UNIQUE COPY, SUMPTUOUSLY EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH 25 ORIGINAL CRONIN PEN-AND-INK OR WATERCOLOR ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE MARGINS, AND WITH A THREE-PAGE LETTER SIGNED BY THE ARTIST BOUND IN
(CRONIN, David Edward). Bibliography Relating to the Works Hand Illustrated by David Edward Cronin. Printed on His Retirement from the Field of Illustration. Philadelphia: Campion & Company, 1903. Quarto, contemporary full crushed crimson morocco gilt, raised bands, full green morocco doublures, watered silk endpapers, top edge gilt, unut. $3500.
Limited first edition of this bibliography of the books hand-illustrated by the undisputed master of the field, David Edward Cronin, printed as a tribute on the occasion of his retirement. This copy one of only 15 reserved for special hand illustration by Cronin—from a total edition of only 48—finished with 25 lovely original illustrations by Cronin, drawn or painted by hand in the margins. Also with a three-page autograph letter signed by Cronin addressed to the subscriber describing each illustration and its placement within the volume, window mounted and bound in at the front. Beautifully bound in full crushed morocco-gilt by the Adams Bindery.
David Edward Cronin (1839-1908) was an accomplished artist, formerly of Harper’s Weekly, noted in the 19th century for extra-illustrating books by hand for wealthy clients—an arduous and time-consuming labor of months or even years, depending on the work and the quantity of illustrations. The original drawings Cronin drew in the present work, a bibliography of those unique books that he illustrated in this manner during his career, consist of drawings with pen and ink, in blue wash and in watercolors. One of the pen-and-ink drawings is a fine portrait of the recipient of this very copy, Mrs. S.J. Sorg of Middletown, Ohio, drawn next to a mention of her name as the owner of one of the works described in the bibliographic catalogue (Cronin’s letter is addressed to her as well). With frontispiece photogravure portrait of Cronin.
Fine condition. A sumptuous volume, richly hand-illustrated and splendidly bound.