Original Fredrick Carter wood engraving.
Very rare signed lifetime proof impression, from the artist’s personal collection. A very fine early proof, prior to publication in Frederick Carter's seminal work The Dragon of the Alchemists a book of Drawings by Frederick Carter (Elkin Mathews Ltd., London, 1926).
The Two Fishes represents the zodiacal constellation Pisces which consists of two fishes, quite widely separated, but having their tails connected by a ribbon. The constellation derives its name from a mythological story concerning Aphrodite or Venus. The goddess, frightened by the giant Typhon, threw herself with the infant Cupid into the river Euphrates. One account says that the fishes bore them away to safety, but in Greek legend they changed into fishes which were afterward exalted to the sky. Venus is normally the brightest star in the evening and morning skies over England.
Proof impressions from Frederick Carter’s blocks are very rare, the few proofs printed during Frederick Carter’s lifetime having been solely for private use or for distribution amongst the artist’s personal friends. This characteristically symbolic design was drawn directly onto the prepared wood block by Frederick Carter; the block was then cut and worked in detail by either Carter himself or his assistant, W.M.R. Quick, to produce the finished wood engraving.
On an unusually large sheet of simile Japan paper, with full margins and deckle edge. Fold lines in extreme outer margins, otherwise very good original condition.