Richards, J.M. & Ravilious, Eric

High Street

Published: Country Life : 1938


The First UK Printing published by Country Life in 1938. The BOOK is in Very Good++ or better condition. Original pictorial paper covered boards showing only trivial wear to the spine ends and corners with a little loss and splitting at the rear spine fold ends only (This production is noted for its very fragile spine which often detaches). Very light toning to the spine. Spotting to end papers and prelims. Very light spots to the page edges for a few of the lithographs with the spotting a little more prominent to ' The Knife Grinder' lithograph but still very light. A lovely copy of a very fragile production. Cover illustrations and 24 full page colour lithographs by Eric Ravilious who began work on his 'High Street' lithographs in 1935 following a suggestion from Helen Binyon that he do an alphabet of shops. He deliberately sought out odd shops with special and often Victorian visual appeal as inspiration for the work. With the addition of text from Ravilious's friend, Jim Richards, what was produced was one of the most famous and iconic illustrated books of the twentieth century. The New Statesman wrote that the designs were 'so gay and vivid that they surprise the reader like the shops themselves when they light up on a foggy morning'. The book was never reprinted because the original plates were destroyed in a bombing raid in 1942 (in the same year Ravilious, who was a captain in the Royal Marines and an official war artist, was killed in action). Protected with a loose Mylar archival cover and housed in a custom black slipcase with a silk tie. Notoriously hard to find in such collectible condition due to its fragility. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.

Very Good++



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