In 1930, Curwen Press published an edition of William Shakespeare's King Lear with illustrations by artist John Yunge-Bateman. Yunge-Bateman's black-and-white interpretation of the play is quite striking — and oddly heavy on the thong underwear.

These images come from a copy of the Curwen Press that is currently up for auction on eBay (via feuilleton). The seller notes that Yunge-Bateman is working here very much in the style of tradition of Aubrey Beardsley, blending the erotic and grotesque in black ink. Like Beardsley, Yunge-Bateman clearly draws on Japanese woodblock prints, blending various art styles to create his lush, busy costumes and to convey the play's madness.

RARE: LIMITED ED Shakespeare KING LEAR Art Nouveau [eBay via feuilleton]