It has been 20 or more years since my father commented to me that he was twice my age. A curious age to be, he said. I thought it an odd observation about years and time. It has taken me this long to realize this was indeed a profound age to be, just as old as my father was when I was born. It was an invitation to reflect on my own life in comparison to his, which at the time escaped me. I can not say I measured up at all to who my father was, then or now, but memory of his persona flashes up with silent advice, admonition or direction now, years after his passing.
I had purchased Irish Fairy Tales for him at about that time, its mystery calling out to me from the book dealer’s locked cabinet for weeks before. A trade version of the book, with the same prints, and much more rugged, just did not have the magic of this copy. Perhaps simply the mystique of a high price, or perhaps Mr Rackham had impressed something intangible into these limited edition prints.
A recent visitor to the gallery, examining the book, commented 'these are not hand pulled prints', which is quite true. Can you imagine one artist pulling 8320 prints to make just 520 copies of the book? I do have some hand pulled etchings (Elizabeth O'Neill Verner), but these are individuals, not whole books!
As Beth Carswell says in her piece on Rackham on ABE books, he was developing his art at the time when the technological advancements necessary to produce color-separated printing was new. He was at the right place in time to ride this wave of art’s new mode of expression.
Enquire for price.