London: Henri Piazza et Cie. for the Fine Art Society, 1905.
Burne-Jones, Sir Edward. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Signed. Landmark Pre-Raphaelite Masterpiece Of The Book Arts. First edition in the ORIGINAL unbound state. One of a very small limitation of Three Hundred Numbered in Longhand Copies [by Georgiana Burne-Jones]. Publisher's leather & cloth clamshell case. Folio (13 X 17 1/2 inches). This production consists of the famous thirty eight original water-colour designs by Burne-Jones brilliantly reproduced by the publisher. The plates are housed in the original publisher's gilt-lettered clamshell case 1/4 dark green Morocco with matching cloth refreshed by expert modest repair. As originally intended by the publisher, the introductory quarto gilt-lettered booklet bound in green cloth is present as a separate publication with the title-page, half-title, text and index printed in red & green, except for the four-page document "Facsimile of Part of the Lists of Flowers Made by Sir Edward Burne-Jones" at the back, printed in black as required. Of the 38 original loose colour plates mounted separately with facing text in their original window mattes, 35 are present with three missing plates masterfully crafted & supplied in facsimile by an expert paper conservationist matching paper stock quality, matting, colour quality & the original hand-lettered typography - no expense was spared to faithfully complete & perfect this famous presentation. Very few copies of this important example of "fin de siècle livre d'artiste" have survived in any condition at all. If any surface, they are usually bound-up as a book in the traditional fashion. Copies with the plates loose as issued are very rare [perhaps fewer than 20 copies]. "The pictures in this book are not of flowers themselves, but of subjects suggested by their names. The first meaning of many of these has long been forgotten, and new meanings are here found for them in the imagination of the artist". He began the series for his own pleasure in 1882, as rest from more laborious work, keeping by him a list of beautiful names that he had met with & choosing subjects amongst them from time to time according to his mood. All the pictures take the same form, a circle about six inches in diameter kind of magic mirror in which the vision appears and he wished them not to be separated, because, wide as is their scope, one spirit, that of pure fantasy, unites them. Many of the paintings draw on Arthurian and classical legend, and on the Bible, and some are re-workings of favourite themes, for example `Wake, Dearest!' depicts `The Sleeping Beauty', a story he turned to again and again in his several `Briar Rose' series. These freely worked little pictures, some of them unfinished, were done purely for the artist's own pleasure and it may be for this reason that they possibly contain `a fuller expression of himself than exists elsewhere in his work'. Georgiana Burne-Jones - From the Preface.
Item #27088 Price: US$13,750.00