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BoUMD By Zaehnsdorf.
THEIR DESIGN AND
ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND
and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty
Modern English Binding
Modern French Binding
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Bound by Zaehnsdorf — Frontispiece I. .
Bound by the Oxford University .viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS AT PAGS PLATE XIV.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PLATE IX .
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PLATE .
. E. as .MODERN ENGLISH BINDING ERRATUM For For " Morell " Reviere " read " Riviere " in List of Illustrations " read " Morrell " throughout The address of the not Corner. Oxford University Press is still Amen St.C. Dunstan's House. and stated on page 35. Fetter Lane.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PLATE .
MODERN ENGLISH BINDING .
To those who their prevailing remember vividly the roundings of the early Victorian sur- home and . country rectories and suburban catered for by the enterprising tradesman on the monthly hire system. No longer con- fined to the houses of the rich or of those profess the cult of aesthetics.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING Within the last iive-and-twenty years there has been a marked revival in every de- partment of applied accessories art. The efforts influence of in all William Morris. has some time only recognized by the now spread who in to all classes. whose of house the decoration were for few. it is to be found with more or less of travesty villas.
that may new almost be said to have died out for lack of appreciation. in jewellery and in combination with wrought metal may be mentioned as an instance of the inlaying of cabinet work this.' sent condition of the artistic crafts and the promise they present of future development on a sound basis. all has suffered a sea In any examination of the prechange. Some industries too. : Nothing remains the ' same bedroom to kitchen. commonest gone to objects of daily The thought that finds expression salt-cellars in decoration has and buttons as well as to carpets.4 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING the ugliness. cabinets and books. have been revived on lines and taken up by the public with enthusiastic approval. ivory and pearl. from one cannot fail to observe that the effort to promote taste has penetrated to the use. from wall-paper to coal-box. but with pewter. The spell of con- . The use of enamel. complete change which has taken place has hardly yet ceased to be a source of wonder. as well as not only with coloured woods.
and proposed these draw . type and its massing on the page. In no sphere has there been a more hitherto cir- striking departure from the cumscribed lines of ornamentation than in everything that relates to books and their decorative treatment. restrained when but by genuine has given in in many cases excellent results cases the majority of the sole achievement has been an eccentricity that shows few signs of a realization of what is needed in applied art and of the laws that should govern it. both as a part of the text and outside the materials and enrichment of the cover — all have alike undergone fundamental reIt is. the imagination of the craftsman has found reUef in flying to the furthest distance till from models that were This freedom. artistic feeling. Paper and ink. recently his only guide.. consideration. however. MODERN ENGLISH BINDING 6 vention once broken. with bindings and not with the other features of book production that it is we in are now concerned pages to . illustration it.
Cobden- Sanderson when he started as an amateur. There has been of Mr. which. and interested It is now more than twenty years since the movement spoken of began to include bookbinding. followed by an imitation in many quarters. to say the least of subtle also it. the later influence Douglas Cockerell —a result of his strenuous craft teaching as well as of the work of his own hands —and the tardy acknowledgment of professional binders that the interest of the amateur has been productive of good even from the narrow standpoint of their class. is not the most form of flatter}^. though there formalism had a this Nor has France escaped stronger hold even than with us. inasmuch as the traditions 'of what in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had really been .6 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING what is attention to being done in England and France increasing in a field of work that has an number of recruits and a growing public. During that time there has been noted the trade opposition to Mr. wave of innovation.
the subject and their efforts to create a national taste in They show a ready acknowis ledgment of what being done outside their own country.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING more of a in the fine art 7 than a craft were rooted all country with pride the firmness that Finally. may mark the growing enthusiasm of our in American neighbours fine bindings. That an increasing number of people appreciate the problem of designing book covers may be judged from the fact that of late years nearly every illustrated paper has had an occasional article on one or another binder anxious to attract the public to the originality of his work. and a willingness to recognize that work directed by the artistic rather than the commercial spirit must be paid for according to a standard difibrent to that of the ordinary tradesman. and then pass in review those who are now . one national could give. this appreciation. Assuming we will touch briefly on its revitalization the craft in England before during the last quarter of a century.
too. the amount has so much increased of late that it is impossible to give examples of much that equally deserves representation with what has been selected. many binders doing excel- lent and conscientious work. on lines far more valuable than that of pattern making. France. But in the reign . for it is only work that is striving after an effect of ornament Of this. that is capable of illustration. must remain unnoticed. Before that period the heavier covers had been decorated with stamps often of a very beautiful kind and impressed upon the leather without gold. and France but in this very brief review of English binding before we need not start further back than the time when gilt tooling was brought from 1850. For a true understanding effort it is of modern necessary to realize that the is art history of binding especially in Italy an important one.8 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING its occupied with are trj^ing to decorative side and who tional remove it from the tradigrooves in which it lay for so long. Unfortunately. .
being found among number of books imported from abroad at that time. bookbinder to the King. Though the elaborate filigree work on his books ' ' . the King's printer. as. the time of the Restora- when Samuel Mearne. Throughout the reigns of a glance at the the Stuarts. inaugurated what is known as the cottage form of decoration. Later on. as books exhibited to the public in the British Museum server. for example.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING of Henry VIII.. in the books bound for Thomas Wotton in imitation of Grolier. 9 Thomas Berthelet. the influence of the latter country is seen. first executed gold-tooled bindings. when Italian binding as a fine art had been merged in that of France. the the models. said to show to the most casual obNor had we a binder who can be have shown any tendency towards will till a native style tion. one of the most famous collectors of any age or country. English binding continues to show French influence. the designs on which were frankly adopted from large those that prevailed in Italy. no doubt.
dis- A this style. poor in themselves. and were found both charming and eflective a notwithstanding somewhat rough and hasty workmanship. are often combined with great skill and sense of eftect. though with a dotted in- stead of a solid line. chiefly on the Bibles and Prayer-Books of the time. these there is In a certain amount of rough in inlay.10 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING reminds one that Le Gascon exercised an important influence. These ornaments. either in the form of a panel or that of tulips and other conventional flowers outlined in gold. which form the main part of the decoration. the form of the orna- ments and their arrangement remain development of tinctly EugUsh. to the time of Roger Payne there names associated with any bindings . An imusual number of such books were collected at the time of the Exhibition of Bindings at the Burlington Fine Arts Club. equally native in character. From the reign of James are no ii. little may be found a later. during the first part of the eighteenth century.
So in- he spired no following. who effected a genuine revival of bookbinding somewhere about 1770. however. skilled binders will Any * ' one of the or a do you a ' Roger Payne ' as he will do you a it Grolier Le Gascon ' . but will be a reproduction of the real Roger's work. that. notwithstanding his originality. Of Roger Payne. it is not necessary to say much. nexion with his work has never lent One point is. is worth mentioning. and that itself to that his style that modification in imitation which enables any artist to become the founder of a school. and the details of his eccentric life have been so often recorded that the reader must be more in con- than weary of them. though his imitators . with the exact details and precise arrangement of them that are to be found on his authentic bindings. His style is well known to all book-lovers. 11 and with the passing of the design reached its prevaiKng fashion of ornament on the books just described. I think.' MODERN ENGLISH BINDING of importance . lowest point towards the end of the century.
followed Lewis and Frances Bedford. art which it is proposed to One must say attempted. originality Cobden-Sanderson attempted to do for the binding of books what William Morris had already done for the other decorative arts. definite criticism is not an object. by Kobert Riviere and Joseph Zaehnsdorf. because success by no means always results. In this review. though the difficulties attendant on their eiForts naturally come up for consideration and necessarily involve some expression of opinion. of modern binders. and which was not seen again until Mr. but they can lay no claim to an which disappeared with Payne. Both Zaehnsdorf and Riviere left repre- . however. especially early part of the last Bedford . did much good work in the Charles century. It is the result of this revived interest in handicrafts and the attempted application to binding of the more vital principles of illustrate here.12 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING have been perhaps more numerous than those of any other binder.
From the small establishments in which both houses originated there has developed in each case an important business in which an exceedingly large number of books are bound for the export as well as the retail trade.' It now as it has always been that the craftsman must work speed in his who is also an artist own way and at his own French —a fact well realized in the workshops. Percy and Mr. " Lethaby so aptly describes department remains as true as 'a " quality in a " quantity " business. So we find a certain number of the more intelligent and skilful men employed only upon the best work. the former a son. In a bindery of this nature there would not be time for the serious consideration of artistic problems unless it contained what Mr. Arthur Calkin. which are altogether outside the rush and pressure of commercial in each of these houses life. and engaged either in carrying out designs which they certain make up themselves from . Mr. and the latter two nephews.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING 13 sentatives to carry on their work.
Mr. and have given up in . so long the education of the workman is so lamentably defective on the side of taste as it is. others hold that his feeling good and appropriate can only be cultivated by encouraging him to the interest and responsibility of planning what is what he is going to execute.' Some as consider that it is impossible. though limited output results to need not exist for those having a comparatively —whether produces better keep a trained designer. Other houses have tried the pracdrawings made by the general it tice of getting decorative artist. Calkin has long kept a designer entirely occupied on the decorated work that many of his clients demand. troduces the question —which it is a practical it one for the large employer. or to into give the pattern-making the ' hands of the more artistically disposed finishers. to expect him to plan book covers above the ordinary level of presents and school prizes for .14 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING made This for in- recognised types or which are them by more practised designers.
6. Bound by Morell. .
and the individual 'tools. for the tools must not be too large. or they cannot be worked with sureness of result.' we will briefly describe Finishing tools are stamps of metal in what it consists. Fresh gold may have to be applied and the pattern reworked . on the leather sufiicient to be seen through the cality of ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' gold leaf when this is applied ready for the next operation. or the single tools may have only the elements of a pattern that needs to be built up. applied with a camel-hair brush. left egg- The cover is now damped with water and the impressions by the tools pencilled over with a preparation of white of known is as glaire. is then placed on the book and slightly attached with paste The tools are next gently heated and reat each corner. The design is composed of these tools in combination with The drawing is first made gouges which are curved lines. When is this sufficiently dry. are reworked in the impressions seen faintly beneath the gold. and the shanks of which Such patterns can be complete are held in wooden handles. that have a pattern cut on the face. worked on the drawing. 15 disgust at the unpractical character of the And hand it is true that it takes time and patience to train one ac- customed to a free in invention to a realization of the limitations necessitated by the use of rigid stamps and the comparatively small number of them that can be employed on a binding/ * Ask any professed For the benefit of those who are interested in the techniwhat is known as tooling.' as it is called. accurately on paper by means of blackening the tools in a This paper candle or lightly impressing them on an ink-pad. but not too dry. the gold leaf put on. in themselves.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING results obtained.' taken at just the right heat. leaving an impression in blind.
that there are no freeever. firstly. : . howsmall ones have been omitted. whose large busiis ness all entirely a wholesale one. will attractive in be either impossible of execution or give the results. much less one that has any organic meaning. supplies the booksellers with bindings designed his by men and remarkable for their variety any reason These are. though many It will be seen at once. He must know what to leave out as well as what to put in if there is inlaying. in its own Messrs. that to be a good finisher a workman should know something of drawing. where any firm happens to possess workmen of the required taste and abilitj^. most disappointing Naturally. special character of the book. and you will get something which. he must have a sense of colour-harmony and contrast. though it may be satisfactory and itself. nor to select one that is unsuitable to the several times if the tools are solid or the leather for presents special difficulties. from this brief account hand possibilities about the operation and secondly. roughly speaking. for he cannot make a correct pattern. unless he understands how to combine small tools with taste and judgment. . Morell. the processes necessary to the working of a design. and he must understand enough of styles not to mix up those of diflferent periods. . they should be encouraged to application to their the utmost to give effect to their sense of drawing trade.16 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING pattern maker to make you a device for a book cover.
