Signed Woodblock Color Print (Mr. Bumble)

REED, Philip G. (1908-89)

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Signed woodblock color print, 14" X 17¼" (image 8" X 11"), n.p., n.y. Near fine. This Chicago area graphic artist and book illustrator was an award-winning and innovative printer and designer. Reed developed an intricate wood engraving technique that utilized multiple blocks to produce superbly-defined color prints -- a technique that one eulogist described as "a very uneconomical way to print, but you got much sharper, much clearer results." The many books he illustrated include Dickens' "A Christmas Carol in Prose" (1940), James Thurber's "Many Moons" (1958), "Mother Goose and Nursery Rhymes" (1963) and "The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor" (1939), among others. The colored woodblock print offered here depicts Mr. Bumble, the beadle of the parish that operates a workhouse in Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" -- an obese older gentleman standing full-length with legs apart, dressed in typical 19th century garb: Tight breeches and knee-height boots, loud checkered vest and scarf about the neck, open greatcoat, broad-brimmed hat. He holds his left arm behind his back and in his right hand he holds out a long-stemmed clay pipe at whose curl of smoke he gazes warily. Beautifully colored in green, yellow, blue, tan, pink and flesh hues. At lower right of the image area, Reed signs boldly in pencil in his handsome calligraphic hand. This print was likely a separate printing on larger stock of one of Reed's book illustrations; as there is no printed bibliographic data, it's likely Reed produced these in his Park Ridge studio for private distribution. Bookseller Inventory #

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Title: Signed Woodblock Color Print (Mr. Bumble)

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