WHITE HYACINTHS, BEING A BOOK OF THE HEART.
(East Aurora, New York: The Roycrofters, 1907). 180 x 115 mm. (7 x 4 1/2"). 161,  pp.,  leaf.Designed by Dard Hunter. FIRST EDITION. No. 47 OF 207 COPIES, all printed on Japanese vellum, SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.
VERY PRETTY HONEY BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT, BY LOUIS HERMAN KINDER AT THE ROYCROFT BINDERY, covers with delicately tooled cornerpieces featuring curving gilt fillets, stippling, and five hyacinth blooms, raised bands, spine compartments with floral spray resembling those used in the book's decorative initials, gilt lettering, turn-ins with floral sprays at corners, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. In a fine tan morocco-backed modern box lined with purple velvet. With engraved portraits of Elbert Hubbard and his wife, Alice, and with a double-page opening with woodcut white hyacinth frame designed by Dard Hunter and signed with his initials, printed in green and white, similar Hunter designs for decorative initials, headpieces, and Hubbard's device on final leaf. Printed in red and black. With original "Notice. How to open a book." laid in at front. Front free endpaper with ink inscription "To Etta / from Roland" dated 12/25/18. For the binding: Wolfe, "Louis Herman Kinder" (Bird & Bull Press, 1985), Illustration 26 (this copy). ◆A PRISTINE COPY.
This collection of essays by the founder of the Roycrofters is a lovely product of his Arts & Crafts community in upstate New York, and it is bound by a German emigré who, in the words of the Oxford Companion to the Book, "helped create a tradition of craft binding in early 20th century America." Inspired by William Morris' Kelmscott Press, Hubbard (1856-1915) purchased the struggling Roycroft Printing Shop in East Aurora, New York, in 1897 and set out to launch an American Arts & Crafts movement. According to ANB, within five years, the Roycroft organization "had shops for printing and binding and for furniture, metal, and leather work; it also established training schools for the local youth in drawing, watercolor, and bookbinding. . . . Hubbard allowed free experimentation and never questioned the cost . . . . Designers and craftsmen could work out ideas and, if unsuccessful, just start over. There were never deadlines for the books or prohibitions on design motifs." Among the artisans he attracted was Louis Herman Kinder (1866-1938), a bookbinder born and trained in Leipzig. Kinder immigrated to the US in 1880 and worked in commercial binderies before joining Hubbard in East Aurora to establish a bindery for the Roycroft printers. There, the Oxford Companion tells us, he "created new binding styles, and made individual fine bindings." Kinder did not sign his work, but this volume is pictured in Wolfe's study of Kinder's bindings as an example of his fine style. Hubbard's free thinking was not confined to Arts & Crafts: the contents here are notable for his strong support for the rights of women, about which he had been educated by his wife, the noted feminist Alice Moore Hubbard (1861-1915). Tragically, the couple perished together in the sinking of the Lusitania. While Roycroft productions did not reach the elevated achievements of the best English private presses, Hubbard did have an important impact on American book arts: as his friend William Marion Reedy observed, "he makes lovers of books out of people who never knew books before." (ST18606c)