Gulliver's Travels

London: The Cresset Press, 1930. Item #03810

Rex Whistler’s “Gulliver’s Travels”
Specially Bound by Susan Allix
A Remarkable and Innovative Design

WHISTLER, Rex, illustrator. ALLIX, Susan, binder. SWIFT, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels. Illustrated by Rex Whistler. London: The Cresset Press, 1930.

One of 195 copies (this being copy number 4) on Barcham Green handmade paper, out of a total edition of 205 copies.

Two large folio volumes (14 1/16 x 9 7/8 inches; 357 x 252 mm.). [6, blank], 157, [1], 1, colophon], [6, blank]; [4, blank], 170, [1], [1, blank], [1, colophon], [7, blank] pp. Twelve hand-colored engraved plates (including frontispieces), five full-page engraved maps in the text, engraved title vignettes, and eight engraved head- and tail-piece vignettes.

“The foregoing text of Gulliver’s Travels is that of the first large paper edition published in 1726. The illustrations and decorations have been designed by Rex Whistler” (Colophon). Printed in Baskerville type.

Specially bound for Denis Collins in modern gray goatskin over beveled boards, by Susan Allix, with an abstract onlaid design in red, light blue and light green leather, magnifying and reducing lens set into each front cover respectively, revealing two illustrations after Whistler mounted on fly-leaf below, spines titled on onlaid strips of red and light blue leather, hand-painted edges.

Inscribed by Susan Allix on a supplied front blank leaf in the first volume "For Denis / Two new perspectives on Gulliver! / Best wishes / Susan / 8 June 2004". Rear paste-downs of each volume with ex-bris stamp "Denis Anthony / Collins / The Alberts / Richmond".

Several letters from Susan Allix and two leather samples loosely inserted. Housed in two felt-lined black cloth boxes, with gray leather title-labels on spines. Minimal light offsetting from plates to text and a hint of age-toning to edges. A near fine example, uniquely bound in two wonderful and very unusual designer bindings.

Susan Allix - frequently cited as 'the greatest bookmaker of her generation' - often creates limited editions from her private press with original prints, letterpress printing and hand-binding. Since establishing her own press she has created a series of fifty works that have been exhibited internationally, featured in the collections of the National Art Library; the V&A; the British Library; The Hague; the Library of Congress; Harvard and the New York Public Library, among others.

This special commission includes a correspondence from Allix to Denis Collins, a narrative in itself of the intricacies that went into its creation: "Dear Denis, Briefly, a note to let you know how goes the magnification and minification... I thought to make the book and binding a unity, that part of one of Whistler's illustrations should be copied and then used as an end sheet, thereby being viewed through the lens on the cover. This image would then become smaller (or larger) as the book opened, and then disappear as the cover was lifted after a certain point, and the real sized picture would appear on the end-paper"

Ransom, Selective Check Lists, p. 7, no. 14.

Out of stock