AGNES MILLER PARKER WOOD ENGRAVINGS FROM THE FABLES OF ESOPE. THE STORY OF A REMARKABLE BOOK.

(Newtown, Powys, Wales: Gwasg Gregynog, 1996). 360 x 240 mm. (14 1/4 x 9 1/2"). 33, [1] pp., [2] leaves (colophon). No. 53 OF 200 COPIES.

Publisher's quarter mustard yellow cloth over patterned paper boards. In matching slipcase. With a decorative initial "A" by William McCance and 27 WOOD ENGRAVINGS BY AGNES MILLER PARKER, all printed on handmade Japanese vellum from the original blocks. One small smudge to spine, otherwise in mint condition.

This account of the creation of perhaps the finest book of the Gregynog Press includes lovely new prints of its highly praised engravings. Scottish painter and printmaker Agnes Miller Parker (1895-1980) met Blair Hughes-Stanton and Gertrude Hermes while teaching art in London, and this husband-wife team helped her refine her wood engraving techniques. The three artists and Miller Parker's husband William McCance moved to Wales in 1930 to help produce fine limited edition books for the Gregynog Press. According to DNB, "'The Fables of Esope' (1932) and 'XXI Welsh Gypsy Folk-Tales' (1933) illustrated by Agnes' engravings are rightly celebrated as among the finest of the period: her silvery and exquisitely stylized representations are reproduced by superb press work." The press had chosen to use the antiquated, hard-to-read English of Caxton's version of the Fables, so the brilliant and witty engravings by Miller Parker assumed additional prominence, and became the chief selling point of the book, still one of the most sought-after Gregynog productions. This study of the making of Gregynog's "Esope" was produced by the Gwasg Gregynog, the successor to the Gregynog Press. Using the original Gregynog machinery on loan from the National Library of Wales, Gwasg Gregynog was begun as an effort to revive the spirit of the original press, which produced its last book in 1940.
(CBJ1806)