The Coinage of the British Empire by Henry Noel Humphreys
First Edition Published by David Bogue, London, 1855
Papier-mâché and Leather Binding
Near FINE Condition
Binding Details: Beautiful papier-mâché and leather binding with a cover treatment featuring a central design of the royal coat-of-arms as it appeared on the reverse side of the gold sovereign of Henry VIII on the front and rear boards. The spine has been professionally rebacked in morocco black leather that fits seamlessly with the overall motif of the book. There are marbled endpapers and all page ends are gold gilted.
The English firm Jackson & Sons, makers of composition ornament for use in architecture, moldings, picture frames, carriages, and etc., held the patent for papier-mâché bindings. Imitating ebony or other hand-carved materials and evoking the medieval, they were made from a black plaster composition over papier-mâché. At least some examples were built up on a metal framework. The complex molds necessary to create these bindings demanded that the edition size be 1,000 or more in order to recoup their cost. While Jackson & Sons produced the covers, a trade firm carried out the actual binding, using leather spines to attach the boards. (The Library as Incubator Project, March, 2013)
Book Details: Published in 1855 by David Bogue, London, “The Coinage of the British Empire” is a historical and critical account of the origin and progress of coinage in Great Britain and her colonial dependencies, from the earliest period to the Victorian era. The book features 23 illustrations including 12 striking chromolithographs in gold, silver and copper.
The book measures approximately 10” x 7”, 160 pages with a preface, table of contents, and additional single sided plates appearing after the numbered pages.
Condition Report: The binding is in FINE- condition with some minor rubs to the corner tips. Papier-mâché bindings are notoriously fragile and usually have major chips and cracks to the papier-mâché. This binding is in exceptional condition with no chips or cracks. Internally, the book is in Very Good condition with some age toning to the pages and offset from the chromolithographs to the facing pages which is usual for this title. There is a small area on the first marbled endpaper where something was removed creating a white square area. A small signature dated August, 1859 appears at the top of the title page. Overall, this is a beautiful papier-mâché binding from the mid-nineteenth century that is rarely found in such remarkable condition.