ASHENDENE PRESS. CERVANTES SAAVEDRA, MIGUEL DE. The First Part [--The Second Part...] of the History of the Valorous and Wittie Knight-Errant Don-Quixote of the Mancha translated out of the Spanish by Thomas Shelton MDCXII [--MDCXX]. Chelsea 1927-1928. 2 vols., folio, original dark green crushed levant morocco over wooden boards, upper covers and spines panelled and lettered in gilt, board edges and turn-ins gilt, by W. H. Smith and Son, very light wear to corners and extremities of spines, tiny scratch to upper cover of vol. II; original beige cardboard slipcases, worn, one lacking backstrip; occasional slight natural discoloration. LIMITED EDITION, ONE OF 20 COPIES PRINTED ON VELLUM, of which 17 were for sale, from an edition of 245 of which 217 copies for sale. Printed in Ptolemy type, designed by Emery Walker, in black and red, double column, shoulder notes in red, chapter headings in red beneath chapter numbers in black, two three-quarter page borders, 18-line and smaller initial capitals or opening words in a stylized black-on-white leaf and tendril pattern, designed by Louise Powell and cut on wood by W. M. Quick and G. H. Ford, printer's mark D. Franklin, pp. 56-57, 196; Tomkinson, p. 8; Hornby XXXVI: "These two volumes forming one complete work were the first to be printed in my new Ptolemy type... A noteworthy feature of the book are the initials and borders designed by Mrs. Alfred Powell, which show great variety and skill."
In its typeface and decoration the Don Quixote represented a new direction for the Ashendene Press in the final years of its activity. Emery Walker's new typeface, based on the font used in the Ulm 1482 edition of Ptolemy, was "a much lighter, more elegant letter than the earlier fount," the denser Subiaco type. "And with the use of this less dictatorial type face, the printer could cast away a little of his restraint in planning whatever lay outside it. So in Don Quixote we find at last an alphabet of open and freely drawn, decorative initial letters, designed by Louise Powell and shadowing something of Kelmscott Press taste from years before" (Franklin, pp. 56-57). The Ptolemy type was used in only three more Ashendene editions before the press closed in 1935. (2)