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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

The Complete Works.

SHELLEY (Percy Bysshe).

SHELLEY (Percy Bysshe).

The Complete Works. Including Materials Never Before Printed in any Edition of the Poems. Edited with Textual Notes by Thomas Hutchinson M.A.

Frontispiece portrait.

8vo. [225 x 143 x 45 mm]. xxvii, 1023, [1] pp. Bound c.1930 by H. T. Wood for the First Edition Club (signed in gilt on the rear turn-in) in blue goatskin, the covers tooled in gilt with multiple thick and thin fillets rising vertically from the foot and with a large lozenge shaped centre divided into four with multiple fillets at angles. Smooth spine divided into five panels by multiple gilt bars and squares, lettered in the second panel, plain endleaves, top edge gilt. (Spine slightly faded and a little rubbed).
Oxford: at the Clarendon Press, 1904.

The ink stamp at the rear reads "Specially Bound For The First Edition Club By H.T. Wood Ltd, London". The First Edition Club was established by A. J. A. Symons in 1922, initially with the support of William Foyle. It offered a centre for bibliographical information and a dining club in Bloomsbury. Amongst the Club's publications was Graily Hewitt's Pen and Type Designs, issued in 1928 in the distinctive red goatskin binding with a central linear design of a quadruple V. The Club closed in 1931, but its lasting legacy was The Book-Collector's Quarterly, launched in 1930 and evolving into The Book Collector.

It is not clear why the First Edition Club was putting its name to a special binding on a work published in 1904, but this is not a unique copy. Sophie Schneideman offered another as item 16 in her catalogue 12. Our copy is significant in having belonged to J.R. Abbey, and has his bookplate. It was item 72 in the 1949 Arts Council Exhibition of Modern English and French Bindings from the Collection of Major J.R. Abbey, and the catalogue credits the design to Kenneth Hobson and confirms that the morocco was blue (in certain lights it appears green). Hobson was a director of Henry T. Wood Ltd, and the firm amalgamated with Sangorski & Sutcliffe in 1939.

Stock no. ebc4302

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Price: £1000

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