(Bristol: [Printed at the Fanfare Press for] Douglas Cleverdon, 1929; Cambridge: Rampant Lions Press, 1972). Mariner: 323 x 258 mm. (12 3/4 x 10"); "Introduction": 307 x245 mm. (12 x 9 1/2"). 4 p.l., 37.  pp.; 4 p.l., 40 pp.,  leaf. Two separately published but related volumes. No. 76 OF 400 COPIES (from an overall edition of 460); No. XLIX OF 115 COPIES SIGNED AND DATED BY JONES.
Mariner in EXUBERANT ROYAL BLUE CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT AND ONLAID TO AN ABSTRACT DESIGN, BY STUART BROCKMAN (his ticket on verso of front free endpaper), covers with blind-tooled geometric shapes, circles highlighted with gilt tools, onlays of black, gray, red, yellow, green, and multicolor ombré, concave spine with gilt vertical titling, yellow and black pastedowns with geometric designs, multicolor handmade paper endleaves and flyleaves, top edge gilt and silver in three stripes, other edges gilt on the rough. "Introduction" in multicolored stiff vellum (matching endpapers of "Mariner"), four vellum thongs passing through joints, flat spine with gilt lettering. Housed together in a custom black morocco-backed clamshell box. Mariner with 10 copper-engraved plates by David Jones. In nearly mint condition, the bindings as new.
The striking visual imagery of Coleridge's great poem inspired some of artist and poet David Jones' most memorable book illustrations for this elegant private press edition, offered here in a dramatic binding by a modern master that reflects the volume's contents. The son of renowned bookbinder James Brockman, Stuart Brockman (b. 1972) received an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London before joining the family bindery in 1995. He was elected a Licentiate of Designer Bookbinders in 1999 and a Fellow in 2004. His bindings nearly always reflect, even in an abstract way, the contents of the books they cover, and the present work is no exception. The deep blue and inlaid wavy lines evoke the sea, the ombré black-gray-white onlays recall seabirds, including the doomed albatross, and the geometric blind tooling is reminiscent of the strong straight and curving lines that bring such a sense of movement--sometimes chaotic--to the engravings here. Brockman's work is represented in The British Library and The National Library of Scotland, as well as in private collections around the world. He has exhibited his bindings at Flow Gallery, London, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Chicago Public Library, Boston Library, and the Grolier Club, New York. Bookseller and publisher Douglas Cleverdon (1903-87) commissioned the engravings and introduction for this edition of "Ancient Mariner" from his close friend David Jones (1895-1974), then working for noted engraver Eric Gill. Jones had been profoundly affected by his service in the Great War, and like Gill, had recently converted to Catholicism. Perhaps as a result of this spiritual experience, his use of Christian imagery is pronounced here, especially in the crucifixion-like image of the slain albatross, but in its online "Collection Items" commentary on this work, the British Library notes that "a strong Celtic influence is also apparent in the beautiful, simple elegance of his figures." Jones was at that time engaged to Gill's daughter Petra, and according to the BL, "her long neck and high forehead became standard features in his illustrations of women." DNB says, "The delicacy and freshness of Jones's colours, and the purity and power of his forms as a painter, let alone the strength and grace of his engraving work and his occasional wooden sculpture, would be enough to win him a high place among the artists of his generation and in a tradition that goes back to William Blake, whose nature and genius . . . Jones recalls." Jones' introduction was not included in the 1929 production, but is provided here in a 1972 printing from the Rampant Lions Press. Founded in 1924 by Will Carter, Rampant Lions was, in the words of Carter's son and successor Sebastian, "not strictly a private press, but rather a small publisher of fine editions and a printer for other publishers," and one that was "known worldwide for its craftsmanship and design skills." The press was operated by the Carters until its closing in 2008. (ST17614)
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PJP Catalog: CA22BF.014