Thomas Bewick's Fables of Aesop and Others: Nineteen headpieces proofed from the original wood-blocks
. Florin Press . Kent, England
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This is an exceptional addition to the collection in many ways. Not many of our books are so elaborately boxed! And the box has cloth covers! Besides the promised nineteen blocks, apparently assembled from various collectors in the USA, there are four blocks from the private collection of Iain Bain. As far as I can make out from the "About this Production" statement at the end of the book, 130 copies were made. A statement there is "Every copy is numbered, this being X." I have no idea what "X" means here. One other special feature of this item: it has the smell of having been in a musty place for some time! This little book lays out the painful and painstaking effort of Bewick to complete his last work. I learn here, for example, that Bewick was unhappy with the first printing of the book in 1818 but happier with the second edition of 1823. This book is an attempt to see Bewick's illustrations "at their best in impressions that would have well pleased their creator" (15). There is much more here, but I will stop for now. This piece is a plunge into a bibliographer's world!