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RILKE, Rainer Maria.

Die Sonette an Orpheus.

Geschrieben als ein grab-mal für Wera Ouckama Knoop.

Published: Leipzig: Insel-Verlag, 1923

Stock code: 101198

Price: £3,250

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First edition, deluxe issue, number 7 of 100 copies only specially bound, from the deluxe issue of 300 copies printed on handmade paper by W. Drugulin. Die Sonette an Orpheus (The Sonnets to Orpheus) is considered, along with the Duino Elegies, as Rilke’s masterpiece. They were composed in what the author described as a “savage creative storm” during February 1922. The inspiration was the death of the 9-year old Wera Ouckama Knoop, a playmate of Rilke’s daughter Ruth, and the poet dedicated them as a “grab-mal”, literally a “grave-marker”.

Octavo (214 139 mm). Bound for the publishers by H. Sperling in blue calf, titles to spine gilt with raised bands, boards ruled in gilt, gilt and green painted endpapers, turn-ins and top edge gilt. Housed in a custom blue quarter morocco solander box. Faint ink stamp to title page. Spine slightly faded, a little wear to tips and spine, internally fine; an excellent copy.

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