The High History of the Holy Graal

Translated from Old French by Sebastian Evans.

KING, Jessie M.

IN THE SUPERB VELLUCENT BINDING

KING, Jessie M. The High History of the Holy Graal Translated from Old French by Sebastian Evans.

Dent, 1903.

First edition, number 25 of 225 copies in the Edition De Luxe. This copy is one a of small number in a superb vellucent binding by Cedric Chivers of Bath. Small 4to. Full white vellum over bevelled boards with an ink and watercolour design by Jessie M. King, executed by Alice Shepherd. The central image is one of Jessie's trademark knights, "Perceval Winneth the Golden Cup" (the black and white drawing features at page 374 of the book). This is set within a beautiful mother of pearl border, together with peripheral designs of flowers and shields, including more insets of mother of pearl and elaborate gilt tooling. Top edge gilt and others untrimmed. Illustrated title page, frontispiece and 22 other full page illustrations all printed on Japanese vellum. The illustrations are very detailed line drawings, some with a red decorative border. There are also 36 ornamental head pieces. In truly excellent condition, with just a few small spots of foxing to the initial illustrations, but much less than on any of the other large paper copies I have seen. This is a rare opportunity to purchase a copy of the fabled "Vellucent Holy Graal".

In an publicity brochure Chivers advertised seven copies of this book for sale at a price of £4.10s. Although seven copies are advertised only three copies are recorded as existing, one in the National Library of Scotland, one in a private collection and this copy, which also comes from a private collection.
This is undoubtedly the most sought after of the books to be illustrated by Jessie M. King, the holy grail of King collecting! It combines not only her magnificent artistry at its best, with the detailed drawings on vellum, but also a premier example of a vellucent binding by Cedric Chivers. Colin White says of King's early work, "Her early drawings made up of lines and dots so fine that only a sharp-eyed child or an adult equipped with a good magnifying glass could resolve them, are testimony to the acuteness of her vision and the steadiness of her hand. Her preference for drawing in pen and ink on vellum was a mark of her confidence. A coated and burnished vellum surface enhances the richness of every stroke of the pen, but the medium is unforgiving and does not allow for mistakes."
Chivers' vellucent bindings are beautiful and delicate, they came about when Chivers invented a process to make vellum translucent. The cover design was painted on separate sheet and then has a thin sheet of vellum laid over it. The gilt tooling is then applied to the top of this. He had five artists who worked on this delicate and intricate process, one of the most skilled of these artists being Alice Shepherd.

Stock ID: 24191

Sold

We have sold this item, but similar items
may become available in the future

Register interest Add to favourites

Browse related books

The Life and Adventures of Robin Hood

MARSH, John / KING, Jessie M.

£65.00

Natural History of Selborne

KING, Jessie M. / WHITE, Gilbert

£50.00

The Blessed Damozel

ROSSETTI, Dante Gabriel / KING, Jessie M.

£95.00

Kilmeny

HOGG, James / KING, Jessie M.

£95.00

Aesop's Fables

AESOP / KING, Jessie M.

£95.00

The Intruder

KING, Jessie M.

£45.00

Elaine

TENNYSON, Lord Alfred / KING, Jessie M.

£75.00

The Heroes

KINGSLEY, Charles / KING, Jessie M.

£125.00

The Grey City of the North

KING, Jessie M.

£125.00

Poems of Shelley

KING, Jessie M. / SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe

£150.00

The Legends of Flowers

CRANE, Walter / KING, Jessie M.

£175.00

Rubàiyàt of Omar Khayyàm

KING, Jessie M.

£150.00

Kirkcudbright

KING, Jessie M.

£450.00

Wild Flowers

KING, Jessie M.

£50.00

Jephtha

KING, Jessie M.

£450.00

Glasgow, the City of the West

KING, Jessie M.

£95.00

Atalanta's Garland

[WOOLF, Virginia] / KING, Jessie M.

£95.00

Comus

MILTON, John / KING, Jessie M.

£125.00

Comus

MILTON, John / KING, Jessie M.

£150.00

Budding Life

KING, Jessie M.

£450.00