Ausable Forks N.Y. Asgaard Press, 1968. Kent, Rockwell. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 250 copies, octavo size, 23 pp., inscribed and additionally signed by Rockwell Kent. Near fine / near fine. Item #22101604
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was an American painter and illustrator who bridged the artistic gap between Victorian and Modern art; the illustrator of countless books, his appeal has continued to grow throughout the 20th century and he remains highly collectable today.
This volume relates, in a fascinating and mostly humorous style, the story of Kent (and family's) short visit to Newfoundland, with Kent being viewed with some suspicion resulting in the officials inviting Kent and family to leave....then, in 1967 ("more than half a century from the events I have recorded") receiving an official invitation for them to return. A wonderful and heartwarming story, with five illustrations by Kent.
Inscribed by Kent on the dedication page (printed "To Joseph R. Smallwood") with, beneath the printed dedication: "and, this copy affectionately / to you, dear Joe - / Rockwell / 1969"; it is also signed by Kent on the colophon page.
Joseph "Joey" Roberts Smallwood (1900-1991), a life-long politician, and a socialist, served as Premier of Newfoundland for over twenty years. In 1967 Smallwood wrote a letter to Rockwell Kent, inviting him to visit Newfoundland - at the expense of the government. Smallwood had been an admirer of Kent's work, and wanted to made amends to Kent for being ordered to leave Newfoundland in 1915, after several altercations with the local citizens...the story of which is quite colourful (see the web site of saltwire.com entitled "Rockwell Kent - The Brigus Spy", posted September 29, 2017). Smallwood and Kent developed a warm and lasting friendship, thus the printed dedication, and the warm hand-written inscription by Kent.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in quarter brown cloth over marbled boards, gilt lettering and decoration stamped onto the shelfback, with nine illustrations by Kent throughout (a small vignette on the dedication page, a full-page frontis, small decoration on the title page, and six in-text), inscribed by Kent in blue ink on the dedication page as set forth above, additionally signed by him at the colophon; printed on hand-made paper by the Press of A. Colish, octavo size (8 1/4" by 5 5/8"), pagination: [1-4] 5-21 [1, blank] [1, colophon], this no. 86 of 250 copies. In the original glassine wrapper.
___CONDITION: Volume near fine, with clean boards, straight corners with minimal rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; very light rubbing to the head and tail of the spine and the aforementioned light rubbing to the corners. The glassine wrapper also near fine, clean, with light edgewear and two very short closed tears.
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