James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

JURGEN: A Comedy of Justice

Hall Code
Golden Cockerel Press, Trial Binding (?) 1949


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Full Title:

[all enclosed in a woodcut border of leaves] JURGEN | A Comedy of Justice | by James Branch Cabell | with Wood Engravings by | John Buckland Wright | [woodcut device of a faun playing panpipes] | Printed in England at | The Golden Cockerel Press (see image above).

Copies nos. 1-100, the "Specials", include one extra illustration on the verso of the title page, which is blank in the "Ordinaries".


This edition of Jurgen with sixteen engravings by | John Buckland-Wright has been produced in 1949 by | Christopher Sandford at the Golden Cockerel Press, | London. It is limited to 500 numbered copies, of which | Nos: 1-100 are specially bound and contain one extra | engraving. No: [this copy not numbered or signed].


Royal 8vo [25.5 cm. (10 in.) x 16 cm. (6 ΒΌ in.)], 350 pp. Printed with Caslon Old Face 14 pt type with Vesta titling on mould-made paper. (1) Blank leaf, (2) woodcut frontispiece; (3) title page (see above); (4) extra engraving; 5-6 foreword; 7-349 text; woodcut illustrations facing pp. 21, 39, 65, 81, 101, 121, 141, 167, 183, 215, 235, 257, 301, 331; colophon at p. 350.


Full purple morocco with scarlet inlays by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, gilt decorations on front and rear panels. Top edge gilt, otherwise untrimmed. Five raised bands on spine: JURGEN | gilt device of cockerel (see image above).


Woodcut by John Buckland-Wright of Jurgen's meeting with the black gentleman (see image above).


Cabell dedicated Jurgen to Burton Rascoe with an acrostic verse, but the dedication was not included in this printing.

Dust jacket / Slipcase:

No dust jacket seen, and none noted in any bibliography. The slipcase is plain, unmarked cardboard.


The "sixteen engravings" mentioned in the colophon include the frontispiece, engraved title page recto, and the fourteen illustrations interspersed into the text.

This binding, full purple morocco with scarlet inlays, is not noted in any known bibliography. Photos were provided to The Silver Stallion by its owner, James Freemantle. The colors of the binding are reversed from the issue specials, and this copy is not numbered or signed. Mr. Freemantle has reported that the book came from the archives of the press. Based on the evidence, it seems clear to us that this is previously unreported trial binding. At this juncture, it certainly appears to us that Sandford looked at the bindings in three versions: scarlet with purple inlays (Jur-I1a), full scarlet (*Jur-Iic), and purple with scarlet inlays (this example, *Jur-Id).