CARROLL, LEWIS; TENNIEL, SIR JOHN; DE FREITAS, LEO JOHN.
Sir John Tenniel's Illustrations To Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
& Through the Looking-Glass.
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.
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
London & Oxfordshire; Macmillan & Rocket Press; 1988.
here to order