([Mostly London or Chipping Campden]: 1890-1930). With 206 items in total (see below). Including 21 VOLUMES PRINTED ON VELLUM.
Most in publisher's bindings, a few nicely bound in morocco, and NINE VOLUMES IN SPECIAL BINDINGS, including one by Douglas Cockerell, one by Gwladys Edwards, and six bound by the Guild of Handicraft under the direction of Annie Power, plus one with her own personal stamp. Some of the supporting material with condition issues, some bindings with light wear, occasional mostly minor foxing, but the bulk of the collection in fine condition.
Carefully curated by a discriminating owner over a protracted period of time, this is an outstanding collection of C. R. Ashbee's Essex House Press, virtually complete in its holdings of the major works of the press, and wide-ranging in its inclusion of related material. Including the complete 1900-05 14-volume "Great Poets Series" printed on vellum, the stately "Prayer Book of King Edward II," and a very pleasing group of finely bound volumes, the collection consists of a total of 206 items, including 108 books, 11 lesser works in wrappers, two items in oversized portfolios, 83 single pieces of miscellanea, and a large group of loose sheets from the Essex House "Song Book" and "Prayer Book" (counted here as one item each for simplicity's sake). Most of the miscellaneous material consists of prospectuses, but there are also a few letters, a piece of original artwork, and other unusual items, including one of Ashbee's earliest printing efforts before founding his press. All but four (minor) works from Ashbee's 1904 "Bibliography of the Essex House Press" are included in the collection, as are several unique items, such as the only vellum copy of "Conradin: A Philosophical Ballad"; a rare paper copy of Chaucer's "The Flower and the Leaf" (a work from the "Great Poets" Series generally thought to have been printed entirely on vellum--we know of only one other copy on paper); several copies that belonged to Ashbee (for example, his copy of the Ashendene "Daphnis and Chloe") or members of his household; and others that were presented and inscribed by Ashbee or the author of the work in question. The Essex House Press was established in 1898 by Ashbee (1863-1942) as an addition to the several crafts practiced at his Guild of Handicraft, located at Essex House in London's Mile End Road. When he founded the press, Ashbee purchased the presses and other production equipment (though not the type) formerly owned by William Morris' Kelmscott Press, which had shut down in 1897; in 1902, Ashbee moved his press and other Guild workshops to Chipping Campden. In the two locations, he printed books for 12 years (twice as long as Morris), with vellum, ink, and paper identical to that used by Kelmscott, in an effort to carry on the tradition Morris had established. But the Essex House Press, because it was conceived of and continued as part of a larger enterprise involving various artisans at work in a group of workshops, always had its own special identity, a fact which Cave reflects when he calls it the "Arts & Crafts press 'par excellence.'" The bindery at the Guild was initially directed by Cockerell and then by his pupil, Anastasia "Annie" Power, who had trained with him at Sangorski & Sutcliffe. The bindery provided both the standard and, occasionally, special bindings for Essex House books; the present collection contains six stamp-signed examples of the latter, plus one stamped with Power's own initials. Full details of the collection are available upon request. (CCS1901)
Add to Cart Price: $150,000.00
PJP Catalog: NY20BF.054