(London: George Allen, Ruskin House, 1898). 195 x 130 mm. (7 3/4 x 5"). viii, 303 pp.,  leaves (ads). Second Printing.
FINE CONTEMPORARY MODELLED GOATSKIN IN THE STYLE OF THE GUILD OF WOMEN BINDERS, upper cover with title in gothic lettering, entwined acanthus leaves above and below, lower cover with curling grapevine enclosing an unfinished central oval, smooth spine, brown silk endleaves patterned with gilt foliage, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. With printer's device on verso of half title. Title page printed in red and black. Half title with pencilled note about the binding. Spine and extremities a little rubbed, four small spots to boards, occasional mild foxing, but an excellent copy, generally clean and fresh, in an entirely sound and pleasing binding with much appeal.
The work produced by women in the literary and Arts & Crafts movements in late 19th century England is beautifully memorialized here in the Gibbs sisters' unusual and respected compilation of Ruskin's writings on the Bible, bound in the style made popular by Annie MacDonald and the Guild of Women Binders, of which she was a founding member. According to Tidcombe, MacDonald's technique for creating modelled leather bindings involved taking a volume already covered in goatskin, and using a leather-working tool to press down the background leather, allowing a raised design to emerge. MacDonald also taught this method to her students, and it is possible that our binding, with unfinished tooling on the rear board, was used for teaching purposes. The result of a painstaking examination of Ruskin's extensive writings, the text here is an alphabetically arranged anthology of the influential writer's thoughts on various biblical subjects and passages. Modern scholar Andrew Tate calls the book "the most important editorial apparatus available on Ruskin's use of the Bible," while Ruskin biographer Timothy Hilton hails the Gibbs sisters for producing "a book of high literary quality and searching piety . . . a moving tribute to a religious mind." This item comes from the estate of Jim Graham, AIDS activist, Washington, D.C. city council member, and clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court. (ST15237)
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PJP Catalog: SE19BF.022