With Three Apparently Unique Inserted Signed Etchings by Susan Allix


(London: [Riccardi Press] Philip Lee Warner for the Medici Society, 1913). 247 x 173 mm. (9 3/4 x 6 1/2"). 4 p.l., 41, [3] pp. No. 175 OF 525 COPIES on paper (and 12 on vellum), the ILLUSTRATIONS UNIQUE TO THIS COPY.

Publisher's limp vellum, gilt lettering to upper cover and flat spine, yapp edges, four green silk ties. Half title with green publisher's device of the Riccardi Press and WITH THREE ORIGINAL SIGNED COLOR ETCHINGS ADDED BY ARTIST SUSAN ALLIX tipped in, all with tissue guards. Ransom, p. 396; Tomkinson, p. 150. ◆AN IMMACULATE COPY.

This remarkably well-preserved volume is the product of a happy marriage between an Arts & Crafts private press and an inventive present-day book artist, who has supplied original illustrations here. Born in 1943, Susan Allix studied painting at the Guildford School of Art and printmaking at the Royal College of Art. She began her career as a printmaker before founding the Willow Press in 1973; for many years, she was responsible for every element of the books she issued: setting the type and printing the text, creating the illustrations, and binding the volume, often in a flamboyant design. Here, she has added her own illustrations to a book from the heyday of the modern private press movement. The three etchings juxtapose the figure of Psyche as a modern woman with a Cupid inspired by Classical statues. The colors added are deep, mysterious shades of purple and blue, in one print enlivened with a bit of pale yellow and pink. So far as we have been able to ascertain, these etchings do not occur in any other copy of this book, nor in any other volume. Allix has said, "I see books as full of colour and form in a pictorial sense as well as through the images created in my mind by the words, and through the sculptural qualities a book possesses." On her website she describes the prints she makes for books as "etchings and similar intaglio processes, used separately or together with lino cuts, wood cuts, pochoir and painting. The colours for the etchings are pigments ground into copperplate oil." Founded by Herbert Horne, the Riccardi Press was adopted as the imprint of the Medici Society in 1909 and issued books until 1933. According to Tomkinson, "the books have nearly all been printed at the Chiswick Press (under the supervision of Charles T. Jacobi until his retirement in 1922) and published by Philip Lee Warner, who was Publisher to the Medici Society until his death in 1925. . . . The aim of the Press has been to produce finely printed books at reasonable prices and for sale through the ordinary channels of trade. . . . All editions are strictly limited, and the type is distributed after the edition has been printed." A number of luxury editions of Riccardi Press books were issued with color plates by William Russell Flint (), and Allix here joins in that tradition with her compositions, which augment a book published without illustrations.

Price: $1,900.00