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Finding Aid for the Charles Ricketts Collection 1888-1931
Ricketts Collection  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Charles Ricketts Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1888-1931
    Collection number: Ricketts Collection
    Creator: Ricketts, Charles S., 1866-1931
    Extent: 54 items ()approximately 6 linear feet
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: This collection contains visual material created by Charles Ricketts, an English printer and artist active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
    Physical location: Clark Library
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Clark Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Charles Ricketts Collection, Ricketts Collection, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection originated in accessions MS.1961.008, MS.1963.009, MS.1965.003, MS.1968.009, MS.1968.010, MS.1969.001. Any items without an accession number stated in the record are from unknown sources.

    Processing History

    Processed by Katie Duvall, October 2010


    Charles de Sousy Ricketts was born on October 2, 1866 in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1882, at the age of sixteen, he met his lifelong partner, artist and lithographer, Charles Haslewood Shannon.
    The two lived in London, where together they founded an occasional art journal, The Dial (1889-1897) and designed and illustrated books, including Daphnis and Chloe (1893) and Hero and Leander (1894). During this period Ricketts also worked for commercial publishers designing books, including an edition of Oscar Wilde's The Sphinx (1895).
    In partnership with wealthy lawyer William Llewellyn Hacon, Ricketts and Shannon ran their own imprint, called the Vale Press, from 1896-1904. The Vale Press published over eighty volumes.
    After the Vale Press closed, Ricketts focused his energies on painting, sculpture and theater design. He was also a great connoisseur of art and, with Shannon, developed an extensive personal collection of drawings, paintings, prints and antiquities. This connoisseurship led to a position as the acting art adviser to the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa from 1924-1931.
    In 1929, Shannon's brain was damaged in a fall and parts of their art collection had to be sold to pay for Shannon's care. The financial and emotional strain of Shannon's condition contributed to Rickett's death on October 7, 1931 at his home in London.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains visual material created by Charles Ricketts, an English printer and artist active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This collection includes artwork, costume designs and book designs. Also included are a substantial number of trial proofs of wood engravings created by Ricketts and Charles Haslewood Shannon for their publication of Daphnis and Chloe.
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Theater Design, 1909-1916. 7 items
    • Series 2. Artwork/ Illustration, 1888-1931. 6 items
    • Series 3. Book Design, 1892-1894. 5 items
    • Series 4. Vale Publications, 1893. 32 items, 2 boxes
    • Series 5. Miscellaneous Material Relating to Charles Ricketts. 2 items

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Vale Press
    McCarthy, Lila Emma, 1875-1960
    Shannon, Charles Haslewood 1863-1937
    Sperisen, Albert, 1908-1999
    Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900

    Genres and Forms

    Book design
    Costume design
    Drawings (visual works)
    Woodcuts (prints)