April 2023 Catalogue

B a u m a n R a r e B o o k s A p r i l 2 0 2 3 35 Rare Signed Limited Large-Paper First Edition Of The Picture Of Dorian Gray, One Of Only 250 Copies Signed By Oscar Wilde, Beautifully Bound In Full Morocco-Gilt 29. WILDE, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. London, New York & Melbourne, 1891. Octavo, later full green morocco gilt, custom full morocco clamshell box. $40,000. Rare large-paper first signed limited edition, one of only 250 copies printed on Van Gelder handmade paper, signed by Oscar Wilde, beautifully bound in full morocco-gilt. Considered Wilde’s greatest work, The Picture of Dorian Gray is also his only novel, combining the supernatural elements of the Gothic novel with the sins of French decadent fiction. Critics attacked the work for its immorality. Wilde responded to critics: “Leave my book, I beg you, to the immortality that it deserves.” At least one contemporary review, nonetheless, praised this edition, “the book, with its unique and piquant binding and lettering, its characteristic title page and yet more characteristic preface, is a delight to eye and hand” (Glasgow Herald). Title, half title, and cover designed by Charles Ricketts, who designed many Wilde volumes. This deluxe signed edition is of considerably greater rarity and value than the unsigned first trade edition issued a few months earlier. Mason 329. Interior fine, front joint skillfully repaired, toning mainly to extremities. A striking near-fine copy of this rare and important landmark of English literature.