First edition in book form, bound from the parts. Limited edition of 1,000 copies printed on handmade paper by Charles Whittingham at the Chiswick Press. Six volumes. Handsomely bound in contemporary three-quarter vellum over light-brown cloth by J. Adams of Manchester. The spines with floral Art Nouveau decoration in gilt and tan morocco title labels lettered in gilt. Top edges gilt, the others untrimmed. Light-brown marbled endpapers. Original illustrated pink card wrappers bound in at the rear of each volume. Profusely illustrated throughout by Walter Crane with 88 full-page illustrations, decorative title pages, head and tail pieces and decorative initials. A very good set indeed, the bindings square and firm with some minor toning to areas of the vellum and the odd small scuff to the spine labels. The contents with the very occasional spot of foxing to a handful of page edges are otherwise clean and bright throughout and remain free from any previous owners' inscriptions or stamps. Most attractive.
A wonderfully bound set of what is often regarded as Walter Crane's greatest work in black and white. His most extensive commission as a book illustrator, taking three years to complete, his edition of Spenser's great epic poem forms a truly marvellous example of Arts and Crafts movement book production, beautifully combining form, text and image to create a holistic work of craftsmanship as well as of literary and visual art.
Stock code: 19998