One of the Pogany's Five Masterpieces of Book Illustration and Design
One of 525 Copies Signed by the Artist
In a Unique and Magnificent Pictorially Inlaid Binding by Riviere & Sons
[RIVIERE (Binder)]. [POGANY, Willy (Illustrator)]. ROLLESTON, T.W. Parsifal. Or, the Legend of the Holy Grail Retold From Ancient Sources with Acknowledgment to the Parsifal of Richard Wagner. London: Harrap & Co., n.d. .
One of 525 copies signed by the illustrator, this being copy no. 396. Tall octavo (10 7/8 x 7 1/8 in; 275 x 181 mm). Unpaginated. Sixteen mounted color plates within decorative borders, numerous full-page illustrations, each text leaf with elaborate pictorial borders, the text in calligraphy.
A singular, pictorially inlaid binding, c. 1933-34, (stamped-signed Bumpus of Oxford, booksellers who exclusively used Riviere for binding after they ceased creating their own), in full crushed crimson morocco (by Riviere & Son), the upper cover with a gilt-ruled border surrounding a brown, black, and green morocco inlaid frame of broad leaves climbing two spears of Christ as a snake coils through the lower section of the frame, all against a hand-pointillé'd background, the whole surrounding a sunken panel in brown crushed morocco with darker brown foliage at its base within which are three lilies with ivory-morocco blossoms atop bright green leafy stems. Rising from this motif is a staff supporting the banner of Christ in pale blue-gray noil silk with gilt tassels and ornaments, a gilt crucifix at its top. Central on the banner is an acrylic glass chalice in relief with gilt rays emanating from it and IHS, the sacred monogram of Jesus, in gilt within an ivory hemisphere rising from within the cup. Surmounting the central panel is the dove of peace, with wings spread, in ivory morocco. The lower cover features a gilt-ruled border inside of which are two frames in black with gilt borders that highlight twenty-six small blindstamped hearts that lie between. Blindtooled dots within the innermost frame finish the cover. Five raised bands, inlaid compartments with red, ivory, brown and black floral and heart motifs within black, gilt-ruled frames highlight the spine. Inlaid pictorial doublures in deer brown, the upper featuring a Jesuit staff, a forest green wreath with emanating gilt rays enclosing its cruciform top, as six ivory lilies with green leaves flower the background along with a vine of thorns outlined in black. The lower doublure is a variant of the upper, with a vine of thorns, three ivory lilies atop a single, long, leafy stem, the swords and helmet of a warrior for Jesus in gray morocco with bright sheen highlighting in white, the swords' hilts in brown. Each doublure is framed by turn-ins inlaid with green, dark brown, black, and deer brown morocco in a foliate trellis. All edges gilt. Pale straw moire silk endpapers. A masterful and highly attractive binding to the classic tale of the search for The Holy Grail, beautifully designed and illustrated by Pogany. Mild rubbing to banner silk, otherwise a very fine copy. Housed in a later quarter red morocco clamshell case.
William Andrew ("Willy") Pogany (born Vilmos Andreas Pogány) (August 1882 Ė 30 July 1955) was a prolific Hungarian illustrator of children's and other books. Pogany's best known works consist of illustrations of classic myths and legends done in the Art Nouveau style. He also worked as an art director on several Hollywood films, including Fashions of 1934 and Dames.
The publication of Pogány's Lohengrin was the final act in his trilogy of masterworks focused on Wagner's Germanic tales, and one of the quintet that is considered his finest work. Pogány clearly approached the commission to illustrate Lohengrin as an opportunity to improve and extend techniques that he had developed through his preceding work, particularly The Rubáiyat of Omar Khayyám, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Tannhäuser and Parsifal. the other four books that immortalized his career as an illustrator. That commitment to ongoing innovation resulted in an incredible suite of illustrations, including color lithographs, monotone and marginal illustrations and the delightful tipped-in color plates (produced with a four-color process) included in Parsifal. Themes of medieval chivalry, erotic love and moral tests are illustrated in a lavish fashion by Pogány with an outstanding use of iconography, form and color.
(To order this item, or for more information, please call 818-222-4103)