London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1954. Alvin Langdon Coburn. First Thus Reprinted with Coburn Photographs by Chiswick Press. Cloth. Small quarto [4to] ,7 5/8"x 10") white paper over boards with silver spine lettering, Preface by Janet Adam Smith, illustrated with 23 B&W gravure photos by Alvin Langdon Coburn, archival mylar-protected photographic dust jacket (price-clipped) with image by Coburn, 107 pages. Very Good / Good. Item #5297
This is the well-produced first photogravure illustrated edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's second book (1878) reprinted with important photographs by Alvin Langdon Coburn and printed by the Chiswick Press.
Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882 – 1966) was an early 20th-century photographer and a key figure in the development of American pictorialism. Elected a member of Alfred Stieglitz's Photo-Secession, he became the first major photographer to emphasize elevated viewpoints, cityscapes--as here--, and later made some of the first completely abstract photographs.
During World War I, Coburn became involved with the Vorticists, among them Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound. In his pursuit of abrstract art, the photographer even invented a kaleidoscopic lens attachment that created fragmented images which Pound dubbed a "Vortescope." (Note impressionistic plates 1, 11, & 16.) Coburn also took noteworthy photos of George Bernard Shaw, Henry James, and William Butler Yeats.
Condition: Cloth and contents are Very Good in a Good slightly age-toned dust jacket (price-clipped). Tight, internally clean copy. Light bumps to corners and touching edges. A 1/4" nick to the inner lip of the rear pastedown. Top of d/w spine frayed, and there's a clean 1" tear at the top of the rear dj. Photo plates remarkably clean and unfoxed.