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ULMANN, Doris, & Julia Peterkin.

Roll, Jordan, Roll.

New York: Robert O. Ballou, 1933 Stock Code: 109882

"One of the most singular documentary photobooks of the 1930s" (The Photobook)

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First edition, signed limited issue. Number 48 of 350 copies signed by the author and photographer, and printed on large paper and extra-illustrated with 90 images, instead of the 70 in the trade issue. This copy is accompanied by the gravure signed by Ulmann of the plate on p. 31, which, although not called for in the colophon, was supposed to be included. Of the few copies we have seen which retain the slipcase, about half have evidence of water damage and give credence to the widely held idea that a flood in the photographer's storeroom destroyed many copies. This collaboration by Ullmann and Peterkin focuses on the lives of second- and third-generation "free blacks" in the Gullah region of South Carolina. "Peterkin, a popular novelist who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929, was born in South Carolina and raised by a black nursemaid who taught her the Gullah dialect before she learned standard English. She married the heir to Lang Syne, one of the state's richest plantations, which became the setting for Roll, Jordan, Roll" (Roth, 101 Books).

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Octavo. Original linen-backed brown boards, device in blind to front board, titles to spine gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, brown textured endpapers. With the original matching card slipcase. Housed in a brown quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


With 90 full-page copper plate photogravure illustrations by Ulmann.


Spine just a little sunned and spotted, all but 2 plain tissue guards lacking (felicitously, since if left in they stain the plates), one plate a touch browned, one or two minor stains to the odd page. An exceptional copy in the publisher's scarce card slipcase, that is split at top edge.


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