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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-glass: Sir John Tenniel's Illustrations; Ninety-one Prints From the Original Wood Blocks
London: Macmillan; printed by the Rocket Press, 1988. First edition. Hardcover. Fine/fine. One of the really great Alice items, in an edition of 250 copies, this set as new, completely fine. Since their fist appearances in 1865 and 1872, there have been hundreds of printings of the Alice books with the Tenniel illustrations. All of these printings were from electroyped copies of the original wood blocks. In the past 150 years, no copies of the original images were printed from the original boxwood blocks until Macmillan decided on this edition. Because Macmillan had only used the original blocks to make electrotypes, the blocks survived in remarkably fine condition, and only one of the ninety-two original blocks was lost (printed here in electrotype). In the 1980s, Macmillan rediscovered the blocks (long forgotten in a bank vault) and commissioned a fine press company, The Rocket Press, to make a deluxe edition of the Tenniel illustrations by hand-inking the original blocks and printing all 91 images on a precision cylinder proofing press onto Alice Zerkall mould-made paper. Each printed images was then placed loose into an individual folder, each folder printed with relevant lines from Alice. Binding by The Fine Bindery, Wellinborough: the complete set of images-and-folders for each book placed loose in heavy morocco drop-back folding cases (burgundy leather over gray cloth, titles supplied in leather labels printed in gold). In addition to the two solander cases, there is a separate book (full gray cloth, title supplied in leather label printed in gold, also fine), "A Study of Sir John Tenniel's Wood-Engraved Illustrations" by Leo John De Freitas. All three volumes are in turn housed in a matching gray cloth slipcase (all fine, no bumps, etc). A separate announcement of the publication of the set, for friends of Macmillan Press, is laid in -- folded to fit the box, trivial wear. Individual prints from this set come up for sale occasionally, but this complete set in fine binding is very rare. After this printing, the blocks themselves were transferred to the British Library, never to be used again. Thus, this will remain the only edition of the iconic Tenniel illustrations ever printed from the actual blocks. There is a superb interview on Youtube with the director of Children's Books at Macmillan about the rediscovery and printing of this edition. Please contact the seller for more images and a link to the video.
      [Bookseller: Blue Sky Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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