(Waltham St. Lawrence: Golden Cockerel Press, 1927). 318 x 203 mm. (12 1/2 x 8"). xi, [i], 309,  pp.,  (blank and colophon) leaves.Edited by Arundell Del Re. No. 139 OF 225 NUMBERED COPIES on paper (and six on vellum).
Publisher's tan-morocco-backed patterned paper boards by Sangorski & Sutcliffe (stamp-signed on front pastedown), raised bands, gilt titling to spine panel, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. In the original gray cardboard slipcase with printed title on the back (head and tail of back reinforced with tape). Pictorial woodcut borders to fore margins of every text page and FIVE FULL-PAGE WOOD ENGRAVINGS, all BY ERIC GILL. Section title pages with red or blue lettering. Occasional text initials in red or blue. Chanticleer 50; Gill 279; Cave & Manson, pp. 50 ff.; Ransom, p. 297. A breath of rubbing to corners, trivial offsetting to free endpapers from binder's glue on turn-ins, but AN OUTSTANDING COPY with no signs of use inside or out.
This is the finest copy we've ever offered (and the equal to any we've seen) of one of the finest books of the private press movement. The Golden Cockerel "Troilus" represents an impressive combination of bookmaking materials, typography, illustration, and printing skill. As Cave & Manson says, the prospectus for this work invited a public to anticipate "'one of the most important productions of its kind since the days of the Kelmscott press.'" When the work appeared, "it showed this was a claim to be taken seriously. Gill produced some of his finest engravings for the book. The full-page illustrations showed his work at its best." The whimsical illustrated borders were the most widely discussed feature of the volume; the public was divided about them, as some thought them too naughty, but Gill and Gibbings were convinced of their value, and they were used again with great success in the Golden Cockerel "Canterbury Tales." Though the "Troilus" is generally considered to be the second most important book from the Press, its value is generally as high as any Golden Cockerel item, no doubt because it was issued in a small press run--225 copies, as compared to 500 for the "Four Gospels," the magnum opus of the Press. The completed volume's modest print run sold out very quickly, and the "purchasers' pleasure was increased by seeing the book rapidly appreciate in value." (Cave & Manson) It has been a very popular book ever since. Our volume comes from the superb collection of fine and private press books assembled by Hamburg collector Barbara Achilles (d. 2010). She requested that her books be returned to the marketplace after her death, so that other bibliophiles could have the pleasure of acquiring and enjoying them; Her mother and fellow collector Edith Achilles honored her request, and the library was dispersed. (ST16971)
Add to Cart Price: $16,000.00
PJP Catalog: CA22BF.039