Lot 93
1903 Chancun de Willeme one of 200 scarce work

Estimate: $400 - $600

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About this Lot

CHISWICK Press (printer). - [William DUNN (publisher and owner of the original)]. 

La Chancun de Willame. [colophon: printed at the Chiswick Press, June 1903]. Small quarto (7 7/8 x 6inches; 200 x 153mm). Pp. [146], unopened, printed in red and black. 2 plates (one double-page). (Spotting to the plates and their environs). Kelmscott-esque holland-backed blue-grey sugar-paper covered boards paper title label to the spine (covers a little bowed, free endpapers toned).

Acceptable copy of a scarce work: the spotting is limited to the two plates and the adjacent pages, the toning to the free endpapers. Otherwise a clean copy: there is one other copy for sale at the moment and the last copy to appear at auction was in 1948. Limited to just 200 copies. Before the publication of this work, La Chançun de Willame was preserved in a single thirteenth century manuscript which was not known to modern scholars until May, 1901, when it was offered for sale in the library of Sir Henry Hope Edwardes. The purchaser, George Dunn, prepared an edition which was printed without his name by the Chiswick Press in 1903 [the present work]. Until the manuscript passed to the British Museum in 1913, after the death of Mr. Dunn, no scholars were allowed to handle it. A "chanson de geste" from the first half of the twelfth-century depicting the deeds of William of Orange, an historical figure, a 9th-century contemporary of Charlemagne; many legends arose about him, and he was revered as a saint.

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