"May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books." -Thomas Carlyle
Welcome to my virtual book collection. Since collecting actual books is somewhat cost-prohibitive, I've begun to amass all of the books I would love to have if I had the means. Some are new, lots are old, all are unique or beautiful or unusual or in some other way have captured my fancy. Enjoy browsing!
Special Collections: Fine Bindings ~ Fairies and Fairy Tales ~ Terror and Madness ~ Poetry ~ Food, Drink and Apothecary ~ Science Fiction ~ Illuminations, Lettering and Hand-Coloring ~ Magic ~ Supernatural and Occult ~ Alchemy ~ Science and Technical ~ Maritime ~ Costumes ~ Humor ~ Children's books ~ Legend of King Arthur ~ Americana ~ 18th Century ~ 19th Century Authors and illustrators: Edgar Allan Poe ~ Jules Verne ~ Edmund Dulac ~ Kay Nielsen ~ Arthur Rackham ~ Edward Gorey ~ Charles Dickens ~ H.P. Lovecraft ~ William Hope Hodgson ~ Mark Twain ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Salvador Dali ~ George Cruikshank ~ Emily Dickinson ~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~ H.G. Wells
The Pilgrim Fathers: A Journal of their coming in the Mayflower to New England and their Life and Adventures there
Theodore Besterman, editor. Inlaid Cartographic Binding by Denise Lubett. Golden Cockerel Press, 1939.
8 wood-engraved illustrations by Geoffrey Eales. 8vo, gray-green morocco with tan morocco onlays forming a map of Massachusetts Bay, by Lubett, with her monogram stamp on rear lower turn-in; contents clean; 1/4 morocco folding case, spine darkened. number 65 of 300 copies.
ca. late 17th - early 18th century
Notebook, containing 12 waxed vellum writing-tables, and front free endpaper, all with genealogical ink inscriptions, mostly relating to the Keilway family of Wooton River, Wiltshire (recording births, marriages and deaths from 1640s to 1720s), embroidered binding of white satin over boards, the covers with overall floral design in silver wire, similar design on spine, g.e., metal hasps and clasps.
The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens. Binding by Riviere & Sons. London, Bombay, & Sydney: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., (1930)
16 color plates reproducing paintings by C. E. Brock. Half-title. Large 8vo, navy morocco richly gilt by Riviere & Son with large pictorial panel of multi-colored morocco onlays on front cover after the illustration facing page 134 (” ‘Take this little villain away,’ said the agonised Mr. Pickwick”), and centerpiece of wreath enclosing bust portrait of Dickens on rear cover.
Vollstandiges Marburger Gesang-Buch
Martin Luther. Heinrich Ludwig Brönner, 1800
An example of a painted and tooled vellum binding known in Germany as a “Bauern Einbände,” or “Peasant Binding” — but, though betraying a strong influence of folk art, such bindings were certainly not for peasants! The style almost certainly began in Hungary with early examples first appearing in southern Germany, and it was to gain greatest favor in northern Germany and Holland during the 18th century.
The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, & Fields, 1850.
First Edition. Binding: Full red crushed morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe (signed on the lower front turn-in). Round spine, five raised bands, front cover with a black shield bearing ascarlet “A” outlined in g(u)ilt, the shield surrounded by a gilt wreath. Gilt double-rule on board edges and gilt inner dentelles. Top edge gilt.
Octave Uzanne. Binding by Pawson & Nicholson. Paris: A. Quantin, 1882 .
Engraved illustrations and borders tinted blue, brown, rose, green or black by Paul Avril. 4to, full brown morocco with ornamented gilt panels, raised bands, inner dentelles, and all edges gilt, by Pawson & Nicholson of Philadelphia.
The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Henry Frowde, 1908
Frontispiece portrait, purple levant morocco gilt by Cedric Chivers of Bath (signed inside lower cover), upper cover with inset watercolour of a woman playing a harp and irises on a “Vellucent” panel with a border of mother-of-pearl inlays, g.e., 8vo,
A Weed Among the Flowers
Number 100 of 330 copies signed by the author and Sir Stephen Spender, frontispiece, silk-covered green cloth, housed in silk-covered green folding case with clasp, 1990, first editions,8vo and 16mo (5)
The Faerie Queene, vol. one and 2 only
Mixed edition, edited by Thomas J. Wise, illustrations and decorations by Walter Crane, crushed blue morocco gilt by Cedric Chivers of Bath, the first with inset “Vellucent” panel depicting St. George holding a lance and sword (of mother-of-pearl) on upper cover, the second with all-over design of English roses in red morocco onlays and gilt, both t.e.g., preserved in drop-back boxes.
The Complete Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson
Red levant morocco gilt by Cedric Chivers of Bath, with gilt-blocked “Art Nouveau” decoration on upper cover and spine, the upper cover with inset “Vellucent” panel with watercolour design of Sir Galahad on horseback holding a jousting lance, g.e., 8vo, ; together with another edition of Tennyson (1898) in a “Vellucent” binding by Chivers, with decorations in gilt and watercolour (2)
TRIAL BINDING - ROYALTY
A magnificient “trial binding” by Cedric Chivers of Bath, blue crushed morocco, elaborately gilt-tooled, the upper cover with a wide outer border of foliage and English roses in gilt and red and green morocco onlays enclosing a large central panel of “Vellucent” with the Royal Arms, the panel surmounted with the monogram of Queen Elizabeth II, gilt dentelles with roses in red morocco onlays, folio (415 x 310mm.), [1950s]
B-A Note: I came across a bunch of Cedric Chivers bindings recently. Which will explain why there will suddenly and briefly be a lot of them showing up here. Gorgeous work!
The Complete Miss Marple
Agatha Christie. Harper Collins, 2009.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, foreword by Kate Mosse, colour pictorial endpapers (a map of St. Mary Mead), publisher’s red leather blocked in gilt on upper cover and spine, by Cedric Chivers, in original velvetine-lined wooden carrying case, 8vo,
Measuring over a foot in height, with 4032 pages and housed in a purpose-made wooden carry case, an extraordinary - perhaps absurd - volume, with all the Miss Marple novels and short stories presented in the order in which they were written and published.
B-A Note: Fantastic presentation! I would love to own this.
Collection of fine Art Nouveau Bindings
MOORE (THOMAS) Lalla Rookh: An Oriental Romance, 1861—PALMER (WILLIAM T.) The English Lakes, 1908—WORDSWORTH (WILLIAM) The Poetical Works, [c.1900]—ROBERTSON (ERIC) Wordsworthshire. An Introduction to a Poet’s Country, 1911—The Queen’s Gift Book, [c.1918], early twentieth century morocco gilt, elaborate all-over “Art Nouveau” design of coloured morocco onlays and gilt on upper covers and spines, gilt dentelles, second mentioned with decorative doublures
The Mansions of England in the Olden Time
Joseph Nash, 1874.
First-Fourth Series bound in 1 vol., 4 additional pictorial titles and 100 plates, all tinted lithographs, additional title to First Series and letterpress general title both trimmed and mounted on blank leaves, some light foxing, handsome original black morocco over thick bevelled boards with elaborately gilt inlaid red morocco borders, by Sotheran & Co.
El nuevo Robinson
CAMPE, (Johann Heinrich). Paris, Garnier Hermanos, 1858. 8vo. Original richly blindstamped and coloured cloth, g.e. Wood-engraved frontispiece, 13 full-page wood-engraved plates
Catalan translation of Robinson der Jüngere, the German adaptation for use of children of Defoe’s Robinson by Joachim Heinrich Campe (1746-1818), enlightened pedagogue and director of the Philanthropinum at Dessau in Germany.