which he did under the old system of apprenticeship. and in this way the prevented. is extent of their range can be noted by the employer and undue repetition Another improvethat designs are not ment on the past now is multiplied as they used to be —that A to say.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING and merit. It is 17 too early to speak of the influence of the technical schools upon the output of the large workshops. but it is difficult to see. who are ever adverse to any alteration technical schools. without some experiments of the kind. is specially planned cover * not repeated or be noted. it .^ workman is is a serious confor binders It customary now to keep a record of their more special work. B . it can easily be imagined that the training of the sideration. that it is well that there should be some influences brought to bear upon him in the earlier stages of his career make for appreciative insight into the meaning of his wurk and cultivate his taste in its more artistic possibilities. with the exceptions perhaps of the Borough Polytechnic. are not looked on with favour by the trade. Now that Trades Unions have a tendency to deteriorate the quality and limit the output of the The may in the traditional habits of a craft adult worker. how the learner is to get the advantages of intelligent training. in the best class of work. but when one knows that the three houses above mentioned employ some 200 men between them.
was also Mr. his speciality to be vellum work but unfortunately this does not show well in reproduction. In 1863 he set up for himself. Leighton. he soon got the custom of many of those who were then seeking its application to bindings. Cobden- Sanderson.. In 1883 he took one of his since. clients. Ellis and Mr. even the be best. 18 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING this is even published without the owner's consent and a wise plan. William Morris. working for him as a finisher for twelve years. and his sound taste being discovered by Mr. and was afterwards employed for many years by Messrs. suffers by vain repetition. He subse- . Mr. de Coverly served his apprenticeship to the elder Zaehnsdorf. Mr. The concluding illustrations in this chapter show work done by Mr. as a pupil. Wood with Zaehnsdorf. S. and a good will it is and appropriate pattern on a book but a weariness to the eye when in multiplicity in booksellers' seen windows. Roger de C overly and Mr. and has had others He considers . for all art. F. Harry Wood.
.9- Bound by de Coveuly.
in Soho. . but have been content with a personal business in which they themselves have always taken an active part. and which now managed by his Neither he nor de Coverly have ever sought the heavy expenses and responsibihties of a large undertaking. which is he has greatly expanded.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING business of Mr. 19 quently managed and in the end bought the Kaufmann son.
. and Mr. embracing everything from pamphlets to fine -tooled morocco bindings. Chivers have establishments more or Bath. it there are several provincial centres where flourishes. Birdsall in Northampton. and school books in Liverpool. . 20 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING II Although the chief place to study bookis binders and their craft naturally London. less of this kind. country towns it is impossible for work to it is be as much specialized as in London consequently a large bindery will do business of a most miscellaneous kind. library albums. Mr. Fazakerly in all Mr. and where the it has been touched by that movement as well as for developing the artistic business side which we In large noticed in the previous chapter. and including ledgers. for prizes.
.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING Mr. and who struck out a departfine ment in which work could be executed result at prices that were remunerative and not prohibitive. For some time after he had educated his workmen to the responsibility of his new venture. Fazakerly. he found that the taste of his customers lay towards a reproduction of old models. it on to new One feature may be noted in connexion with the morocco work of Mr. the effect is poor. who refused to support the excessive competition in cheapness. namely. Fazakerly was one of 21 first the binders. but he has of late been quite successful in directing lines. certainly outside of London. and suggests that trouble has been spared on the book as a whole but there is no reason for the con. eflPorts Happily the of his shows the success of a refusal to pander to that desire for cutting prices which has done so much to ruin the crafts on their artistic side. If the lower cover left quite plain. that the under cover rarely decorated with the is same design is as the upper.
both by means of tooling on them or gauffering.^ Some very specimens of ^ With tooled edges the leaves of the book are gilt as usual. only disposed in schemes of ornament. where- by the two sides are entirety alike. he considers a specialty of his business is the decoration of the edges of books. and such repetition. We may recall that in the sixteenth century this ex- tension of ornament to the leaves of a book was very prevalent. the head. as it is more generally called. Fazakerly's innovations was the employment of embossed leather. and while still in the press. and was only one of many of indications that the workman spent details ungrudging time and thought on the what was intended to be a fine work of art throughout. and also by painting underneath the gold. which has since spread to many other houses and another which variation naturally implies thought that avoids . The same tools and elements of design should appear in different each cover. more thought. tail and foredge are . almost universally adopted.22 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING vention. the One of Mr.
dated Jena 1572-1581. Museum. in this And there we country part of the library that once belonged to Odonico Pillone of Belluno. and may be left . While in this position the colour is applied. still ornaments. worked over with ' by the hand a nephew of Titian. the leaves are released. part. the finer These tools must be slightly warmed. it is necessary that the leaves should be fanned out and tied is laid slightly between boards. When dry. comprising some hundred and forty folios with foredges painted Cesare Vecellio. At others a different-coloured gold on the top of the first and tooled upon. when the pattern will be left in the new gold on the original colour. scope for ornament. which consists in the centre of the shield of of each foredge. which can be either a stain or water-colour moistened with size. when the impressed pattern will naturally be of a different colour to the burnished tools ones being preferable. Sometimes the edge is so that the impression may be firm.^ ' of that are open in character. oifer fine now in South Kensington The volumes being verj^^ thick Saxony painted and is. the rest of the space being filled with arabesques Renaissance believe. tooled on the gold before burnishing. ^ This painting can be with or without gold.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING gauffered edges 23 may be seen on the works of Luther in seven folio volumes. In any case. as the burnisher will glide over the indentations.
and the paper on which he works should be rather the modern fashion of thin than thick painter . which. and their books Mr. but The name Halifax and his are not very rare. the and reappears thoroughly native style on books of the latter half of eighteenth century. Fazakerly has done a great deal of this decoration. are not in evidence is when shut. show through the gold. as the painting done when the leaves are fanned out and held in that expanded the book once. . printing on a sort of cardboard handicaps the binder not only in this. The must be an artist. which requires certain conditions to ensure success. but other and far more important ways. gaining a lustre and richness would not otherwise have. Fazakerly has when the colour will it as they are or gilt in the ordinary way.24 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING The painting of edges was revived in in England. position. Charming is little English landscapes are to be found on some of them. Mr. when open appear at Edwards of son James is especially of William associated with this work.
but not embossed. it is better where possible that doublure and flyleaf should be the same. The French found custom of violent-coloured watered or equally salient inlays has never much favour in this country . or in harmony with it is and he has tried Russia leather with considerable success. Some of Zaehnsdorf s doublures have silk either of the same colour as the cover. the results . the last word has not been is still and there silks room for experiment.' a term applied to the inside face of the boards when lined with leather or decora- tive material. but there has been a great dearth both of invention and taste in dealing with this feature of a binding. Fazakerly has made his innovation. and when delicately tinted and incised. and can be makes a very good board employed as well for the flyleaf opposite indeed. Unsuitable as for the outside cover it from its tendency to rapid deterioration.. MODERN ENGLISH BINDING also 25 made some innovations in ' doublures. it. is It with calf that Mr. In the matter of doublures said. lining.
mass can be apparently got and the effect is enhanced by dots and other small tools worked in gold. a binder Newcastle-under- to tool on vellum in colour. but there no doubt that It occasional use offers a desirable variation on the ordinary inside lining. designed by Leon Solon and only suitable Miss Talbot. which is made up of tools small and light ' ' in character. attempt of Mr. His patterns are line composed no chiefly of gouge and work. render is costly its of execution. as effect of solid in the colour. the number of which is largely on the increase. close this subject is difficult to in without a few words . some of the coloured Japanese embossed papers make excellent doublures. that for the inside of a book. The excessively detailed nature of this work. Bagguley. Some . On books relating to Japan. Before dismissing this subject. the at we may mention Lyme. of this work. in fact.26 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING seem pleasant and appropriate. is very delicate and attractive it is so delicate. heavier dies not being suitable it for the stamping of colour.
The business of Messrs. and it has an especial interest in being one of the oldest bookbinding businesses in the country. Good white handpapers are the made papers or vellum most suitable.' and even the spirit marbles which produce the effect of violent colour thrown on wet blotting-paper and appear to be the latest fashion of monpatterns. when John Lacy. while if coloured ones are deemed essential. time they gave up the German marbled * French combs. Birdsall at Northampton takes us to another centre of provincial activity in binding. prietors' family well over a It has been in the hands of the present pro- hundred years. a banker of Northampton. the strosity in such things.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING by most binders It is 27 condemnation of the coloured papers used for ordinary work which does not admit of anything more elaborate. and has a connected history since 1757. the French and Van Gelder crayon papers toning harmoniously with the morocco are not likely to be an offence. .
The works are always kept in the highest state of efficiency. such as the 'Stronghold' fortis. rough and constant. a Yorkshireman by birth. in this family has remained ever We spoke before of the varied nature of the work carried out by country binders. it who had settled there.28 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING it acquired and associated with it a bookin the selling business which he had also town. Many of these have passed a lifetime there. and on find a depart- Messrs Birdsall's premises we ment of manufacturing for the wholesale stationery. and highly finished one set apart for leather and vellum books. another paper trade. On giving up work in 1792 he sold both to William Birdsall. a third for commercial bindings in which are included certain special registered bindings patented for serial work. and the workmen are encouraged to excel in skilled and conscientious work.' is and ' Biblia suitable for free libraries where the usage lastly. a bonus is distributed to the older . and though the business is not of a co-operative character. and since.
after working with Chatelain in London. and is their work. This consists in a scheme . was a binder there before him. For decided to settle in his native town. and one of these he has developed with considerable success.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING and more year. some time ' his specialty was a binding for public libraries patented under the Duro-flexile. He has brought considerable invention to bear in certain cases it not likely that a more satisfactory solution will be found than that which he practical has introduced. Besides these matters he has made certain styles of decorating book covers especially his own. brought him a connexion with librarians all over the country who were occupied with the problems presented by the particular nature of upon these problems. efficient 29 workers at the end of the Mr.' name of and this. and the son. has brought an unusual amount of originaHty and enthusiasm His father into the service of his craft. Chi vers. of Bath. together with other library appliances.
so that there that is no limit to the colour effect may be produced. which has in likewise a foredge painting beneath the gold.- 30 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING whereby designs are painted on paper and then covered with transparent vellum. The Museum shows a Prayer in this style for Book bound by him Charlotte. and whose love of books caused him to direct his coffin to be made from the shelves of his libraries. His patterns were frequently Etruscan character . In 1785 he took out a patent 'for embellishing books bound in vellum and making drawings on the vellum which are not liable to be defaced by de- stroying the vellum itself The description further contained in the patent has never been found possible of imitation. who settled in 1784 as a bookseller in Pall Mall. but as his range of decoration in- was limited and the vellum he used sufficiently transparent. his books are only . We have already mentioned James Edwards. wife of Queen George iii. which or may may not have been intentional on his British part.. of Halifax.
effect of the highly coloured supplements that appear at Christmas in our illustrated papers . Carayon who is famed — for a class of book cover that gives someeffect. however. These will. very original one binder — The French have M. producing in some cases rather the deterioration and can stand even the usual wear and tear. stand no usage of any kind. thing of the same The best-known painters both in water colours and black and white are employed to decorate the white vellum that clothes so sumptuously the finely illustrated books that his countrymen admire kept so much. but that. but rather a . and can only be in cases carefully tection. Chivers' plan if much simpler one. and the designs are given into the hands of results can be obtained. Chivers being beneath the vellum runs no risk of more than Sometimes it appears as if the colours chosen were too strong. is not a criticism is that belongs to the method. of course. a 31 is Mr. artists.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING of moderate interest. made for their proThe vellucent work of Mr.
