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London: David Bogue, 1881 First edition. One of 250 copies. Original japan vellum by Matthew Bell, gilt prunus blossom design within rectangular border to covers, gilt decorations and lettering to spine, top edge gilt. Near fine, with a few light spots of minor soiling to the otherwise bright vellum, minor wear to the top edge at the fore edge, light offsetting to the endpapers, otherwise bright and fresh pages. A lovely copy. Housed in a custom quarter morocco purple slipcase with matching chemise. Mason 304. Poems is Wilde's first collection of poetry and contains some of his best known verse, many of which were written during his tenure at Oxford University and had not previously been published in periodicals. Specifically, it includes, "Helas," "Ave Impertrix," "Sonnet to Liberty," "Requiscat," "Impressions," and "The Grave of Shelley," among others. Wilde's poetry, an example of the Aesthetics Movement of which the poet was a forerunner, are perfectly complemented by Bell's lovely vellum binding; just as Wilde's beautiful verses were seen as a response to the homeliness of the Industrial Revolution, Bell's binding marked "a striking departure from high Victorian norms." Wilde's readers "would have seen the binding as a work of art in its own right" (Nicholas Frankel, Oscar Wilde's Decorated Books, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2000, pp. 113-114). Notably, the first three editions of Poems were printed in a single impression of 750 copies, with 250 copies intended for each edition; the later editions are distinguishable by the edition statements on the title pages that were newly printed for their distribution and the second state binding, which has an enlarged version of the blossom patterns that decorate this first edition.. First Edition. Hard Cover. Near Fine.
      [Bookseller: B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA]
Last Found On: 2015-06-09           Check availability:      Biblio    


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