Burne-Jones' Chaucer woodcuts to bring $50,000 at Bonhams



2015-06-26 13:50:19

Burne-Jones' Chaucer woodcuts to bring $50,000 at Bonhams

Edward Burne-Jones' Chaucer woodcuts are joined by his Book of Hours

A rare copy of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer illustrated and printed by pre-Raphaelite artists Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris will highlight Bonhams' September 22 auction in San Francisco.

Burne-Jones Chaucer woodcuts Burne-Jones draw great inspiration from medieval texts and imagery

The 1896 book is one of just 425 copies ever printed by Morris' Kelmscott Press, embellished with 87 woodcuts by Burne-Jones. A magnificent copy with a superb history, it is valued at $30,000-50,000.

The Chaucer book is joined byBurne-Jones' 15th century Book of Hours, which has an ownership inscription and his book plate inside.

 Illuminated manuscripts such as this are highly sought after, with this example enhanced by its connection to Burne-Jones

Including seven painted miniatures thought to have been created in Paris in the early part of the 15th century, the book would have provided an invaluable reference tool for Burne-Jones' use of medieval themes and motifs. It will also sell for $30,000-50,000.

Sharing the estimate is a holograph manuscript of Walt Whitman's Rain Enigma (Voice of the Rain), which Bonhams states appeared in the first annex, Sands at Seventy, of the 1891-1892 edition of Leaves of Grass.

The manuscript is enhanced by the autograph of Horace Traubel, Walt Whitman's lifelong friend and literary executor.

The auction will be simulcast in New York, with a preview on September 12-14. Collectors can view the lots in San Francisco from September 19-21.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a wonderful collection of rare books and literary autographs for sale, including works from Virginia Woolf, Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.

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