Recently Acquired: Three Rare Shakespeare Volumes

I thought a look at what we’ve working on might be interesting. We’re always scouring used bookstores and online auctions for good source material for future design projects, especially old decorated books and books on typography. Recently we hit on three rare and interesting Shakespeare works. This is a first look at them.

The oldest and perhaps the most interesting is an 1870 edition of Midsummer Night’s Dream with unique silhouette illustrations of scenes from the play by P. Konewka.  They are intricate and very evocative of the character of the play.  Our plan is to make them into an art font for easy access to the images.

Another interesting but frustrating find is an early 1900s edition of Twelfth Night with 16 illustrations by W. Heath Robinson.  It has tipped in plates and no edition number or publication date, so it looks like a first edition, but the frustration came when it prompted a bit of research and that led to the discovery of a limited edition published in 1908 with 40 full color Robinson illustrations.  So now we have to go in search of that version because 40 Robinson illustrations is way more exciting than 16.

The final book in this set of acquisitions is an interesting 1907 edition of Midsummer Night’s Dream with pretty illustrations by Lucy Fitch Perkins, a less well known American illustrator with a style similar to Anne Anderson, mainly distinguished for being the wife of arts and crafts architect Dwight H. Perkins and the grandmother of the notable economist of the same name. The illustrations are uneven, but some of them are outstanding and the black and white frontispiece is exceptional.

There three books will provide great source material for future releases. Expect to see them soon.

in: Acquisitions

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