1902-1906. Decorated Cloth. Very Good. Uncommonly clever, colorful manuscript calendar illustrations built around a theme for each of the years. Small folio. 31.5 by 26.5 cm. A total of 29 original watercolors, all dated and signed E.L.P.R. The identity of the artist is otherwise unknown and possibly irretrievable. What is manifest, however, is his skill, humor and panache, and these illustrations stand out among the fluent amateurs of the day, if amateur the artist in fact was. Some of the imagery is decidedly pre-Raphaelite in its style and modeling, while others are more suavely Fin-de-Siecle. Similarities can be found to Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, Burne-Jones, Cecil Aldin, and a host of others, but never is this artist merely imitating. The 1904/1905 series, departing from the calendar format, feature full paintings meant to illustrate one word or short phrase captions such as "Declaration", "Osculation", "Vexation", and these qualify as polished, arresting works of art. The other years have mounted card sheets each covering two months. Typically there is a large watercolor in the center and for 1903, two small ink vignettes for each month. The other years simply present each month in the usual tabular format. These years also have lines of what is presumed to be an original narrative poem which carries through the particular year. The poem is commensurate with the illustration, and it reinforces the cumulative effect of the work. A number of the mounted cards have small neat holes on the top, clearly suggesting that the leaves were once hung on a wall and/or were bound together by a ribbon. Original decorative cloth album.
(Inventory #: 003296)