Image Not Available

The Cloud. By Percy Bysshe Shelley. With photographs by Alvin Langdon Coburn

Coburn, Alvin Langdon ; Shelley, Percy Bysshe

Published by C.C. Parker, Los Angeles, 1912
From Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books (ABAA) (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since April 3, 1997 Seller Rating 3-star rating

Association Member: ABAA

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 45,000.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 4.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, rates & speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Quarto, 9 1/2 x 13 inches. [31] p. (on double leaves), [6] leaves of plates. Number 21 of a planned but never completed edition of 60 copies, signed by Coburn. The book contains six tipped-in original 7 x 5 inch platinum prints, printed by Coburn. With the prospectus (split on its fold) laid in. Text printed in brown ink on french-folded sheets of Strathmore Japan paper. Original canvas backed boards, paper label on front cover. Ends of spine worn, boards scuffed and soiled, the prints are in excellent condition. The only book of Coburn's illustrated with original prints. OCLC locates only five copies. Coburn arranged for publication of this book by the veteran Los Angeles bookseller, at the time of his exhibition of 50 California photographs at the adjacent Blanchard Gallery. Coburn was an acknowledged master of the gum-platinum print technique, of which he wrote "In the gum-platinum process the first step was to make a platinum print, which could be either in the normal silver grey colour, or toned to a rich brown by the addition of mercury to the developer. The finished print was then coated with a thin layer of gum-bichromate containing pigment of the desired colour. I found Vandyke brown especially suitable owing to its transparency, and by having the underlying platinum print in the grey, a very pleasant two-colour effect was produced. The bichromated print was replaced behind the original negative, great care being taken to get it accurately in register. It was then re-exposed and developed in the usual way. It was in the nature of platinum prints that the shadows were somewhat weak; by superimposing a gum image they were intensified. The whole process added a lustre to the platinum base comparable to the application of varnish, at the same time preserving the delicacy of the highlights in the platinum print." Coburn, p. 18. Of this book Coburn wrote "The patterns of moving clouds and water are never the same from now to all eternity, and these patterns are ever moving to our continual delight. I have made hundreds of photographs of clouds and never tire of them. Once I made a little book illustrating Shelley's Ode 'The Cloud' with six original platinum prints. Only sixty copies were to be printed and even all these were not made. I only know of one surviving copy in addition to my own, so this is doubtless my rarest book!" Alvin Langdon Coburn Photographer. An Autobiography (Dover, 1978), p. 46. John Szarkowski wrote in "Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art" (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1973) "Clouds were a particularly good subject for an artist like Coburn who sought the broad poetic view of things. Granted that no two clouds are the same; nevertheless, their meanings (except to farmers and meteorologists) were sufficiently imprecise and generalized to allow Coburn to use them as abstract visual elements. Coburn used the skies as children and poets use them, and as Leonardo used stained old walls: as an analogue model of imaginary worlds". Bookseller Inventory # 24065

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Cloud. By Percy Bysshe Shelley. With ...

Publisher: C.C. Parker, Los Angeles

Publication Date: 1912

Binding: Hardcover

Illustrator: Coburn, Alvin Langdon

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First edition.

Store Description

Please contact us for additional information. We issue catalogues of literary first editions and modern illustrated books, with occasional and representative selections in other fields. Professional rare book dealer since 1975. Member ABAA. Visit our website:

Visit Seller's Storefront

Association Member Members of these associations are committed to maintaining the highest standards. They vouch for the authenticity of all items offered for sale. They provide expert and detailed descriptions, disclose all significant defects and/or restorations, provide clear and accurate pricing, and operate with fairness and honesty during the purchase experience.
Terms of Sale:

For questions please telephone: 415-292-4698, or e-mail to SALES
be processed through the ABE system. We will not undervalue or falsely declare exported items. Please don't ask. Libraries may be billed. All items are guaranteed to be as
described. Thomas Goldwasser is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America,
International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, Profess...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2 LB, or .8 KG. International shipments valued at greater than $400 or weighing more than 4 lbs. must be sent by Priority Mail. If your book order is heavy or oversized, requires tracking, insurance or recorded delivery. we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required. For questions please telephone: 415-292-4698, or write

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal Invoice Bank Draft Bank/Wire Transfer Direct Debit (Personally Authorized Payment)