1891. London: James R. Osgood McIlvaine & Co., 1891.
Sm. 4to, (8), 159 pp., pictorial title-page, 4 plates, and numerous illustrations and decorations in text by Ricketts and Shannon. Original pictorial cloth gilt, covers a bit discoloured but nicely restored by Coriander Reisbord.
§ First edition, 1000 copies printed. Although Wilde remained effusive about the decoration of his book (and defended it from public criticism), the printing of Shannon's four plates had been difficult. As a result of some fault in the printing process, a dusty deposit appeared on each plate, which was only noticed after the book was bound. Unfortunately the solution - wiping each plate with a flannel - removed the surface of the print and left the images rather faint, and in some cases, almost invisible. Also the binding has proved over time to be very susceptible to soiling and spotting. This copy is about average or better than most copies. Turn of the Century, 6. Item #110529