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David Jones jamboree at Crewkerne sale

03 February 2005Written by ATG Reporter

THE first afternoon session of a January 20-21 antiques sale held by Lawrences of Crewkerne presented more than 400 lots of books, amongst them a good collection of private press books featuring the wood-engraved illustrations of David Jones.

These were mostly Clover Hill editions of the 1960s-'80s, but a copy of the 1925 Golden Cockerel Press edition of Gulliver's Travels illustrated by Jones made £420, as did the edition of Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner issued by Douglas Cleverdon in 1929. A 1964 ...Ancient Mariner, a Clover Hill edition (for New York's Chilmark Press) with an accompanying suite of the engravings plus five extra plates, was sold at £720.

Later Clover Hill limited editions included one of 80 copies of The Chester Play of the Deluge of 1977, with prospectus loosely inserted and accompanied by a separate set of the illustrations on Japon, which made £620, and two (of 100) copies of the 1979 edition of The Book of Jonah, each in quarter green morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe and with sets of the illustrations on Japon in a rear pocket, which sold at £780 and £750.

There were three copies of The Engravings of David Jones sets issued in 1981. Two of these, from an edition of 75 sets of plates on Japon in cloth boxes, brought bids of £950 and £920. The third was one of 105 sets issued with an accompanying text volume in quarter tan pigskin which, together with the cloth box of plates, was contained in a green cloth slipcase. This sold at £1550.

A 1915 edition of Oscar Wilde's A House at Pomegranates illustrated by Jessie M. King, the spine and upper cover of the original cloth binding now faded, made £540; a 1938 first edition in original pictorial boards of J.M. Richards' High Street, illustrated by Eric Ravilious, made £1050, and one of 150 sets of impressions issued by the British Museum in 1977 from the original blocks for the wood engravings produced by William Blake for Thornton's 1821 Virgil was sold at £880.

The three vols. bound as two in old calf gilt and bearing the book stamp of the Bibliotheca Puseiana in Oxford, a copy of Henri Estienne's 1578 Paris edition of the works of Plato, edited by Joannes Serranus, was sold for £1800.


Valued at just £50-80 but sold for £620 in Crewkerne was an interesting volume containing seven works published by the Quaker topographer, bookseller, printer, political reformer and lawyer, John Rutter.

Sawyer versus Rutter. A Plain Narration of Shastonian Occurrences. Without Comment, published in his home town of Shaftesbury in 1826-27, and a copy of The Shastonian were the only named works in the lot and the saleroom could shed no further light on the matter. The Shastonian is nowadays the title of a local school's old boy's journal, but my brief researches suggest that it was at the time an occasional journal published by Rutter to air his, and perhaps other views on the freedom of the press and political reform.

Inscribed to Mrs Frederick Macmillan, wife of the publisher, by Charles Dodgson [Lewis Carroll], an 1893 presentation first of Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, in the original cloth gilt, made £620.

A couple of deluxe copies of A. & C. Black titles featuring the illustrations of Mortimer Menpes, The Durbar of 1903 and Venice of the following year - each one of 500 signed copies with original watercolours as frontispieces - sold at £460 and £450.

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ATG Reporter

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