The Picture of Dorian Gray. London: Ward Lock, (1891). First Edition, First Issue. Pp vii, 334, uncut. Publisher’s bevelled boards, upper cover with gilt lettering atop a pattern of ten gilt butterflies (designed by Charles Ricketts), re-backed in style of original edition in smooth parchment, with title lettered in gilt to tail of spine. Covers lightly scuffed, contents in near fine condition. Housed in custom-made solander box.
This trade edition preceded the limited signed edition (of 250 copies) issued in the same year. Originally published in Lippincott's Magazine in July 1890, it appears here with six new chapters, many alterations and much additional matter. Complete with all points, including misprint on page 208. The art-nouveau-style 'butterfly' design on upper board, and the typography of half-title, title, and preface are all by Charles Ricketts (British artist, illustrator, author and printer, known for his work as a book designer and typographer).
Wilde's only novel and most famous prose work, regarded as one of the greatest works in the history of western literature. Charles Ricketts, whose 'Seven Trees' designs were used for the cover, had first met Wilde in August 1889 and was described by him then as 'very cultivated and interesting' (Complete Letters, p.410). His designs were used for many of Wilde's books from ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ (1891) onwards