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Golden Cockerel Press, Waltham St. Lawrence 1931 - An Unsurpassable Copy of the Chief Book from the Golden Cockerel Press. 343 x 242 mm. mm (13 1/2 x 9 1/2"). 1 p.l., 268, [2] pp., [1] leaf (colophon). No. 392 OF 500 COPIES (the first 12 on vellum). Publisher's half pigskin and wheat-colored buckram sides by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, raised bands, gilt rules and titling on spine, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. In its original (lightly soiled and worn) plain card slipcase. ILLUSTRATED THROUGHOUT, with four large woodcuts on section titles and scores of striking large and small woodcut illustrations, decorative elements, and initials BY ERIC GILL. Printed on Batchelor handmade paper. Chanticleer 78. AN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE, PERHAPS UNSURPASSABLE, COPY--PRISTINE INTERNALLY, and the binding virtually so. This is an outstanding copy of the chief work produced by one of the foremost English private presses. Founded in 1920 with the intention to print fine editions of important well-known books as well as new literary works of merit from young authors, the Golden Cockerel Press was purchased in 1924 by the illustrator and wood-engraver Robert Gibbings. "Under his direction," says Cave, the Press was "transformed into the principal vehicle for the renaissance of wood-engraved book illustration that took place in the years between the wars." In addition to doing wood engravings himself, Gibbings employed a stable of eminent artists including, among others, Eric Gill, John Nash, John Farleigh, David Jones, Eric Ravilious, and Blair Hughes-Stanton. The present volume is the kind of copy seen once in a decade of a book now almost never found with the publisher's pigskin and cloth binding in agreeable, let alone superb, condition. One of Gill's outstanding achievements as an illustrator, and one of the Golden Cockerel Press' great books, the "Four Gospels" has been called by Franklin the finest of all private press books printed between the wars. The success of the work has much to do with Gill's ability to create a harmonious integration of woodcut illustration and typography (his Golden Cockerel typeface, one of the most important ever cut specifically for private use, is introduced here). At the same time that the work achieves an aesthetic balance, it also takes risks with the emotional nature of the woodcuts and with its unjustified page layout. Because its white pigskin spine is vulnerable to soiling and chafing, the book is now very seldom found in fine condition, or even with its original slipcase intact. If ours is not the finest copy of the Golden Cockerel "Four Gospels" in the world, then it is at least the finest one likely to be available for many, many years. No. 392 OF 500 COPIES (the first 12 on vellum). [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2015-10-05           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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