Catalogue XIII – William Morris

Catalogue XIII – The Politics of William Morris and Related Items is now available. Ninety items, with some rare Morris forgeries and sophistications by Buxton Forman, including items known in only a single copy to LeMire.

The story of Forman and Wise is well known within book circles, with the classic expose, An Enquiry into the Nature of Certain Nineteenth Century Pamphlets  by Carter and Pollard, followed (much) later by Barker and Collins’ Sequel to an Enquiry and then Collins’ biography of the two, The Two Forgers.

One example of a Forman sophistication is item 45 in the above catalogue, Morris’ Chants for Socialists. This is a Buxton Forman wrapper forgery.

Forman states that copies “are occasionally found in a red wrapper … but they were not originally issued in wrappers”. Quaritch catalogue 926, 1973, item 88, offered two copies of this pamphlet (one with the forged wrapper and one without), and a three page autograph note by Buxton Forman explaining the history of the wrappers; the wrapper and this note are reproduced in Collins’ The Two Forgers (plates 37 and 38). Barker and Collins state that “no copies thus bound have been located except one of the two sold in the last Forman sale at Sotheby’s, 12 April 1972, with the note quoted above” (Barker and Collins, A Sequel to An Inquiry, page 204) [and subsequently appearing in the above Quaritch catalogue]

The same two copies and Forman’s note (now owned by John Collins) were sold at the Schimmel Forgery Collection sale at Bonhams on the 23rd May, 2012 (Lot 208, selling for £437).

Barker and Collins conclude that this is “a chimaera, with a false wrapper, intended to ‘improve’ a genuine pamphlet”

So a very uncommon pamphlet, probably only the second known copy

Associated Bookbinders of Chester

An invitation / ticket for the (first?) anniversary dinner of the Associated Bookbinders of Chester, June 28, 1828, with a wonderful typographic border. It was held at the Ermine Inn, in Flookersbrook.

Henry Evans was the President of the Associated Bookbinders, he appears in an 1826 Poll Book as a bookbinder in Linen-Hall Street, Chester, but doesn’t appear in the Pigot’s Commercial Directory under Bookbinders for 1828-9 (there are six other bookbinders listed in Chester).

It appears to have been clipped to the centre of the bottom edge, so was presumably used by the bearer to attend, the dinner cost 4s 6d.

I haven’t been able to find out anything about the Associated Bookbinders, whether they were just a social club, or more like a friendly society or an early trade union

 

Sturt’s Silver Penny

Some time ago (February and March 2015), I posted a couple of notes about ‘sombre’ bindings, one of the areas of interest here at ZHQ. The March post was mainly about the engraved, on silver plates, edition of a Common Prayer by John Sturt.

Sturt was apprenticed to White, himself a pupil of Loggan’s, was well known for his miniature work, “it was said that he could engrave the creed on a silver penny, a claim amply reinforced by his best-known works: engraved versions of the Book of Common Prayer and of Laurence Howell’s The Orthodox Communicant, published respectively by subscription in 1717 and 1721. The first of these books, executed on 188 silver plates adorned with borders and vignettes, had a frontispiece portrait of King George I, the lines for which were composed of the creed, the Lord’s prayer, the ten commandments, a prayer for the royal family, and Psalm 21, all inscribed in minute characters” (ODNB)

At the recent PBFA Cambridge book fair, we found an engraving of the Sturt Silver Penny for sale with James of Alastor Rare Books – www.alastorrarebooks.com – now happily ensconced inside the Common Prayer.

Sturt's Silver Penny

It is a remarkable piece of engraving, with the Lord’s Prayer in full within a circle with a diameter of 10mm. The engraving as a whole has a diameter of 50mm

Bulletin VIII

Bulletin VIII is now available – to view please click on the cover below. A short bulletin of ten items made up of membership cards and tickets, including a ticket to the coronation of George IV and a membership card of O’Connell’s Repeal Association.

We are hoping to have a new politics catalogue ready soon, as well as a cartes de visite catalogue

Bulletin VIII

 

Printed Handkerchiefs – Bulletin IV

The latest bulletin is now available – click on the cover below – it consists of fifty printed handkerchiefs, (well forty-nine and a bib), with a range of subjects covered.

bullet4
Bulletin IV – Printed Handkerchiefs

Often quite large, these handkerchiefs record many of the major events of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, though they originated in the seventeenth century, with the earliest dated surviving plate printed handkerchief being John Adam’s map of England, produced by William Berry in 1685/6 (Schoeser, pg 4).

The advantages of a map printed on silk versus a map printed on paper are obvious, especially for a large city like London, where size would be an important issue. Travellers in London could also purchase handkerchiefs showing Hackney cab and coach fares (Schoeser, page 7).

Printed handkerchiefs also had a number of other roles. As well as being decorative and informative they were also educational, entertaining, often with children’s nursery rhymes and caricatures, satirical, political (there is a wonderful example commemorating Peterloo – alas not available here!) and also as souvenirs (Royalty being particularly popular).

Schoeser’s Printed Handkerchiefs, a booklet published to accompany an exhibition of handkerchiefs at the Museum of London in 1988, is an excellent short introduction to the subject.

The best collection of recent times was Christopher Lennox-Boyd’s, some of which was sold at Christies in March 2008, including a copy of the London map in the bulletin and the Peterloo handkerchief mentioned above