Salome. A Tragedy in one Act.

WILDE Oscar (1894.)

£7500.00  [First Edition]

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Illustrated with a pictorial title-page border, ten full page plates and a tail-piece by Aubrey Beardsley. First edition in English, first illustrated edition. "One of 500" ordinary copies (actually 750, see Nelson, of a total edition of 875. Small 4to., original blue canvas boards with a small design by Beardsley on both covers. Uncut and partly unopened. London, Elkin Mathews & John Lane.

An excellent copy, with the most minor of wear and fading to the spine. The binding is notoriously fragile, and this is about as good as they get. This copy has an interesting addition, with the suppressed first version of the plate The Toilette of Salome neatly laid in opposite page 44, as well as the published version: this plate is from the extremely rare contemporary printing, and should not be confused with the later Leonard Smithers forgery, which is printed on thinner paper, with the engraver's name absent. The very few contemporary printings of the suppressed plates, on heavy japon paper as here, are often described as proofs: they were certainly included in neither of the published states: The Toilette of Salome was replaced with an entirely different illustration - this original displays not only Salome's bosom, which was presumably OK, but a penis and a tuft of pubic hair on an androgynous figure, as well as one of Beardsley's homunculus/phallus figures in a doubly suggestive pose (not only looking rude in itself, but apparently with two subsidiary erections): among the books on the shelf is Les Fleurs du Mal.

Stock Code: 216723

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