Night Fall in the Ti-Tree
Large octavo, presentation inscription, some slight foxing as not uncommon with this work; bound in Japanese style, a near fine presentation copy in original silk-tied printed wrappers.
Imprinted by hand at the Sign of the Rabbit,
Presentation copy, inscribed by Teague “All good wishes to Mr Mann, Master Craftsman – and this book of woodcuts from grateful Trawalla, Christmas 1927, VT.”
The earliest example of colour woodblock prints made in Australia, this beautiful livre d'artiste features simple verses illustrated with Japanese-style woodblocks. Each copy was not only designed and printed by the two artists, but was also hand-bound. The illustrations in Night Fall in the Ti-Tree were strongly influenced by Japanese art and the sinuous line of Art Nouveau. Australian eucalypts and ti-trees, with their long elegant lines, lent themselves well to the new style.
Inscribed by the artist Violet Teague on the initial page [page one] ‘All good wishes to Mr. Mann, Master craftsman - & this book of wood cuts from grateful Trawalla VT Christmas 1927’. Trawalla, close to Ballarat, was Teague’s home town, and Mr. Mann may be a reference to Tom Mann the English socialist and friend of James Scullin, the Australian Prime Minister, born and brought up in Trawalla.
The text of the verses, Japanese in influence, is accompanied by wonderful woodblock illustrations, Japanese in style. These are considered to be the earliest Australian examples of the Japanese colour woodblock print technique. Violet Teague was born and brought up in Melbourne before travelling abroad to study in Europe. She returned to Melbourne in the late eighteen-nineties to study at the University there. Her reputation as an artist grew during this period, as did her interest in Japanese forms of art. It was in 1905 that her experimentation with Japanese woodblock techniques led to use of that medium for the illustrations in ‘Night Fall in the Ti-Tree,’ and later still to lectures in that technique for the Victorian Arts and Crafts Society. (Item ID: 1363)