NASH, Paul. CURWEN PRESS. ~ Urne Buriall.
32 pochoir illustrations by Paul Nash, made up of 15 full page plates and 17 smaller head and tail pieces. Printed on J Barcham Green’s handmade paper. One of 215 copies, this no. 99. Sm. folio, bound in full cream sheepskin with a blue and gilt spine label, rather rubbed and worn but internally an extremely bright, clean uncut copy.
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 copy must be one of the sets of unbound sheets bound by a different binder probably fairly near the time of publication.
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.