MR. OWEN JONES'S BOOKS.
We perceive by a catalogue which has been sent to 173, that the remainders of the illustrated and illuminated books of Mr. Owen Jones are about to be sold by auction ; the sale to take place on Monday, under the hammer of Mr. Hodgson, 192 Fleet Street. Mr, Jones is a man who deserves well of the world of art : he has introduced to the English public D'Agincourt's great work, the History of Art by its monuments, from its decline in the fourth century to its restoration in the sixteenth ; has familiarized us, partly through laborious researches of his own in 1834 and 1837, with the architecture and details of the Alhambra, published with a wealth of illustration and decorative appliance; and has greatly advanced, if not created, a new and fine method of pictorial design. Of this the first specimen was his "Flowers and their Kindred Thoughts" ; followed by "Fruit from the Garden and the Field," and "Winged Thoughts,"— the last produced in 1850; and, in more direct resemblance to the illuminations of the middle ages, Gray's Elegy, the Preacher, the Song of Songs, and the Solemnization of Matrimony. All these, and other works with some of which Mr. Jones does not appear to have been personally concerned, will enter into Monday's sale, "and make a sunshine in the shady place?' The enterprise of the artist in undertaking works of such cost—the " Alhambra " alone selling at 361. Ns. and 244—is something to be remembered ; nor may it be amiss to recall the name of his able coadjutor, Mr. Bateman, now in Australia. Other services of Mr. Jones are known still more widely,—the superintendence of various art-courts at the Sydenham Palace, the practical triumph of his principles of decoration realised in the Alhambra Court, as also in the chromatic system of Sir Joseph Paxton's original building, and the knowledge vivified by enthusiasm which distinguishes his part in the Guide-books.
Now that illumination, auspice Ruskin, is again on the tapis, the illuminated works of Mr. Owen Jones deserve particular study ; more, however, as developing matured principles of colour than for invention. The object is to get the new illumination as discursive and individual as the medieval: for which the somewhat restricted and traditional materiel of Mr. Jones does not suffice, while, of course, the mechanical means of multiplication whereby his book becomes an edition are beyond the scope of the attempt.