Kentfield, California: The Allen Press, 1976. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 140 copies, folio size,  unnumbered leaves, with original prospectus. Fine. Item #CNBR104
The forty-second limited edition from The Allen Press, being the masterpiece of John Dryden (1631-1700). "Dryden was England's greatest poet-dramatist in the period between Shakespeare and the writers of the late nineteenth century, and his romantic tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra is one of the world's noblest classics. Antony has been described as intelligent, brawny, ribald, with an easy going nature - primarily a soldier. Cleopatra, who ruled the wealthiest territory in the East, was then (first century B.C.) the greatest queen on earth. In addition to her famed feminine pulchritude, historians extolled her vitality, intelligence, and intellectual-cultural virtues" (per the book's prospectus). Lewis and Dorothy Allen selected this text after a 1971 safari to Egypt. The portrait of Cleopatra on papyrus was furnished by Dr. Hassan Ragab of the Papyrus Institute, one of 140 paintings painted by several of Cairo's finest artist-craftsmen especially for this edition.___DESCRIPTION: Original ecru cloth from France with title printed in vermilion to upper board and backstrip, title-page printed in black and vermilion, gilt and seven-color frontisportrait of Cleopatra on papyrus tipped-in with translucent oriental paper guard, each of the five Acts opens with an engraving which was hand illuminated by Dorothy Allen, the margins of each text page are decorated with Egyptian hieroglyphs and symbols in a sequence in four colors and black; handset Unciala and Hadriano type, all-rag paper made in England to the specifications of the press, with their watermark, folio size (13 1/8" by 8 7/8"),  unnumbered leaves. In publisher's ecru cloth slipcase, with original prospectus slipped in.___CONDITION: A fine copy, like new, the binding clean and unrubbed, the text block tight and square with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, and free of prior owner markings; perfect, as new from the press. The slipcase also fine, strong and sturdy, the fabric clean and without wear; the prospectus fine with only the original folds. A stunning production which "combines the virtues of a superlative text, metriculous hand-craftsmanship, hand-illuminated illustrations, and the finest of imported materials" (from prospectus).___CITATION: The Allen Press Bibliography, no. 42.___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard shipping charge does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.___Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.