H&W Brochure - page 20-21

[John Milton]. Stained glass window.
England: circa 1820-1850. Stained glass
window, measuring 10.75 x 10.75 inches. Central portrait painted on glass, framed by
four figurative spandrels; composition bordered with solid panels of red, purple, and blue.
Repair to loops at top corners and lower red panel; several panels loose in settings. $2200.
Nineteenth-century stained glass window depicting the English epic poet John
Milton. The central portrait includes the usual Miltonic signifiers: the three-quarter
view, direct gaze, flowing locks, austere black robe, and white collar. This is Milton
as a young man, with no sign of his impending blindness. Of particular interest are
the four
images that border the portrait, featuring characters from
. At bottom left is Satan, cast out of heaven, with a leering serpent coiled
around his body, asWilliam Blake memorably depicts him in his illustrations for
the poem. Moving clockwise, the viewer encounters the archangel Raphael, who
counsels Adam and Eve in Eden, and the archangel Michael, who leads them out
after the Fall. At lower right are Adam and Eve, downcast, in their improvised “vain
covering” of fig leaves: “O how unlike / To that first naked Glory.” An unusual and
striking portrait of one of the greatest English poets.
John Milton; Lucien Pissarro (designer); Esther Pissarro (engraver and printer).
Areopagitica. A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing,
to the Parlament of England.
London: Eragny Press, 1904. Quarto, elaborate
contemporary armorial binding of full burgundy morocco tooled in blind and gilt.
First page of text framed within wood-engraved decorative border with large floriated
initial, smaller initials in text, Eragny Press device to verso of colophon. $4800.
Stunning fine press edition of John Milton’s 1644 essay on the freedom of the
press, a forceful protest against Parliament’s re-establishment of censorship during
the English CivilWar. Milton’s most celebrated line is chiseled over the entrance
of the NewYork Public Library’s Main Reading Room: “a good Booke is the
pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm’d & treasur’d up on purpose to a life
beyond life.” Founded by Lucien and Esther Pissarro in 1894, the Eragny Press was
distinguished by a distinctive mix of French Impressionist and English Arts and
Crafts styles. Their
was first printed in October 1903, but a fire at the
bindery destroyed most of the run. This second issue, printed in March 1904,
consisted of 160 copies. A beautifully printed and bound example of Milton’s
classic defense of free speech.
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