Saturday, September 10, 2011

Morris's Epic of Hades, in Fine Binding with Fore-Edge Painting

[Morris, Sir Lewis], THE EPIC OF HADES IN THREE BOOKS (London: Henry S. King & Co., 1877). First edition thus, 16.5 x 10cm (small 8vo), handsomely bound in midnight blue crushed morocco by Birdsall & Son, Northampton (stamped in gilt to fr. turn-in) w/gilt ornaments & borders to covers & spine, gilt title & 4 raised bands to spine, a.e.g. with fore-edge painting of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Proserpine, decorative gilt turn-ins, burgundy ep.s, [i-iv + i-iii] iv, [1-3] 4-76 + [i-ii] [1] 2-152 + [1-3] 4-54 pp. Printed at the Caxton Press, Beccles. With the decorative bookplate of Eleonora Lady Trevelyan (designed by William Bell Scott, w/his monogram & date ["1857-8"]--see Franks 29799) to fr. pastedown, & inscr. "Eleonora A. Trevelyan, July 1877, prs: by J. Bright" to titlepage. Binding Very Good (extremities sl. rubbed); contents Near-Fine. Colbeck 6. (Inv. #778) C$1,000

On 14 Oct. 1875 Eleonora (aka Eleanor) Anne Campbell became the 2nd wife of Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, who inherited the Wallington Estate from Sir Walter Trevelyan in 1879. When considering this book's subject, the fore-edge painting of Rossetti's Proserpine is entirely appropriate; the combination of that & the bookplate designed by Bell Scott makes this book a true Pre-Raphaelite association copy. Rossetti & Bell Scott were close friends of the Trevelyans & visited Wallington Hall on numerous occasions.

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