The City of Tagaste Skullduggery

Both title pages are exactly the same.

Book courtesy of George Look. Fuzzy photography and note by Paul Jackson.
Comments by Dick Blacher.

A Lodging For the Night

Both #22 of 100

Note: Both books are supposed to be illumined by Elsie Whitney but the signatures are different. The placement of the Roycroft Orb and illuminator signature are not consistent on the page and the illuminator signature is centered over one orb and to the right of the other. The Orbs are also different, note the R's and the length of the mast on top of the orb. The Hubbard signatures are not even close to each other in appearance and the Illumined : By line is totally different. The only thing that looks close to the same is the #22. Skullduggery or innocent mistake? What is your take on it?

 Iím sure many of you have noticed, consciously or subconsciously, the seemingly endless examples of this edition appearing on the market. Hardly a week goes by without another copy being available for sale. Well, itís my contention that at least two (and possibly three) editions of 940 copies each of this book were issued by the Roycoft. Several years ago a fellow collector, Allan Gross, was at my home and pointed out that two copies in my collection had distinctly different limitation statements (see photos). I suppose that the only absolute proof would be to have examples of the book with the two limitation statements, each bearing the same number. I would chalk this up as an anomaly, were it not the case that I know of several other examples of the same sort of less than ethical practices (skullduggery) by the Roycroft Shop. First, I have two copies of Walt Whitman, both numbered 50/50. Second, I have several examples of the suede bound, individual Little Journeys with three (yes, three) different limitation statements. Do the math: the individual, limited Little Journeys were issued one per month for three years; 12 months x 947 copies per edition x 3 separate editions x 3 years = 102,276 in print. Itís interesting and likely much more than a coincidence that all these occurred in the year 1900.


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