Roycroft AUCASSIN and NICOLETE W W Denslow Cover & Initials 1899 Book


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Here is an attractive early Roycroft title with Denslow design, “Aucassin & Nicolete”, a love story by Andrew Lang. The book was published by the Roycrofters/Roycroft Shop in 1899, 91 numbered pages, about 5 1/2″ by 8 1/2″. Aucassin was issued with two different cover designs by the Roycrofters; this book has the lovers on a horse cover by Wizard of Oz illustrator W W Denslow, with a tiny seahorse in the lower right corner. It also has Denslow elements inside, as described below.

This book has a beautiful well preserved suede cover, and fine scarlet silk endpapers. Printed on Roycroft paper watermarked with Denslow’s seahorse Roycroft logo. There is one large hand-illumined scroll initial and many small illumined initials throughout, all designed by Denslow. (See the Spring 2015 Baum Bugle for more information on Denslow’s initials done for the Roycrofters).

The book is in unfaded brown suede leather and is still nice and soft and clean. Light soiling to bottom and some scuffing on back, but untorn as often happens. Internally, small circle and pencil inscription on front endpaper, hinges started at ends but still tight, silk bookmark detached but still present, pages nice; a solid very good overall. A nice example overall of Denslow’s long collaboration with Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters!