(New York: Printed [by the De Vinne Press] for the Grolier Club, 1887). 180 x 110 mm. (7 1/8 x 4 1/2"). Two volumes. ONE OF 250 COPIES on Holland paper and two on vellum.
GRACEFUL BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT, BY SANGORSKI & SUTCLIFFE (stamp-signed on rear turn-in), upper cover framed by multiple gilt fillets interlaced at corners, center panel with gilt lettering at head and foot, and a six-petalled gilt ornament with inlaid green morocco dot at center, raised bands, gilt-ruled spine compartments and titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins, top edges gilt, other edges untrimmed. Each volume WITH AN ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR PORTRAIT of a main character from the novel by Alfred Brennan, dated 1907. Small stain at head edge of free endpaper and flyleaf in volume I, otherwise AN ESPECIALLY FINE SET with no signs of use inside or out.
With an original watercolor by a noted American illustrator and a binding by one of Edwardian England's top workshops, this is surely the ultimate copy of the Grolier Club's limited edition of Reade's first novel, printed for its distinguished bibliophile members. First published in 1852, "Peg Woffington" features the 18th century Irish actress Margaret Woffington (1720-60) as its central character and focuses on her brilliant career in the London theater and her liaison with the great David Garrick. The original watercolors are by Alfred Laurens Brennan (1853-1921), a painter and successful illustrator for national publications and for children's books who was admired for his technical virtuosity. Binders Francis Sangorski and George Sutcliffe met as boys attending Douglas Cockerell's bookbinding classes at the L. C. C. Central School. Cockerell was so impressed by their skill that he hired Sutcliffe as a finisher and Sangorski as a forwarder. In 1901, Francis and George went into business for themselves, and before long, they had become two of the most renowned English binders of the 20th century. The taste and technique displayed in our binding attests to their talents. According to the American Printing History Association, "No one has earned a place in the annals of American printing history more solidly than Theodore Low De Vinne (1828–1914). His encyclopedic understanding of the craft, his advancement of its technology and design, his appreciation of its history, his business leadership, and his many writings earned him, among his contemporaries, the designation 'Dean of American Printers.'" A co-founder of the Grolier Club, De Vinne designed and printed most of its publications issued during his lifetime. This set has everything a bibliophile could ask for: fine printing, original illustration, elegant binding, and outstanding condition. (ST15947)
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PJP Catalog: 76.095