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Maud, And other Poems
London: Edward Moxon, 1855. First edition. Hardcover. Very good condition. A volume of Tennyson poetry in a superb Riviere vanity binding ca. 1899, featuring inlaid mosaic panels designed by Mary G. Houston in Art Nouveau style. The mosaic panels on the front and rear boards with striking image of woman in maroon gown and flower bedecked hat raising her left hand to pluck a flower in a stylized garden. The panels with ruled borders, stamped in gilt with "Maud" at the top, and "Tennyson" at the base, and these in turn with gilt borders of long flowing rose stems and stippled undulating lines. This lovely image is Maud in her garden of roses. Mary Houston, creator of the mosaic panels, worked with the bookbinder Johanna Birkenruth of the Guild of Women Binders. Marianne Tidcombe ('Women Bookbinders 1880-1920'. New Castle, Del: Oak Knoll Press, 1996) notes Houston's work with Birkenruth: "One of the more original modeled leather workers at the turn of the century was Mary G. Houston. She produced her own modeled calf bindings and also modeled panels for bindings by Johanna Birkenruth. A binding by Mary Houston of the Kelmscott Chaucer was shown at the A&CES exhibition in 1899". Recently, the Birkenruth binding with an Art Nouveau modeled plaque by Mary Houston (the Kelmscott Chaucer) was offered at $95,000. The Guild of Women Binders was actually started in the 1890s by male London bookseller and founder of the Hampstead Bindery, Francis Karslake to promote and distribute the work of women bookbinders. Karslake was so impressed by the bindings created by women which he saw at the 1897 Victorian Era Exhibition at Earl's Court that he ran an "Exhibition of Artistic Bookbinding by Women," at his shop. The exhibition garnered such a positive response that Karslake became an agent for established women binders and also began training women in bookbinding. This is the first edition of Maud and includes the first appearance in book form of "The Charge of the Light Brigade", an iconic poem penned in minutes by Tennyson on December 2nd 1854 after reading about the event in 'The Times'. In 1899 the Second Boer War started, creating a renewed interest in nationalistic military pieces. One imagines the start of the war inspired the desire for such an elegant binding on a book from a previous period. The other poems in the volume are The Brook; An Idyl, The Letters, Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington, The Daisy, To the Rev. F. D. Maurice, and Will. 16mo, [8] pp ,154pp, 8pp ads dated July 1855. All edges gilt. Full dark green pebbled morocco with exquisite elaborately stippled and tooled mosaic design on both covers. Spine with gilt rose and stem pattern and gilt lettering, five raised bands, two panels with lettering, the others with the gilt rose design, the date 1855 at the base. NCBEL III 415. Tinker 2080. OCLC: 458229928.
      [Bookseller: Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints]
Last Found On: 2017-09-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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