Original cover design for Volume III of the Canterbury Tales.
Piggots, High Wycombe: 1930. Pen and ink over graphite on single sheet measuring 5 15/16 by 4 7/8 inches. Signed and dated "7.8.30." Gill depicts the front view of the Wife of Bath astride a horse in this design, which appeared on the upper cover of the third volume of the fifteen-copy vellum edition of The Canterbury Tales, published by the Golden Cockerel Press. This information appears among several manuscript notations around the drawing, most of which instruct the maker of the binding die which details should be solid. Accompanying the drawing is an autograph letter, signed, on Piggots stationery, and bearing the same date as the drawing. Presumably addressed to the bindery, Gill mentions that "if the parts I have suggested to be solid can't be so done then they must simply be outlined or done by cross hatching thus" - and here he inserts another quick sketch of the figure's head with the hair cross-hatched in. As volume III was published in August, 1930, these appear to have been very last minute preparations. Letter and drawing dry-mounted and matted. Item #31925