A bibliographical catalogue of what must be one of the finest and most thorough private collections of material on bookbinding has been published by Clare A. Marshall of Bruce Marshall Rare Books of Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire, England. Six hundred books, pamphlets, prints and broadsides are presented in an extensive catalogue entitled A History of Bookbinding. The Trevor Lloyd Collection. Trevor Lloyd, MBE, is one of the most prominent British bookbinders of the past 40 years. He has bound books in many different styles for collectors, private libraries, and dealers, including notable individuals such as King Charles and author, broadcaster and noted environmentalist David Attenborough.
The group is being sold complete, priced at £75,000 (approximately US $93,000) for the entire collection.
The catalogue says, “The collection includes numerous early technical manuals which show both the progression of techniques and machinery during the Industrial Revolution, as well as the struggle those working in factory binderies had to overcome in order to protect their craft...The majority of these books would now be very difficult to acquire and a library such as this would be impossible to assemble. This collection not only documents but celebrates the book and its binding, its history as well as its future.”
Clare Marshall explains “The collection itself is very impressive as many of the items featured in this catalogue are stunningly rare, the real value of the collection lies in its scope. These 600 books, pamphlets, prints and broadsides provide an amazingly comprehensive resource for the study of the history of bookbinding. The collection includes numerous early technical manuals which show both the progression of techniques and machinery during the Industrial Revolution, as well as the struggle those working in factory binderies had to overcome in order to protect their craft.”
While I appreciate the art and beauty of fine bindings, my knowledge of what goes into the process of creating them is virtually nil, so I asked Clare Marshall to point out a few examples of material particularly noteworthy for those who understand bookbinding better than I. These are the highlights she selected.
7. Anweisung zur Buchbinderkunst, darinnen alle Handarbeiten, die sur Dauer und Zierd eines Buchesgereichen, möglichst beschreiben, nebst einemUnterricht Futterale und aus Pappe verscheidene Sachen zu verfertigen, solche zu lacquiren, in Messing und Kupfer zu lothen, die versertigte Arbeit in Feuer versilbern und zu vergolden, mit gehorigen Kupfern in zwey Thiele verfasset, FIRST EDITION, 2 parts in one vol, (xvi) +269+1pp, 128+(xiv)pp, 7 engraved plates, engraved vignette to title, age related light toning throughout, half calf over marbled boards, title on spine in gilt, 12mo, Leipzig, Joh. Sam. Heinsii Erben, 1762 UNIQUE COPY WITH ABOUT 80 MOUNTED IMPRESSIONS OF BOOKBINDER’S STAMPS. A rare and very early craft manual for the bookbinder. As stated by Esther Potter: “Workshop manuals only survive by accident. They are normally used until they drop to pieces and are thrown out. The tally of survivors in this list is very small. One must suppose that more were printed and perhaps remain to be discovered” - Early Bookbinding Manuals. The first technical manuals to be printed were in German. This work is among this earliest group. The present copy is of exceptional interest in that an early owner of the 18th century has added on 3 leaves (5 pages) a collection of 83 paper impressions of stamps and rolls of binders finishing tools. These are individual specimens, each cut out and mounted. Also of interest, and unique to this copy, is a tipped in leaf in contemporary handwriting with a formula for yellow varnish. [Pollard and Potter, 25]
13. CHIRM, SILVANUS, Advertisement leaves for School Books in Chirm’s Binding, 2 leaves, margins trimmed, London, 1776 FIRST AND EARLIEST DESCRIPTION OF THIS METHOD OF BOOKBINDING. INCREDIBLY SCARCE. A two-leaf pamphlet outlining a method of binding school books using bands on the spine to make the books more robust. The leaflet describes punched or stabbed bindings as unsuitable for schools. ‘To remedy this evil a method is now adopted, of binding these books…upon bands’. . It also contains the names of twenty-three schoolmasters who give their approbation to this method of binding. Copies of the leaflet were inserted into books bound to conform with it. [Pollard and Potter, 84]
22. DUDIN, RENE MARTIN, Art du Relieur, nouvelle edition, augmentee de tout ce qui a ete ecrit de mieux sur ces matieres en Allemagne, en Angleterre, en Suisse, en Italie, etc. 110pp 2 engraved plates, old light circular stain in upper blank margin of title, dark red morocco backed marbled boards, spine gilt, 4to, Paris, J. Mornonvl, 1820. LEON GRUEL’S COPY. Originally published as part of the Description des Arts et Metiers (1761-1788); the section by Dudin was first published as a separate volume with the title L’art du relieur-doreur des livres in 1772. Although this manual was not the first to be illustrated, it was the first to have large detailed plates which could be helpful not only to those learning binding techniques but also to those who planned to make standing - and other presses. The two engraved plates illustrate 42 separate illustrations of the details of bookbinding including several illustrations of decorated covers and spines. Dudin based his text on earlier descriptions by Jaugeon and Gauffecourt, and the plates were prepared by Louis Simonneau. As a layman, Dudin depended heavily on the advice of France’s foremost bookbinder of the period, Jean Charles Henri le Monnier. Monnier even arranged for him to watch books being bound. The general coverage of operations is good, and reasons are given for the various methods described, a virtue which has not been a strong feature in English manuals until fairly recently. This new edition is furnished with footnotes by J.E. Bertrand which are sometimes quite extensive. All separate editions are rare. A translation into English by Richard MacIntyre Atkinson was published in 1977. This copy belonged to and was presumably bound by the celebrated Parisian bookbinder, bibliophile, collector and scholar Leon Gruel (1841-1923); it bears his bookplate. It was subsequently in the library of Pierre Beres. [Pollard 45, Middleton 4]
23. FINISHER’S FRIENDLY ASSOCIATION. The Book Finisher’s Friendly Circular, conducted by a Committee of the Finisher’s Friendly Association. Complete with 19 issues plus title, index, 14 page supplement and six page rule book dated 1845, in one vol., nine illustrations, iv, 166, pp., later black morocco, rebacked, rule book wrapper preserved, 12mo, London, printed for the Association, [August 1845-September 1851] The Book Finisher’s Circular was produced by one of the first associations which led to trade unionism. The work contains very valuable information on the early development of the London bookbinder’s trade union. Devoted to union matters, historical and current, rhymes for finishers, information about, and illustrations of, historical styles of cover decorations, trade gossip, and exhibitions were also printed. Also bound in is the extremely scarce Rules of the Finishers’ Friendly Association, 1845. The rule book is in its original wrapper, and contains all the rules and regulations a member must adhere to. Two important works in both the history of book binding and trade unionism.
