29 June 2005
WILDE, Oscar (1854-1900). The Picture of Dorian Gray. London: Ward, Lock & Co., 1891.
8o. Half-title and title with decorative lettering designed by Charles Ricketts (title-page variant with period after "Gray"), grayish-green endpapers. Original parchment-backed gray bevelled boards, front cover gilt-stamped with title and repeated stylized butterfly devices (designed by Charles Ricketts), uncut (small dampstain along lower edge); ORIGINAL PRINTED DUST JACKET (soiled with some red sprinkled stains, a few closed tears and small chips); quarter vellum folding case.
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY WILDE TO ONE OF HIS LOYAL CLOSE FRIENDS on the verso of the half-title: "Arthur Cllifton from his sincere friend, the Author." The novel was first published in Philadelphia's Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, July 1890; Wilde's famous preface, comprising 24 aphorisms ("the artist is the creator of beautiful things," etc.), first appeared in The Fortnightly Review, March 1891.
Arthur Bellamy Clifton (1862-1932) was one of Wilde's oldest friends. He was a solicitor who later became a successful London art dealer in partnership with Robbie Ross. Clifton visited Wilde in prison and was of his few loyal friends who stood by him until his death. Mason 328. AN EXTREMELY FINE ASSOCIATION COPY, IN THE SCARCE DUST JACKET.
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