Epithalamion.[New York], George D. Sproul, 1902 Stock Code: 141703
NotesThe Saint Dunstan edition, number 9 of 30 copies, all printed on vellum, signed by the illuminator Ross Turner on the title page, and again alongside the publisher George Sproul on the limitation leaf. An extraordinarily fine book, beautifully printed and bound.
A lavish Gilded Age production, the "Saint Dunstan Volumes" were the brainchild of the enterprising New York publisher George D. Sproul: sumptuously produced editions, each illuminated by a leading artist, aimed at the very top of the market for such "choice" books, the binding here executed by one of the finest Parisian ateliers of the period, Trautz-Bauzonnet, with exquisite decoration by the distinguished watercolorist and marine artist Ross Turner (1847-1915), who devoted years to the study of illumination.
"It is guaranteed to subscribers that eighteen copies only of this edition have been made for sale in America, and twelve copies only for sale in Europe, and that no future edition will be issued; that it is printed from type and the type has been distributed; that this copy, which is number nine has been specially illuminated throughout for Mrs. Adelaide R Kenny and that no two copies are alike" (limitation leaf). Kenny (1845-1905) was a wealthy resident of Batavia, NY, holding the controlling stock in the Batavia Carriage Wheel Company, and daughter of Dean Richmond, President of the New York Central Railroad; she left an estate of 2 million dollars at her death.
Spenser's Epithalamion, an ode written to his bride, Elizabeth Boyle, on their wedding day in 1594, was first printed in 1595 in London by William Ponsonby as part of a volume entitled Amoretti and Epithalamion.
Quarto (259 x 201 mm). Original black morocco by Trautz-Bauzonnet of Paris (with their gilt stamp on the front turn-in), spine lettered in compartments with raised bands, double gilt fillet to sides, corners with triangular arabesque light brown morocco onlays, triple octagonal border of brown morocco onlays in two shades incorporating a floral design and central triple ruled gilt frame, various coloured morocco onlaid doublures with matching floral and central arabesque designs, edges gilt.
Printed on vellum, the type arranged and printed by the University Press; limitation leaf, title page and letterpress with richly illuminated gilt initials, trailing foliate marginal decoration and tailpieces by Ross Turner. Loose tissue guards.
Binding fine; contents fine save for occasional light ageing to vellum; a few tissue guards browned with peripheral nicking. A superb copy.
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