Description

    [Walter Crane, illustrator]. [Edmund] Spenser. Spenser's Faerie Queene. A Poem in Six Books, with the Fragment Mutabilitie. Edited by Thomas J. Wise. Pictured by Walter Crane. London: Published by George Allen, 1897-1896. First edition illustrated by Walter Crane, one of 1,000 copies on handmade paper for England and America. Approximately 10.25 x 8.25 inches. Six quarto volumes. Double-page general title, seven title-pages, and eighty-eight full-page woodcut illustrations (including one double-page). With 132 head- and tail-pieces, numerous decorative initials, and printer's and publisher's colophons. Contemporary half olive levant morocco over marbled boards, spines ruled and lettered in gilt in compartments, five raised bands, top edge gilt, marbled endleaves. Spines slightly sunned, some wear to binding, bookplates. Overall, very good. "The most important work in the whole long list of books illustrated by Walter Crane..." (Konody, p. 71). Ashley V, p. 196. Engen, Crane, p. 102. Massé, pp. 47-48.

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    "If Crane's claim to greatness were based entirely on this work, he would still retain his position in the front rank of nineteenth-century artists. The wealth of ideas and forms, real and fantastic, which are embodied in the actual illustrations, and even more in the marvellous decorative border designs, is almost incredible! Besides the numberless presentments of the human figure in all its manly vigour and womanly grace, the whole range of nature's forms, of animal and plant life, of fabulous, mythological inventions, of allegorical personifications, are worked into decorative designs of exquisite beauty. It would be petty, nay foolish, to try to find fault with certain very obvious shortcomings as regards anatomical drawing in a work which does not only stand unique as pure decoration, but speaks of an amount of knowledge and a wealth of imagination that command unrestricted admiration and respect." Konody, p.71.



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    Auction Dates
    February, 2012
    8th Wednesday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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