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High Street.

Stock Code 103071

London, Curwen Press for Country Life Ltd., 1938

Original price $6,498.00 - Original price $6,498.00
Original price $0.00
$6,498.00
$6,498.00 - $6,498.00
Current price $6,498.00
Eric Ravilious (1903-1942), artist, designer and wood-engraver, produced his first lithograph in 1936 entitled 'Newhaven Harbour', which was printed by the Curwen Press. The 'High Street' series of lithographs was created between 1936 and 1937 based on an idea of an 'alphabet of shops' given to him by his partner, Helen Binyon. Ravilious had initially proposed it to the Golden Cockerel Press, with whom he had previously worked, but they were unable to undertake such an ambitious project whereas Curwen's great interest in the area of lithography saw them subsidise the project. Ravilious drew the images directly on the stone at the Curwen Press premises and the exquisitely executed colour plates show a range of shop fronts including an undertaker, an oyster bar, a baker/confectioner, and a cheesemonger.

Although not a limited edition, only about 2000 copies were ever printed as all the lithographic plates were destroyed during the Blitz. In 2008 the Mainstone Press published a history of the project, The Story of High Street which set out to locate and identify the whereabouts of Eric Ravilious' twenty-four businesses and shop fronts, most of which were actually located in London, with the Grill Room and Restaurant yet to be identified.

A note on the transmatic dust jacket: the 1930s had seen a series of developments in the technology of plastics, and the production of cellophane had been one. From about 1934 some publishers in the UK had experimented with the material as dust jackets over decorated boards. Chatto & Windus produced two Faulkner titles (Absalom, Absalom and The Unvanquished), for example. The fad lasted a handful of years only mostly due to the fragile nature of these jackets. They barely survived long enough on the shelves of the bookshops.

First edition, sole impression; 8vo; 24 colour lithograph plates and plain wood-engraved title vignette by Eric Ravilious; publisher's pictorial boards, with the 'transmatic' dust jacket and printed card flaps, a superb copy in the rare cellophane dust-jacket with printed paper flaps, cellophane shrunk as usual with front flap separated, nevertheless a stunning copy of a vulnerable book.
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High Street.

RAVILIOUS, Eric; RICHARDS, J.M.

Stock code: 103071

$6,498.00

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