(London, Paris, New York: The Studio Ltd., 1914). 335 x 248 mm. (13 1/8 x 9 3/4"). v, , 34 pp. FIRST EDITION.
STATELY CONTEMPORARY DARK GREEN MOROCCO, GILT, covers framed by multiple gilt rules, upper cover with rectangular gilt rectangle divided into six diapered compartments with Celtic knotwork, gilt titling below this, raised bands, spine gilt in compartments with Celtic knotwork, pastedown framed by multiple gilt rules, triangles of dots at corners, green and orange-painted endpapers, all edges gilt. With 24 color plates of illuminations from the Book of Kells, all with lettered tissue guards. A CHOICE COPY with no signs of use inside or out.
This is a handsomely produced and bound descriptive account of the great ninth century Irish manuscript of the Gospels, praised by the author for "its weird and commanding beauty; . . . the baffling intricacy of its fearless designs; . . . the creeping undulations of serpentine forms, that writhe in artistic profusion throughout the mazes of its decorations; [and] the strong and legible minuscule of its text." A founding member of the Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland, Sir Edward Sullivan (1852-1928) devoted himself to the promotion of book arts after his attempts at a political career fell flat. With the help of librarians at Trinity College Dublin, he presented here the first color reproductions made from this masterpiece of Insular illumination. The plates include the miniatures of the four Evangelists and the Madonna and Child, along with examples of the incredibly complex designs of the opening text of each Gospel, as well as reproductions of text pages with inventive initials and whimsical animal hybrids. Our unsigned binding is the perfect cover, with ornate knotwork designs inspired by the illuminations. No doubt it would have been appreciated by Sullivan, an expert on bookbindings and a talented bookbinder in his own right, who signed his work "Aurifex" [gold-worker"]. (ST15406e)
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PJP Catalog: SE19BF.034