A Sweet Artistic Gift, Including four Original Watercolors

A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.

([London?]: 1910-12). 254 x 204 mm. (10 x 8"). 79 pp. Single column, varying number of lines per page, in a fine calligraphic hand of various sizes.

Original limp vellum, with remnants of green ribbon ties, upper cover with gilt initials "A M R" and the date "July 25 / A 1912 D," all edges gilt. Numerous one-line initials in red, green, or blue, many two-line (or larger) initials in gold, some leaves with partial or full borders consisting of intricate floral patterns or geometric designs, other decorative details painted throughout, and WITH FOUR ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR PAINTINGS tipped in, each depicting a landscape or cityscape. With tissue guards protecting pages with watercolor painting. Vellum binding somewhat soiled, a little light bleed-through from gilt initials, occasional trivial marginal spots, otherwise the contents in fine condition, the paper very clean and bright, and the watercolors extremely well preserved.

This is an artistically accomplished manuscript that also feels deeply personal, with large, regular calligraphy, beautifully designed borders, and four original watercolor illustrations accompanying a selection of poems by British authors--works that must have had special significance for the intended owner. The poems included here are: Thomas Hood's "I Remember"; Henry Newbolt's "England"; Shelley's "To A Skylark" and "To Night"; Wordsworth's "My Heart Leaps," "Wisdom & Spirit," and "When I Have Fears"; Milton's "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity"; and Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar" and parts of "In Memoriam" and "Morte d'Arthur." We were unable to discover much biographical information about the calligrapher and illuminator John Franklin Shipley, but it is clear that he was a skilled artist who possessed the precision necessary to execute the calligraphy and meticulous borders here, and, assuming he was also responsible for the watercolors, the compositional eye and innate sense of color apparent in the miniature paintings. The subjects of these paintings include an array of outdoor scenes, each incorporating some kind of water element: a bucolic rural landscape with a small stream reflecting a rainbow overhead; a moody seascape with a large, fully rigged ship being tossed by a wave; a small stretch of beach surrounded by hills; and a beautiful cityscape--the largest of the four paintings--with several bridges over a major river clogged with boats. Annie Mabel Richards, the intended recipient of the manuscript, has proven as elusive as the artist; but the manuscript makes it easy to imagine her as a lover of art and beauty--someone who found solace in nature, poetry, and paintings. Manuscripts on paper can sometimes suffer from condition issues, but the quality of materials used for the present manuscript, coupled with the use of tissue paper to protect the paintings and illuminations, has made all the difference here.
(ST17129-009)

Add to Cart Price: $3,500.00

PJP Catalog: 79.032

(ST17129-009) A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS. ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER - MODERN, JOHN FRANKLIN SHIPLEY, Scribe and Illuminator.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.
A BOOK OF POEMS [FOR] ANNIE MABEL RICHARDS.

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