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Sale 2514 Lot 17
FREDERICK WILLIAM ROLFE "Baron Corvo." (1860-1913)
In His Own Image.
8vo, original gilt-lettered grey cloth, worn; several pencil annotations and underlinings in the text by Nicholson. [Woolf A4]. London: John Lane, 1901.extra-illustrated copy owned by j. g. nicholson, Uranian poet and friend of Rolfe, with 9 photographs of boys by Rolfe (6 gelatin silver prints, 3 cyanotypes) all mounted and captioned in ink by Nicholson, 2 signed "Corvo" on the image, original ink drawing on front paste-down.
Estimate $5,000 - 7,500
j. g. nicholson's extra-illustrated copy with nine photographs of boys, an original drawing, and a manuscript greek poem by corvo. In His Own Image comprises thirty-two extraordinary tales relating to the character Toto. Corvo's nine photographs depict both clothed and naked young men, their inked captions identifying them in reference to characters in the book: "Ercole" (3, "a lusty bronze Roman with the visage of Iuvenis Octavianus"), "Guido" (2, "Toto's very delicately slim and agile little brother of thirteen years, with the most beautiful white to his eyes"), "Toto" (the main hero of the stories), "Desiderio" ("stirred in his sleep upon the lawn"), and "Vittorio" ("my pure Greek, the strong magnificent violet-shadowed... model fit for Andrea Mantegna"). The final image shows an unidentified naked youth in a turban, holding a bowl, which was used for Gleeson White's article on "The Nude in Art" published in The Studio in 1893. A slim 38-line manuscript note by Rolfe containing several quotations from the works of Meleager of Gadaranote for Dionysios is tipped to the rear pastedown. Mounted to the front pastedown is an ink sketch signed "Corvo" as a seated nude (6 1/4x4 1/4 inches, 16x11 cm) based roughly on his photograph of Ercole, and titled in Rolfe's hand "E libris Johannis Gambril Nicholson, Jan. MCMIIII". A wonderful and important association copy between two friends and sensualists.