Golden Cockerel Private Press Catalogues
Publisher: Great Britain: Golden Cockerel Private Press
Format/Condition: Three gently used small paperback books in Very Good condition. Binding good; textblock strong; pages clean and unmarked. Autumn 1954 has 50 pages with a letter, order form, postage paid envelope, and card laid-in at the back of the catalogue; Spring 1955 has 24 pages; 1956-1957 has 24 pages. Dimensions: each book is 5 x 7 inches. All three are illustrated with black-and-white drawings.
Description: The Golden Cockerel Press was a major British fine press operating between 1920 and 1961. The private press was famous for beautiful handmade limited editions of classic works produced to the very highest of standards. The type was hand-set and the books were printed on handmade paper, and sometimes on vellum. A major feature of Golden Cockerel books was the original illustrations, usually wood engravings. The press was credited with having made a significant contribution to the revival of the British tradition of wood engraving. Golden Cockerel titles have remained sought-after items by book collectors, and the press is one of the outstanding private presses of the 20th century. Golden Cockerel published both the 'Specials' which were signed and limited in number as well as "The Ordinaries".
Each catalogue ontains descriptions and illustrations (some nudes) of the books to be published or already published similar to what would be included in a prospectus for each volume. Details for both the 'Specials' and 'The Ordinaries' are include and includes information such as the limited number published, prices; illustrator, number of engravings, binding materials; size, pages, type used, brief summary, etc.
The Autumn 1954 catalogue contains details of six books which were nearing completion and a few publications that they still had in stock. Titles in the Autumn 1954 catalogue are: "One Hundred And Eleven Poems" by Robert Herrick and illustrated by Sir William Russell Flint (this book was the 200th book that was published); "The Story of a Lifetime" by Somerset De Chair with engravings by Clifford Webb; "The Serpent's Presence" by Eurof Walters with engravings by Clifford Webb; "Euphormio's Satyricon" by John Barclay with engravings by Derrick Harris; "Topiary" by Cecil Stewart with illustrations by Peter Barker Mill; " Circe and Ulysses: The Inner Temple Masque" by William Browne of Tavistock with engravings by Mark Severin; "Nelson's Letters From the Leeward Islands" edited by Geoffrey Rawson with engravings by Geoffrey Wales (this book was part of Golden Cockerel's famous 'Sea Series); "Against Women" translated from Old Welsh by Gwyn Williams with engravings by John Petts; "In Defence of Women" translated from an old Welsh poem which was written to contradict "Against Women" is also illustrated by John Petts; "Letters of Maria Edgeworth & Anna Letitia Barbauld" illustrated by Lettice Sandford; "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by Gwyn Jones and illustrated by Dorothea Braby.
Also included: "The Grecian Enchanted" by Phyllis Hartnoll with illustrations by John Buckland-Wright; "Julius Caesar's Commentaries" translated by Mr. de Chair with engravings by Clifford Webb; "Gilgamesh, King of Erech" by F. L. Lucas with engravings by Dorothea Braby; "The Labyrinth of the World and The Paradise of the Heart" with illustrations by Dorothea Braby; and more including a few which they refer to as in "cheap bindings".
The Spring 1955 catalogue contains repeats of 11 of the volumes in the Autumn 1954 catalogue plus a description of "The Cockalorum: A Bibliography of the Press (June 1943-1948).
The 1956-1957 catalogue includes: "The Ephesian Story" translated by Paul Turner and illustrated by Eric Fraser (his first Cockerel); "Songs and Poems - A selection from the Poetic Works of John Dryden" illustrated by Lavinia Blythe; "The Grimms' 'Other Tales'" illustrated by with quaint engravings which are unforgettable examples of folk-art by Gwenda Morgan; Apollonius Tyre with line engravings by Mark Severin; "Minxes Admonsihed" written and illustrated by Sir William Russell Flint; "Zastrozzi" by Percy Bysshe Shelley with engravings by Cecil Keeling; and more.