The Sphinx

The Sphinx


Ricketts, Charles


Elkin Mathews and John Lane


Wilde, Oscar



[44]p (including blanks), original gilt decorated vellum designed by Charles Ricketts, with his monogram to bottom left hand corner of upper cover and the monogram of the binders (Leighton, Son and Hodge) to the bottom left hand corner of the lower cover

Corners slightly bumped and rubbed, vellum generally quite bright and clean. Internally some light browning to page edges, some light foxing to several pages (as often), but generally fairly clean. Small booksellers label and previous owners book plate to front paste down. Printed in three colours throughout

Stated one of two hundred copies for the UK, with another fifty printed for the US and twenty-five large paper copies (and possibly a few more)

Holbrook Jackson called 'The Sphinx' "'the most remarkable of the books of this period' because it translated the Wildean temperament into physical form ... Ricketts created a parallel system of symbols evoking the mystery and erotic sensuality the Aesthetes often associated with Egypt" (Thomson, 'Aesthetic Tracts - Innovation in Late-Nineteenth-Century Book Design', page 75). Mason 361