Essay on Friendship

Pictures and description courtesy of Paul Jackson

Essays on Friendship

by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1899

#39 of 50

The book measures 7 3/4" by 5 1/2" and has 53 pages. The text body is Caslon and 925 copies or the regular edition were printed on Roycroft hand-made paper. McKenna states that the binding was supposed to have been suede, but all copies he had examined were in paper over board variants with the exception of 2 copies bound in 3/4 leather with vellum pages. Fifty copies were supposed to have been specially illuminated by Lawrence Mazzanovich with 25 copies of those copies printed on Japan vellum.  The copy illustrated above is an edition of 50 in suede illumined by Clara Schlegel. Additionally, many of the regular edition were illuminated and signed by Roycroft artists. The edition of 50 was said to be illumined by Mazzanovich in the 1899 catalog sold for $5.00, they were $5.00 in the 1900 catalog also.

The variants I have seen are as follows:
1. Unlimited edition bound in suede and printed on Roycroft water-marked paper.
2. Edition of 25 bound in full Levant or paper over boards, printed on Japan vellum with hand illumined illustrations.
3. Edition of 50 bound in wallet edged suede printed on Roycroft water-marked paper, and signed by the illuminator.
4. Edition of 50 bound in paper over boards, printed on Roycroft water-marked paper and illumined. The difference of this book other than binding is the title page, page 9 chapter head "Friendship" is not solid black print and it is illumined and the date 22 Nov. 1899 vice 10 July 1899. This book was a special printing for; "The delectation of the Society of Friends."
5. Edition of 925 bound in suede, printed of Roycroft water-marked paper and illumined.

All of the  above variants with the exception of #4 have statements saying the book completed on 10 July 1899.

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