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"Romeo and Juliet. With designs by Oliver Messel"
Costume designs for William Shakespeare
by Oliver Messel (1904–1978)
(1st) First Edition
Review copy (stamped as such)
Published London, B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1936.
Hardcover with original illustrated dust jacket.
96 pages. 4o. 4º (Quarto)
290 x 215mm (11½ x 8½")
Decorated, purple cloth-bound hardback boards, dust jacket. 96 pages. 32 hors-texte black-and-white collotype plates and 8 mounted colour plates, reproducing Messel's original drawings. In original dust wrapper; fritting, tears and wear to jacket. Slight discolouration of boards. Bears a "Review Copy" stamp. Messel's facsmile signature to dedication page. Generally a very good copy of this sought after book.
"The work of Oliver Messel needs no introduction to anyone in England interested in the theatre. His designs for 'Helen' and other productions of Charles B. Cochrane’s have brought him a reputation as one of the leading English stage designers of to-day. In the autumn of 1935 he went to Hollywood to design the settings and costumes for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production of Shakespeare’s 'Romeo and Juliet', produced by Irving Thalberg, starring Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard, and directed by George Cukor.
The publishers, in issuing this volume, feel that it will be not only a fitting souvenir of an important film and yet another marked advance in film technique, but at the same time a work which will rank among the finest editions of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. The clear and finely printed pages of Shakespeare’s text are enhanced by 32 plates finely reproduced in delicate collotype direct from the artist’s original drawings, and 8 colour reproductions, which are mounted on special paper.
Oliver Messel’s delicate yet vigorous drawings exemplify the spirit and beauty of the lines and are all reproduced to a large scale.
To preserve the quality of the work, only a small edition of the book is being printed, and this is likely to be soon exhausted, forming as it does an ideal gift to any lover of the stage and Shakespeare and to anyone interested in a sympathetic interpretation by one of England’s most brilliant designers."