Chivers shall see the new of inlaid decoration to which these have The vellucent method of Mr. then work coloured with a varnished incrustation like enamel. we given place. the best of which. The earlier painted strapwork was which reached its freely copied in mosaics of leather to deal with . if it is is full of delightful possibilities suited. confined to books to which and . The it desire for colour has appeared constantly in the history of bookbinding:.32 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING a more delicate counsel of perfection for application of that method. and has never been revived. and has retained its hold on public taste ever since. and style when we come present-day French bindings. very perishable. Later on we get the inlaying of coloured leathers. most interesting development in the eighteenth century. We see first in the Venetian books in the Persian brilliantly painted in lacquer and Saracenic style taken in the strap- from Arabian manuscripts. is found about the middle of the sixThis method has proved teenth century. French and Italian.
and Miss Alice Shepherd and Mr. of the effect of an enrichment Another style done much to popularise which Mr. except that the soft leather has to be reinforced at the back with a cement. and to incorporate giving enamel. shoe-calf prepared for the purpose as to quality and thickness. and while this cement is hardening the front has to be modelled. In this.^ ^ Some of the ' cuir follows. this in the morocco. S.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING when employed for the it is 33 in a rather lower colour scheme as suggested.Fenn is Mr. as for the vellucent bindings. general artistic adviser. The process is very much like beaten work. draws freely upon outside Granville. possible Nor is it necessary whole cover to be of vellum. to The process of leather cutting and embossing is briefly as The design is first drawn on paper. for to introduce a panel only of the transparent material over a picture. he talent. then transferred tracing paper and traced through from this on to the which is leather. If the and chased silver . It is a mistake to suppose that this work is of a delicate nature. Chivers has is calf. Poole have long been associated with him in the execution of this work. embossed and incised and sometimes coloured by hand. H.
and blotting-cases than results it What is can yield when the design severe and dignified and the treatment finely chiselled logia may be observed on the PantheoPisa. it should not have a satis- factory revival in France. Again. is handling and the slight friction a well-bound book to in the course of time enhance its appearance. while the application of gold tooling and that of various colour tints are additions of treatment that give considerable scope to the finisher.34 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING ' cisele that has come down to us from the in Germany. is any one can see who studies some excellent examples ex- past. by it tracing and cutting the design without embossing surface is a different obtained. Museum books just The design last illustrations in this chapter show subject is fairly evenly distributed over the decorated space. one of the mentioned. and which originated very fine in character. too much is 'prettiness' associated with and one apt to think it more suitable for card. as posed in the British Museum. this has already taken place. a folio dated by Rainesius de about 1475. . we shall see later but in England there is still it. There seems no reason why . indeed.cases for bindings. as on.
The Oxford Press designs in are very varied character and include some excellent . type. In the Paris Exhibition of 1900 the Press showed a considerable number of decorated bindings in addition to the exhibits from the other departments. Fetter Lane. ink. now at St.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING 35 work from the binding department of the Oxford University Press. located in special buildings in Oxford built in 1830. is University type foundry near Oxford. the oldest in England. and general printing. is divided into two parts. Dunstan's House. the famous India made which has brought very The great changes into the book trade. one devoted chiefly to the printing of Bibles and Prayer-Books. the other to scientific classical. and at the paper mills at Wolvercote. The Press itself. stereo- making its own paper. and thither are sent all the books from the Press as soon as printed. It is en- tirely self-contained. lately at is Amen Corner in the City. paper is publishing and binding house. The and electro-plates.
86 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING . inlays they are made by the more level artistic among the workmen. and speak highly for the of taste attained in the bindery. .
He has also been one of the main supporters . in the past he has introduce his and to explain work personally to the public his method and ideals. is not represented here. as it would be discourteous to go against his wishes in the matter. Cobden-San- derson as the source from which they have drawn much of their inspiration. however. for his Whatever may be the reasons done a great deal to change of attitude in this respect. His work. the English Illustrated Magazine^ the ForUiightly Re- view. a trade journal no longer in existence. testify to his former willingness that his work should be known and appreciated. first is of Mr.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING 37 III In bringing forward what natural to speak may be called it the younger generation of binders. The pages of the British Boohmaker.
without seeking for some other end external to them and often incompatible with them. as well Arts and elsewhere in London and the on the of provinces. as at the Society of There too. and his books have been its the largest contribution to binding in occasional exhibitions. Not long ago he published a book on Industrial Ideals. he has lectured craft. he considered. Morris always held up the ideal of the Middle Ages as the goal towards which to It was a time. This idea of of life ' ' art being the highest function was the gospel to which he never . Mr.38 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING its of the Arts and Crafts Society since inception in 1888. setting forth what he conceives to be its purport both in the limited matter its processes and achievements and in its relation the wider aspect of to the wants and progress of society. the processes or means by which life is lived constituted the end of life itself. which it is interesting to compare with the collected papers by Mr. when strive. William Morris which have appeared on that and kindred subjects.
.17- Bound by the Guild ok Handicraft.
—thus As a protest against the mechanical exploitation of the arts for the sake of commercial success in sense.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING ceased to direct the attention of his lowers. such a creed valuable. find some way of including in its scheme of regeneration the great movements of commercial life which is one of the features of the age. But it would seem mistaken in theory and impossible of practice to attempt a reversion to mediaeval ideals with the wholly altered conditions of production. if its criticism is to be operative. effect is most and has already had an important on the decorative arts which we trust may be permanent. that are now part and parcel of modern A in crusade against the existing conditions which works of art are produced must. one would think. its worst and with the attendant evils of ex- cessive competition. distribution and mode of living life. and which even the . 39 fol- and the next step life —the attempted followed re-organization of into conditions that enable art to realize itself as a matter of course.
40 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING most optimistic could hardly hope to stem. and the art was thrown in like a Christmas almanack. it ' the and sold it over the counter. there is one point that seems . content with the limitations imposed by this ideal it . Lethaby says.' Here comes in designer of a gold cup made the problem mentioned in a previous If. on the one hand. when. In the frequent advocacy of a revival of past conditions which would benefit the workman. as Mr. yet for a skilled may be better workman to carry out the views of an artist rather than try and evolve variants from a few types set before him. chapter. there for the designer to is too much tendency be occu- pied only in planning ornament for others to execute with the result that a certain inevitableness is nearly always wanting in it the finished product. but except in such isolated instances does not seem possible to return to the practice of the past. Here and there an individual may achieve a career somewhat in accordance with mediaeval ways.
to use good materials. he gives a concise •account of the conditions under which alone a man could become a painter in the four- teenth and fifteenth centuries held good for and what painting held good also for . the apprentice was to give zeal in his service and the master to . and to beautify it as far as he was able. They were apprenticed to masters responsible both for their technical efficiency and the fulfilment of their duties of citizenship. ' ' W. In the scholarly little introduction called Art in the Netherlands which Mr. 41 unnoticed —a point of great imthe stringent means portance and that is taken in those days to protect the purchaser also. H. Each was bound to the other .MODERN ENGLISH BINDING always left . As long as the craft. James Weale at contributed to the Catalogue of the picture exhibition held Bruges in 1902. the minor arts of life. craftsman belonged to the guild of his he was bound by its rules to carry out his work honestly and conscientiously. The corporation arranged for the education of its members.
promise obedience to the rules of the corporation.' with any master he liked.42 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING all he knew of his trade. he remained all his life under the control of the governing body of the corporation. however. the members of which could enter his shop at any moment. as what would now be known as an 'improver. that. although a master. Once the apprenticeship at an end. Later on. . in order to become a master. and inflict punishment upon him. the youth could impart work. and in any town that he chose. he had to present himself before the heads of the guild and give proofs of efficiency. seize his materials if of inferior quality. work well and Observe. confiscate them. to carry on his and swear honestly. We can imagine no condition less in touch with the schemes of modern and social democracy. Lastly. which so often deal exclusively with the needs of the worker and neglect those both of the employer and the consumer. in disputes between himself and his clients the guild was called in to decide between them.
Sutcliffe. Sangorski and G. . Bound by F.20.
C. Ashbee's experiment with the Guild and School of Handicraft. The aim at the Dering Street. It began its existence at Essex House in East London. .MODERN ENGLISH BINDING In connexion with this should be topic. a small Cotswold village where 1902. May the wool trade flourished during the Middle Ages and the silk century. that its object to set a higher standard liberating the of craftsmanship by workman from the restrictions of the trade shop. and that conducted co-operatively. the men having and an interest and a share its in the concern While recognizing the importance of what a man does and the government. in removed to Chipping Campden. after fourteen years. R. and directing his independence individualistic efforts away from purely lines on to of art it is service to the community. and. 67a New Bond where the work of the school is annuIt need only be said here is ally exhibited. distributed to visitors Yard Gallery. trade in the eighteenth of the Guild is set forth in a little pamphlet. 43 mention made of Mr.
jewellery. metal work. excellent in leather restrained ornament. After Mr. Ashbee acquired the plant hitherto in use at the Kelmscot Press. besides the ordinary plain-tooled bindings. first in a Caxton type and later from a fount of his own design. the Guild endeavours to strike a mean between the socialism that cares only for the worker and the comfor mercialism that disregards him and his idealistic as well as material needs. printing and binding. Binding followed almost as a matter of course on these issues from the Essex House Press . though . Mr. and includes furniture. he has revived certain fifteenthcentury styles for which he has a special predilection. and in connexion with it. and which include the use of enamels and wooden boards. and began a series of books. work carried out at Chipping The Campden is very various. conditions under which he does both to himself as a citizen and to the community which he labours. Morris's death.44 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING it. the latter often carved in low relief The bindings.
Douglas Cockerell. who is in the main responsible for them. because they are unobtrusive and can be pleasantly handled and easily disposed. Leather and vellum.Sanderson. carved. and as exceptions proving the Mr. These whether the ulti- books raise are again the question such deviations from the ordinary paths legitimate attempts to enlarge limitations of the binder's art. enamelled. rule. or even too decorative in colour for unlimited production. disposed with taste and restraint. Cobden. will always remain the best coverings for books. a pupil of Mr. Work that is embossed. can only be desired as occasional specimens of interest in themselves. tooled with a few fine stamps. Ashbee. has written the first of a new series of technical handbooks on is the artistic crafts which a model of the . 45 designed for the most part by Mr.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING are carried out by Miss Power. and must in the end determine the matter. The mate serviceable use of a book should ever be kept in sight.
46 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING future binders. kind and should prove the text-book for all no doubt. No craft can be well learned . and that such help is of great value in giving higher ideals and encouraging exthe beginning Mr. the outcome of some where. perimental work. for in teaching at the County Council School in Regent Street. anywhere but in a practical workshop and he considers the value of class teaching to be limited to helping those engaged in a trade. many years. he did excellent work training the younger men to an intelligent interest in the various processes of their craft. It years' is. with help from modern hands. old books To give is new lease of hfe to fine really . and has given all his pupils some training care of books. From Cockerell has been specially interested in the repairing of books and in the preservation of old covers. in that relates to the There are numbers of old capable of fulfilling bindings that after four hundred years of wear and tear are a a little still their original purpose of protection.
23- Bound by Miss Adams. .
comparatively maker's easy to do the latter that yet has individuality is but a plain binding the stamp of the a very exceptional achieve- ment. who were formerly with Mr. Sangorski and Mr. have started a bindery of their own. It . and Mr. G. de Sauty is another young binder. Mr. Sutcliffe now controls the teaching for the County Council at its branch establishment in Camberwell. and are in teaching engaged both and doing varied work of a pleasant character. and there a great deal of it is is luckily simple as well as highly decorated. Mr. work that is well known both is here and in America.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING production of new and pretty bindings. . Cockerell at the Technical School at 316 Regent Street. Mr. and in work of that character Mr. Cockerell. Cockerell's original 47 of far greater importance than the continual Mr. Trained in the methods of Mr. Cockerell is unsurpassed. Sangorski that of the Northampton Institute in Clerkenwell. F. Sutcliffe.
to make a livelihood out of bookbinding a few words less and possibly. may not come there are It may be said that certain conditions absolutely necessary for successful financial achievement. In concluding in this sketch of Bookbinding England as it appears to-day. 48 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING is and his work inlaj^s of considerable merit. Cockerell.. gain. which. Quite a number are now trying therefore. He has now the post formerly held by Mr. and his ing has some of the brilliant qualities of the French school. we must not omit to speak of the entrance recently effected crafts. quite is apart from matter. seen particularly in the finely studded tooling of which he seems particularly fond. which is another The is first of these a workshop training.. now no longer so within certain limits . by women and notably in many of the handi- in the one under con- sideration. are distinguished for the taste His shown finish- in the association of colours. though impossible some years ago. of criticism than of counsel amiss.
