Divine Wisdom 1956
Original wood engraving.
Signed, numbered, titled and dated in pencil.
S 271 x 214; I 123 x 89 mm
Original Blair Hughes-Stanton wood engraving.
Very rare – only 12 signed proof impressions were ever printed of this wood engraving. An outstanding hand-burnished proof, hand-printed by the artist himself, dramatically superior in quality to the published book issue.
This wood engraving was designed by Blair Hughes-Stanton as an illustration for a de-luxe hand produced limited edition issue of The Wreck of the Golden Mary by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, to be published by the Allen Press of California. This was Blair Hughes-Stanton’s first commission from this discerning private publisher and the critical success of the resulting publication was enormous. The collaboration between Blair Hughes-Stanton and the Allen Press continued until 1970 and was to generate the finest of Hughes-Stanton’s later engraved works.
The Wreck of the Golden Mary was described by the authors as “a saga of the California Gold Rush” – Blair Hughes-Stanton’s wood engravings illustrate the events described in the text whilst overlaying the basic subjects with surrounding imagery of the forces controlling the fate and destiny of the characters in the story. In this respect his remarkable wood engravings for this work represent the re-awakening of a talent which Hughes-Stanton had not demonstrated since his brilliant engraved works of the early 1930’s. Divine Wisdom is a striking example of these symbolic wood engravings.
On smooth simile Japan paper with full margins and deckle edge. Excellent original condition.