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London, 1910. Colophon signed by the scribe/illuminator and with the statement that the manuscript "was designed, written out, and illuminated by Alberto Sangorski" and that it "will not be duplicated.. Hardcover. 213 x 159 mm (8 3/8 x 6 1/4"). [16] leaves of text, plus two vellum leaves at the front and two at the back. Colophon signed by the scribe/illuminator and with the statement that the manuscript "was designed, written out, and illuminated by Alberto Sangorski" and that it "will not be duplicated." SUMPTUOUS DARK BLUE CRUSHED MOROCCO, RICHLY INLAID AND GILT, BY RIVIERE & SON (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with ornate frame of dark red morocco strapwork, its corner medallions and sidepieces heavily stippled with gilt and inlaid with sprays of purple fritallaria blossoms and green leaves, a keystone-shaped compartment of green morocco laid in at head and containing two interlaced "W's" inlaid in tan and green superimposed on a heart of stippled gilt, corresponding compartment at foot of frame with inlaid frittilaria on a stippled ground, at center of each board a large undecorated oval enclosed by irregularly shaped panels diapered in gilt and tooled with repeating fleuron; raised bands, spine compartments outlined in red morocco and with an inlaid frittilaria sprig on stippled gilt, turn-ins of red and green morocco featuring twining acanthus leaves set against a densely stippled ground, crimson watered silk endleaves, all edges gilt. In the apparently original very well-preserved silk-lined and padded box of black straight-grain morocco with two brass snap closures. Titles in red, title page with a foliate frame in green, blue, pink and burnished gold, accented with ornate penwork and gold bezants and with a large (60 x 45 mm.) initial "S"in two shades of blue on an olive drab background, the curves filled with swirling leafy vines in green, purple, and pink; eight two- to three-line initials in blue, red, or green penwork, often with lacy extensions, five two- to three-line initials and 15 five- to seven-line initials in colors and gold, most of these with decorative descenders or ornamental penwork, two pages with lovely half borders in colors and burnished gold, six pages with similarly composed three-quarter borders, two pages with full borders, and FOUR FINE MINIATURES DEPICTING QUIET RURAL SCENES FROM THE POEMS. With original silk guards. Ratcliffe 8; Boyle Sale, Lot #383. A CHOICE COPY, IN SPARKLING CONDITION INSIDE AND OUT. This is a shimmering example of early 20th century handcrafted book art, a beautifully bound, very attractive modern illuminated manuscript dating from the period after its scribe and illuminator Alberto Sangorski (1862-1932) began to work for Riviere. A Polish émigré, Alberto started his professional life as secretary to a goldsmith's firm, became attracted to the book arts at the age of 43, and began doing illuminated manuscripts that were then bound by his brother Francis' firm, Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Sometime around 1910, Alberto and Francis had a falling out, and the artist went to work for the rival bindery. In the early part of the 20th century, an intense rivalry between Riviere and Sangorski developed, and the two began putting out intricately decorated bindings described by Nixon as having as their main aim the putting of "so much gold and color on the cover that the hue of the original leather could no longer be determined." The present binding--while beautiful and animated--is much more tasteful, subtle, and restrained than the Nixon characterization would suggest. Ratcliffe estimates that of these special bindings "no more than 300 were ever produced," and given the labor-intensive process required, this small number is not surprising. Our volume was sold as lot #383 in the 1923 sale of the distinguished library of Phoebe A. D. Boyle, a collection Ratcliffe describes as "unrivalled" for its jewelled bindings and modern illuminated manuscripts. Any book from the Boyle collection, which was put together with the greatest taste and discrimination, is universally recognized as desirable beyond its intrinsic merit. The three Wordsworth poems selected here are "The Kitten and the Falling Leaves," "To the Cuckoo," and "The Two April Mornings." The decoration and miniatures are up to the usual very high standards of Alberto Sangorski illuminated manuscripts: all of the miniatures are painted with great delicacy, and three of the four have especially soft colors that are particularly effective at transporting the viewer into convincing, atmospheric scenes of bucolic tranquility (the fourth one shows a dark woods and is attractive in a different way).
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2013-11-29           Check availability:      Biblio    


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