..•111.l • O.lNiP ^'»N]S.1 PNOWV • IVll i.'lll W- 1 P-i i KoO '& Sfe [ : .M .
and they will learn the habit of rapid and dexterous manipulation of tools and materials without which impossible to profitable it is return work quickly enough for a upon the outlay. so that the workmanship have the note of individuality without eccentricity. there are one or two binders to give with small workshops who undertake will will women time. but needs concentration of mind as well as sureness of hand. A third element in the desirable equipment is a certain faculty of imagination controlled feeling or by right results of good taste. systematic teaching for a limited In a workshop they see a if variety of work that they miss taught privately. is For binding that not like other less specialized crafts can be taken up at odd hours and laid aside with equal facility.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING that is 49 to say. personality is the one thing need- P . A is second most necessary qualification that they should have the physique for standing and working at a bench during the hours of an ordinary working day. In art as in life.
and to such. Many women need but an addition to their income. for all practi- But to hold out any inducement to the woman who really needs bread-and-butter to take up binding as a lucrative employment. MODERN ENGLISH BINDING and we may fairly look to women to show the be realization of it that can hardly expected from those working in the stereotyped grooves of production. as is done in some quarters.50 ful. And what is to be said of binding ? as a means of livelihood Experience has shown that properly trained women can do as good binding as men. while if they fail to reach a high standard they had better cal purposes let it alone. if they are willing to incur the expense of nature of the undertaking. suffici- training and plant. should be characterized with it the severity deserves. though not upon large and heavy work. and if they realize the experimental binding may be recommended as a ently pleasant occupation. and if they do it well enough some of them can earn a fair wage. Whether finan- .
Bound by Miss Maude Nathan.26. .
or not. however. and last. and attention tive work. A market can always be found everything cerned it is . on the originality and finish with which it is executed. must depend upon the amount of work turned out. but not least in im- portance. and it would be a most undesirable result of eminently desirable artistic crafts to what in itself is so opening of the —the women — left if there were to be a great deal of inferior work put into circulation obviously from the the hands of those who have never . and price. sellers are Bookit now so overstocked with so-called artistic bindings of moderate merit.trained workers. may well be directed to other branches of decora- There are more than enough half. that may also be said of moderate they are not eager to accept those of average quality at the more than average price that many women expect their work to command. both male and female . on the finding of a market.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING cial 51 success comes. for the best of but as far as bindings are concertainly at present overstocked with the second best.
but it seems hard that the necessary vile ones should become the corpoi^a on which the professed decorator exercises his too frequently disordered imagination. As far as bindings are concerned. this has now become almost impossible to get any of these homely things made with the purposefulness. amateur too. at least one need not buy them . in specializing the production of is decorated bindings. in addition to this . We want to get life rid of the affectation of contorted pattern and have more of the plain things of plainly made. severe simplicity of mere If one does not want the useless things. Women make in a mistake. is One unfortunately as little likely nowadays to is find a plain pepper-pot as one is to find a bound book on which there flower sprawling over less its not some cover in a meaning- attempt to be Japanese in sentiment. however. that it It has.52 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING stage. It no doubt a right life principle to take the everyday things of and decorate them rather than invent useless ones for the purpose. disadvantage.
.27- Bound by Miss Woolrich.
sive matter An instance of this may be seen at the present moment in an exten- undertaken by Mr. there said above. are being put in a condition for reference. Cobden-Sanderson. America there is hardly a centre where there is any interest shown in books which has not a woman binder who has probably by Mr. We are glad to notice that Miss Adams has a bindery at Broadway. Cockerell. Cockerell for the Middlesex County Council. the whole business of mending being done by women under the direction formerly of Miss Wilkinson and now of Miss pupils of Mr. 53 as has been useful more important and work to be done than pattern making. A large number of their ancient Sessions Books. M'Ewan both Again. many of them crumbling to pieces. in the repairing and preserving of old books and records. far is. that Miss Paget is at Farnham doing good honest work of a been trained .MODERN ENGLISH BINDING much-desired simplicity. many more In women might adventure starting a business in the country or in a provincial town.
all Miss Pattinson and Miss Stebbing are sound principles. only mention the names of Miss Jessie King. Miss MacColl's books have for time excited interest both on account of the character of her brother's designs and her manner of executing them by means of a small wheel. Jane as Hamilton. In conclusion. Miss Nathan. numerous now some are. Space forbids more than a few as they illustrations from the work of women binders. Miss McClure and Miss gow. and that Miss Philpot has established herself at Cambridge. Scotland doing well-considered and tasteful work on Of those at work in we need F. Day. Lewis it is F. necessary to keep in mind that binding is but one of the sub- crafts that contribute to the production of .54 MODERN ENGLISH BINDING comparatively simple natm:e. which is an attempt to overcome the restrictions of the finisher's ordinary methods. Miss Alice Gairdner and Miss Agnes Watson of Glastheir specially dealt work has recently been with in a paper by Mr.
28. Bound by Miss Phh.tot. .
binder the printer and the would intelligently more likely to work if they had some mutual knowbe for ledge of each other's needs and limitations. it were the crown . embodied in typography and illustration. binder of the future. if his But the art. work is to be an effective contribution to decorative must look on the book itself as the unit of interest. not an essential part. the thought. The paper-maker. but as or coping-stone. The habit has been growing some time of looking on the binding of a book as the most important thing in connexion with it.MODERN ENGLISH BINDING books. constituting a whole to which in the decorated cover he adds. its 55 Of late each of these has pursued own often faulty ideals regardless of its relationship to the other contributory crafts.
MODERN FRENCH BINDING
MODEKN FRENCH BINDING
In the spring of 1902 there took place in
of the exhibitions to which
a considerable number of English visitors,
was built by Ginain in the style of the French Renaissance, and is all that a small
Its history is briefly as
In 1878, the Duchesse de Galliera
presented to the City of Paris a plot of
by the Trocadero avenue, and undertook to erect upon it a suitable building in which to house the collection of works of art that
she proposed leaving to the nation.
MODERN FRENCH BINDING
of the political events that resulted in the
expulsion of the heads of princely houses
from France, the Duchess had made a
which she left her pictures to her native town of Genoa, only making provision for
the completion of the Gallery.
and soon afterwards Paris found
herself in possession of this fine
surrounded with gardens,
appointed in the architectural detail so well
understood by the French, but empty of
was to have housed. What become of it? The municipal
council decided that
should be devoted to
industrial art, forming a sort of
to the Carnavalet Museum, and the neces-
sary furnishing was undertaken with a view
to that end.
was formally opened in 1895, but for five years after that remained practically empty, though purchases were made from successive Salons of different
kinds of decorative art and disposed
the vacant rooms to form a nucleus for
In 1900 the Council,
.29- Bound by Marius Michel.
that signed his work instead of being represented only in the him. name of the firm which employed This idea. to which we have now long the been accustomed through the efforts of Arts and Crafts Society. next decided that the yearly exhibitions should each be devoted to a special branch of decorative of these was inaugurated in art. met with such undoubted The success that the Germans proceeded at once to start a museum at Mulhouse on similar lines. which includes the foremost men of letters. sisted in Its distinctive feature con- what was an entirely new departure every craftsman for France. artists and critics. that the periodical and the first one. in an admirably planned show of modern bind- . namely. took place in the following year. The first May 1892. was a very novel one for our neighbours. decided museum should be devoted to industrial exhibitions. of a miscellaneous character. and is to be adopted henceforth in initiative all the Galliera exhibitions. The organizing jury of the Council.MODERN FRENCH BINDING after 61 much deliberation.
of 1900. And indeed. the confidence felt by the binders that merit would be the sole criterion. Gruel.. Mercier. In contrast to the wretched instalment offered by the great Exhibition work of every binder was seen to the best advantage. Ruban. not only were the well-known artists well represented. Carayon. The impression made upon the visitor was at once one of careful selection and admirable disposition. must be added. and. The number sent in neand was a testimony to cessitated the largest gallery being set aside for their reception. the . and the harmony of surroundings left nothing to be The display of works of art is in desired. etc. Canape. eccentricities of ornamental book covers. Lortic. though much interesting work was rejected.62 MODERN FRENCH BINDING it ings comprising the latest developments. but room was found for the curious vellum covers of Pierre Roche and the incised and modelled leather of Lep^re with whom Michel and others so happily collaborate. the eye was not fatigued by too many show-cases. such as Michel.
— . chiffres enlaces S'efFacent . Marguerite. Marie. L'ame de leur parfum et I'ombre de leur reve. ou peut-etre Diane. Les que liait I'entrelacs chaque jour de la peau fine et blanche A peine si mes yeux peuvent suivre la branche De lierre que tu fis serpenter sur les plats. . Mais cet ivoire souple et presque diaphane. where rest at last the classic specimens of work that may ! without exaggeration be included among the fine arts. MODERN FRENCH BINDING itself 63 a study. malgre les fers pouss^s d'une main franche La rutilante ardeur de ses premiers eclats. je ne sais par quel charme pass^. to this most modern of collections When in the Bibliotheque Nationale we are reminded of that exquisite sonnet of H^r^dia VELIN D0R£ Vieux maltre relieur. arrangement of their the strange transition from that But what a great room in Bibliotheque Nationale. and we could undoubtedly learn much from the French in the excellent galleries. I'or que tu ciselaa la Au dos du livre et dans I'epaisseur de tranche N'a plus. De leurs doigts amoureux Font jadis caress^ Et ce velin pali que dora Clovis l^ye Evoque.
the latter through his writings as well as in his work. These looked on originality as the most dangerous of innovations and a sort of loyalty to the precedents handed dis- down to them across the ages. Nevertheless the impending change was slowly and surely making way. carried out century these traditions were adhered by Thouvenin. La reliure du XIX siecle. who is both a patron and collector of dis. Le Gascon All through the nineteenth to. the inspired copyists of the great masters. fostered by Lortic and Marius Michel. Duru. and Derome. Henri Marius Michel : followed in his father's steps his essay on Li ornamentation des 7'eliiires modernes showed clearly the direction taken by the modern school while the sumptuous book. Simier and Cape. . by Henri Beraldi. Trautz and Cuzin.64 MODERN FRENCH BINDING Here in the Galliera is plete the revolution we realize how comnow finally effected faithfully by a people who clung long and to the traditions of a style by Grolier made famous and by the Eves. by Chambolle.
Bound by Lkon Gruel. .32.
