Friday, 30 May 2014

Alfred Tennyson. Enoch Arden. Moxon 1866. 

With illustrations by Arthur Hughes. 

London: Edward Moxon & Co., Dover Street, 1866 London: Bradbury, Evans and Co., printers, Whitefriars.
W: 180 H: 223 T: 23
Pagination:  [6], 81p. with one leaf and then sixteen pages of publisher’s title bound at the end.
Ball, Douglas. Victorian publishers’ bindings.1985, p. 87.
Goldman, Paul. Victorian Illustrated Books 1850-1870. The heyday of wood-engraving. The Robin de Beaumont Collection. London, British Museum Press, 1994, p. 113.
Houfe,Simon. The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914. Woodbridge, Antique Collectors Club, 1978, pp. 347-348.
McLean, Ruari. Victorian book design and colour printing. 2nd edition. [London] Faber & Faber [1972], p. 169. Reproduces the title page and frontispiece.
McLean, Ruari. Victorian publishers’ book-bindings in cloth and leather. London, Gordon Fraser, 1974, p. 134-135. Reproduces the upper and lower covers of a copy bound in blue morocco grained cloth.  

Notes:  This copy has green coarse pebble-grain cloth. The text is sewn on three tapes. The design is by Arthur Hughes. Printed on the title page verso: “The illustrations and cover from drawings by Arthur Hughes. The frontispiece engraved by J. H. Baker, from a medallion by Thomas Woolner. The book produced under the superintendence of [monogram of J B P i.e. James Bertrand Payne].  ” On page four  of the list of books published by Edward Moxon bound in at the end , this work is described as: “ In foolscap 4to, elegantly printed and bound price 21s.” Gilt edges. Bevelled boards. Original yellow pastedowns. Full gilt to both covers and spine. On the lower cover, stalks and ears of corn are blocked between ‘branch like’ fillets blocked on the borders. A diagonal pattern is interspersed with butterflies, with a windmill’s sail blocked in gold on the centre. A single bell and its shell is blocked on each centre side. The spine is blocked in gold. The upper cover has sea motifs – sea shells on corners; ship’s chains and ropes on the borders; a ‘fish net' diagonal pattern with many fish caught inside. An anchor is blocked on the centre. A bell and its wheel is blocked on the centre of each side and on the centre tail. A single ‘rope’ fillet is blocked on the perimeter. A sea shall is blocked in gold at the head and at the tail. Another ‘rope’ Fillet forms a cartouche on the centre of the spine, with the title words: “/ Enoch Arden/” blocked in gold, in ‘rope like’ letters within it. Above and below the cartouche, rope knots and small stem and leaf decoration are blocked in gold. 

The British Library copies are at C.134.d.2 and C129.d.2. The copy at C.134.d.2 has green pebble-grain cloth. The copy at C.129.d.2 has blue sand-grain cloth and is bound in gutta percha. Both the BL copies have the same blocking at the copy illustrated here. However, all of the decorative elements of the blue sand-grain cloth copy are blocked in relief. This implies the use of a different block from the one used for the copy at BL C.134.d.2., and the copy illustrated here. Intriguing...


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