A Magnificent Book
English Bindings 1490 - 1940 in the Library of J.R. Abbey.
Edited by G.D. Hobson. 130 fine reproductions (12 in gold & color) & 46 facsimiles in the text. Title printed in red, black, & gold. Large thick 4to, orig. cloth (endpapers foxed as always), red morocco lettering piece on spine, t.e.g. London: Privately Printed at the Chiswick Press, 1940.
Limited to 180 numbered copies, signed by Major Abbey and G.D. Hobson. This sumptuously produced catalogue, the only authoritative survey of the history of bookbinding in the British Isles, is especially valuable on account of the wealth of fresh information given in the detailed descriptions of a magnificent series of specimens, representative of the various styles and periods. With twelve appendices and four indices.
Very nice copy. Presentation copy, inscribed by Major Abbey to John Sparrow, Warden of All Souls College, Oxford, dated March 1954, with Sparrow’s bookplate.
❧ Breslauer, The Uses of Bookbinding Literature, p. 28–“Hobson’s method was to make lists of bindings which had the same tools in common; if the binder of one or several was known, he could attribute the others to him; if the workshop was not known, he baptized it with a sobriquet, such as ‘Queens’ Binder’; all this required an immense amount of historical and archival research, the examination of the holdings of permanent libraries and private collections, and of the illustrations in books on bindings and auction and booksellers’ catalogues.”.
Item ID: 5227