A glance over it the names of the books that relate to published during the last half. lace.century shows well enough how interest has been displaced from the historic schools to those which have initiated entirely new forms of decoraIf. ivories. It is no wonder that the small world of binders and their patrons in Paris were proud of the position of honour assigned to their craft in 1902. we are struck by the between past and present as regards the nature of this application of art to bindings. They inaugurated is a series of exhibitions. 65 final may be said to have given expression to the movement as a whole. jewellery. we are equally impressed by the contrast between the position of the binder then and now. Bookbinding. in jects. contrast then. furniture —every in fact. which to include art. common with larger sub- has its bibliography. to ality that which there attaches the personcan only come from having at its some time had as exponents E ' the masters . tion as applied to book covers.MODERN FRENCH BINDING tinction.
and to act as middlemen between the proIn Paris. not only to the ordinary public. though he had been producing admirable In 1878 he was work for thirty years. workman measures there is in any line does not himself take for bringing his efforts to the light. which every one longs to see himself reand if the flected in print or show-case . decorated with the Legion of Honour. . the first time that any such distinction had It been offered to a binder. publicity it is a sort of worship that inconceivable outside of Nowadays the many means of would render such a state of It is an age in things quite impossible.' of those Even so late as 1870 the name of Trautz was unknown. is a class whose chief occupation it to be the discoverers of hidden talent.66 MODERN FRENCH BINDING who know. but to such collectors as Eugene Paillet and Quentin Bauchart. binders ducer and the public. after his retirement was only and subsequent return culminated in to business at the age of sixty that his till fame grew France.
to discuss in detail different points of design . The extensive businesses that we know in London hardly exist in Paris. and istence. For the most part two or three forwarders and the same number of 'finishers' will suffice for a large ' ' the yearly output of a single workshop. invariably of very modest dimensions and where but few workmen are employed. Up to five-and-twenty years ago there was hardly one that lived elsewhere. the quarter which in the parish of Saint. One has to climb high to reach their ateliers. But to these ateliers go personally the great collectors who are wealthy patrons. mostly congregated on the left bank of the Seine. and M. They are it is true.Andre- was formerly where their guild had its church of that name. now no longer in exdes-Arts. and even now it is the exception to find a binder in the more fashionable quarter. 67 is looked upon with envy in England.MODERN FRENCH BINDING have now a status that surprise and still. Gruel's is probably the only one employing number of hands.
master binders founded by M. To is the unstinted help and intelligent appre- ciation afforded by such a class of amateurs of the undoubtedly due the superior position of the artistic crafts in France.— 68 MODERN FRENCH BINDING is and technique with a eonnoisseurship that reserved with us for painting or sculpture. which the organ of the Chambre Syndicale. and others for three and even four thousand. Gruel and Le Relieur. can exhibit at each of the rival Salons. an association of . organ of the is Chambre Syndicale Every year binders Ouvriere. desire to There is a make such exhibitions recurrent . at the Societe des Artistes Fran§ais and the Socidte Nationale des Beaux. Many bindings in the Galliera were achieved at a cost of two thousand francs. and the Galliera Exhibition is but the latest and special most effective of the exhibitions organized from time to time for the exclusive display of their work.Arts. which ciation for the corresponding asso- workmen. entirely There are craft two papers devoted to the is La Reliure.
MODERN FRENCH BINDING
outlook on the art as a whole
every ten years, so as to get a periodic
unlikely that the next few decades will
such marked characteristics of difference as
seen by comparison of this collection
with that even of 1892 organized by the
Cercle de la Librairie.
It may, in
be suggested that the evolution
lution, according to the point of
height, will probably produce
towards that greater sobriety
of treatment which distinguished the best of
already signs that the future of binding
in that emancipation
and material which
ideal of some.
would seem to be the
what that future
will be rests largely,
no doubt, with the
has been indicated, a powerful body in
France, largely on the increase.
Roger, Marx, Claude Lafontaine,
Baron de Claye, Louis Barthou, and many
MODERN FRENCH BINDING
others, not only furnish binders with the
means of giving
play to their imagi-
but often devote their pens with
enthusiasm to introducing new
the numerous body of amateurs
guidance in matters of taste and
are ready enough to follow their initiative.
The modern movement
have sprung out of the new
form of book collecting which began about
that time the book-lover
entirely to eighteenth-
had confined himself
there had been a
forty or fifty years
rush in the
rooms for books of that period, which were then confided to Thouvenin, Simier, or Trautz, who had exercised their skill in marvellous imitations of the past, with an
more technically perfect than the originals. There came a time, however, when such works were exhausted
on the shelves of
occasionally appeared on the
MODERN FRENCH BINDING
only to be had at prohibitive prices.
Bookbuyers were thus faced with the problem of what was to be their next move. Obviously to create a new taste in books and
establish a fresh motive for collecting
a necessity, and a few pioneers decided to
set the fashion in illustrated
books of the
Leon Conquet, whose
reputation as a publisher
the production of
works, at once
rose to the occasion, and
made a name
with his editions of the romantics of the
nineteenth century, and then with original
the old tastes had become too
and costly an indulgence were thus
provided with the means of gratifying a
Les amis des
sprang the new departure which has had
The members determined that
MODERN FRENCH BINDING
of reprints from the past,
should be books specially illustrated and
specially produced in small editions for the
society, thus reviving the traditions of the
days of Grolier and
Thou, when book
were also book makers in the Authors and sense of the word.
were to collaborate with printers
and publishers to produce the perfect work. In this way came into existence Eugenie
Grandet with the drawings of Dagnan engraved by Le Rat, Monsieur,
by Edmond Morin and Bebe, many another, to which Meissonier, Vierge and Lepere devoted their best efforts.
Illustrated books have always presented a
special attraction for our neighbours,
stimulus gave the most surprising
arose, too, all the ex*
cessive preoccupation with
de chine,' 'papier de japon,' and the like
which has been carried to a ridiculous
of rarity in
matters surely reached
MODERN FRENCH BINDING
for individual collectors,
such as the Fleurs
du Mai, which Paul Gallimond had ornamented with marginal notes by Rodin, and
Les Trois Mousquetaires with water-colour
sketches by Maurice Leloir.
drawings for Notre
Dame de Paris by Luc Merson were bought for 20,000 francs
open market, while those
and Manon Lescaut
by Maurice Leloir fetched the extravagant
price of 60,000 francs apiece.
showing how a small
number of genuine book
lectors can constitute a real power,
far control the character of the
that they create a
recorded in history as the fashion of the
age in which they
Societe des amis des livres
response of the editors such as Conquet,
amateurs that two new clubs were soon
The earlier literature binding had been devoted to reproductions of fine specimens from historic collections.' presided over all by M. Eugene Roderigues. les livres et de les Connaissances necessaires a un Les livres modernes qu'il convient d'acquerir. de Lyon' and Les bibliophiles contemporains. LArt like. associations there Besides these grew up a class of litera- ture entirely devoted to the instruction of the amateur and the development of his taste in all matters relating to books their and of bindings. and put them into the best bindings he could . et I'ldee^ Le Livre et Vlm/xge. and the Grolier took the best books he could find.' The was founded by Octave Uzanne with a membership of 160. and ceased to exist * last only to be re-established as the 'Societe des cent bibliophiles. De la reliure.74 MODERN FRENCH BINDING 'Les amis des livres formed. bibliophile. not to mention monthly reviews such as Le Livre Moderne. but now there appeared in profusion such books as L'art d'aime7' connaitre. examples a imiter ou a rejeter.
MODERN FRENCH BINDING find. initiative tools ' are cut freely for fresh increases and expense with the demanded of the binder. and every amateur stipulates that his binding shall be unique. le livre de son temps dans la reliure originale de son temps/ Thus out of the new bibliomania grew naturally the reaction in binding with which we are now dealing.' formerly the exception. ' Doublures. so cult of solution. With the craving for novelty diffi- there naturally arises the problem. at the height of his . These books of fine illustrations must have an appropriate decoration its . Cuzin. and the latest expression of which was seen in the Galliera Museum. concerning the limitations of material and how far audacity may be risked in decoration without extravagance or eccentricity. 75 and the motto of the collectors of to-day was henceforth to be. nothing will do that has served turn elsewhere. Beraldi * work previously mentioned. as says in the M. now the rule designs. till there seems no limit to what will be paid by the enthusiast. are ' .
to perfect copies of Grolier. Le Gascon and others put upon . In when eighteen years of age. a gilder of consummate taste and years later he set up Ten for himself as a finisher. For the next twenty years or more his fine talent was devoted to working for the reproduction of bindings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. too.76 MODERN FRENCH BINDING first reputation in 1885.' He also adopted emblematic designs. Marius Michel. or line patterns which are capable of much diversity. Duru. Cape. Chambolle. was possibly the to leave the gfrooves of tradition and to create a style that he considered appropriate to the books of the time. 1889. but these were exceedingly moderate in their sjrmbolism. devoted himself to the research for fresh motives of decoration. It consisted for the most part on the outer covers of what the French call jeu de Jilets. while wreaths of flowers inside took the place of the lace patterns that had hitherto formed the ornament of 'doublures. Cuzin and other binders. he had gone into Gruel's atelier and rapidly became skill.
.37- Bound by Mercier.
always accompanied with detailed instructions. which were still 77 to be bought freely and at moderate is .MODERN FRENCH BINDING the books of that time. and it is these which constitute a large part of the elder Marius Michel's title to fame. . Some of his best work to be seen for the the library at Chantilly now in late Due d'Aumale durijig his exile intrusted large numbers of books to Cape. price.
maintaining the traditions of his father with equal zest and talent . had taken an important position in the business. the workshop was . it . and even bindNotwithstand- ings by Bozerian were destroyed to be re- placed by those of Trautz. But was the days of the Trautz mania and no collector would hear of any binder but Trautz. though only twenty years of age. All the old books must be broken up to be re-covered by him. ing his enormous output.78 MODERN FRENCH BINDING II In 1866 Henri Marius Michel. the firstfruits of which were seen in the incised and modelled leather covers exhibited by him at L'Union Centrale des Arts Decoratifs in 1881. and ten years later the atelier be- came one for binding in all its branches. a change which enabled Henri to develop his instincts for originality.
. he gave up the practice of gilding with his own hand. now at the height of his reputation. Beraldi calls him the finest binder since the Renaissance. In one auction-room there were 420 Trautz bindings. whose tion were long ignored as revolutionary. while gifts of invenis Henri Marius Michel. and prices continued to increase until Lacarelle sale in 1888. a in nineteenth-century bind- thousand of these latter being bound by Trautz. M. in another 380 . but has continued to execute the is Cuir Cisele. But time is brings its revenges as the place of Trautz possibly now much below his deserts as it was then above. Unceasingly occupied with decoration. when there were signs of a change. in the library of James de Rothschild there were 2800 items. which one of the styles in . and there are those who say that the idolatry of Trautz has given place to another and no less extravagant form of hero worship. of which 1400 were ing. MODERN FRENCH BINDING filled 79 with books the which he kept years without touching.
notwithstanding the number of his imitators. and of the Henri Marius Michel was quickly followed by others. He at once became reactionary. set the ball rolling. He had.80 MODERN FRENCH BINDING first which he he is achieved success and in which undoubtedly past master. only to a flood of eccentric little work for which there was to be said. With the death of Trautz and the rise new book. designs of this type are not nearly enough conventionalized for our where a frankly realistic treatment of natural growths has always been considered unsound. and broken with the long -kept let loose traditions of symmetry. and there was a . Modern French English taste. that Another stylise. but with a certain individuality that makes his work unmistakable. in fact.collecting had come the moment for a revolution in binding. and which often had not even the saving grace of technique. in style that has been associated with his name since 1885 is known as lefiore which flower motives are very slightly conventionalized.
38. Bound by Mkrcier. .
namely. was not to be lightly checked. as it the craze for was termed.MODERN FRENCH BINDING patterns. For a and symbolism became rampant. simple 81 period during which he returned to repeated Une borders and the ordinary- corner and centre ornaments. a thing to be pleasant in the hand and intended to protect a book. indeed. wood-carving. all found a place it until a binding looked like any but what should be. miniatures. But Marius might . ivories. emblematic bindings were accepted as the note of the new style which was to mark the is century. bronzes. There obviously no such thing as F * new . time. flowers of growth lent strange forms to design. Everything was now pressed into the service for the mere sake of novelty — leather. its Japan yielded papers and exotic embossed leathers. turn reactionary for a time Vart nouveau. and in the hands of the indifferent artist became a real terror. without needing protection for osity shops satins itself Curi- were ransacked for silks and its as board-linings. rendered with faultless execution. enamels.
while the literature on the subject grew apace. can hardly imagine the heat of discussion that rages round a subject like this in France. a binder holding an important position in the library of Messrs. We. Meanwhile discussion as to the limitations of material naturally became faster and more furious. In 1896 a controversy arose between Gruel and Michel. without good of invent- Under pretext ing a style that was to Belong to the cen- was done was to perpetuate grotesqueness instead of originality and a tury. for whom the artistic crafts occupy a very subordinate position. The comba- tants at once range themselves on opposite and the weapons used are all the resources of a language pre-eminently suited sides. and there can be no craftsmanship. the former being supported by Bosquet.82 MODERN FRENCH BINDING ' art — there is simply art or there real art is not. . all that burlesque of ideas in their application to binding. Hachette and a frequent writer on his craft both in its historical and technical aspects.
