The Cenci: A Tragedy in Five Acts, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Elston Press, 1902, RARE AND VALUABLE


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The Cenci: A Tragedy in Five Acts, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Elston Press, 1902, RARE AND VALUABLE

One of 180 copies printed with initial letters cut on wood from Designs by H. M. O'Kane Printed and sold by Clarke Conwell at the Elston Press, New Rochelle New York, Finished July 3, 1902

Bound in green cloth with title on a paste-down on spine. Printed on a hand made wove paper appearing almost parchment like, Corners lightly rubbed, boards lightly spotted, Owner's signature in pencil. Printed in red and black inks with borders designed by Helen Marguerite O'Kane. O'kane was influenced by the works of William Morris and the Kelmscott Press as well as Charles Ricketts and The Vale Press. One of only 180 copies, this volume being an American Arts and Crafts printing stand out.

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The most important of the New York private presses was in a suburb. The Elston Press began in Manhattan in 1900, but its owner, Clark Conwell, moved it to New Rochelle in 1901. Conwell, with the aid of his designer and wife, Helen Marguerite O'Kane, was one of the most brilliant of the Kelmscott disciples. His books exemplify the best in the private press spirit: with traditional models as a point of departure, they achieve freshness of their own. They were printed by handpress in limited editions on handmade paper and Japan vellum, bound in boards or cloth or vellum with ties.

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