Opening pages of Margaret Rust's The Queen of the Fishes, An Adaptation in English of a Fairy Tale of Valois, the first production of the Eragny Press. 1894. Woodcut by Lucien Pissarro (1863-1944), with added colour. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]
The bibliographic details given by Thomas Sturge Moore in his account of the early days of the press are are as follows:
Printed on Japanese handmade paper, on uncut pages, one side only, as in Chinese Books. Text hand written and reproduced by process, decorated with sixteen woodcuts; one printed in five colours, four in four, eight in grey, like the text, & three in red. Title in gold, border in gold for frontispiece and repeated four times in green. The book is complete in seventeen pages. Binding: Copies subscribed before publication in soft green leather with Iris device stamped in gold once, the others bound in vellum, similar device stamped twice (all the copies sold by John Lane were bound in vellum). 150 copies numbered. 120 sold at 20s. The press mark here reprinted (p.24) has not been used for any other book. [15-16]
What is particularly interesting here is the importance of colour, in carefully considered palettes. Also interesting is the oriental influence, so much in fashion with the Impressionists, and in these years generally.
The early press mark referred to above as being on p.24 in Moore's book. The later one incorporated both Lucien and Esther's initials.
Image capture and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
Moore, T. Sturge. A Brief Account of the Origin of the Eragny Press & a Note on the Relation of the Printed Book as a Work of Art to Life. Internet Archive. Contributed by University of California Libraries. Web. 18 August 2020.
Rust, Margaret. The Queen of the Fishes, An Adaptation in English of a Fairy Tale of Valois. London: Ch. Ricketts, 1894 (by the Eragny Press). Internet Archive. Contributed by University of California Libraries. Web. 18 August 2020.
Created 18 August 2020