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WILDE, Oscar.

A House of Pomegranates.

The Design & Decoration of This Book by C. Ricketts & by C. H. Shannon.

London: James R. Osgood McIlvaine & Co., 1891 Stock Code: 143979
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First edition, first impression, one of 1,000 copies. A House of Pomegranates contains "more ornate fairy-stories than the Happy Prince collection and more directly socialist" (ODNB). This edition is richly illustrated by the noted and prolific art nouveau designers Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon. This copy features notably well-defined examples of Shannon's plates, which are often found distinctly faded.

"After the book was finished and bound it was noticed that a dusty deposit had formed on each plate... to take off this deposit each plate was rubbed with soft flannel, which removed the surface and left the reproductions faint and in some cases almost obliterated" (Mason).

Provenance: purchased by book dealer and co-founder of the Society for Theatre Research Ifan Kyrle Fletcher, with his neat pencil notes on the front free endpaper verso. Sold by Fletcher to Helen Hambro, née Boyson (1936-2004), an editorial assistant for the Society's Theatre Notebook, and bought from the Hambro estate.

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Quarto. Original green cloth-backed pale brown boards, titles and decoration to spine in gilt, front board elaborately decorated and titled in orange with peacock, pomegranate and fountain design in gilt, pictorial endpapers.


Engraved title page, 4 plates and numerous illustrations in the text.


Gilt to slightly cocked spine crisp, slight bumps to spine ends, foxing to boards, browning to portion of front cover, inner hinges cracked but firm, very occasional spot of foxing to otherwise bright contents; a very good copy.


Mason 347.


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