Five Rare Books for Collectors: Private Press & Illustrated Books

Blackwell's Rare Books

Shaw Gives Himself Away, an Autobiographical Miscellany

Highlights from Blackwell's Rare Books' latest catalogue Private Press & Illustrated Books include:

* Shaw Gives Himself Away, an Autobiographical Miscellany, by George Bernard Shaw, Newtown, Powys: Gregynog Press, 1939. First edition, from an edition of 300 copies, printed on Arnold green-tinted handmade paper, wood engraved portrait frontispiece of Shaw by John Farleigh, original binding by Paul Nash, darkest green oasis morocco with abstract designs based upon GBS’s initials. The book contains a number of extracts and other short pieces, nearly all of which have some degree of revision by Shaw, for this edition.

* Dear Edward. Being the Correspondence, 1968-1989, by Edward Bawden & Peyton Skipwith, with a foreword by David Gentleman. Hand & Eye Editions, 2017, first edition from an edition of 325 copies, printed on Mohawk
Superfine paper, decorations printed in blue and brown, 2 tipped-in facsimile letters, numerous illustrations by Bawden, including many full-page.  A correspondence that began via Skipwith’s role at the Fine Art Society,
and including a few letters from other people at that institution; the correspondence has a professional context, but with a personal touch that speaks of a friendship that extends beyond business matters.

* Motifs of Ancient Civilizations, Alsager: Cheshire County Training College, [1964,] lino-cut decoration to title-page and 10 lino-cuts printed direct from the block in different colours, marbled endpapers. An unrecorded and impressive example of school-printing at a mid-twentieth century college – at Alsager, near Stoke-on Trent and the border
with Staffordshire. Beyond the prelims the work is entirely visual and very attractively so. No other examples of printing from the college could be traced, and no names are attached to the work here – which includes examples from China, Persia, India, Greece, Japan, Egypt, and New Guinea.

* Kwatrijnen van [Rubáiyát of] Omar Khayyám. Illustrations by John Buckland Wright. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij,
1944, from an edition of 525 copies. A war-time production by the Dutch Resistance movement; the quality and
nature of the production pleased the artist greatly, but found less favour with Christopher Sandford of the Golden Cockerel Press from whose 1938 edition the images had been pirated. The translation of the quatrains into
Dutch was done pseudonymously by H.W.J.M. Keuls.

* Canticum Canticorum Salomonis, Quod Hebraice Dicitur Sir Hasirim. Weimar: Cranach Press, 1931. From
an edition of 268 copies, printed on Maillol-Kessler handmade paper, 11 wood engravings (7 full-page) and 18 initials, all designed by Eric Gill, front pastedown with the elegant bookplate of James L. Thielman. The text printed entirely in Latin; German and French language editions were also issued, using the same engravings.