Here is an attractive early Roycroft title with Denslow influence, “Aucassin & Nicolete”, a love story by Andrew Lang. Book published by the Roycrofters/Roycroft Shop in 1899. This one special in that it has a custom chamshell box with marbled paper. 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 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 gold 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.
The book is in slightly faded suede leather and is still nice and soft and clean. No damage as often seen on these suede “window washers” as they were sometimes called. Internally, also in very good condition, front silk a little loose at top (could be reglued), age toning to front endpaper, silk bookmark detached at top but present, pages and binding nice; a solid very good. A very nice example overall of Denslow’s collaboration with Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters, with the bonus that it’s in the custom protective box!