(London: Chiswick Press, March 1917). 198 x 182 mm. (7 7/8 x 6 1/2"). 24 pp. ONE OF TEN COPIES PRINTED.
FINE TAN CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT, IN AN ARTS & CRAFTS DESIGN, BY THE W. H. SMITH BINDERY (oval "WHS" stamp on rear turn-in), the covers with delicately interlocking gilt fillets forming an outer frame of small squares, an intricate knot at the four corners of the central panel with a tiny white morocco dot inlaid at center, upper cover with panel divided into quadrants by the fillets which terminate in tear-drop shapes that interlace to form a large knot at center, enclosing the initials W. H. S., raised bands, spine compartments ruled in gilt, turn-ins framed with three gilt fillets, two of them interlacing at corners to form a mandorla containing an inlaid white morocco dot, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. Original blue printed wrappers bound-in. Woodcut frontispiece of St. Mary's Church in Painswick signed "C M G," 22 decorative woodcut initials heading the sections of the alphabetized list of parishioners. Spine a bit sunned and with a tiny spot to one panel, naturally occurring variation in the color of the leather, minuscule black dot to rear board, mild thumbing to flyleaf, other trivial imperfections, but a fine copy, clean, fresh, and bright internally, in a virtually unworn binding.
This delightful keepsake was printed and specially bound to convey the heartfelt gratitude of the parishioners of Painswick to their vicar of 32 years, W. H. Seddon, upon his retirement. He is commended for his generosity, kindness, and consideration, and "above all for words . . . which ever breathed a spirit of Christianity in its truest and purest form." One of Seddon's flock was artist Charles M. Gere (1869-1957), who illustrated books for the Kelmscott Press, and who produced the wood-engraving of the 11th century St. Mary's Church for the frontispiece here. The bookselling firm of W. H. Smith, managed by Arts & Crafts enthusiast and Ashendene Press founder St John Hornby, had a well-regarded bindery that from 1905 until 1915 was operated by Douglas Cockerell (1870-1945), generally considered to be the leading binder of his day. Through his work, his teaching, and his publications, he probably exerted "more influence on bookbinding practice and design than any one man has had before." (DNB) Books bearing the "WHS" stamp during Cockerell's tenure were designed by him, according to Hobson. Although our binding was created after Cockerell had left to work on projects related to the Great War, its design and execution are very much influenced by his taste and standards, and the finisher who did the tooling was no doubt trained by him. (ST17129-004)
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PJP Catalog: 79.109