Golden Cockerel Press
BUCKLAND WRIGHT, John (illustrator). Francis BEAUMONT (author). Salmacis and Hermaphroditus. A Poem Attributed to Francis Beaumont. Edited by Gwyn Jones. With Ten Engravings in colour by John Buckland-Wright. The Golden Cockerel Press. 1951.
Small folio. Original navy blue cloth with a decorative device in gilt to upper board, lettered gilt to spine, top edges plain, others untrimmed; pp. [vi], 5-44 + [ii]; with 10 coloured wood-block engravings throughout including 7 full-page; a very good copy with some light overall rubbing and a very slight bruise to bottom forecorner of upper cover; internally with 2 understated bookplates ("R.G." & "Margaret and John Streeter") to prelims, light internal dusting and spotting and some marginal brown marks; without the slipcase but with a colour photographic reproduction of Buckland Wright's additional coloured plate (only included in the de luxe edition) neatly laid down to rear blank.
First edition thus, published by Christopher Sandford at The Golden Cockerel Press. One of only 380 copies printed on rag paper. A limited edition of 80 copies was also issued in leather, with one additional plate.
"One of the lesser-known Elizabethan versions of classical legend based in this case on a theme from Ovid's Metamorphoses. John Buckland Wright matched the richness of the poem's imagery with a most successful series of colour engravings, the first to appear in any of my books. I had come to think that the Golden Cockerel had achieved everything that could be done to develop engraving in black and white: the whole technique had been elevated to such a height of competence that I felt we had to break new ground by turning to colour. This I proposed to the artists who were then working with me, offering a choice of books and leaving them to illustrate whichever they wished, and encouraging each to develop a style of colour engraving of his own. John was the first to complete his book, achieving maximum of effect by combining three colours only, a golden yellow, a blue, and a grey, mated with such skill that anyone might have thought he had in fact employed a very much wider range of colours" (Cock-a-Hoop: Being a Bibliography of the Golden Cockerel Press 1949-1961).