HILL TOWNS OF ITALY; with PLAIN TOWNS OF ITALY - The Cities of Old Venetia [Two volumes, finely bound by the Rowfant Bindery]

Williams, Edgerton R.

Editorial: Houghton Miffin, Boston, 1911
Condición: Very Good+ Encuadernación de tapa dura
Librería: Antiquarian Bookshop (Washington, DC, Estados Unidos de America)

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"Hill Towns" was originally published in 1903. This copy is a later printing, available from Houghton Miffin contemporaneously with the 1911 first edition of the author's "Plain Towns." The pair of volumes are offered as a set, in matching fine bindings: contemporary three-quarters bindings of navy blue crushed levant morocco over marbled paper covered boards, with four raised bands on the spines. The titles and author's names are lettered in gilt between the upper and lower pairs of bands, in the larger space at the center, there are extraordinary pictorial onlays in four shades of tan and brown leathers. The high quality of these bindings, brilliantly executed using the finest materials is confirmed by the stamped identification of the Rowfant Bindery on the verso of each front free endpaper. This renowned firm had roots in the project initiated by Robert Hoe and members of the Grolier Club in New York, unhappy with the woeful state of the art of fine binding in America, to establish the Club Bindery in an attempt to make available to Grolier Club members luxury bookbindings that could rival those crafted by the European binders. Several English and French-trained binders were brought to New York to begin work around1895. In 1897, Robert Hoe was instrumental in bringing Leon Maillard to the bindery from France. The temperamental Maillard turned his exceptional finishing skills to the production of wonderful and expensive bindings for Hoe and other collectors. The Club Bindery was dissolved in 1909, after Hoe's death. The staff was drawn to Cleveland by the prospect of working for the active collector-members of that city's Rowfant Club. (The tools of the Club Bindery were sold to another firm in New York as part of the Hoe estate in 1912). The designer and finisher from the Rowfant Bindery responsible for these matched bindings has based the pictorial onlays on the designs of the handsome original cloth bindings in which these books appeared from the publisher. [The earlier "Hill Towns" had a decorative cloth binding designed by Adrian Iorio, an assistant to Will H. Bradley. The later "Plain Towns" was a product of the Decorative Designers studio]. The masterly vignette on the "Hill Towns" spine depicts a typical building of the region, in onlays of tan and two shades of brown, with outlines in black. A sense of the building's setting on a hill is neatly conveyed by the simple geometric sweep of the wall and path leading to the door. The scene on the spine of the "Plain Towns" uses a similar palette, and shows vernacular buildings with their tile roofs in two shades of tan, glimpsed through poplar trees with a hill behind, using two shades of brown. This pair of bindings are executed in three-quarters morocco, and may not have been commissioned by a member of the Rowant Club -- (there is no groundhog candlestick device, just the tiny letters "ROWFANT BINDERY" stamped at the upper corner of the verso of each front free endpaper). Most likely, this handsome pair represent a relatively scarce subset of the 1051 Rowfant bindings -- in which the best American binders of their time were attempting to save the Rowfant Binders firm with superior commercial work to supplement the commissions from Rowfant Club members. Alas, in 1914, the firm's brief existence came to an end, less than five years after its Cleveland incarnation opened. Some of the staff including Gaston Pilon formed their own firm as Book-lover's Bindery in Cleveland, and thus struggled along for four more difficult years. Some of that staff subsequently moved back to New York and plied their trade as "The French Binders." The brilliant finisher, Leon Maillard, who learned his trade from his father Charles Maillard in Paris at Cuzin's, and then worked with Gruel and as master finisher with Marius Michel before Robert Hoe lured him to New York to be master finisher for the Club Bindery, was known as sullen and moody, even when things were going well. Leon Maillard, ath. N° de ref. de la librería 39519

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Detalles bibliográficos


Editorial: Houghton Miffin, Boston

Año de publicación: 1911

Encuadernación: Hardcover

Condición del libro:Very Good+

Edición: First Edition.

Descripción de la librería

At The Antiquarian Book Shop, located in Georgetown - an historic neighborhood of Washington, D.C. - we have been buying, selling & appraising rare, interesting and scholarly books for nearly 30 years. Currently, our catalogued inventory includes about 6,000 books from the sixteenth century through the twentieth century in a variety of subject areas. About a third of our books are published prior to 1900; the rest of our stock comprises collectible, interesting and scholarly books. We have added images of many of the items listed to better convey their quality and condition. If you'd like to see an image of any particular item that is not yet illustrated, please contact us. We can provide professional appraisals and are interested in buying significant collections of books. Contact us for details of fee structure for appraisals. Thank you for considering our offerings.

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