Two fine works by Carsi y Vidal
A 1772, Ibarra of Madrid edition of the Roman historian Sallust’s account of the Cataline conspiracy and Rome’s war against the Numidians, published as La conjuracion de Catalina y la Guerra Jugurta, is shown here in a fine binding by Pasqual Carsi y Vidal.
The contemporary red morocco gilt binding has decoration incorporating neo-classical motifs, something that influenced the binder’s work following a visit to England.
Acquired in the late 19th century by William O’Brien at five guineas, it has an ink library stamp to the handsome title page but not, it seems, on the other plates or map. It made £19,000 when Sotheby’s (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) sold William O’Brien’s library on June 7.
Also illustrated above is another fine binding by Carsi y Vidal that was offered at Christie’s New York (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on June 15. It was specially commissioned for a rare presentation set of Goya’s Los Caprichos aquatints that Christie’s sold for $500,000 (£393,700) – a lot featured in ATG No 2300.
Binder to royalty
Preserving a 41pp manuscript of the 1660s titled ‘The Precedency of Ye Peerage of England and others’, this sumptuous morocco gilt binding is the work of a craftsman long known only as ‘Queens Binder A’.
In 1975 it was presented by the ABA (Antiquarian Booksellers Association) to Howard Nixon, head of rare book collections at the British Library, librarian of Westminster Abbey and leading historian of bookbinding.
Nixon’s own research indicated that the ‘Queen’s Binder A’ was William Nott, a bookseller, stationer and publisher as well as a binder.
Pepys speaks highly of him in his diaries and visited his workshop in 1668: “I did take occasion for curiosity to bespeak a book to be bound, only that I might have one of his binding.”
The example of his work presented to Nixon was sold by Dominic Winter (19.5% buyer’s premium) on June 14 at £6500.
Bound c.1912 by Frieda Thiersch (1889- 1947), perhaps during her apprenticeship to Charles McLeish, a former head of the Doves Bindery, this copy of TJ Cobden- Sanderson’s The Ideal Book, or Book Beautiful was sold for $13,000 (£10,235) at Christie’s New York (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on June 15.
One of only 10 vellum copies from a 1900 edition of 310, it was only the second book issued by the Doves Press.
Three lots from a Cheffins (22.5% buyer’s premium) sale on July 12 that was particularly strong on fine binding:
Sold for £5000 was a folio English Bible and Book of Common Prayer. It dates from 1633-39 but has a later binding of dark red velvet with elaborate Dutch silver mounts.
The two clasps are engraved with episcopal arms and dated 1750.
Also shown is a binding of morccco gilt with coloured inlays produced by Bumpus for a 1910, Harrap edition of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by Willy Pogany. Sold for £1800.
The signed work of a Captain Gladstone, RN, the gilt tooled, blue morocco binding shown here was made for one of 250 copies of an 1895 edition of Austin Dobson’s The Story of Rosina and other verses illustrated by Hugh Thomson. Sold for £1800.
Knox comes up at auction
Armorially bound for John Evelyn in contemporary full mottled calf, this 1644 copy of John Knox’s Historie of the Reformation of the Church of Scotland carries a £1500-2000 estimate in a Dominic Winter sale of September 6 in Gloucestershire.
In a 1977 Christie’s sale of Evelyn’s library it made £230.