A Binding that Provides an Atmospheric Introduction to Sherlock Holmes' Stories, Complete with a Gray Blanket of Victorian Fog


(London: [Printed in Oxford by The Senecio Press for] The Land Press, 1988). 273 x 198 mm. (10 3/4 x 7 3/4"). [vi pp.], 239 pp., colophon No. 9 OF 150 COPIES.

BOLD GRAY MOROCCO BY JEFF CLEMENTS (signed in colophon) WITH GEOMETRIC BLUE AND BROWN MOROCCO AND SNAKESKIN INLAYS separated by dark gray and orange rules, title embossed at tail of smooth spine, all edges silvered. In a dark blue buckram clamshell box with a morocco label. With a hitherto unpublished frontispiece portrait of Holmes and 104 in-text illustrations by Sidney Paget from the original illustrations in "The Strand" magazine. In mint condition.

This handsome private press edition of the original 12 "case histories" of the famous sleuth comes in a fine binding described by the binder as providing "a relationship between disorder and discovery," as well as containing "significant symbolic references" in its abstract design. Complete with the illustrations first printed in "The Strand Magazine" from July 1891 to June 1892, the stories here include classic adventures such as "The Red Headed League," "The Speckled Band," "A Case of Identity," and the first Sherlockian tale of them all, "A Scandal In Bohemia." The Land Press commissioned four distinguished modern binders to provide coverings inspired by the contents, and the present copy was bound by a former president of Designer Bookbinders, former head of the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of the West of England from 1984 to 1988, and recipient of an MBE for services to Bookbinding (2007). Jeff Clements (b. 1934) says of his design choices for this work: "Colour is an important factor; blue for clarity of purpose, grey for uncertainty and brown for the spirit of the age in which the stories are set (e.g. panelling, furnishings, clothes and cigars.) The focus of the design is set on the front cover with the oblique intersecting forms disappearing beneath the grey blanket of Victorian fog and including an inset of exotic leather which relates to one story in particular but also the many disguises of Holmes himself. It can be said that the binding provides an atmospheric introduction to these famous stories rather than illustrating a particular aspect."

Add to Cart Price: $2,750.00

PJP Catalog: SE19BF.018