39 Bound by Mercier. .
M. M. The Frenchman. styles which had long said. nor. aided that same year by . however. Michel replied that a firm break with tradition was necessary in order to avoid the constant repetition of the past and the mixture of designer. and recommended a return to the study of past models and a gradual transformation of these into fresh departures. pointed out the impossibility that a new style should spring up on demand. he to return to nature or to seek inspiration from other arts besides binding. Gruel. may we as say. so entertaining to his neighbours. So the excitement grew.MODERN FRENCH BINDING to satire and ridicule. when his tongue and his pen are giving ready wit that seems always at effect to the his service. is never so happy himself. but 83 which somehow seem an armoury out of place on so restricted a battlefield. either been the only resource of the ineffective It was necessary. whose efforts were directed towards stemming the tide of eccentricity associated with Vart nouveau.
The symbolist school with its picture binding has had a considerable vogue. These bindings soon got the nickname of reliures d'affiche. and painting was the art inspiration. was himself influenced by it. from which they derived their The book was now looked on on which to depict in as a canvas different-coloured life moroccos various scenes from or nature. but strayed over the back to finish on the under cover. which Michel distinctly furthered by suggesting to Lepere that he should model a cover . though not in the extreme of violent reproduction of school. and both he and Meunier were represented in this same exhibition with subjects in relief and allegorical rethe Nancy Michel presentations in mosaic.84 MODERN FRENCH BINDING in the an exhibition Champ de Mars in which bindings from the school of Nancy. under the direction of Wiener. achieved a notoriety which only fanned the flame. The next development was the sculpture binding. In some cases the composition was not even contained on one panel.
but would be as fine and more appropriate in a panel framed on a wall than on a binding. Artists of their attainments are rare. ment. which he had not only illustrated. book — it is but the shape and the of any particular treat- purpose that defines the appropriateness or inappropriateness Marius and Lepere represent the highest point attained by le cuir incise. it is masterly in conception and execution.MODERN FRENCH BINDING for 85 the solitary copy on Japan paper of Paysages Parisiens. Most collectors content themselves with a specimen or two in their libraries of the sculptured or symbolic or . and it is only such artists who can be tolerated in deviations from the normal and whose held to inventions can in any sense be justify the result. the blotter. whether applied to the or the coffer. but the drawings for which he had also engraved on wood and on copper. Since that time the modelled leather work of Lepere has taken a permanent place among book covers of the day . The art of the leather worker is one.
as may importance.86 MODERN FRENCH BINDING it bejewelled binding. The characteristic of the business has always been the production . Manuel his- torique et hibliographique de Vamateur de reliures. whom his son Paul now most ably seconds. be supposed. by employed. To turn now from this brief account of the recent developments of French binding to the Galliera exhibition.to them. The house one of the oldest having been established in 1811 by Deforge. and turn with satisfaction to the more ordered ways of some modification or another of past traditions. Gruel's father is was M. in Paris. The books shown by M. insfs He and fine collection of old bind- of documents relatino. of the highest is were. Ldon Gruel. a second instalment of which ap- peared in 1904. whom M. be ever so curious. and some of these he used for his important publication in 1887. Leon Gruel an enthusiast who has practical all the antiquarian as well as the fingers' knowledge of binding at his has a all sorts ends.
One style revived from the it in past. that of le cuir incise. Gruel. while the more modern mosaic work. and the bindings of which have always been specially designed and carried out under the direction of M. and le Gascon. is invented and executed with equal facility. the Eves. blind-tooled or with gold. he has made especially his own. has been show that he could with equal success follow every turn taken by his ambition to the art in the various directions that recent evolution has demanded. which 87 of fine editions of liturgies and books of a made it famous long ago.MODERN FRENCH BINDING devotional character. . and of business successive of of the his members it But instead of that. associated with the its The styles names of Grolier. entirely different and he treats an manner to that of Marius. due qualities to the industry direction family. It would have been natural enough had he been content with the great commercial success attained by the house. are reproduced for those clients who demand them.
is a thick piece of worked first by cutting and modelling. To succeed its this technique needs delicacy of handling and a It gives constant practice in methods. who did not hesitate to learn the technicalities of binding that he might devote himself to the decoration of book covers. but calf. which. plenty of scope for emblematic treatment. already spoken of as critical an important writer on the technical aspects of craft. great then coloured. is and then introduced as a panel sunk into the cover.: 88 MODERN FRENCH BINDING difference in procedure is The briefly this is the incised leather of Marius not one with the binding. in the hands of Rossigneux. in and hardened. not only in leather . In Gruel's method the cover is the unit on which the design while modelled finally damp. and what is Rossigneux was an also his own and architect designer of surprising talent. was of great it is artistic merit at the present time executed mainly by a son of M. Bosquet. who days : designed much of this work in former for Gruel.
The variety of his achievement is a constant surprise even to those his versatility.— MODERN FRENCH BINDING especially famous. Vartiste impec- as his fellows call him —and he is perhaps the one man in whom they and the public recognize the chief exponent of the best traditions without being in any sense His individuality is a sympathetic one to all. £mile Mercier has the reputation of being the finest gilder in Paris cable. 89 but in carved wood. Leon Gruel is the master of a large workshop to which his men are proud to belong. for at who know each successive ex- hibition he seems able to add fresh laurels to those which have always surrounded the name of his house. and even in that little world of keen opposition and a servile imitator of the past. personal jealousy he cannot count a single . As President of the Chambre Syndicale he has rendered important services. freely acknowledged. in an insistence on sound teaching and a wise encouragement of the coming generation of binders. for which he was M.
at the age of thirty-six. but which none the sibly less visible to the eye for such distinctions. No French for gilding could pos- be is mistaken also English. Though he himself works as hard as ever. and the reverse true. brilliancy gilding a and solidity as well as elegance of appearance that are beyond criticism. Mercier stands out as pre-eminent.90 MODERN FRENCH BINDING He took over the atelier of Cuzin 1890. on the chief. There is an immense difference ' in the mere technique of tooling. But even among French of gilders. His work has a vigour his and sureness of handling. and for whose clients he had executed all the fine designs associated with the name of Cuzin. where the method prevails of the tools in impres- laborious and patient but absolutely certain reworking sions previously made.' or gilding as it is always called abroad —a difierence almost is impossible to put into words. in death of his with whom his relations had long been of the happiest kind. he has already brought up in his work- . enemy.
all without hesitation as to its Petrus Ruban. seemed for some time undecided as to whether he should join the ranks of the or traditional the revolutionary binders. already of fine performance as well as of Content to quietly Mercier has raised no opposition by any manifesto.MODERN FRENCH BINDING among whom Mayloender future promise. mentioned as excel. of the head. The finish of his craftsmanship finer is undoubted : no one has mastery over tools and . born at Villefranche in 1851. in which striking effects of colour have been managed without a sacrifice of taste. He was at first obviously inspired by the newer decorative attempts of Henri Marius Michel. is 91 shop several young finishers of great merit. but has recently left the circle of innovators for the more restricted ranks of the relieurs-doreurs. Ruban's power has enabled him to produce ' ' some remarkably fine blind-tooled mosaics. whom Mercier is Nevertheless of invention M. and his position of first rank is accepted by justice.
it is But. and that should never have been admitted into an exhibition supposed to be especially selective. treatment of ex- quisite material distinguishes everything he turns out.92 MODERN FRENCH BINDING and a It faultless leather. and the Arts and Crafts Society has. on the other hand. we may venture to say so. stress is may seem as if too much in laid upon is this perfection of exe- cution which characterises French work a way it that is unknown it to our craftsmen. And true that too often proves a for snare. giving culties an occasion making diffi- merely to show how they can be triumphed over. The insistence of late on the comparative unimportance of technique in relation to originality of invention has been disastrous. a matter in which we in England are all too negligent. if given far too point of view. It may be truly said . much encouragement to that There have been bindings defective in the ' shown there which were very elements of sound forwarding ' — in the finish that comes of an effective covps d'ouvrage.
born in 1866. The increasing costliness of whole-binding due to the demands for originality made by amateurs had given an impetus to half-binding which Meunier was not slow to avail himself of.MODERN FRENCH BINDING that nothing is 98 it a work of art unless attains to a fairly perfect technique. was the same with the cuir cisele. binder naturally echoed the note of the day. the symbolist movement was It at its height. even though the decorative conception may be of considerable value. which . executing some five or six hundred. as has been shown. Keen to succeed and make a place among the fore- restless most binders of Paris. He at once set about supply- ing the demand. Charles Meunier. served a short but energetic apprenticeship to Marius Michel. he worked with a and unceasing effort that might well have proved disastrous to his career. It was the moment and the young in when. each with a different emblematic design upon the back. and then at the age of twenty decided to start for himself.
the details of which. according to French standards. he quickly attained great copies alone. and not always sufficiently restrained. or mindful of . His style has become chastened in accordance with the increasing distaste of eccentricity. was His taste in colour may seem somewhat bizarre. Meunier has now almost attained the position he coveted. left something to be desired in the early days of his rather too exuberant fancy. with as doing forty many different designs of L'histoire des quatrefils d'Aymon. crude and his motives but of the mastery over his materials there is no doubt. His snare is that he is a decorator before anything else. which proved a failure commercially until Marius floated it by means of his fine bindings with motives taken from the illustrations themselves. showing some seventy skill specimens in which his decorative extensively represented. a book by Eugene Grasset.94 MODERN FRENCH BINDING skill. Last year he held a special exhibi- tion in New York. and illustrated he gives greater care to execution.
life little as M. takes its name from the binder who first it in used France.MODERN FRENCH BINDING the best traditions of decoration in cular application to binding. it la Bradel has become a art mainly through the instrumentality of M. Carayon ' ' is based upon le cartonnage. or casing as we call it. soon giving up that career . started as a soldier. Supposed to be of German origin. and which is with us an inferior form of binding mainly confined to publishers' editions. where for some time it was considered as a temporary binding for left books of value which in this way were uncut at the edges and handled as possible. made separately and the book held to them by the very slight attachment of pasting down the whether of cloth are endpapers. Carayon. 95 its parti- The reputation of M. or leather. born in 1840. In this work the cases or covers. instead of the slips on which the book is sewn being laced into the boards and then being subsequently covered with the material selected. But in France cartonfine nage a Carayon.
decorate his vellum work with pen-and-ink and water-colour drawings. brocade. or indeed any kind of ornament. indeed. confide to his charge their most costly possessions. velvet. and he devises the modelled leather work executed for him by Rudeaux with the delicacy and sure- . one wants. Type of the true art worker. become a decorative painter but his love of books and all that concerns them finally decided his occupation. At the same time neither inlaying nor gilding has any secrets from him. produce his hands the most exquisite results.96 to MODERN FRENCH BINDING . calf. . devising some new application of le genre Bradel. to realize that the beauty of a binding does not in lie in tooling. though sadly crippled with rheumatism. vellum. even simple paper. Henriot and If Louis Morin. All materials come in alike to him morocco. he is to be found all day long in his atelier. and the first artists of such as Robaudi. Amateurs the day. one need only little handle the paper-covered books turned out by Carayon for a few francs.
