A House of Pomegranates
Wilde, Oscar, Author,1891
Ricketts, C., illustrator,1891
Shannon, Charles Hazelwood, illustrator,
James R. Osgood McIlvaine - London, Publisher, 1891
An illustrated collection of short stories by Oscar Wilde including 'The Young King' and 'The Birthday of the Infanta' published in 1891.
This richly decorated cover uses gilding to highlight the peacock on the cover. The peacock was symbol of the Aesthetic movement in Britain, which Oscar Wilde was a part of, and its importance on the cover is underlined by the use of this luxury material.
Ricketts designed the cover, the end-papers, twelve illustrations and numerous decorations for this very handsome book, printed on high-quality art paper. Unfortunately Shannon's four illustrations, carried out by an experimental process of photo-reproduction in Paris, came out much too faintly and are a virtual failure. They mark the first, experimental phase of photographical half-tone printing on art paper.
Oscar Wilde's short stories in the volume are cannily dedicated to a group of high-society names, including Margot Tennant, the future redoubtable Margot Asquith, wife to the Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and well-known autobiographer.