(Manor Farm, Andoversford, Gloucestershire: The Whittington Press, 1984). 385 x 285 mm. (15 1/8 x 11 1/4").  pp. Translated from the Persian by Iftikhar Azmi. No. i OF SIX SPECIALLY BOUND AND HAND-COLORED COPIES (from a total edition of 126), SIGNED by the translator and illustrator.
STRIKING BLACK CRUSHED MOROCCO BY SMITH SETTLE AFTER A DESIGN BY RICHARD KENNEDY, upper cover with onlays in two shades of tan morocco showing the silhouette of a woman holding an urn, smooth spine, OCHRE SUEDE DOUBLURES, leather hinges, ochre free endpapers, top edge gilt. In original black linen clamshell box with separate portfolio for line block, tan morocco label on back. 92 Line engravings by Richard Kennedy, hand-colored by Sylvia Stokeld. WITH AN ORIGINAL LINE BLOCK used for printing one of the illustrations. In mint condition.
With a strong connection to the first Whittington Press production, this is the deluxe edition of a very attractive collaboration between printer, designer/illustrator Richard Kennedy, and binder Smith Settle. The first book published by Whittington was "A Boy at the Hogarth Press," an illustrated memoir of the first job held by Kennedy (1910-89), who became a sought-after illustrator of children's books, and enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Whittington. Whittington co-founder John Randle says of Kennedy: "Unlike most artists, he would send along a mass of drawings, or 'rushes' as he would call them, seeing himself as the cameraman and the publisher as the scissor-wielding director who would trim out the bits to be used. In this way maximum harmony could be achieved between text and illustration. With Richard's help we broke out of the constraints of the type margin and allowed his wonderfully fluid line to wander all over the page." This version of "Omar" is notable for the translation by Iftikhar Azmi, likely to be more appealing to modern sensibilities than the Victorian verses of Edward FitzGerald. And the thoughtful hand coloring by artist Sylvia Stokeld adds to the richness of the production. Founded by John and Rosalind Randle in 1971 with the dual aims of printing books by letterpress and of providing a weekend escape from their London publishing jobs, the Whittington Press continues nearly a half century later to produce work that rivals the best private press printing available. (ST15553)