CHELONIIDAE Press. - Edgar Allan POE (1809-1849)
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe Etchings and wood engravings by Alan James Robinson
[Easthampton, Massachusetts: Cheloniidae Press, 1980]. 2 volumes (including a chemise with an additional suite of plates), folio. (15 x 11 inches). Bound volume: title in red and black with integral wood-engraved vignette of a quill pen, text in black with one red initial, colophon leaf signed and numbered with text in red around a wood-engraved vignette of the Raven's head. 5 etched plates by Robinson, each titled and signed in pencil by the artist, and 2 wood-engravings (duplicates of those printed on the title and colophon leaf) signed and numbered in pencil, printed on thin small format Kitakata paper; Chemise: an additional suite of the 5 etched plates, unbound, signed, numbered and titled in pencil, extra-illustrated with an original pencil portrait of Poe signed by Robinson; an original pencil drawing of the raven's head signed by Robinson (on a bi-folium including the title-page in red and black); a 1p. printed prospectus signed in pencil by Robinson; a 1p. note signed by Robinson on Cheloniidae Press headed note-paper; a 1p. photocopied wholesale price list.
Bound volume: black and red marbled rag paper-covered boards, the backstrip titled in gilt; Chemise: unbound as issued in original black cloth chemise. All contained within the original red morocco-backed black cloth box, spine lettered in gilt
This copy is one of five artist's proofs which contain an extra suite of plates, and this particular copy also contains two additional drawings.
A unique copy with original drawings of the first book from Alan James Robinson's Cheloniidae Press: a thoughtful design, beautiful plates and illustrations, immaculate execution. In this copy the bound volume is numbered 5/100 and is signed by Robinson, the unbound additional suite of etchings are numbered 17/50, but as Robinson's typed note makes clear, this is actually one of only five "artists proofs" which can be recognized by the "red leather spine to the accompanying box." According to the prospectus: "This book was designed by Alan James Robinson. The five original etchings were printed by the artist at the Cheloniidae Press ... Harold McGrath printed the text ... and the two wood engravings at The Hampshire Typothetae in Northampton, Massachusetts. The type ... is 24pt. Centaur, all hand-set. The edition, hand-bound by David Bourbeau at Thistle Bindery, Northampton, has a special marbled cover design by Stephen Auger. The book is printed on Arches Cover in an edition of 125 copies, signed by the artist and numbered 1-100 with a deluxe edition I-XXV ... A separate edition of fifty prints has been taken from each [etched] plate and an edition of two hundred from each of the two wood engravings." "All of the books are designed and illustrated by Robinson, however, it is a unique collaborative press. The finest craftsmen and the highest quality materials have been sought out to create works of the utmost integrity and beauty ... The Press endeavors to create beautiful yet scholarly renditions of contemporary and antiquarian texts. The books are produced as they might have been one hundred or more years ago, using handmade inks, marbled endpapers, hand-set type, and handsewn design bindings. The works are printed by Harold P. McGrath, a Master Printer for over 55 years who has worked with such artists as Leonard Baskin, Fritz Eichenberg, Clare Leighton, and Barry Moser. The result of this attention to detail are works of art ..." (Alan James Robinson's website).