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Waltham St. Lawrence: Golden Cockerel Press, 1929. No. 343 OF 485 COPIES on paper (and 15 on vellum) n. Hardcover. 318 x 197 mm (12 1/2 x 7 3/4"). Four volumes. No. 343 OF 485 COPIES on paper (and 15 on vellum). Original morocco-backed patterned paper boards by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, raised bands, gilt titling, top edges gilt, others untrimmed. In a cloth slipcase. Red and blue initials, and VERY PLEASING WOOD-ENGRAVED BORDERS (frequently inhabited) BY ERIC GILL on every page except in the last part of volume IV. Verso of front free endpapers with bookplate of William A. Risenfield. Chanticleer 63; Gill 281. Joints somewhat rubbed and a bit darkened (from dye), portions of the upper joint of volume I cracked (no other cracking), corners rather mashed, leather a little marked, but all the volumes solid, the covers unsoiled, and the spines uncharacteristically close in color; very fresh, clean, and bright internally. With the "Four Gospels" of 1931 and "Troilus and Criseyde" of 1927, this is one of the three greatest Golden Cockerel Press books. It was produced at a time when the name "Golden Cockerel" was of considerable interest, not just in the private press world, but in the general popular culture as well. As Cave & Manson says, "The production of the Chaucer was regarded as a literary event, and was well reported in the press." When the book was completed, "there were notices in papers as different as the 'Liverpool Post,' the 'Glasgow Daily Recorder,' and the 'Chicago Evening Post' [as well as] reviews in magazines ranging from the 'Bookman' or the 'Spectator' to the 'Studio' and the 'Connoisseur.' . . . Golden Cockerel was news." Although reviews were not entirely favorable (some critics were put off by what were deemed to be "inappropriate" illustrations), the book was very profitable, grossing some £14,000 for the Press. Apart from the buzz it generated as a cultural event, Gill's "Canterbury Tales," for which the artist is said to have engraved some 160 blocks, is one of the best examples in modern fine press work of the successful collaboration of text, decoration, and typography.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2015-10-05           Check availability:      Biblio    


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