IN FINE BINDING WITH WOODCUTS AFTER THE PRE-RAPHAELITES
ALLINGHAM, William. The Music Master, a Love Story. And two series of day and night songs. London. G. Routledge & Co., 1855. First edition. Post octavo. pp. xiii, , 221, . With a half-title and nine woodcuts, seven designed by Arthur Hughes, one by D. G. Rossetti, and one by John E. Millais, all engraved by the Dalziel. Handsomely bound in contemporary full richly gilt-tooled green morocco, covers with wide gilt floral roll. Spine divided into six panels, title in gilt direct in the second, the remainder tooled in gilt to a centre-and-corner design; board-edges and turn-ins gilt; cream endpapers; green and gold endbands. Presentation inscription on front endpaper: ‘Miss Dyer / From her affectionate Brother / Feb. 26th 1863.’ Very occasional slight
chipping to a few margins. All edges gilt. A very attractive copy. The first edition of Irish poet William Allingham’s (1824-1889) long narrative poem, a notable volume in the history of book illustration for the inclusion of woodcuts (executed by the Brothers Dalziel) by Pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, and Arthur Hughes, that would greatly influence the artists of the sixties. So unfamiliar was Rossetti with the reproductive process perfected by the Dalziels, that he neglected to reverse his first design on wood and had to painstakingly redraw his astonishing contribution ‘The Maids of Elfen-Mere’ on a fresh block. The bold design of the resulting illustration later inspired the likes of Edward Burne-Jones, Frederick Sandys, and Walter Crane.
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