GRAY'S ELEGY.

(Boston: Printed for The Bibliophile Society, 1912). 263 x 180 mm. (10 1/2 x 7 1/8"). [16] leaves, printed on one side only. ONE OF 469 COPIES.

VERY PLEASING VIOLET CRUSHED MOROCCO BY JAMES R. BROCKMAN AND ANGELA P. JAMES (stamp-signed on rear doublure and dated 1978), covers with five undulating parallel gilt lines, the lower half of each sprouting gilt leaves and red berries, smooth spine with gilt titling, all edges gilt, vellum doublures reflecting the cover design, smooth spine with gilt titling, PAINTED VELLUM DOUBLURES with a design reflecting that on the covers, the five lines here in purple, bearing blue leaves and gilt berries along their upper halves, all edges gilt on the rough. In a felt-lined navy buckram clamshell box. Pictorial title page and text engraved by Arthur N. MacDonald (signed in pencil on title page), with nine copperplate etchings by W. H. W. Bicknell (each signed in pencil). Small ink mark (from printing process) to margin of frontispiece, otherwise an immaculate copy in an as-new binding.

This is a lovely engraved edition of Gray's revered poem, beautifully bound by two Designer Bookbinders. It was prepared by engraver Arthur N. MacDonald (1866-1940) for Boston's Bibliophile Society, which issued 72 finely printed works for its members between 1901 and 1939. The charming pastoral scenes that illustrate the work were etched by Massachusetts artist William Harry Warren Bicknell (1860-1947), known for his landscapes. The special binding was a collaboration of two past presidents of Designer Bookbinders. James Brockman (b. 1946) apprenticed as a finisher at Blackwell's, studied with Ivor Robinson, and served as assistant to Sydney M. Cockerell at Cambridge from 1968-73. Three years later, he opened his own bindery in Oxford, which continues to produce notable work. He has also served as president of the Society of Bookbinders. Vellum doublures that continue the cover design were not infrequently a feature of Brockman bindings from the late 1970s. Angela James studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1965 to 1970, concentrating on textile design with bookbinding as her subsidiary subject. On leaving school, she went to work at Sydney Cockerell's bindery, where she was confined to traditional "woman's work" of sewing and headbanding. Wishing to pursue production of fine bindings, she accepted Brockman's invitation to join him in establishing a new bindery. She worked there for four years, before leaving in 1979 to start her own workshop. She has published two books on her craft, "The Art of Binding Books" (1991) and "The Handmade Book" (2000).
(ST17129-022)