1934. Number. Number 136 of 150 copies printed for private distribution only. With the signatures of Estelle Doheny, Anna Cox Brinton, and the printer Ward Ritchie. Tipped in front is a card "with the Compliments of Mrs. Edward Laurence Doheny. This lovely book is titled A Pre-Raphaelite Aeneid of Virgil in the Collection of Mrs. Edward Laurence Doheny of Los Angeles, Being an Essay in Honor of the William Morris Centenary 1934. The book is a handsome collaboration by Doheny, Ritchie, and Brinton in honor of the great William Morris. Estelle Doheny, the wife of a multi-millionaire oilman became probably the greatest woman book collector ever, and one of the greatest without regard to gender. Much of her collection, which included a Gutenberg bible, was left to a small seminary in California after her death in 1958, and would be sold 30 years later for almost $38 million. Her Morris holdings, which included Morris’s calligraphic manuscript of the “Aeneid” and a Kelmscott “Chaucer” printed on vellum, alone brought more than $2 million when sold by Christie’s in 1987. Harry "Ward" Ritchie (1905 - 1996) was an important American printer, book designer, book-collector and writer of around 100 books. He was part of the "Golden Age" of fine printing that took place during the 1920s and 1930s in Southern California. Anna Shipley Cox Brinton was an American classics scholar, college administrator, writer, and Quaker leader, active with the American Friends Service Committee. She has credited with being one of those who "reinvented Quakerism" for the 20th century. At the time that she wrote this work she was on the faculty of Mills College, where the centenary exhibition was held. She writes in A Pre-Raphaelite Aeneid: The reader is less near to the versatile genius of William Morris in turning the triumphant pages of his Kelmscott Chaucer than in poring over the illumnated leaves of the Aeneid." Bound in cream paper boards with red titling to spine and front cover. Housed in a slipcase covered by the same cream paper. Book and slipcase are in near fine condition. Measures 6 x 8 inches. 39 pages plus colophon. PRI/021521.
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Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896-97. The Earthly Paradise was a collection of epic and romantic poems by William Morris (1834-1896) that first appeared in 1868-1870 when he was still in his thirties, and established Morris's reputation as an important poet. He planned to do an edition elaborately illustrated by his great friend, the artist Edward Burne-Jones but it was never realized. This Kelmscott Press edition had eight volumes that were issued between July 1896 and September 1897. There were 225 paper copies and 6 copies on vellum. These eight leaves are from volume five and contain pages 49-64 of The Land East of the Sun and West of the Moon. They are collected as one signature. The beautiful text pages have two 6-line decorated initials and twenty 4-line initials. Printed on Apple paper in Golden type using red and black inks. This was the first book in which Apple paper was used. Pages measure 6.5 x 9.5 inches. Except for some light browning to page edges the leaves are in near fine condition. An excellent example of the typography and printing of the Kelmscott Press and a wonderful addition to a teaching collection. PRI/070320. Near Fine.
Baltimore: The Hill Press, 2001. Hardcover. One of 40 copies. Signed and dated by the printer, Stephen Heaver, owner of The Hill Press. This passionate and beautiful tale was written by William Morris at age twenty-one and published with many other of his writings in the short-lived Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. In his introduction, Morris scholar Theo Rehak quoted Joseph Dunlap as having observed that this particular story was the most perfect example of the works published, "a separate thing, better than the rest of the lot." Rehak also said that Morris did not allow these early pieces to be reprinted during his lifetime, and that he does not recall ever seeing an instance of their being done in a fine press book. The story tells of the journey of a Mediaeval stone cutter, his sister and her husband-warrior, all now departed. The prose is lyrical as it tells their story, and the land on which the church sat is described in all its beauty through the seasons. Morris writes of how beautiful the church is "in the solemn starry nights, so solemn that it almost reached agony - the awe and joy one had in their great beauty." This book was printed in Cloister Old Style type on paper made by Twinrocker for this book. Renowned engraver Simon Brett's engravings are printed from the blocks and include a full-page frontispiece of a cathedral interior, overlayed by by an image printed on transparent Japanese paper, and an historiated initial. The title page calligraphy by Sheila Waters was printed from an electro-plate. Bound in quarter black leather and tan decorated paper boards. Housed in grey cloth slipcase. In fine condition. Unpaginated [nine pages of text and three of introduction]. MOR/072921. Fine.