Our Book of the Month

Each month we will feature a different item. (Updated October 1st).




Title: Sir John Tenniel's Illustrations To Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass.

Description: First Limited Edition; ninety-one prints from the original wood blocks engraved by the Brothers Dalziel from drawings by Sir John Tenniel & one print from electrotype. Three Volumes; Impl. 8vo; 91 wood-engraved plates and 1 electrotype plate, each loose in folding wrappers as issued, housed in two morocco-backed solander cases, titles lettered in gilt on black labels, some minor spotting to the spines, one label scratched, otherwise fine, together with a separate cloth bound essay on the publication and the wood-blocks, illustrated with three tipped-in plates; the three are housed together in a grey cloth box, fine set. This set being number 29 in an edition of 250 sets.

Comment: Since the first printings of Alice in 1865 and 1872 there have been hundreds of editions of the Alice books with the Tenniel illustrations. All of these editions were illustrated with electrotyped plates including the first editions. The wood-blocks for Alice were never used for printing of the first edition, it was thought that they would not stand up to pressure of completing the first edition. The blocks were originally sent by Macmillan to the printers to have electrotype casts made for printing of the first editions, they stayed with the printer then in rural Suffolk. Given the ravages of the second world war it was thought by the publishers that the original woodblocks were lost. Fortunately the blocks were recently rediscovered by Macmillan in a Bank Vault. Its perhaps a measure of the fame and significance of Tenniel's Alice illustrations that no one had ever dared to throw away the now obsolete blocks that carried Tenniel's images. Out of the ninety-two blocks only one has disappeared - 'Alice and the Dodo' (Wonderland p. 35) perhaps appropriate that the Dodo wood-block, if any should have disappeared. Despite the passage of time the recently rediscovered Alice blocks were found to be in an excellent state. Macmillan commissioned The Rocket Press to make a deluxe edition of the Tenniel Illustrations by hand-inking the original blocks and printing all 91 images on a precision cylinder proofing press onto acid-free mould-made paper and board specially made by the Zerkall mill. Each printed image was then placed into its own folder, each folder being printed with the relevant lines from Alice. After printing the blocks were given to the British Library never to be used again. Ensuring that this printing of Sir John Tenniel's Wood-Engraved illustrations will remain the only edition ever printed from the blocks.

Publisher: London & Oxfordshire; Macmillan & Rocket Press; 1988.

Price: AUD$22500

Book ID: 115726

Click here to order








Back to Top
All Site Content Copyright (C) Time Booksellers 1995-2010, All Rights Reserved