“PHANTASMAL VOICES OF THE GOLDEN AGE”: ECHOES OF HELLAS, SIGNED BY WALTER CRANE
CRANE, Walter, illustrator. WARR, George C. Echoes of Hellas. The Tale of Troy and the Story of Orestes from Homer and Aeschylus. WITH: Echoes of Hellas. A Pianoforte Arrangement of the Music Composed by Otto Goldschmidt, Malcolm Lawson, Walter Parratt & Prof. W.H. Monk. London: Marcus Ward, 1887. Two volumes. Folio (11-1/2 by 15 inches), publisher's deluxe full pictorial vellum gilt, top edges gilt, uncut. $2800.
Signed limited first edition of these English adaptations of Homer and Aeschylus, with each of its 82 pages designed and illustrated by Crane in black and red on handmade paper, and with covers and endpapers also decorated by Crane—this copy number 145 of an unknown limitation signed by Crane. Complete with companion volume of music written to accompany the text, signed at a later date (1901) by principal composer Otto Goldschmidt next to his name on the title page.
George Warr composed his play The Tale of Troy using selections from the Iliad and the Odyssey, which he translated and adapted for the stage. The Story of Orestes is an abridged version of the Orestean Trilogy. Both were first performed at the Prince's Hall, Piccadilly, in 1886, accompanied by music that was then arranged for pianoforte and printed as Volume II. Several of Crane's illustrations are based loosely on the stage designs and scenic decorations used at Prince's Hall. "The extent to which some of Crane's books of the late 1880s and 1890s embody Art Nouveau motifs has given them a considerable vogue in recent years" (Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England, 151). Massé, 38. Bookplates.
Minor offsetting from illustrations. Original generally vellum quite clean, gilt bright. A superb signed set. Scarce.