THOMAS, Dylan. The Hand. Venice, 1939 [but Paris: for Frederic Prokosch, October or November 1969]. 5 leaves. Original watercolor frontispiece heightened with gold and silver by Prokosch signed and dated in pencil "6.VII.1940." Original stabbed-and-sewn decorated maroon paper wrappers, gold-foil label on front cover. LIMITED EDITION, copy "C" of three on Canson paper, of a total edition of ten. Barker 38. -- Twenty-four Years. Lisbon, Christmas 1940 [but Paris: Frederic Prokosch, November or December 1970]. 5 leaves. Original watercolor frontispiece heightened with gold and silver by Prokosch, signed and dated 9 November 1940. Original stabbed-and-sewn Belgian marbled wrappers, gold-foil label on front cover, an extra cover label tipped-in at end. LIMITED EDITION, number 1 of 2 copies on old Florentine paper, of a total edition of 9. Barker 39.
Together 2 volumes, 32o (77 x 58 mm); together in a brown morocco slipcase.
Two fine examples of Frederic Prokosch's forged editions, made famous following the series of sales at Sotheby's London from 1968-1972. At these sales, 29 manuscripts and 50 printed books were offered, representing the "complete set of the poetry pamphlets written or produced for Frederic Prokosch" between 1933-1940. Among the 18 well-known authors were W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats and Dylan Thomas. In reality, the pamphlets were publications of the writer Frederic Prokosch (b.1906) from 1968-1972. Nicolas Barker, while investigating the editions, found that while they bore various imprints, they were in fact the work of one printer at a much later date. When confronted by Barker, Prokosch admitted that they were printed between 1968 and 1970 at the Imprimerie du Tocadéro in Paris, with the books designed to mimic the very individual and unique editions Prokosch had published legitimately in the 30s. In defense of himself, Prokosch wrote: "I think that these little pamphlets, some of them prettier than others, were primarily an act of obeisance to poetry. They sprang from a childlike yearning to enshrine a poem in a kind of celebration... They sprang, I may say sincerely, from a childish naiveté and prankishness... All of the pamphlets still in my possession will eventually be donated to university libraries." All of Prokosch's forged editions are SCARCE. Nicolas Barker, Butterly Books: An Enquiry into the Nature of Certain Twentieth Century Pamphlets, London, 1987. (2)