12mo., pp. , 153, , with an engraved frontispiece, neatly coloured by a contemporary hand; slightly dusty, some light foxing, but a good copy in the publisher’s original quarter red roan and marbled boards; boards and spine somewhat rubbed.
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The History of a tame Robin. Supposed to be written by Himself.
First and only edition. The tame Robin recalls a life of adventure enriched by human and avian friendships. A childhood spent in a school-room helped him attain ‘a sufficient knowledge of literature to relate my adventures’. His life, though happy, is not without its vicissitudes: he loses a close friend, Goldey the goldfinch, to a bird of prey and spends a disconcerting time in the ownership of a spoilt child who starves sparrows to death.
This is the only known work by Marian Keene.
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C[OLOMBO]. A[POTHECARIES]. CO. LTD.
Caryota Urens (Kitul), Botanical Study,
Charles Scowen arrived in Ceylon around 1873 and was initially an assistant to R. Edley, the Commission Agent in Kandy before opening a photographic studio around 1876. By 1885 his photography firm had studios in Colombo and Kandy. Scowen was a later arrival to Ceylon than Skeen and his work is less well-known, but: ‘Much of Scowen’s surviving work displays an artistic sensibility and technical mastery which is often superior to their longer-established competitor. In particular, the botanical studies are outstanding…’ (Falconer, J. and Raheem, I., Regeneration: a reappraisal of photography in Ceylon 1850 –1900, p. 19). In the early 1890s the firm was being run by Mortimer Scowen, a relative of Charles Scowen. By about 1894 the firm’s stock of negatives had been acquired by the ‘Colombo Apothecaries Co Ltd’. This print is likely to have been made in the 1890s from negatives made earlier.
The constant mistress ... with engravings by Eric Gill.
No. 174 of a limited edition of 300 copies. Enid Clay was Eric Gill’s sister; he also provided engravings for her Sonnets and Verses (1925). Gill’s collaboration with the Golden Cockerel Press was enormously successful: ‘For a while the Golden Cockerel was Eric Gill’ (Fiona MacCarthy, Eric Gill p. 187). ‘No other wood-engraver of the period comes near to Gill’s originality and verve’ (ODNB).