Gray, Thomas. Gray's Elegy. Illuminated by Owen Jones.

London / New York, Longman / Wiley and Putnam, 1846.

4to. (38) pp., including a blank leaf. Chromolithographed in colour and gold throughout. Contemporary blindstamped full calf over wooden boards imitating carved wood. Blindstamped floral design, cover-title to front cover, and Owen Jones's monogram to rear cover. Leading edges gilt, gilt inner dentelle All edges gilt.


Lavishly produced edition of the famous and popular poem. The first secular book to be illuminated in its entirety by the English architect and designer Owen Jones (1809-74), and the first recorded book with a joint American and English imprint on the title-page. It comprises 35 chromolithographed pages illuminated in Jones's "characteristic spidery style" (McLean). The text in black gothic script is enhanced by colourful initials, and surrounded by sumptuous borders of leaves and vines featuring two blues, two reds, black and gold. Further, this book is the first known work to be issued in this special type of binding prepared by Remnant and Edmonds, which has been chiefly used for illuminated books. McLean notes that the design, resembling carved wood, was built up underneath the calf as well as being embossed on it.

Binding somewhat rubbed; spine a little chipped. Somewhat foxed throughout.


McLean, Victorian Book Design 91f. OCLC 83790857.

Stock Code: BN#56863 Tags: , ,