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London: Edward Moxon, 1838. Hardcover. An Exuberant and Spectacular Riot of Decoration,One of the Most Stunning Bindings We've Ever Had. 298 x 216 mm (11 3/4 x 8 1/2"). viii, 274 pp., [1] leaf (ads). VERY STRIKING DARK GREEN MOROCCO, WITH EXTRAORDINARILY ELABORATE GILT AND INLAID DECORATION, FOR THE GUILD OF WOMEN BINDERS (stamp-signed at bottom of front free endleaf), covers with an exceptionally animated and complex design featuring a central stippled cruciform radiating a controlled riot of gilt tooling and more than 600 inlays of red, moss green, gray, and ochre morocco forming flowering vines and geometrical shapes; raised bands, spine panels each decorated with six inlaid flowers and multiple teardrop tools, second panel with gilt titling; AZURE MOROCCO DOUBLURES with attractive Art Nouveau frame featuring delicate gilt tooling and inlaid dark green sidepieces, light green cornerpieces, and orange dot accents, vellum endleaves with tiny gilt heart at each corner, all edges gilt. In a very fine velvet-lined modern dark green morocco folding box. WITH A TOTAL OF 114 ENGRAVED PLATES consisting mainly of 55 images by Turner and Stothard of views and scenes of Italian life, 54 of these with an additional state, being a proof "before letters," along with one proof plate of an engraved tailpiece, and four proofs on India paper. A Large Paper Copy. Occasional faint foxing to margins and to about one-third of the plates, one plate with old repaired two-inch tear to tail edge, but IN AMAZING CONDITION, the text fresh and bright, the margins immense, the plates richly impressed, and THE UNUSUALLY EXUBERANT BINDING ESPECIALLY LUSTROUS AND ENTIRELY UNWORN. This volume offers an extraordinarily appealing combination of luxury printing, beautiful illustration, and ornate binding that is both historically important and absolutely spectacular. Samuel Rogers (1763-1855), scion of a wealthy banking family, achieved fame with the publication of "The Pleasures of Memory" in 1792, and thereafter, his gracious home in Westminster became a gathering place for the poets and artists of the age. His Italian experiences on a tour during which he met Shelley and Byron in Pisa produced a first version of "Italy" in 1822, with a sequel in 1826, both of which sold poorly. Rogers destroyed the unsold copies, revised the poems, and published them at his own expense in 1830, embellished this time with illustrations, the work of two artists of very different propensities--Stothard, who did demure figure scenes, and Turner, who provided misty landscape vignettes. Our copy is a deluxe Large Paper edition of the illustrated version, with the added bonus of proofs of the plates "before letters"--a feature not included in any of the eight copies that have appeared in ABPC since 1975. (For more on the illustrations, see item #157, below.) The chief story here, of course, is the notably effervescent binding. A previous owner's notes at the front indicate that this volume was sold by Sotheby's in 1904 (as part of the liquidation of Guild bindings after the group was officially disbanded) and later sold by the same auction house on 28 May 1923 as part of the library of I. A. Graham, Esq. of Carfin, Carluke, Lanarkshire. The annotator was the purchaser at that sale, paying the considerable sum of £5, 10 shillings. His notes also indicate that the binding was executed by Hélène Cox, mentioned by Tidcombe as one of the women who did ornate inlaid bindings at the Guild workshop, starting in about 1900. This must be one of the most flamboyant Guild bindings ever produced--and one of the most exhilarating bindings of any kind that we have owned--certainly exceeding those included in Maggs Catalogues 1075 and 1212, and equal to the best of Gwladys Edwards' work pictured in Tidcombe. For more on the Guild of Women Binders, see previous and following entries.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    


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