THE IDYLS.

(London: [Printed in the Riccardi Press Fount by Chas. T. Jacobi for] The Medici Society, 1922). 267 x 203 mm. (10 1/2 x 8"). Two volumes. Rendered into English prose by Andrew Lang. No. 10 OF 12 COPIES ON VELLUM, only 10 of which were for sale, and 500 copies on paper.

Original limp vellum, green silk ties, gilt titling on front covers and spines, top edges gilt, other edges untrimmed. In the rarely seen original blue-gray printed dust jackets. Woodcut printer's devices, illustrated title pages, and 20 COLOR PLATES with captioned tissue guards, AFTER WATERCOLORS BY WILLIAM RUSSELL FLINT. Title pages printed in blue and black. Ransom, p. 395; Tomkinson, p. 149. Vellum covers darkened as a reflection of grain, but A SPLENDID COPY, the uncommon jackets with only minor defects, the vellum leaves smooth and bright, the bindings and ties entirely unworn.

Featuring a classical text perfect for Flint's illustrations of sensuous female forms, this is one of the last of the artist's highly agreeable corpus of books done for the Riccardi Press, offered here in its deluxe form and in surely unsurpassable condition. A third century B.C. Greek from Sicilian Syracuse, Theocritus was the greatest of Greek pastoral poets, and his "Idyls" served as the model for Virgil's "Eclogues." Although set in the world of shepherds sheltering in the shade and singing to the music of panpipes, the "Idyls" are by no means artless; instead, they are highly wrought compositions that often meditate on the poetic craft itself. Andrew Lang (1844-1912), who translated the poems into English prose, was a well-known classicist, literary critic, poet, folklorist, and writer of fantasy novels. While neither the imprint nor the colophon mentions the Riccardi Press, the emblem of the press is at the back of each volume, and the colophon includes Charles T. Jacobi as pressman. While Flint did fine work in various media, he became known in the 1920s as a master of the watercolor nude (primarily through books like the present one) and this made his reputation, even if he had hoped for recognition in a broader way. The dust jackets, very often missing, have preserved the bindings and the delicate ties in pristine condition here.
(ST15800)

Keywords: Color Plate Books