THE HOLY BIBLE CONTAINING THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
(Cambridge: Printed by C. J. Clay & Sons at the University Press, ca. 1890). 203 x 133 mm. (8 x 5 3/8"). 998 pp.
MOST ATTRACTIVE HAZEL BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT, BY STOAKLEY, LATE HAWES (stamp-signed on verso of front free endpaper), covers framed by gilt rules and guilloche tooling, central panel with delicately tooled cornerpieces featuring grapevines on a stippled background, raised bands, spine compartments densely gilt with grapevine motif, turn-ins with richly gilt frame, leather hinges, all edges gilt (gutter at front flyleaf expertly reinforced with tissue). With presentation inscription on front flyleaf dated 1891, and inked record of the recipient's marriage and the births of his children. Spine gently and uniformly sunned a shade lighter, two (hardly noticeable) small abrasions to rear cover, offsetting from turn-ins to free endpapers (as almost always), but still a fine copy in a remarkably handsome binding, with few signs of use.
The appealing binding on this treasured family Bible was created in Cambridge by Vere Stoakley, who took over the workshop of J. Hawes on that craftsman's death in the late 1880s; he signed his work "Stoakley, Late Hawes" to acknowledge this connection. The firm specialized in academic bindings to supply scholars from the university, and continued in business until the 1920s. The present binding clearly is much more elaborate and beautiful than what might be expected for an academic on a small budget. (ST16866b)