Cave of Poverty, A Poem, The; Written in Imitation of Shakespeare.

A Fine Art Nouveau Inlaid Binding by Alfred De Sauty
A Poem By the Great Shakespeare Editor

[BINDING, Art Nouveau]. [DE SAUTY, Alfred, binder]. THEOBALD, Lewis. The Cave of Poverty, A Poem. Written in Imitation of Shakespeare. London: Jonas Browne at the Black Swan...and Sold by J. Roberts..., 1715.

First (only) Edition. Octavo (7 5/8 x 4 1/2 in; 193 x 115 mm). [8], 48 pp. Woodcut head- tailpieces, initials.

In an elegant Art Nouveau binding, c. 1905-1910, by Alfred de Sauty (stamp-signed to upper turn-in) in full emerald morocco with a central panel of inlaid red morocco tulips, dark green morocco leaves, and vines outlined in black, repeated on the rear board. Dual gilt fillet borders. All edges gilt. Gilt ruled turn-ins. Raised bands. Gilt ruled compartments with inlaid dark green morocco leaves. Gilt rolled edges. Roycroft book plate. A fine copy in a very attractive and fine binding.

The Cave of Poverty is extended allegory in 121 stanzas by the future editor of Shakespeare, Lewis Theobald (1688-1744). Theobald, a British textual editor and author, was a landmark figure both in the history of Shakespearean editing and in literary satire. He was vital for the establishment of fair texts for Shakespeare, and he was the first avatar of Dulness in Alexander Pope's The Dunciad. The poem opens with a description of Poverty in her cave (recalling Spenser's Despair episode) followed by a series of tableaux of human ills inscribed on its walls and a catalogue of the agents of Poverty. In the second part, Poverty bends her ear to two tubes extending from the cave: in one she overhears a voice cursing poverty and praising wealth, in the other a voice abusing wealth and praising poverty. The goddess is equally pleased, as both bear witness to the extent of her powers.

"Alfred de Sauty (1870-1949) was a bookbinder who produced tooled bindings of exceptional delicacy. De Sauty was active in London from approximately 1898 to 1923 and in Chicago from 1923 to 1935. His finest work is thought to be have been accomplished between 1905 and 1914. Many aspects of his life are poorly documented. For instance, scholars are unsure whether, when in London, de Sauty worked independently, for the firm of Riviere & Sons, or both. While in London, he may also have been a designer for the Hampstead Bindery and a teacher at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. When he lived in Chicago, de Sauty worked for the hand bindery of R. R. Donnelley & Sons. He signed his work at the foot of the front doublure, if present, and at the center of the bottom turn-in of the front upper board, if not. Works he produced in London are signed "de S" or "De Sauty." Works he produced in Chicago are signed with his employer's name, 'R. R. Donnelly'" (Bound in Intrigue, Harvard Botany Libraries Online Exhibit). Item #02004

Out of stock

See all items by