Siegfried & The Twilight of the Gods. Richard Wagner, Margaret Armour, Arthur Rackham.
Siegfried & The Twilight of the Gods
Siegfried & The Twilight of the Gods
Siegfried & The Twilight of the Gods
Siegfried & The Twilight of the Gods

Siegfried & The Twilight of the Gods

New York: Doubleday Page & Co., 1911. Rackham, Arthur. 1st and Limited Edition. Hardcover. First US limited edition, no. 82 of 1150 copies, quarto size, 184 pp., signed by Arthur Rackham. Near fine. Item #15122903

British illustrator Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) is credited with renewing interest in book illustration at a vital moment of advances in printing technology. The subtle colours and thin lines were unlike anything that had come before, as if plucked from the fog of a wild imagination, breathing new life into the whole of children's book illustration. Part of Rackham's genius was his ability to convey both menace in his grotesque, humanoid trees and trolls, as well as delicate and almost ethereal beauty in his fairies, princesses and heroines.

This work, "Siegfried & The Twilight of the Gods" is considered by many to be Rackham's most magnificent work; based on the "Götterdämmerung" by Richard Wagner, the last in his cycle of four musical dramas collectively called "Der Ring des Nibelungen" ("The Ring of the Nibelung"), it is loosely based on Old Norse mythologies.

Rackham created thirty full-colour illustrations for this work, which are breathtaking in presenting the passions of the "Ring" and its many characters: the ethereal beauty of Brünnhilde, the venomous evil of the dragon Fafner, the cunning of the dwarves, the ecstasy of love found and the subsequent despair of love betrayed and lost. Later reprints do not do these illustrations justice, and Rackham justifiably oversaw the first edition reproduction processes to ensure the illustrations were to his exacting standards.

___DESCRIPTION: Rebound in brown laid paper boards with an ivory cloth spine, original publisher's paper label laid down on the spine, grey-green laid paper endpapers, limitation statement with Arthur Rackham's signature on the verso of the page preceding the frontispiece, title page with green lettering and a small illustration by Rackham in black, the thirty colour illustrations are tipped onto heavy brown paper, each with a lettered tissue guard, nine drawings total (including title page) in black and white, many signatures unopened; quarto size (approximately 11.5" tall), pagination: [i]-x, [1]-182, blank, printer's statement, printed by Ballantyne & Company Ltd, London (count excludes pages with tipped-in illustrations and tissue guards); limited edition of 1150 copies, all signed by Rackham, with 150 being reserved for America, of which this is no. 82.

___CONDITION: Near fine overall with a strong, square text block, hinges a bit tender but holding well, the interior bright and clean, obviously unread as many signatures are unopened, free of prior owner markings, and all the illustrations with their tissue guards are present as called for, each of the illustrations being in fine condition save one (pg. 108) which has a very small rubbed spot; the binding with some rubbing to the corners (particularly the bottom corners), overall light soiling with some small tears to the cloth spine; even with its few exterior faults and having been rebound, a lovely example of this Rackham tour de force.

___CITATION: Latimore & Haskell pg. 37; Riall pg. 109.

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Price: $1,000.00

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