Monmouthshire: The Old Stile Press, 1990. Martin, Gillian. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Letter "P" of 26 special copies, quarto size, 67 pp., signed by Gillian Martin, with a separate insert. Fine. Item #CNJL1014
The two stories collected here are little-known works of prose by English artist and poet Edward Lear (1812-1888), best known for his literary nonsense poems and for popularising the limerick form. The stories are bound together, sharing a single spine and covers with the two front covers and their texts upside-down in relation to each other: a way in which, according to the Old Stile Press, "Lear would have approved".
This publication from the Old Stile Press is generously illustrated by Gillian Martin, a UK artist. "Strongly influenced by all things mid-century, Gillian combines traditional ink and paint with digital medias to create quirky illustrations" (n.b., quote from the web site of King and McGaw). For this special lettered edition, Martin has hand-coloured both half-title pages, frontispieces and title pages, colophon illustrations, and the illustrations found in the separate insert, titled "Nonsense Cookery".
Martin also provides an original drawing for the assigned letter and which is also coloured, found on the verso of the colophon of "The Story of the Four Little Children. . ."
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter maroon cloth with grey and cream paper boards, hand-coloured illustrations and brown lettering on the front and rear boards, gilt lettering on the spine, all edges speckled black, red endpapers, hand-coloured half-title pages, both stories with illustrated frontispieces hand-coloured by Gillian Martin and title pages with hand-colour illustrations by Martin, black-and-white illustrations by Martin throughout, two colophons meeting in the centre of the book with colour illustrations, an original colour illustration by Martin on the page preceding a colophon; quarto size (11.25" by 7.75"), pagination: "Four Little Children": [1-6] 7-29 [30-33]; "History of Seven Families": [1-6] 7-33 , one of 26 special copies (plus an additional 225 copies), this lettered "P", signed by Gillian Martin on the page with original artwork preceding a colophon. Separate insert laid in, one sheet folded once to make four pages, with hand colouring by Martin, containing three "nonsense" recipes, entitled "Three Receipts For Domestic Cookery". Housed in a slipcase covered in red paper with black cloth sides, with line drawings in black on red paper, depicting the head of a bearded Edward Lear with small, fancifal creatures dancing around him, on the front and rear boards.
___CONDITION: A fine copy; the covers clean, the corners straight and unrubbed, the binding tight with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; clean, crisp, as new. The separate recipe insert is fine, clean and without wear. The slipcase is fine, strong and sturdy, clean, without wear. A perfect example, as though just received from The Old Stile Press.
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