Lady Godiva
Alberto Sangorski manuscript, 1911
SANGORSKI, Alberto (1862-1932), calligrapher and illuminator. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord (1809-1892). "Lady Godiva." [London, 1911.]

"Then she rode forth, clothed on with chastity:
The deep air listen'd round her as she rode
And all the low wind hardly breathed for fear."

Unique copy of one of Tennyson's best-loved poems, richly illuminated by Alberto Sangorski and in a striking Rivière binding. The calligraphed certification leaf at the end reads: "This manuscript 'Lady Godiva' by Alfred Lord Tennyson, was written out, illuminated, and bound by Messrs R. Riviere & Son London, and will not be duplicated. This manuscript was executed by me” and signed by Sangorski.

Quarto (254 x 186mm). Illuminated manuscript on vellum, 8 leaves, plus 8 blank vellum leaves. Frontispiece with full-page miniature of Lady Godiva, signed in monogram and dated 1911 by Sangorski, in a finely illuminated floral border in colors and burnished gold; title-page with large illuminated initial G in colors against a burnished gold ground with full-border extensions similarly decorated; the text on pp. [5-13] with 6 large illuminated initials, 5 with border extensions, the first with full-page border in colors and tooled gold.

Full crushed dark blue morocco by Rivière and Son, all edges gilt. Covers with single gilt fillet around an elaborate interlaced gilt strapwork panel border filled with a gilt-dot ground, surrounding central panel with elaborate inlaid floral and interlace corner-pieces with gilt-dot grounds; the upper cover with additional central inlaid coat-of-arms with motto "Camera Principis." Spine in six compartments, gilt-lettered in two, a repeated finely gilt-dot panel with central onlaid red circle in the rest, board edges double gilt-ruled, broad turn-ins with strapwork interlace design against gilt-dot ground (tiny rubs to spine ends). Doublures and endleaves of cream watered silk (endleaves starting to fray). Full green straight-grained morocco box lined in silk and velvet, metal catches.
Provenance: purchased by Cornelius J. Hauck, 1893-1967, from John G. Kidd & Son, Inc., Cincinnati, 13 December 1945 (bookplate; Cincinnati Museum Center sale, Christie’s New York, 27-28 June 2006, lot 665).

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