WADSWORTH, Edward. Sailing-Ships and Barges of the Western Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. A Series of Copper Plates engraved in the Line manner by Edward Wadsworth. And coloured by hand, with an Introduction and Brief Descriptions by Bernard Windeler. London, [The Curwen Press] for Frederick Etchells & Hugh MacDonald, 1a Kensington Place, London W2, 1926.
Foolscap folio (paper size 29 x 18 cm). Original cloth, lettered and ornamented in gilt, in the original slipcase with engraved title to front cover; pp. xv (including additional engraved title), 79, [4, colophon and imprint], engraved map from Alicante to Naples, 17 full-page hand-coloured engravings, engraved vignettes (some hand-coloured); light wear to the rarely seen slipcase, the label a little spotted, very light marking to cloth, internally fine.
First edition, number 10 of 450 copies, printed on hand-made paper. 'The copper plates have been destroyed' (colophon). For some one of the most beautiful book to be produced by the Curwen Press, although they rarely employed engraving as illustration technique. The artist, painter and printmaker, Edward Wadsworth, influenced by the Fauves, had been a Vorticist, could work at any scale and in almost any technique. After his avant-garde years he turned more into a maritime painter and in 1936 he was commissioned large paintings for the smoking rooms of the ocean liner Queen Mary. Peter Tucker wrote in Matrix 11 'It was one of the most beautiful books to come from the Curwen Press in the 1920s, or indeed at any other time'.