Item #334659 The Zoo Described and Illustrated by Moira and Robert Gibbings. Robert Gibbings.
The Zoo Described and Illustrated by Moira and Robert Gibbings
The Zoo Described and Illustrated by Moira and Robert Gibbings
New Arrival

FIRST BOOK/ THOMAS BALSTON'S COPY

The Zoo Described and Illustrated by Moira and Robert Gibbings.

London: Printed by Sanders Phillips & Co. Limited./ The Baynard Press ChryssellRd, [1922].

First edition of Robert Gibbings' rare first book, written in collaboration with his wife Moira Gibbings. pp. [2], 15, [3]: illustrated in color by Robert Gibbings (also prints a map). Contains original color woodcuts by Robert Gibbings, including colophon on back cover and illustration on front cover (both signed in type: 'RG'). Large 8vo (9-1/4 x 6 inches). FIRST BOOK/ THOMAS BALSTON'S COPY. Covers and text are moderately creased, with a few long (uneven) creases on covers and a few pages of text and illustrations; the book is printed on very heavy stock paper that is vulnerable to creasing, with one short tear on fore-edge of a few pages, else a very good copy, with covers, text and color illustrations otherwise fresh and bright A Mary Kirkus: Robert Gibbings A Bibliography. 1 "I have seen only one copy of this work, which is not in the British Museum of the Library of the Zoological Society..." she gives date of publiaction as 1930 or 1931 which is clearly wrong. Item #334659

Signed and dated by scholar Thomas Balston on verso of front cover ["T. Balston/ April 1922"]. Robert Gibbings and Thomas Balston became acquainted in 1921, following a request by Balston for one of Gibbings' early engravings, resulting in a correspondence and friendship [see 'Matrix' (Number 9/ pp. 37-54), edited by John Dreyfus, which includes the publication of Robert Gibbings' letter of 28th April 1922 to Thomas Balston, discussing his book 'The Zoo,' and Robert Gibbings states that he is sending a copy of the book to Balston). Regarding the early relationship of Robert Gibbings and Thomas Balston, scholar Maron Andrews states: "At the Golden Cockerel Press Gibbings came into his element. He had earlier written to Tom Balston, then a partner at Duckworths. 'I should very much like to do some decorations for really first class books, especially when it would be possible to keep in touch with the printer and treat the book as a whole, not so many pages with so many illustrations.' Balston bought the last print from the edition of 'Clear Waters', the prime example of Gibbings' 'vanishing line' technique, which played its part in placing wood-engraving amongst the vanguard of modern art in the 1920s, before it gained its reputation among the hedgerows from which it is still struggling to escape" [The Life and Work of Robert Gibbings by Maron Andrews. London. Primrose Hill Press. 2003].
Thomas Balston would eventually publish a book about Robert Gibbings' engravings, 'The Wood-engravings of Robert Gibbings' (London, Art and Technics, 1949).

A rare publication and nice association copy. OCLC lists a single international holding and no American holdings [University of Reading]; COPAC lists a single British holding [Cambridge University (Bodleian Library)]; no copy has appeared at auction since 1975 [per ABPC]. Robert Gibbings (1889-1958), Irish artist, wood-engraver, writer and printer, was born in Cork, Ireland. He studied at University College, Dublin and at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. He founded, with Noel Rooke, the Society of Wood Engravers in 1919, and also ran the Cockerell Press from 1924 to 1933. In 1919 he married Moira Pennefather, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Edward Graham Pennefather (from Tipperary). Robert Gibbings was commissioned by the London Zoo, in 1922, to produce a publicity booklet, resulting in his first published book, The Zoo, in collaboration with his wife, Moira Gibbings.

Price: $9,500.00 Free International Delivery