62. The Whole Art of Bookbinding, Containing Valuable Recipe for Sprinkling, Marbling, Colouring…, FIRST EDITION, , 60pp., half-title present, original marbled boards, neatly rebacked, slim 12mo in 6s, Oswestry: for the author by N. Minshall, 1811. The first edition of the first English bookbinding manual, published more than a century after the earliest continental one. “It is very much a working bookbinder’s notebook” (Pollard and Potter), and gives instructions for sprinkling and marbling, gilding, tooling in gold, etc. Its author may be one of three candidates: Minshall the printer, Henry Parry, copyright holder for the book, or W. Price, a binder at Oswestry from c.1804-31. Of the three Parry seems the most likely; the Oswestry volume was registered at Stationers’ Hall in the name of Henry Parry, so it would be a remarkable coincidence if he were not the author. [Pollard and Potter, 89; Middleton 12.]
65. WILLIAMS, C.J., Cook, The Murderer or the Leicester Tragedy: Being a Full and Faithful Account of the Horrible Assassination of Mr. John Paas of London, on the 30th of May, 1832, Perpetrated by James Cook, of Leicester…, folding hand coloured engraved frontispiece, 24pp., original printed wrapper, upper cover detached, 8vo, Derby, Thomas Richardson, [c.1830s] From Bernard C. Middletons Collection of Books on Bookbinding: “The deadly deed occurred on May 30, 1832, when John Paas (b.1790) - described as a tall gentleman, dressed in black and with grey whiskers - was in Leicester for the purpose of collecting money from his customers. One such was James Cook (b.1811), a binder, to whom tools had been supplied in September, 1831. Cook had two invoices outstanding; one for twelve shillings which he settled in the morning, and another larger one which he undertook to pay in the afternoon. Late in the afternoon Paas returned for payment. While his back was turned, Cook dealt him a blow on the back of his head with an iron press-pin. Pass staggered to the door but was finished off with more blows. Having fortified himself with a glass of brandy at the hostelry next door, Cook returned to his bindery, dismembered the unfortunate tool-cutter and burned parts of him. The next day, having made up the fire and put the remainder of the corpse in it, he went home. Such a blaze ensued that neighbours thought the chimney was on fire, so they burst in and discovered the grisly evidence. Cook was publicly executed and his body was hung in chains until he was buried three days later. Paas’ firm was acquired by Seare and Co. in 1833.” An extremely scarce work. [Middleton, 18; Pollard and Potter, 134]
130. 1930s Bookbinding Material Samples, A vernacular album of bookbinding samples, compiled during the 1930s by Oswald Rogers of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. 45 pages of various material, not particularly well-documented regarding specific pieces, cloth covered boards, 4to, September 1934 (written at from pastedown,) In order from front: 1 page of cord samples by Jas. Pearsall (silk labels on facing page), 2 pages of Jaeger wool, 4 pages of leather, 4 pages of art marble endpapers with the stamp from N.J. Hill & Co., 2 pages of leatherette paper, 2 pages thin ribbed paper, 2 pages of book endpapers from N.J. Hill, 6 mixed papers from N. J. Hill, 4 pages leather; with a letter from Nickerson Bros, London pasted opposite, 4 pages of pencil papers, vellum papers and japanese papers by James Newman, 3 pages of leather, vellum and parchment by H. Band & Co., with letter, advertisement and business card pasted on facing page, 2 pages of morocco samples, 2 pages of shirt cloth fabric by William Whiteley, invoice pasted below, 1 page of receipts from Harrods, Whiteley and Pontings, 1 page on which is pasted a N.J. Hill Bookbinding Materials 28 page catalogue, including an introduction to bookbinding for Schools and Amateurs, 2 pages of the compilers stationary, 1 page of brief notation pasted to rear pastedown. A unique collection of samples.
You can view the catalogue of the collection at the following link: A History of Bookbinding.