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Daphnis and Chloe, A Most Sweet and Pleasant Pastoral Romance for Young Ladies.
(London Vale Press 1893) Quarto. 107pp. One of 210 copies. Artists' presentation copy inscribed by Vale Press founders/artists Charles Shannon and Charles Ricketts to C. Elkin Mathews, one of the book's publishers, dated May 19, 1893. Also signed on the dedication page by the dedicatee, T. Sturge Moore. The text, translated by George Thornley, is illustrated with thirty-six woodcuts by Ricketts and Shannon, ornamental initials, and a large tailpiece. Together with a set of twenty-seven proof impressions of the woodcuts on twenty-six sheets. Each is signed by the artist in pencil: fourteen by Ricketts, ten by Shannon, and two sheets printed in monochrome signed by both.Daphnis and Chloe was the first of three books designed by Shannon and Ricketts following their magazine, The Dial, and preceding the official founding of the Vale Press in 1896. Although Ricketts and Shannon had already found some subscribers for the book, they decided to sell the entire edition to Elkin Mathews and John Lane at the Bodley Head, who had a passionate clientele demanding finely made limited editions. A collaboration between the two artists, this work took an entire year to complete. Watry notes that Daphnis and Chloe was "from the outset a collector's item," "appealing to booklovers, both as a text and as an object," and was sold out before publication (25). Ricketts drew inspiration for the book's design from early Venetian printing, especially the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, printed by Aldus in 1499, as well as from William Morris's revival of traditional crafts and techniques, drawing on historical letter forms and placing emphasis on the harmony between text and illustrations (Watry, p. 23).A scholar's copy, the book has been extensively annotated with pencil notes to rear blank leaves that compare the proofs to the published illustrations. Referencing the signatures on the proofs, the previous owner has also unobtrusively penciled the artist's name next to each illustration in the book. Additional bookseller's note to front flyleaf. Bound in green cloth, gilt-titled to spine, which shows slight rubbing and wear to extremities. A few of the proofs show light foxing and some occasional offsetting, else a fine copy of this extraordinary glimpse into the artistic underpinnings of this publication. With the wood-engraved bookplate of noted collector Joseph Manuel Andreini by Lucien Pissarro to front paste-down, depicting a shepherdess and her flock.
      [Bookseller: Bromer Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2012-12-27           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    

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