong impact on his life and work. He was living in an old Benedictine monastery in Wales, and had become a lay member of the Order of St. Dominic, as the initials after his name on the title page and in his signature reflect. This is an important association copy for the private press movement, bringing together central figures from the Golden Cockerel and Ashendene presses: Gill did memorable work on the chief productions of the former press in the late 1920s and early '30s, and our earlier owner Hornby founded and operated the latter press for 40 years, up until 1935.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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