ADAMS, Richard (author). John LAWRENCE (illustrator). Watership Down. London; Penguin Books/Kestrel Books. 1976.
8vo. Original fine full green morocco, spine with raised bands lettered in gilt, with gilt centres of rabbits and corn in compartments, upper cover stamped in gilt with a design of rabbits after John Lawrence, inner gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, preserved in the original marbled board slipcase; pp. [xii], [xiii]-[xiv], -550; profusely illustrated with marginal vignettes, full-, and half-page line drawings, tinted illustrations, and coloured plates after watercolours, all by John Lawrence, with a large fold-out coloured map at rear; a fine copy, both externally and internally, of a beautifully produced book.
First illustrated edition, de luxe, limited to only 250 numbered copies, double-signed by the both author and the illustrator; with a stunning half-page original watercolour by John Lawrence in gentle hues depicting two rabbits in the undergrowth, nibbling clover, signed with initials.
This is a pristine example of the best edition of this children's classic. Although 250 numbered copies of the limited edition were produced, only a fraction have the original watercolour by Lawrence. The majority of the remainder of the run was acquired by a London bookseller who added fore-edge paintings, by another artist, to each copy.