MODERN FRENCH BINDING ness of taste that distinguish takes. all 97 he under- Chambolle most worthily continues the traditions associated with the father. keeping to a composition. which he clothes in the styles appropriate to them. name of his As an interpreter of the past he has a place apart and almost untouched by the main revolutionary movement that has its penetrated nearly every atelier in Paris. inherited To him are confided the classics of former times. if not overturned. supreme. in these days of reck- less pursuit of novelty. traditions. and modified. he remains almost Canape putation. in is a young binder of increasing represent he seems to specialize At what is called la gaufrure a froid. in which different-coloured moroccos are tooled without gold a style which has been much in favour of late years. and in which Marius — . he rarely goes outside his own domain. where. simplicity of ornamentation which reveals great taste and feeling for Wisely enough.
' travers des matieres solides qui A sculptor of great talent. He has done . ings have an individuality of their own. this has been merely a recreation to him. distinct though somewhat mannered. ' C'est I'esprit du Uvre qui le vient du dedans en dehors apparaitre au protegent. which. It is work done on something of the same lines as that attempted by Mr. in Pierre Roche has struck a new note what he calls la relim^e eglomisee. The reproductions shown largeness of conception testify to a certain in design. M. to use his own words. Cedric Chivers of Bath. is a binder whose work has a and whose bind- distinctly personal touch. too. He uses a transparent vellum which covers and protects the decoration.98 MODERN FRENCH BINDING was the first to effect great triumphs. and he thought to be steadily taking first place in the rank. His career has been watched Michel with much is interest for the last few years. as if behind a veil. has value. Kieffer. which thus appears.
4S. .le. Bound by Chamboi.
refused to be drawn into manufacturing them. We have Galliera field the variety of the work shown at the Museum. and the intent on producing decorative looks at a is material for bindings. so to speak. that there were two artist distinct classes of exhibitors. and in the its still higher achieve- ment matter of craftsmanship. its high attainment in the of design. or rather remain as an occasional variation of the more accredited ways of book-cover perhaps said enough to indicate decoration. notwithstanding their success. by means of painting or the aid of any other of . and restrained in his methods by the use and it is purpose to which considers it to be put. the professional binder. One impression remains very clearly. feelit is ing it doubtful whether a style that should be popularized to any great extent. like a true artist.MODERN FRENCH BINDING but a small number of books for a few tinguished clients. The first book as a thing to bind and handle. The second as a surface to decorate. 99 dis- and. has.
which like- wise consist of panels that are let into bindings prepared for that purpose by Marius way. is of Lepere. Vallgren. as upon a and can but be connexion is considered books.100 MODERN FRENCH BINDING arts. they decorative and others. ible for a fantasy in with Bibliomania in France respons- much that It is is disastrously eccentric and decadent. . Admirable in their would be equally objects framed effective wall. which a form of vanity in collectors vie with each other. If Paris still pro- duces too many bindings of the bizarre and still overdecorated kind. and in- volves an expenditure not only on books but on bindings that would now seem to have reached the limit of extravagance. . the The modelled work to. above alluded also is an instance of this so that of Mdme. and need no longer of fill the eye to the exclusion what is really finely conceived as well as exquisitely executed. we can go to her and for for the masterpieces of simplicity flawlessness of material faultlessly treated. But such eccentricity is less than it was.
as in the past.MODERN FRENCH BINDING Some day even to their skill 101 the best binders may cease support Vart nouveau by the force of and energy. and to the accomplishrestraint ment of that binding as a fine which must always be the high-water mark of bookfine art. but will rather confine themselves. to the simple dignity that distinguished bindings in the best periods. .
EDITION BINDING .
is a tendency to exaggerate the importance of the ornamental and the decorated. wliich she has received from The Printing Art. with that revival of craftsmanship.EDITION BINDING^ Of late years. there has been a rush into all the departments of manual dexterity needing for successful achievement the guidance of artistic feeling. 106 . of plainness and the undecorated surface of flawless material. to the The result of this has been that there exclusion of not only simplicity but. * The author wishes to acknowledge permission. more slowly for the majority of the public. let us say frankly. which first appeared in that periodical. to print in this country this last chapter. very quickly for those who prefer restraint. The arts over- elaboration of the decorative must inevitably produce a reaction sooner or later. according to the gospel of Ruskin and William Morris. already dwelt upon.
separately from the book. giving first a brief account of the stages through which it has passed in modern times. . and finally offering some . There for will remain covers the cloth or leather-covered book in greater or smaller editions. either with or without the addition of colours or gold leaf this class of It is of work that I propose to treat. though on a much smaller scale. is always synonymous with for For such as these fashion counts much and it is in the hope that those who lead taste in the matter of edition bindings may find a scope for their enterprise on somewhat new lines that I ask consideration for this chapter.106 to EDITION BINDING whom ornament art. After for all. in the early days of printing. which are made in by machinery. and for decorating which metal dies are cut and stamped by means of an emquantities bossing press. the costly bindings achieved wealthy amateurs must always constitute but a small portion of the output of bound work. then showing how it was dealt with.
Vellum. again. ally used for small editions it blocks well. and is both strong and compara- tively inexpensive. used at At it all one time ceased in bindings. little and is most effective with but ornafor ment. might be occasion. when was generally . except in account- book manufacture. future. treatment in as I more This artistic the treatment would . considering the size of the skins.EDITION BINDING suggestions for think. much in demand for many years to it be England. but for small where a little extra outlay could be easily recovered the work. would not be a costly material. not perhaps for books issued editions numbers. necessi- tate the is employment of leather less but there no reason why the in large expensive kinds of skins should not be used. its 107 more varied and. Pigskin is a very suitable material for the better class of bindings on which stamps are to be used. and would give good results in the embossing press. skins. on the published price of Roans made from the best sheep- which are the hides of Scotch sheep.
has lately come into fashion again. will we get some idea of their treatment in times. fine There was a very specimen of vellum. ing in detail treated in the But edition before consider- how bindings were days when. books of the type of dictionaries. who . Up to.108 EDITION BINDING It stained green. and both the Doves Press and the Ashendene Press suitability for blocking. we have only to turn to the coats-of-arms which frequently decorated it on the books of the great collectors of past times. and books of reference were . To observe either when used limp or on boards. classics. starting with the last more recent century. chiefly for limp work. books were few in number. school-books. ornamented in black. shown at the Burlington Fine Arts Exhibition in 1891. through the initiative of William Morris. intro- duced it on most of the works issued by him from the Kelmscott Press have continued to employ its it. roughly speaking. about 1825. comparatively speaking.
. iiolM) H\ CA.NAl'i:.51.
stamped with gold. on. were bound in morocco and silk. Friendships Offering. EDITION BINDING mostly bound in 109 roan or sprinkled sheep while books of history. The Booh of Beauty. poetry. and the class of literature known in those days as gift-books or annuals occasionally appeared in vellum- coloured paper. as in the case of Walker's British It Classics (1818). and issued under such titles as The Keepsake. or the full title printed on the back and sides. The Bijou. The more valuable of these. .. was very rarely that anything but a dull colour was used. The La7idscape Annual. and novels were issued in drab or olive-coloured paper boards. in . Such books commanded a large even in those days subject. mentions Finden's two thousand imperial quarto volumes. full Bookbinder. and a writer on the the first volume of The Tableaux. though Whittingham's British Poets (1816) had a dark Venetian red paper. however. with a printed label pasted on the back. filled with choice steel engravings and prepared for the Christmas market. and so sale.
with white labels paper. in blue in six volumes. Boys. He bound for Tilt. the Historical Romances^ 1822. Charles Moon. Pickering. appeared in 1819 in pink paper. Knight. introduced by Mr. and many and died . a with calico or cloth. gilt. Colbourn. Graves. one of successful of the most enterprising modern binders. in twelve volumes. Archibald Leighton. others. followed in with . The next step was that of covering books entirely with cloth. covered boards. which clothed the larger number of the books of that had a way of cracking at the hinge. Murray. whose and busi- ness capacity and energy secured for him the patronage of the chief publishers of the day. which was got over about 1822 by covering the back As an illustration we may take The Novels and . bound The papertime. pink cloth back and white in paper labels and Novels and Ro^nances 1824 in the same fashion. Scott's Waverley Tales. and so bedifficulty coming disconnected.110 EDITION BINDING in best morocco. of this step Novels.
In those days the white in calico was bought of 3 London.EDITION BINDING 111 prematurely in 1841. and thence to Mr. of the invention of bookbinders' cloth by his father. cloth of bookbinders' The embossing was suggested by . has remained in their hands up to the present time. Crown Court. and of how the subit sequent embossing of came about. In the is Booksellei' of July 4. by Mr. presented to his father by the author. The publishers' names are is Lackington. 1881. under a somewhat varying character.established business which. but says that he has in his library a volume. and the date on the title-page 1822. there an interesting account. bound in smooth. John Southgate. Old Change. with a paper label. Hughes. red cloth. Robert Leighton. leaving to his family a well. Harding and Lepard. it There is is every reason to believe that one of a number similarly bound in that year. to be stiffened and calendered. is The exact date of cloth binding he not able to state. sent to the dyers to be dyed.
exact circumference of the gun-metal one. and the pattern transferred from the cloth was passed between them of and received the impress engraved the pattern on the metal cylinder. and these two being worked together one to the other. in a machine. Leighton was for many years embossed upon their own premises. . which were placed in the gun-metal cylinder and replaced by others when cold. and the machine was turned by manual labour and heated by red-hot irons. de la Rue.112 EDITION BINDING Mr. with the appliances he possessed for embossing paper. Archibald Leighton to the late Mr. In this way the whole of the cloth used by Messrs. and transferred in reverse to one made of compressed paper. that his process remains still pattern The desired was engraved on a gun-metal cylinder. and was carried out so admirably by him. strung upon an iron spindle and turned in the lathe to the comparatively unaltered. The cylinders were only fourteen or fifteen inches wide.
. Bound by Canape.52.
Leighton's methods in the preparation and sale of the cloth. Leighton bound books ' and either his Aldine Poets first ' or the 'Diamond Classics' were the books on which cloth on it was put. Mr. and such like popular works. Mr. of Monkwell Street. of St. person for in cloth. who established a manufactory of bookbinders' cloth at Hoxton. Wilson sold his business to Messrs. who had followed Mr. John Street. The first person to undertake the embossing of bookbinders' cylinders a yard wide was Mr. with embossed cloth covers so prepared. special cylinders for and you may still occasionally meet with stray volumes of The Penny Cyclcypcedia or Knight's Pictorial England. and for years he embossed all the cloth sold by Mr. Law.EDITION BINDING In those days it 113 was customary to engrave books of importance. Pickering was the first whom Mr. The exact period first when gold-stamping was applied to . and so im- proved it that for years he held practically its a monopoly of output. Duffield. James Leonard Wilson.
matching the cloth in colour. and had a sale of about 20. The volumes were published monthly. John Murray. and other special processes. Henry George Bohn. made acquaintance ' with when a In later life. in a letter addressed to the Art Journal. on which was printed in bronze the title and a coronet . says that his father.000. on the second and succeeding volumes the paper was dispensed with. with a of green paper label on the back. John Henry Bohn. label and title a German bookbinder. Hhe knowledge of the peculiar . They were bound in green cloth.' he continues. by Mr.114 cloth is EDITION BINDING clearly marked by the publication Lord Byron's life and works. Mr. in seventeen volumes. of which he himself boy. and the first volume was issued in 1832. treeall marbling. as well as calf-graining. established about 1795 in Frith Street. had a special reputation for gilding on the silk linings of books. and the coronet were stamped in gold upon the cloth itself. Soho. of Albemarle Street.
it to cloth binders that. and undertaking half the price I in consequence to bind in gilt cloth several thousand volumes at should previously have had to pay. on account of the necessity of having to add leather backs for taking The book was the gold by hand tooling. however. which I brouofht out in 1832. was successfully accomplished and Mr.EDITION BINDING me 115 dressing used for gilding on silk enabled to communicate to Mr.' . What to me at the time seemed an accomplishment of little of such importance moment has now become have been patented. Leighton the means of getting cloth prepared so as to take gilding by heated machinery at the rolling or stamping press. James Leonard Wilson. could the discovery would have yielded a considerable income. Martin and Westall's Bible Points. which a leading The trade firm said was impracticable. after a few weeks' ex- periments conducted by the late Mr. Leighton thereupon wrote to me triumphantly announcing the fact. . process.
examples of which he showed in the exhibition of 1851. which he devised in conjunction John Leighton. was himself the pioneer in the use of steam machinery in bookbinding. He was also the first to use steam power for blocking in gold the first to use aluminium. and he adopted all in his own business nearly since the machinery which has become indispensable to the wholesale binder. wrote of his father's invention. and its decoration by means of steam-blocking in gold and . for Mrs. thus in- augurated and furthered the great revolution in the art of edition binding associated with the employment for the purpose of specially prepared cloth. and black and coloured inks for cloth cases. known as Luke Limner. reputation for the designs of his cloth bindings. The two Leightons. Jameson's Legends of the Madonna and Legends of the Monastic Oi^ders. a good instance being the pleasant and appropriate covers with his artist cousin. father and son. He had a great .116 EDITION BINDING Robert Leis^hton. who thus This Mr.
