A very special Roycroft item: the first “Fruit of the Roycroft”, an elaborate advertising prospectus for the 1896 book Ruskin and Turner by Elbert Hubbard. This beautiful bi-fold brochure was laid into an illumined copy of Ruskin and Turner. In additon to the gilt flying “I” shown here, it bears an interesting 3-page essay about the 1896 Ruskin and Turner book, tells a fictional tale about “Friar Elbertus”, and mentions his five books published to date. This and the very early Roycroft orb and cross date the piece to the earliest year that books were produced by the fledgling press: 1896.
This “Fruit of the Roycroft” piece doesn’t seem to be on the RoycroftBooks.org website. That site does show a later and completely different “Fruit of the Roycroft” brochure, that one with W W Denslow’s seahorse orb and cross, circa 1898. So this one predates it. I have never seen it before.
This item is in excellent condition, with light speckling, and has two stunning hand-colored initials, likely done by Clara Schlegel who illuminated the book in which it was found. A rare and collectible piece of Roycroft ephemera!
Photos and description by Wonderful Books of Oz, copyright protected through the DMCA act of 1998.