ECCE MUNDUS: INDUSTRIAL IDEALS AND THE BOOK BEAUTIFUL.

(Hammersmith: Hammersmith Publishing Society, 1902). 210 x 142 mm. (8 3/8 x 5 5/8"). [20] leaves (the last blank). FIRST EDITION.

FINE DARK GREEN CRUSHED MOROCCO BY THE DOVES BINDERY (stamp-signed and dated "19 C-S 04" on rear turn-in), covers with double gilt fillet frame, cornerpieces with rose leaves and tiny circlets, raised bands, spine in gilt-ruled compartments, gilt vertical titling, turn-ins ruled with four gilt fillets, rose leaf spray at corners. Front pastedown with bookplate of Ernst Beckman; front flyleaf inscribed in ink: "For Mr. and Mrs. Beckman / June 1911." Tidcombe 582. A couple of small scratches (neatly refurbished) on front cover, trivial offsetting to free endpapers from turn-ins, but a very fine copy--clean, fresh, and bright internally, in a binding showing almost no wear.

Cobden-Sanderson's two essays on dedication to craft and the book beautiful are offered here in a binding by the author's celebrated Doves Bindery. In "The Industrial Ideal," Cobden-Sanderson articulates the Arts & Crafts Movement's plea for a return to craftsmanship and for the dignity and integrity of the laborer, while in "The Book Beautiful," he expresses his dream of creating a thing of beauty through typeface and printing alone, something he and Emery Walker succeeded in doing with books from the Doves Press.

Cobden-Sanderson (1840-1922) was a binder before he was a printer, having been encouraged by Jane Morris to take up that craft. He opened the Doves Bindery on 20 March 1893, and from that day forward no longer bound books with his own hands; however, he was responsible for all of the designs used by the Doves Bindery, right up to his death at age 82. The staff to whom he entrusted the execution of these designs included Charles Wilkinson, forwarder; Charles McLeish, finisher; Bessie Hooley, sewer; and Douglas Cockerell, apprentice. The present example of their work is in every way typical of the bindery's handsome designs, highest quality materials, and consummate workmanship. It is similar to the design Tidcombe numbers 582, also on a copy of this work. No. 582 has rose leaf and circlet tooling to the spine, but in both cases, "the covers are tooled with a small corner design of rose leaves."
(ST16997)