A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Edited with an introduction by Israel Gollancz

[GUILD OF WOMEN BOOKBINDERS] / CARDEW, Gloria

CARDEW, Gloria A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Edited with an introduction by Israel Gollancz

Dent, 1895.

First edition illustrated by Anning Bell. One of a very small number of copies hand coloured by Gloria Cardew with her label to an initial blank. Bound for the Guild of Women Bookbinders, probably by Annie S. Macdonald, though not signed, in characteristic moulded goatskin, depicting "Puck Fleeing from the Dawn", after a painting of the same name by David Scott. Raised bands to spine, top edge gilt. Fifteen full page illustrations including illustrated title page, four of which are double page spreads and a further 53 illustrations in the text including illustrated borders and initials by Robert Anning Bell, all exquisitely hand coloured by Gloria Cardew. A very good copy indeed, a little spotting to the uncut page edges, a little wear to the head of the spine with a coupe of worm holes at the base of the spine. Overall a very well preserved example of seldom encountered and particularly susceptible binding.

An exceptional combination of Arts & Crafts binding and fine hand colouring with one of Shakespeare's most enduring works. The principle of Cardew's hand colouring as a means of adding value was introduced by the enterprising bookseller, Frank Karslake. Having established The Hampstead Bindery and later The Guild of Women Bookbinders to enhance the books he was offering, Karslake employed Cardew's services to add colour to the woodcut illustrations. The process was painstaking and doubtless time consuming but the effect could be spectacular. It would appear that Karslake bought small quantities of fine press books, or similar for colouring or binding, but the labour intensive nature of these productions mean the numbers must have been very small and they are now seldom offered in commerce.
The binding, though not signed, shows many of the stylistic hallmarks of Annie S. Macdonald, the prominent Scottish bookbinder whose work inspired Karlsake to form The Guild of Women Bookbinders. In November 1897, Karslake organised an exhibition of bindings by women which included a number of Macdonald's bindings as well as 32 books with hand colouring by Cardew.
Indeed, in his Catalogue Of An Exhibition Of Bookbindings By The Guild Of Women Binders... (December 1898), the Anning Bell A Midsummer Night's Dream with Cardew's hand-colouring appears as number 206.

Stock ID: 40725

£7,500.00

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