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Barrack-Room Ballads and Other Verses
Leipzig: Heinemann and Balestier, 1892. pp (xvi) 245. 12mo (4 5/8" x 6 1/4"). A book pf poetry by Kipling, including most famously "Gunga Din" and "Mandalay." FINE BINDING BY ANASTASIA POWER, with her gilt monogram on inside back cover turn-in. Full brown morocco with very attractive gilt decoration front, spine and rear boards. Six raised compartments on spine: one with gilt title; other five with gilt arabesque decoration centering five gilt dots, surrounded by alternating three lobed leaves and dots. Publication date 1892 gilt at tail of spine. Both front and rear boards with a charmingly designed rectangular gilt fillet-edged box containing further three lobed leaves, six-petalled flowers and symmetric arabesques of twining stems centering pattern of five dots, all gilt. Front board with title and author also gilt at head and foot of design, all enclosed with a further fillet gilt edge at outermost edge of boards, along turned in edge, and two lines further upon inner dentelle edges, with book binder Annie Power's monogram left edge inside bottom rear board turn-in: "18AP99." Condition: overall Very Good plus, with some rubbing on raised spine, at head and tail, some gilt slightly worn in same, some evidence of over-enthusiastic leather cleaning to boards but only to leather, not decoration. Inside, age toned as one would expect, else tight and clean. Light grey endpapers. *** Of ANASTASIA (ANNIE) POWER, English bookbinder, was the youngest of nine children of a Whitby,Yorkshire oculist and his wife. Her training in bookbinding was probably an economic necessity given such a large family, but in any case she managed to get to London by the 1880's and trained with Douglas Cockerell as a bookbinder. Traditionally this work was done by men, as the bookbinding guilds did not employ women. She was said to have been much influenced by Cockerell's designs. Famous in his own right as an inventive and artistic binder, Cockerell had been trained by Thomas Cobden-Sanderson, (original bookbinder at the Kelmscott Press) to whose Doves Bindery Cockerell was apprenticed beginning in 1893. Anastasia was either connected to, or a member of, the following: the Guild of Handicraft, formed by C.R. Ashbee, (whose members included William Morris and Holman Hunt); she also bound books for Cobden-Sanderson's Essex House Press sometime after its founding in 1898; The Guild of Women Binders and Hampstead Bindery in London in the period 1898-1904. A nineteen year old Virginia Woolf has been documented as studying bookbinding with Anastasia Power and her friend Sylvia Stebbing in a bindery they shared on Museum Street in London in 1901. (See Tony Bradshaw: Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and the Arts 2010, Chapter 6.) This training would be of use to Woolf when she and her husband Leonard later established the Hogarth Press. While some middle class lady book binders of the day had brief careers, Anastasia Power's work would continue another thirty or so years, well after marriage to painter Gerald Loosely in 1905. Other notable work of hers which has been catalogued into the 1920's. See fig. 126 in Tidcombe Women Bookbinders 1880-1920, black sealskin interlaced with white vellum. The Royal Library at Windsor has another of her later works, a colorful onlaid binding of 1925 for Queen Mary. Interestingly, Annie Power seems to have chosen to use her maiden name professionally, at a time when this was very unusual. One imagines her in the feminist vanguard in Edwardian England; a dedicated professional woman in a traditionally male occupation, taken seriously by her male mentors. What speaks for itself in any case,is this extremely charming early-period book binding here produced by Anastasia Power, signed with a gilt colophon on the inside back cover of her works, seven of which we are privileged to have currently, ranging in date from 1899 to 1905. . Signed in monogram by bookbinder. Hard Cover. Very Good.
      [Bookseller: Dark and Stormy Night Books]
Last Found On: 2017-10-30           Check availability:      Biblio    

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