NASH, Paul. BROWNE, Sir Thomas. CURWEN PRESS. ~ Urne Buriall and the Garden of Cyrus.
32 pochoir illustrations by Paul Nash, made up of 15 full page plates and 17 smaller head and tail pieces. One of 215 copies, this no.124. Folio, bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe to a design by Paul Nash in vellum with a large inlay of brown goatskin with two vellum onlays and tooled with a gilt design of an urn and a quincuncial lozenge, lower board tooled in gilt with brown morocco onlays, all edges gilt, in the original brown cloth slipcase. An extremely good, crisp copy with booklabel of the bookseller Philip Duschesnes of New York on rear pastedown.
This justly famous book was published during the height of the depression, when the market for deluxe books was in a severe slump. As a result only some eighty copies were sold at the time of publication which were bound by the firm of Nevetts Ltd. The balance were kept as unbound sheets, saved only from the indignity of remaindering by the efforts of the instigator of the book, Desmond Flowers. These sheets were then bound to the same Nash design by Sangorski and Sutcliffe over a period of many years, this is a fairly early version.
The illustrations were coloured through stencils at the Curwen Press over a lithographic key printed by Charles Whittingham and Griggs and they represent one of the crowning achievements of Curwen’s use of the pochoir technique. Urne Buriall, itself a masterpiece of English literature, is widely accepted as Paul Nash’s masterpiece in book illustration and as one of the greatest British illustrated books of the twentieth century.