Publisher's Mock-Up of the First Book from Cheloniidae Press, with Many Original Drawings and Watercolors

    [Cheloniidae Press]. Edgar Allan Poe. The Raven. [Easthampton, Massachusetts: Cheloniidae Press, 1980].

    Publisher's mock-up, with original drawings all signed by artist Alan James Robinson, as well as the finished edition limited to 100 copies, this being number 8. Folio. Unpaginated. Etchings and wood engravings by Alan James Robinson include five full-page etchings and a wood-engraved frontispiece portrait of Poe and a colophon piece. Etchings printed by the artist at the Cheloniidae Press. Text from the original Lorimer Graham version with the author's own corrections. Two wood engravings on Kitakata and text printed by Harold McGrath at The Hampshire Typothetae. Hand-set Centaur type, originally designed by Bruce Rogers in 1914. Hand-bound by David Bourbeau at Thistle Bindery, with a special marbled cover design by Stephen Auger. Printed on Arches Cover.

    A unique collection of preliminary pieces for the book, including seven original finished pencil drawings, seven finished watercolor drawings, seven original preliminary pencil sketches, a set of proofs of each page of the book, including the illustrations (later issued as a separate edition of the plates in an edition of 50 copies), a complete mock-up of the book with samples of the colophon and prospectus and state proofs of an etching of Poe with the raven above him. All of these collected in three chemises. The chemises and the finished edition (bound in black marbled rag paper-covered boards, with gilt title to spine and limited to 100 copies) are all housed in a large black clamshell box with a red spine label. Fine.

    The Raven was the first publication of Cheloniidae Press, and it is considered by some critics to be one of the finest examples of letterpress printing and illustration of poetry done in recent years. This unique collection of mock-up materials allows a singular opportunity to observe the creative process of assembling a fine press book.

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    October, 2010
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