San Francisco: The Lantern Press, Gelbert-Lilienthal, Inc. [printed at the Grabhorn Press], 1929. Boynton, Ray. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 50 copies on handmade paper (total edition 500), quarto size, 39 pp., signed by Wood below the frontis and with a short MSS note by him at the colophon, with slipcase. Fine. Item #22070902
Charles Erskine Scott Wood (1852-1944) lived his life according to his social conscience, alongside his wife, Sara Bard Field (1882-1974) who was an untiring and noted suffragist and social reformer, as well as a poet in her own right.
Scott, a West Point graduate, participated in the Nez Perce War of 1877 and was present at the surrender of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. They became life-long friends and Wood became an advocate for Native American causes. He later became a prominent attorney in Portland, Oregon, where he became known for defending labor unions and other "radicals", including Margaret Sanger, the birth-control activist. Wood himself became a noted author of the day as well as a well-known landscape painter; he and Field lived from 1925 onwards in a home they built in Los Gatos named "The Cats", where would gather around them friends such as Chief Joseph, Eugene Debs, Robinson Jeffers, Margaret Sanger, and John Steinbeck.
In this work Wood speaks from the heart about the west which he clearly loved, and would rapidly disappear as towns and cities grew at an unprecedented pace, devouring the wild, western lands.
Published by The Lantern Press, founded by bookseller-publishers Theodore Max Lilienthal (1893-1972) and Leon Gelber (1891-1947). Under this imprint they would publish works such as "A Tree in Bloom" by Hildegard Flanner (1924), and "For Whispers and Chants" by Jake Zeitlin (1927). One of fifty special copies (total edition 500) printed on Unbleached Arnold handmade paper. The fifty were normally signed by both the author and the artist, this copy signed below the frontis by Charles Erskine Scott Wood only. Wood explains the absence of Boynton's signature by a MSS note from him at the colophon: "This is one of the handmade paper copies given to me before my copies were numbered - C.E.S.W."
With a lovely woodcut frontispiece by Raymond Sceptre Boynton (1883 to 1951); born in Iowa he eventually found his way to San Francisco during the PPIE (1915), at which some of his work was exhibited. The San Francisco Bay Area is the beneficiary of many murals and lunnettes he did for public works, as well as works in both oil and pastels.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in dark green laid paper over boards with parchment shelfback and tips, white paper spine label with black lettering and ruled border, fore- and bottom edges rough-cut, woodcut frontis by Ray Boynton with the inked signature of Charles Erskine Scott Wood beneath, each poem opens with a large initial capital, Grabhorn device "D" at the colophon, with the MSS note by Eskine as set forth above at the colophon; handset Deepdene type on handmade Unbleached Arnold paper, quarto size (8 15/16" by 6 1/8"), pagination: [i-vi] 1-32, [1, colophon]. In the matching publisher's slipcase of sturdy cardboard covered with matching dark green laid paper (the slipcase not mentioned in the bibliography).
___CONDITION: Volume fine overall, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright with unopened signatures, and entirely free of prior owner markings; a tiny bit of wear to the paper spine label and a few spots of foxing to the top edge of the text block, else as new. Slipcase near fine, strong and sturdy with no splits to the seams; a few small spots of wear to the paper at the opening and a very shallow bump to the tail, else fine.
___CITATION: Grabhorn Bibliography no. 121; Eden Milton Hughes, "Artists in California" p. 58.
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