Her Majesty's Minister. One may mention as instances in England the novels published by Messrs. and. Hodder and Stoughton. o^ilt unfortunately. while cloth as a material for the cover continued to be used. The Hebrew. Mrs. such an in a invention should lead to abuse and short time. 117 It was natural that . and give representations of scenes taken from the books with excellent impressionist effect. such as hi Our Town.EDITION BINDING colours. More recently colour printing upon cloth has been revived with excellent results in pecially where an artist many cases. there was so much ornament that a strong: reaction took place. eswho understands the power and limitations of the blocking process has been employed upon the designs. and many others of the same firm. one of whose members gives special attention to the . Many of these are entirely without gold. had a single bordering title like- with or without the wise in gold upon the sides. Wiggs of the Cahhage Patch. it was either left plain or line in gold.
output of American work on similar Messrs. publish likewise one or in plain cloth. notably The Romance of the Colorado River. which seemed a pleasant variation not in use over here . Appleton's are to be found several specimens of bookbinders' cloth which do not come over here at all. 118 EDITION BINDING The by Mr. Puttenham have produced some excellent examples of taste in colour printing. Puerto Rican. is a most satisfactory example of blocking with white foil on a blue ground. At Messrs. shown in The same house two books bound is with a photographic print on while Ttventy-Six the cover. Historic Ships. and The Romance of the Renaissance Chateaux. Lights of Childhood. though it is not so easy to keep in touch with the lines. bindings of books issued are also frequently very successful. also issued by them. John Lane successful production of cloth covers. in which the castle of Langeais black on a grey cloth. We it have but little variety in the nature and preparation of our cloth while in America is treated in many ..
Messrs. is the position of cloth bind- ing at the present time as shown by the .EDITION BINDING different ways. Paris in its Splendour. Houghton and Mifflin. Gay and Bird some effec- tive colour printing on In South Africa with in Buller. the cloth of the cover represents confined to the design. the gold being suggesting the background. little doubt that the most artistic rather than in There is effects are got by using very few colours in harmony contrast with the cloth. with a decidedly original result. published by is the last-named firm. 119 which naturally give very issue varied results in the blocking-press. This. issued by Messrs. then. and with far better taste. Gold is much more sparingly used for cloth work than formerly. Walden. and an attractive and mountain scene example of a loch four sombre colours on The Story of Gosta Berling. an interesting ex- ample of the different effects that can be obtained from the gold by varieties of matted ground in the block while in .
We do not think that in that special branch of edition bindings there is any great advance to be made or novelty to be assumed. there is far more re- straint than formerly both in the matter of design and the employment of colour. and a great advance on that shown a decade or two ago. the drawings are frequently the work of artists. In what direction. though no doubt we may expect a wider diffusion of the taste that we have noted in the best work and an increasingly small number of book covers inferior in design. in it is necessary to spend a short time studying the bindings in which books were clothed when they were less numerous.120 leading EDITION BINDING publishers' work. can we hope for In order to answer any new departure ? the question. then. while the taste in colour schemes is often as good as possible. and during a period when . colour. and complete the scope of this chapter. and general effect. The technical processes are probably as perfect as such things can be.
they reached what
think the high-
water mark of successful decoration.
of the early printers was issued
in trade bindings just as publishers'
sent out, but in those days stationers
craft of binding with the busi-
ness of bookselling.
The earliest of all were decorated by building up designs from dies,
being arranged in pattern schemes
W. H. James Weale was
set forth in the cata-
logue of the fine collection of rubbings of
bindings which he presented to the National
of South Kensington in 1894.
These schemes were taken from the covers
manuscripts from the twelfth to
but the same kind of
arrangement, though not so elaborate,
be seen on the earliest printed books
witness the illustrations to the monographs
on early Oxford and Cambridge bindings issued by the Bibliographical Society.
Small books were stamped with a panel on
the sides, and these often had the
mark of the
which have led
bindings to the stationers
number still remain to The blocks were generally
and were used sometimes one on each
between a bordering of roughly drawn
sometimes two together were placed upon one side, and connected with lines or some simple device and occasionally on
large books four panels were arranged in
rows of two.
The material of the binding
not the fragile kind
associated with the
but chiefly the three
or blocks used were cut
in intaglio, either
on hard wood or on metal,
producing the impression in cameo
design was often both strong and delicate in
the impression after
more excellent than the dragons, gryphons, and other mythical animals in the pear-
It is known exactly how ings these stamps were used upon the bind. who one. and none of them are stamps. used. Silvestre. or square dies arranged within the pattern schemes of the very early bindings. the when panel stamps was thoroughly were press.EDITION BINDING 123 shaped. used by Petrus Cesar Gaudanus. between 1516 and 1547. cess not connected with binding but in any case it probably represents what must have been the precedure used in impressing the These dies passed from one workshop to another. it is probable that. died in 1535. there a printers' mark. used a somewhat similar Though there is obviously a book in the press. . of Ghent. the picture may relate to a pro. . leather wetted and the book then placed in a screw under a block of wood or metal. which represents a book undergoing pressure in a printers' press and Josse Bade. circular. likewise a stationer and printer of Paris. triangular. for In Marques TypograpMques by is the length of time needed to obtain a clear impression. otherwise Pierre de Keyser.
England.124 EDITION BINDING extant to my knowledge in Henry vii. though the heraldic blocks used on books in the reigns of and Henry viii. but in England. but it is more probable that they indicate the heads of nails or pegs which fastened the carved block or metal stamp to another piece of wood. In the Netherlands these designs the binders guilds. situated within the border at the top and bottom of the panel. this were the binders' property and protected as such. precise purport of these is The unknown. On many of the blocks there appear two indentations or holes about a quarter of an inch in diameter. Sometimes the impressions by them are almost imperceptible. and suggests many plausible theories have been invented to account for them. at made . and piracy was everywhere prevalent. were decidedly numerous and of great artistic merit. where were not organized into separate was not the case. One such that they were stop buttons to prevent the stamp from sinking too far into the leather.
. Bound by Kieffer.56.
we are not concerned at the moment. H. Baptist. Whether rise to the stamps were of wood or metal. their authorship as . the interested reader cannot do better than procure the two volumes. James Weale. This class of binding early book covers. and for a general history of early stamped bindings. the Crucifixion. the Ara Coeli.EDITION BINDING ment by carrying the ornament 125 others there has been an attempt at concealacross. which contains also a certain amount of illustration. and the all different saints and apostles. has given much dispute of an archaeological kind. are represented upon these For an account of them. entitled Bookbindings and Ruhhings of Bindings in the National Art Library of South Kensington Museum. published at half a crown by the Department of Science and Art. at South Kensington. with which. happily. thus the Saint John Our Lady of Pity. by W. in what country they originated. Many of the subjects pictured on these : stamps were of a religious character the Baptism of Christ.
2. in character. combined in design according to certain fixed patterns. they may be classified somewhat as follows to their end. all. their provenance as apart from the country in which they were in use. of great merit and suitability For the present purpose. in the same cathedral Interlaced ornament of several distinct types. wlio was the inventor of the pattern questions roller. bishop of that diocese from 1153 to 1195. with but few exceptions. for styles many were represented by it. — all such we may leave aside. and other books library. the point of interest being the fact of the stamp and its astonishing variety of character. Small Gothic dies with palmated leaves. animals.— EDITION BINDING by initials 126 indicated incorporated in the design. and as far as ornament is concerned. such as those on the Bible written and bound in the monastery at Durham for Hugh Pudsey. and so on. on the of books in leather that have come executed in down the north . earliest some Celtic to us. : 1.
Eastern in character. The Spanish bindings of the ment of 3. foliage. 4. first the sixteenth century have interlaced ornaas fine a kind. designs on Koman mosaic pavement others. The Gothic stamps of my thical animals. again. all belong to the latter and are the cablework designs found last half of the on Italian books of the fifteenth century. no doubt copied from half of Arabian examples. enclosed in circles or scrollwork. but often lacking in the comparative simplicity of the Italian. Henry vii. The panel stamps of a purety decora- . These were mostly of Albert panels Diirer German origin. and Henry viii. used in England during the reigns of 5. and were no doubt inspired of by the work contemporaries. Perhaps the most beautiful interlaced patterns of class. others the . bordered with Gothic and frequently con- taining a legend.EDITION BINDING England recalling in 127 the twelfth century. and his The heraldic decorated with royal badges.
and those the in use by Norins. such as those with the reUgious subjects above mentioned . in which the acorn figures largely as an ornament. Lastly. in conclusion. for lavish ornament distinctly out of place as applied to cheap material. and which are : as follows That the flat blocking of cloth work in gold and colours by no means exhausts the treatment possible for edition or publishers' bindings. as decoration for the ordinary novel of a few shillings nothing is in better taste than a single design carried out in two or three . and marking the complete decline of the binder's stamp. the points have desired to emphasize. I I would sum up.— 128 EDITION BINDING others Uke the tive kind. Indeed. of a miller with his sacks. such as cloths and linens. . well-known two used by Moulin. in punning allusion to his name 6. panel stamps with two profile busts in medallion within a frame- work of Renaissance ornament. It has undoubtedly been largely is overdone. thoroughly debased in character.
That the designing of such stamps should be put in the hands of the few artists having a genius for the work. which should be design without gold. for rather. but brass. would be imperative. as a material which admits of modelling. leather and blocked with a stamp of fine which will give a raised impression. but would a limited number of publications. that they should be reserved for which the subject-matter.EDITION BINDING colour printings without gold. and belongs more to the art of the medallist than to that of the maker of patterns. such as 129 some of those mentioned. paper and type constitute together a whole. worthy of a dignified cover that will stand the lapse of time. which is quite special in character. For this purpose zinco- graphic blocks are of no use. indeed. We in no way want their undue multiplication. In these days of book lovers and . That there is room for a totally distinct class of bindings for small editions of more in important publications.
little Bibelot series. such sources as the Book of Kells and Eaiiy Christian Art in Ireland.130 EDITION BINDING collectors of every sort. by Margaret Stokes. Messrs. is we have tried to show that there glean the prin- no dearth of material from which the designer of such work ciples may on which it should be based. and may be done . are full of illustrations in a field strangely little explored by the pattern-maker of to-day. they are suggestive of what was done in edition binding in the past. Gay and Bird have already made a slight attempt on the lines I am suggesting. in which they would associate the binding and have no desire to separate the one from the other. Lastly. it is certainly not unlikely that there are many who would welcome a new venture of this kind. In the with the book. Apart from which may be studied for the purpose. While only a limited number of early examples have been instanced. the bindings still extant. in order to secure satisfactory results.
the initiative of a printer- pubhsher who does the best kind of work. to find such an one ought not to in a field that and be difficult with the widespread interest now shown in every detail of book production. Constable. rrinted by T. however. Such a departure needs.EDITION BINDING again in 131 the future. Printers to His Majesty at the Edinburgh University Press . no doubt. Surely. commands the interested support of the genuine book lover. and A.