Strictly Limited for Roxburghe Members Only, In a Sydney Cockerell Binding of Unusually Modern Design


(Oxford: Printed for presentation to the members of the Roxburghe Club [by F. Hall, Oxford University Press], 1922). 312 x 212 mm. (12 3/8 x 8 1/2"). [xii], 46 pp., [1 leaf], followed by plates.Described by Montague Rhodes James. Presented to the Roxburghe Club by Charles Harry St. John Hornby. ONE OF APPROXIMATELY 40 COPIES for club members only.

EXCELLENT OLIVE GREEN CRUSHED MOROCCO BY SYDNEY COCKERELL (stamp-signed in blind "19 SC 79" on rear pastedown), covers with octagonal design composed of 90 gilt or black stamped triangles, raised bands, gilt lettering, blind-ruled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. In the original velvet-lined tan buckram drop-back box, matching olive green morocco label on its back. Facsimile frontispiece, and 97 numbered pages of facsimile plates from the Bodleian manuscript, two with color miniatures. Printed in red and black. Verso of front free endpaper with bookplate of Stuart B. Schimmel; Grolier Club invitation to Cockerell lecture on "Repairing of Books" laid in at front. About half of the black triangles with (intentionally?) mottled coloring, a couple of minute marginal rust spots, but A VERY FINE COPY, near-pristine internally, in an unworn binding.

This facsimile of a 13th century manuscript in the collection of the Bodleian library was produced for the world's oldest society of bibliophiles at the suggestion of member C. H. St John Hornby, and was handsomely bound a half century after publication by the grandson of Hornby's fellow club member, former Kelmscott Press secretary Sydney Carlyle Cockerell. Son of the legendary Douglas Cockerell, our binder Sydney Morris "Sandy" Cockerell (1906-87) trained and worked with his father, and took over the Cockerell bindery on Douglas' death in 1945. According to DNB, "Adept with his hands, Cockerell was also of a highly practical turn of mind. Many of his tools he made himself, and the hydraulic ram (adapted from an aeroplane's wing flaps), with which he impressed gold leaf into his bindings, gave any visitor immediate notice of his ingenuity. Like his father, Cockerell insisted on the best materials appropriate to their purpose, paying special attention to leathers (especially goatskins) and to papers with a neutral pH value, and of the right weight and fibre structure. In the 1920s his experiments on marbling paper for bindings soon led to its regular production by his workshop." His bindery made the marbled paper for the present volume in hues that match and complement that of its morocco exterior. A skilled conservator as well as a talented binder, Cockerell trained British librarians to preserve the nation's treasures. DNB notes that his book, "The Repairing of Books (1958), was "offered as a further means of closing the gap between the librarian or collector and the craftsman." It was on this subject that Cockerell addressed the Grolier Club, according to the inlaid invitation.

Founded in 1812, the Roxburghe Club is, according to its website, "the oldest and most distinguished society devoted to printing unpublished documents and reprinting rare printed texts, among them unknown or neglected works of English literature and history. The list of publications now runs to almost three hundred volumes that range from medieval manuscripts in facsimile and important works in Early and Middle English, to more modern texts, unpublished Jacobite documents, the correspondence of Garrick and the Countess Spencer, and Disraeli’s letters." Ideas for books are presented to the club by one of its 40 members, and are produced to the highest standards, often employing innovative techniques for reproducing facsimiles. The present work was the inspiration of Ashendene Press founder St John Hornby, a member from 1911-46. The manuscript of the Revelation of St. John reproduced was bequeathed to the Bodelian Library by Francis Douce in 1834. The text describing the manuscript for this edition is the work of medievalist Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936), provost of Eton College. Former owner Stuart B. Schimmel (1925-2013) was a member of the Grolier Club for 52 years, serving as a councilor and chairing committees on Audit, Public Exhibitions, Special Functions, and Finance from 1972-86. In this capacity, he must have helped to arrange for Cockerell's lecture to the club.

Price: $7,500.00