GREGYNOG PRESS. MILLER PARKER, Agnes. ~ XXI Welsh Gypsy Folk Tales, collected by John Sampson.
8 wood engravings by Agnes Miller Parker. No. 128 of 250 copies. Printed in Bembo type on Portal’s handmade paper. Sm. 4to, mustard-yellow Welsh sheepskin with title in a pattern of rules in gilt on the upper cover, spine titled in gilt. A fairly good example of a notoriously weak binding, spotting and marking to the sheepskin, spine a little rubbed, usual offset from turn-ins.
John Sampson was an Irish linguist and scholar, best known for The Dialect of the Gypsies of Wales (1926) and for his examination of Welsh Romani folk stories. The text for this powerfully illustrated Gregynog Press book was edited by John Sampson’s literary executor Dora Yates who kept considerable control over all the stages of production. The mustard-yellow binding was at her behest - she had demanded that it must be bound in a ‘gipsy colour, either red or yellow’.
Agnes Miller Parker was one of the greatest of the female wood engravers from of the first half of the 20th century. She trained at the Glasgow School of Art and married William McCance and with him became part of the group of artists centred around Chiswick in the 1920s. Her work for the Gregynog Press where she and her husband lived for a while in the 1930s was remarkable, this being her second book for the Press after the Esope’s Fables and together they are two of the greatest British illustrated books of the twentieth century.