New York: Self-published, 1953. First edition. Very Good in side-stitched wrappers as issued. An early collection of Warhol ink line drawings illustrating famous love stories told in poems by Ralph T. Ward ("Corkie"). Warhol had wooed Ward for two years, and the publication of this book, given to their friends and associates, was to celebrate the beginning of their relationship, and, by implication, their status as great lovers. A rare item, and a very important early example of Warhol's printmaking.
This copy was given by Warhol to friends who lived in the same building where Corkie Ward had been living. It is one of the earliest issued, with 24 lithographs, although 25 lithographs were produced for the title. Some known copies include 25, and others still include 24 but were wrapped in a tracing vellum cover and were reportedly still in Warhol's possession at his death. "There are sequence variations within each book and portfolio, as well as cover, text, and image irregularities." [Feldman, Schellman and Defendi, Andy Warhol Prints, IV.27-50 (the omitted print here is IV.43)]
For this book "During a seven-year period, from 1953 through 1959, Andy Warhol self-published a series of portfolios, books, and individual prints. Each work or series was produced as an offset lithograph, in one color...and the size of editions varied.... [For this book] Warhol turned to the work of well-known graphic artists, including Currier and Ives and J. J. Grandville....It is the only one of Warhol's self-published portfolios that does not use the blotted line, and the drawings do not appear traced. Warhol freely interpreted his original sources, selectively eliminating some aspects and adding in others. 'Here is a Man Who was Beguiled' (IV.42) is based on a Currier and Ives lithograph, "The Lovers' Quarrel," 1846...but only the man survives in Warhol's version, and he is paired with the Ward text that tells of 'a man who was beguiled when he was a little child by the author Oscar Wilde' -- a clue as to why he is pictured solo." [De Salvo, "The Genesis of Andy Warhol's Printmaking"]
Original wrappers; 24 offset lithographs, printed in black on a light-blue wove paper, original staples present. Last two leaves detached due to the original staples being a bit too small, slight edge wear and discoloration. In a custom chemise and clamshell box.