(London: Especially written out and illuminated by F. Sangorski & G. Sutcliffe, [ca. 1905]). 248 x 178 mm. (9 3/4 x 7"). 2 p.l. (half title followed by a blank), 18,  pp. Single column, 24 lines in a fine calligraphic hand.
Excellent gilt-decorated dark green crushed morocco (which the Boyle catalogue attributes to Sangorski & Sutcliffe), covers with frame of multiple gilt rules enclosing stylized cornerpiece fans and, at center, a large almond-shaped ornament formed by gilt strapwork and with leafy embellishment and tangent circles containing small crosses on a stippled ground, flat spine with vertical titling and floral tools, RED CRUSHED MOROCCO DOUBLURES featuring a frame of multiple gilt rules and, at the middle, a complex gilt wheel ornament, red watered silk endleaves. In a (repaired) velvet-lined slipcase. EIGHT LARGE AND EXQUISITE ILLUMINATED INITIALS IN SEVERAL COLORS AND BURNISHED GOLD, two with long marginal extensions, THREE ESPECIALLY FINE, BRIGHT OVAL VIGNETTES (approximately 90 mm. across) SHOWING LOVELY GARDENS, one of these at the front as part of A MAGNIFICENT DOUBLE-PAGE OPENING FEATURING A PROFUSION OF PINK AND YELLOW ROSES with a green parakeet perched among them (on the left) AND GRAPEVINES BEARING SUCCULENT PURPLE FRUIT (on the right) being eyed hungrily by a long-tailed bird, BOTH ON A BRUSHED GOLD BACKGROUND within a burnished gold border, the left page serving as a title page, with "Of Gardens, An Essay By Francis Bacon" in letters of raised burnished gold, the opening initial of the title in blue and white on a burnished gold ground and enclosing a tessellated design in burnished gold and colors, the right page beginning with the word "God" in burnished gold, the text's ENORMOUS OPENING INITIAL "G" (60 mm. tall) in blue decorated with pink and green flowers, the center of the initial filled with curling blue and brown acanthus leaves above which dangles a bunch of grapes, the whole on a burnished gold ground. Front flyleaf with engraved bookplate of Phoebe A. D. Boyle; verso of front free endleaf with engraved bookplate of John Achelis. Barely perceptible rubbing to joints (well masked by refurbishment), but A VERY FINE COPY, the pretty binding scarcely worn, the vellum creamy and bright, the paint vivid, and the gold shimmering.
Adorned with several gorgeous moments, this is a luxurious and appropriately luxuriant illuminated manuscript of Bacon's prescription for the ideal princely garden. It was executed at the height of the period when Alberto Sangorski was producing such fine work for Sangorski & Sutcliffe, before he left the firm in 1910 to join Riviere. One of the reasons for his departure can be seen in the colophon, which states that "This copy of Bacon's Essay "Of Gardens" has been especially written out, and illuminated by F. Sangorski & G. Sutcliffe." Alberto quite reasonably wished to take credit for his own work rather than giving it to his brother's firm; Riviere was happy to allow him to do so. The quality of the painting here is particularly rich and delicate, with much fine detail, and the miniatures and borders can only be described as luscious. This lovely item was in the outstanding collection of fine bindings, illuminated manuscripts, vellum printings, and other private press books owned by Phoebe Boyle and sold at Anderson Galleries in 1923 (lot 18). Sangorski's manuscripts are usually in elaborate, often jewelled, bindings which add considerably to their price; This specimen, in its relatively simple (though elegant) binding, offers a rare chance to acquire a Sangorski manuscript for a more modest price. (ST17129-021)
Add to Cart Price: $30,000.00
PJP Catalog: 79.029