- Cloth Bindings, 1850s
Charles Dickens. A child's history of England. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1852. Three volumes, Vol. 1 displayed.
This volume is bound in red rib-grained cloth, blocked in blind and gold on front; blind-blocked on back, and gold on spine. By the 1840s and 1850s, there was a shift away from dark coloured cloth to lighter and more venturesome colours. This period also signified gradual a shift in design from dignified utility to decoration for its own sake.
Laurence Oliphant. The Trans-Caucasian campaign of the Turkish army under Omer Pasha: a personal narrative. Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1856.
Bound in green ribbed-morocco grained cloth, the front cover features a gold-blocked vignette which has been copied from the illustration on the title-page. Unusually, a different vignette is blind-blocked on the back cover, depicting a banner displaying the symbols of the Turkish flag.
This book contains the binder’s ticket of Edmonds & Remnants, London.
John Gilbert (illustrator). The book of Job. London: J. Nisbet, 1857.
Bound in maroon morocco-grained cloth, this book has been gold-blocked on the front and back covers with the same design, whose patterns show eastern influences.
It contains the binder’s ticket of Leighton, Son & Hodge, the firm started by Archibald Leighton (1784-1841), who is considered the first bookbinder to produce trade bindings in cloth. The cover may have been designed by John Leighton (1822-1912), an English artist notable for his book designs.
James Beattie. The minstrel. London and New York: G. Routledge, 1858.
Bound in dark blue sand-grained cloth blocked in blind and gold, this book is signed ‘AW’ at the base of central front vignette. This is Albert Henry Warren (1830-1911), an English artist and prominent book-binding designer. It contains the binder’s ticket of W. Bone & Son, London.
Although by no means new, certain other binding characteristics (present here) including edge gilding and bevelled boards, became increasingly common from the 1850s.
Thomas Hughes. The scouring of the White Horse, or, The long vacation ramble of a London clerk. Cambridge: Macmillan, 1859.
This binding is of blue straight-grain morocco cloth blocked in blind and gold. The cover pictorial, which includes the text of the title, has been especially designed for this work. Unusually, it consists of a border, whilst the central space which would usually include a vignette or emblem has been left blank.
It contains the binder’s ticket of John Grant, bookseller, stationer and bookbinder, Galashields.