Eight vols, tall 4to; with hand-coloured woodcut illustrations and ornaments by Hilda Quick throughout; title-pages printed in red and black, initials and headings in blue (from woodcuts by Quick after designs by Joscelyne Gaskin); printed on handmade paper bearing the Shakespeare Head watermark; a small number of spots to edges, but an excellent set; uncut and largely unopened in the original quarter green morocco by Douglas Cockerell with marbled sides and vellum tips, spines lettered directly in gilt; boards a trifle rubbed, a few corners slightly bumped.
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The Works of Edmund Spenser.
Limited edition, numbered 123 of 375 copies, of the handsome Shakespeare Head Spenser, one of the most significant works of the press.
The edition was prepared by the Spenserian W.L. Renwick, following the texts of the first editions and manuscripts, including those held at the Bodleian and the British Museum, and designed by the typographer Bernard Newdigate, working in the English tradition of William Morris. The woodcut decorations were designed by the Cornish artist Hilda Quick, an early student of Noel Rooke, the great revivalist of British wood-engraving in the twentieth century. Quick’s designs for The Shepherdes Calender are based on the woodcuts in the original editions. In addition, A Vewe of the Present State of Ireland contains a hand-coloured pictorial woodcut title-page border and a woodcut frontispiece map of Ireland by Macdonald Gill, one of the foremost graphic artists and cartographers of the early twentieth century.
The Shakespeare Head Press was established in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1904 by the Elizabethan scholar A.H. Bullen, and acquired after his death in 1927 by Basil Blackwell.
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