Daphnis and Chloe. Vale Press

[Vale Press] Ricketts, Charles and Charles Shannon [Longus, Geo Thornley]

Daphnis and Chloe

London: Ballantyne Press, Sold by Elkin Mathews, 1893. First edition thus. Large 4to. Original olive green cloth, gilt lettering on spine. One of 210 copies. The first of three pre-Vale Press books, Daphnis and Chloe represents Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon first and arguably their best book design and illustration. With spacious margins, expressive and symbolist woodcut illustration and dense, Morrisian block text, this book made a huge splash in the Nineties resurgence of excellence in the bookarts. The book took an entire year to put together and stands a a cornerstone of fin-de-siecle book design. Side and bottom edges, untrimmed. A fine copy of an extremely scarce and important early Ricketts’ book. Very few copies have come to market in past decade. Housed in superb maroon cloth backed paper coved boards folding box with paper label on spine.

Longus. Daphnis and Chloe, translated by George Thornleyone of 210 copies, wood-engraved illustrations by Charles Shannon and Charles Ricketts, decorative initials, 4pp. prospectus loosely inserted, light offsetting, browning to endpapers, small red ink ex-libris stamp beneath colophon, original green cloth, uncut, corners very slightly bumped, [Watry A6], 4to, [The Vale for Elkin Mathews and John Lane], 1893.

⁂ Although not strictly a Vale Press item “The Vale” appears at the foot of the spine; the first true Vale Press publication was Milton’s Early Poems issued in 1896.