THE PICTURE OF KEBES THE THEBAN.

(Campden: Essex House Press, 1906). 155 x 110 mm. (6 1/8 x 4 1/4"). 52 pp., [1] leaf.Translated by Hugh E. Seebohm. No. 23 OF 50 COPIES.

Publisher's tan paper boards, paper labels on upper cover and flat spine. Printer's device in colophon. Printed in red and black. Ransom, p. 270; Tomkinson, p. 79. A couple of tiny spots to boards, otherwise A NEAR-PRISTINE COPY with no signs of wear.

Privately printed for the translator by the Essex House Press, this philosophical tale was long attributed to Kebes, or Cebes, of Thebes (ca. 430-350 B.C.), a friend and disciple of Socrates, though it is now believed to have been written in the first or second century A.D. The "picture" of the title is engraved on a tablet in a Greek temple and shows, in allegorical form, the dangers and temptations of life. The philosopher interprets the symbols and concludes that real happiness can only come from the possession of virtue. The translation is the work of banker, farmer, and gentleman scholar Hugh Exton Seebohm (1867-1946), who had it printed by C. R. Ashbee's Essex House Press. The press had moved in 1902 from its namesake location in London to Gloucestershire, along with other workshops in Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft. Our copy has seen little use over the years, and looks much as it did when it left the press.
(CCS1903)