ARNOLD, Matthew. New Poems. [Bound by Roger de Coverly in full crushed levant morocco]
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ARNOLD, Matthew. New Poems. London: Macmillan, 1897. Foolscap octavo. First edition. pp. viii, 244. Bound by Roger de Coverly in full crushed levant morocco (name stamp-signed in gilt on front pastedown). Covers framed by double gilt fillets and decorative roll, border with rose garlands, gilt dots and leafs enclosing panel with oval wreath of roses at centre, surrounded by small palm fronds and dot tools. Spine divided into six panels by five raised bands, author and title in gilt direct in the second and third, the remainder with Tudor rose at centre, surrounded by leaves on a densely stippled ground; board edges ruled in gilt; turn-ins with delicate floral vine at corners; comb-marbled endpapers; red, blue and gold double endbands. All edges gilt. A superb copy.
The very attractive binding here is the work of Roger de Coverly (1831-1914), one of the most accomplished binders in England during the latter part of the 19th century. He was apprenticed to Joseph Zaehnsdorf, Snr., in 1845, worked for John & James Leighton from ca. 1852-63, then established his own bindery. His first great customer was Basil Montagu Pickering of Piccadilly, the only one of the London booksellers that supported his shop in his early years of trading. In the 1880s, his bindings were in great demand, as were his services as a teacher. He undertook a good deal of work for William Morris, and he counted among his illustrious students the younger Charles McLeish as well as the greatest of all English bookbinders, T. J. Cobden-Sanderson, who served an apprenticeship with him in 1883-84. De Coverly worked mostly in the classical style, and the quality of workmanship he and his two sons demonstrated was consistently of the highest level.
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