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KELMSCOTT PRESS - BINDING MORRIS (WILLIAM) The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men, Hammersmith, Kelmscott Press, 1894 image 1
KELMSCOTT PRESS - BINDING MORRIS (WILLIAM) The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men, Hammersmith, Kelmscott Press, 1894 image 2
KELMSCOTT PRESS - BINDING MORRIS (WILLIAM) The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men, Hammersmith, Kelmscott Press, 1894 image 3
KELMSCOTT PRESS - BINDING MORRIS (WILLIAM) The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men, Hammersmith, Kelmscott Press, 1894 image 4
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THE MARY SMITH COLLECTION OF PRIVATE PRESS, FINE BINDINGS AND ILLUSTRATED BOOKS

A fine private collection put together over a period of many years, with an emphasis on special bindings and fine condition. Nearly all of the books bear the bookplate of 'Mary Priscilla Smith'
Lot 283
KELMSCOTT PRESS - BINDING
MORRIS (WILLIAM) The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men, Hammersmith, Kelmscott Press, 1894
24 June 2021, 11:00 BST
London, Knightsbridge

Sold for £31,500 inc. premium

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KELMSCOTT PRESS - BINDING

MORRIS (WILLIAM) The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men, one of 250 copies on paper, printed in Troy type in red and black, 23 wood-engraved illustrations by A. Leverett after Walter Crane, wood-engraved title, borders, half borders, ornaments and initial letters after Morris, ELABORATE INLAID BLUE MOROCCO BINDING by Riviere & Son (signed on front turn-in), probably by De Sauty, sides with elaborate gilt mosaic-style tooling enclosed by very wide borders and circular centrepieces with pomegranate and foliage design composed of maroon, red, tan and green inlays and pointille, spine in 6 compartments, 4 gilt lettered and the others with similar pomegranate and foliage inlaid design, green watered silk endpapers, blue and tan morocco gilt turn-ins with pomegranates at corners and ornate borders. t.e.g., others uncut, preserved in silk and felt-lined black straight-grained morocco fitted case (gilt ruled, rubbed at extremities), 4to (294 x 216mm.), Hammersmith, Kelmscott Press, 1894

Footnotes

A MAGNIFICENTLY SUMPTUOUS RIVIERE BINDING, PROBABLY FINISHED BY ALFRED DE SAUTY.

The Story of the Glittering Plain, in many ways a precursor to Brave New World and modern-day fantasy literature, was first published by the Press two years earlier, in 1892. Walter Crane had been commissioned to produce the illustrations for that edition, but took so long that Morris became impatient and published it without the intended wood-engravings. Crane did finally complete his illustrations, and Morris published the present edition, which was to be the artist's only work for Kelmscott.

Alfred De Sauty (1870-1949) was the subject of an essay by Marianne Tidcombe entitled 'The Mysterious Mr. De Sauty', published in For the Love of the Binding. Studies in Bookbinding History Presented to Mirjam Foot (2000), pp.329-336. She notes that "the first non-trade bookbinder, T. J. Cobden-Sanderson, emerged in the 1880's... he was followed by hundreds of women, but only two male binders of any significance: Douglas Cockerell and Alfred De Sauty". Inspired by seeing illustrations of the bindings of Cobden-Sanderson in an issue of The Studio, he soon found work at the Hampstead Bindery and Guild of Women Binders, and may also have trained under P. A. Savoldelli at Riviere. De Sauty was responsible for some of the best designs of the two binderies, and carried out all the stages of the craft himself, from sewing to the designing and exceptionally delicate tooling of the covers. The present example bears similarities to another in the Catalogue of the Broxbourne Library (no.110), and to others where the use of pointille is prominent.

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