New York: Covici-Friede, 1929. Kent, Rockwell. Limited Edition. Parchment. No. 341 of 750 copies, octavo size, 44 pp., with parchment wrapper and slipcase. Fine / near fine. Item #20082933
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837) was an esteemed Russian poet and novelist, who is considered the founder of modern Russian literature. This work, "Gabriel", is a satirical (some would say blasphemous) look at the Annunciation; given the status of the Church at the time, Pushkin denied authorship as he could have been prosecuted for blasphemy by the Holy Synod and sentenced to a life sentence in Siberia; he later (apparently) acknowledged authorship in a private letter to Czar Nicholas I.
With an Introduction by translator Max Forrester Eastman (1883-1969), author and political activist; while in graduate school he became an ardent socialist, but upon living in Russia from 1922 to 1924 and witnessing the Great Purge he became a capitalist, however, he remained very much an independent in his thinking throughout his life.
And who better to provide the illustrations than Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), illustrator extraordinaire who bridged the artistic gap between Victorian and Modern art. Kent was also an admirer of Russia and the USSR, with the Soviet government purchasing a number of his paintings for the Hermitage and Pushkin museums.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full limp Pergamus Sheepskin Parchmant with yapped edges, gilt decoration of a dove by Kent on the front, gilt lettering on the spine, the dove decoration on the title page, four black-and-white woodcut illustrations after Kent throughout; type Deepdene (designed by Frederic W. Goudy) on handmade Arnold unbleached cream wove English paper, octavo size (9" by 5 5/8"), pagination: [i-vi] vii-x, [1-2] 3-33 [colophon]. With the original parchment wrapper and publisher's slipcase of mottled grey paper over cardboard.
___CONDITION: Fine, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the parchment showing minimal natural wrinkling and a hint of foxing at the outer edges of the back cover, else fine. The wrapper near fine, entire and clean, with a few light areas of wear and light toning; the slipcase very good, strong and sturdy, mostly clean with just a few light spots of soil, some overall sunning and light wear, some short tears at the opening but remaining strong, a bit of paper loss a the corners and an old pencilled price of "10.00" written in one top corner. Overall a remarkable example with both the wrapper and slipcase, often not seen.
___CITATIONS: Rockwellkentiana p. 62, online Dictionary of American National Biography.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
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