A House of Pomegranates. First Edition (1891)

Author: Oscar Wilde

Book ID: 66092

Price: 950.00

A House of Pomegranates. Illustrated By Charles H. Shannon. London: Osgood, 1891. First Edition. Pp, 158. Upper board printed in light red and stamped with gilt designs of a peacock, a running fountain, and a basket of split pomegranates, designed by Charles Ricketts. Spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Decorative end-papers printed in olive green. All edges uncut. Minimal wear to covers, front free endpapers, worn along hinges, overall a very good copy of this delicate book. (Mason 347).

One of 1000 Copies Printed. Four full-page inserted illustrations by C. H. Shannon, facing each is an inserted leaf having on the verso a small design by Charles Ricketts along with numerous drawings throughout the text.

‘The four plates were printed in Paris by some ‘improved’ process. After the book was finished and bound it was noticed that a dusty deposit had formed on each plate, probably owing to some chemical impurity either in the printer’s ink or in the chalky paper used. To take off this deposit each plate was rubbed with soft flannel, which removed the surface and left the reproductions faint and in some cases almost obliterated.’ Oscar Wilde, in letter to The Speaker, December 5th, 1891 said in defense & praise of this publication: “Mr. Shannon is the drawer of dreams, and Mr. Ricketts is the subtle and fantastic decorator.” This is one of Ricketts & Shannon’s early collaborations, before they went on to form the Vale Press in 1896.

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