THE BOOKBINDINGS OF T. J. COBDEN-SANDERSON.
([London]: The British Library, 1984). 282 x 220 mm. (11 1/8 x 8 1/2"). xii, 407 pp. FIRST EDITION. ONE OF 100 COPIES.
UNUSUAL COCOA-BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO, CUT, ONLAID, AND GILT, BY SALLY LOU SMITH (signed with her blind-stamped initials in rear doublure design), covers with a row of trapezoids of varying sizes cut out of the leather to reveal terra cotta-colored morocco underneath, then onlaid with a smaller version of the trapezoid tooled with flowers, leaves, and repeated round brackets, smooth spine with similar trapezoid cut-outs and onlays at head and foot, the onlay at the head lettered with Cobden-Sanderson's name, that at the foot with the author's, TERRA COTTA-COLORED MOROCCO DOUBLURES, with the same rows of trapezoids tooled in blind at head and foot, free endpapers and flyleaves of handmade paper, all edges gilt. In the matching brown morocco-backed cloth clamshell box. With color frontispiece photo-reproduction of a Cobden-Sanderson binding, and numerous black & white illustrations throughout, many of them full-page reproductions of a binding or hand-drawn pattern. ◆As new.
This definitive work on the bookbindings that Doves Bindery founder Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson created with his own hands was bound by distinguished modern binder Sally Lou Smith (1925-2007). Born in the United States, Smith spent several years in France, then settled in 1958 in London. There, she spent four and a half years learning bookbinding under John Corderoy at Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts before beginning to work out of her own bindery in 1963. Her work has been widely honored both in her early days (she won the bookbinding award given by Major J. R. Abbey in 1965) and for many years since (among others, she won three Thomas Harrison Competition prizes). In the catalogue for the "Modern British Bookbinding" exhibit held in Brussels and The Hague in 1985, five of the 50 bindings pictured were executed by Smith, who is listed in the catalogue as one of the 20 Fellows of Designer Bookbinders, the principal bookbinding society in Great Britain. She served as president of that society and was a greatly respected teacher of bookbinding. A comprehensive survey of her work appeared in "The New Bookbinder" no. 21 (2001). Dr. Marianne Tidcombe is a bookbinding historian and an authority on the work of Cobden-Sanderson. The text here includes a biographical introduction and a detailed account of Cobden-Sanderson's work from 1884-93, based on the binder's record-keeping in his "Time Book," now in the collection of the British Library. (ST17263-35)