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The Wedding of Sir Gawain

The Wedding of Sir Gawain

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The Wedding of Sir Gawain

by Madden, Frederick, transcriber; James J. Owens, modern English rendering; Dmitry Sayenko, artist, illustrator

  • Used
  • Fine
  • Hardcover
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Tucson, Arizona, United States
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About This Item

St. Petersburg: Dmitry Sayenko; Nikodim, 2018. Limited edition. Hardcover. Fine. Two volumes, folio. Slipcased. One of 20 copies signed by Owens and Sayenko in the colophon. Prospectus laid in. The volumes are in fine, as new condition; the slipcase has a tiny bump on one corner else is fine.

The main volume, 56pp, hardcover is in full grey linen with a linocut paste-on and brass corners. Tan endpapers. All pages of handmade paper and uncut, replete with linocuts taken directly from the blocks and in multiple colors, with the text letterpress, deeply printed on dampened paper with Baskerville type.

Volume 2 is also folio, and in handmade paper wraps, the upper wrap with a linocut of Gawain and Ragnell taken from the block, and title by letterpress in red. (28)pp. The text is printed offset on ivory machine-made paper and contains the complete Romance as transcribed from the sole manuscript by Frederick Madden and rendered into modern English by James J. Owens, keeping the original cadence and rhyme schemes.

The artist explains the first volume: loose pages in an attic from an old book, some chewed by rats. The owner, realizing they are from the same book, puts them together as best he can, even though some of the pages are artfully torn by the artist to imitate the effects of rats gnawing through paper.

This is the story of Gawain and the Loathly Lady, Dame Ragnell. For Arthur's sake and safety, Gawain wed her, and when he did exactly the right thing, the spell was broken, she shed her ugliness, and became beautiful. The sovereignty of women was the key.

Dmitry Sayenko is a Ukrainian-born printmaker and book artist. His works are in private collections and in special collections in many countries. For this bit of artistry, he cut over 50 blocks, made the paper, printed it with text and illustrations while damp, and bound the books. The deep impression of the illustrations and the text on the handmade paper are superbly satisfying. His renderings of a morose Arthur, a gallant Gawain, a Lady with ugliness to spare, and finally the beauty in the ending: these are a perfect match for the text.



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Thorn Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
The Wedding of Sir Gawain
Madden, Frederick, transcriber; James J. Owens, modern English rendering; Dmitry Sayenko, artist, illustrator
Book Condition
Used - Fine
Quantity Available
Limited edition
Dmitry Sayenko; Nikodim
Place of Publication
St. Petersburg
Date Published
Bookseller catalogs
May be a multi-volume set and require additional postage.

Terms of Sale

Thorn Books

All books returnable for any reason within seven days, providing only that they are received in the same condition as shipped. Shipments to an Arizona address must add appropriate sales tax. Libraries billed.

About the Seller

Thorn Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2003
Tucson, Arizona
Ask Seller a Question

About Thorn Books

Thorn Books offers antiquarian, rare and out-of-print books. Frequently updated catalogues are available online in our specialty areas: King Arthur; Early Britain; Western Americana; California; Literature; and Rare Books. We are open by appointment only. Thorn Books is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers of American (ABAA), the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), and the Independent League of Online Booksellers (IOBA).


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The colophon contains information about a book's publisher, the typesetting, printer, and possibly even includes a printer's...
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
A folio usually indicates a large book size of 15" in height or larger when used in the context of a book description. Further,...
A technique of printing where the inked image or text is ...
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new"...

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