Item Details

Price: $1,750
PJP Catalog: 61.168


(London: Macmillan and Co. 1874). 219 x 149 mm (8 5/8 x 5 7/8"). Two volumes.. FIRST EDITION.

HANDSOME EARLY 20TH CENTURY BLUE-GRAY CRUSHED MOROCCO BY BAYNTUN for S. E. Lauriat Co., Boston (stamp-signed on front turn-ins), covers with double gilt fillet border, large central frame of gilt and black, elegant interlacing quatrefoil centerpiece (also in gilt and black), raised bands decorated with spaced-out gilt dots, spines gilt in compartments repeating the cover design elements, turn-ins with gilt French fillet, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Original cloth binding at back of each volume. With title page portrait miniatures, numerous woodcut illustrations in the text, three portraits, and eight autograph facsimiles, as called for, and EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH 140 PLATES, 20 of these colored, mostly portraits, but with 24 views, three of these double-page. Isolated faint offsetting and other trivial imperfections, but AN ESPECIALLY FINE AND PRETTY SET, clean, fresh, and bright internally, and in lustrous, virtually unworn bindings.

One of England's most celebrated stately homes, Holland House is minutely described with all its furnishings and grounds in these extra-illustrated volumes, which also give a history of its distinguished inhabitants. Located in Kensington, which today has long been engulfed by greater London, the mansion began life as Cope Castle, built beginning in 1607 by Sir Walter Cope. From Sir Walter, the manor passed to his daughter Isabel, wife of Henry Rich, who became the first Earl of Holland in 1624. Like the king to whom he was loyal, Rich was beheaded in 1649. Undaunted by the the political and intellectual changes brought on by the Interregnum, the widow Isabel continued her habit of having plays performed at the mansion's private theater, despite the fact that the Puritan government had shut down public playhouses as dens of iniquity. Later in the century, Holland House was rented by William Penn, and in 1767 it was bought by Henry Fox, first Lord Holland (1705-74), who held the position of leader of the House of Commons. The third Lord Holland sat in the House of Lords, was a fervent admirer of Napoleon, and dabbled in poetry. In its day, Holland House hosted the leading lights of Europe, including Byron and the future American president James Monroe.The fourth lord, Henry Edward Holland, who left no heirs, served as British consul in Florence and died in Naples in 1859. Our author, Princess Marie Henriette Norberte of Liechtenstein (1843-1931), was motivated by her friendship with Henry's widow Mary to write these memoirs. The Bayntun firm, founded in Bath in 1894, is now the last of the great Victorian trade binderies still in family ownership. Our binding probably dates from the first half of the 20th century, when Bayntun was doing some of its best work. The bindery was known for imaginative designs that involved the augmenting of gilt decoration with black (as here), as well as with pictorial onlays.