Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
First Edition, First Impression
Published by Secker & Warburg, London in 1949
Unique Leather Binding and Clamshell Box by Stephen Conway
Binding Details: Nineteen Eighty-Four is a unique fine leather binding designed and executed by Stephen Conway that is a sewn-on boards style binding covered in black leather with hand- painted tiles created using a variety of both traditional and modern decorative techniques applied to the surface leather. The tiles are cut away exposing black leather creating the numbers 1984 on both the front and rear covers as well as titling to the spine. Additional features are leather joined endpapers with photo-montage doublures and endpapers that were hand-painted by Stephen Conway.
The book measures approximately 7.5” x 5.25” with 312 pages and is housed in a custom made clamshell box that that matches the theme of the binding. A functional slipcase with titling to the spine protects both the clamshell box and binding.
Book Details: This is the true First Edition, First Impression (Printing) of Nineteen Eighty-Four published by Secker & Warburg, London in 1949 with the first edition point of "First Published, 1949" printed on the copyright page. Nineteen Eighty-Four is Orwell's classic novel of a totalitarian future society that is among the most famous and most cited works of fiction in literature. Commenting on the book, Professor Kimitrij Rupel wrote, “Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life--the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language--and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell.”
About the Artist: Stephen Conway is recognized as one of the finest bookbinders in the world. Over his 30 year career, he has won numerous awards and currently serves as the President of the Guild of Designer Bookbinders which is one of the foremost societies devoted to the craft of fine bookbinding. Founded over fifty years ago it has, by means of exhibitions and publications, helped to establish the reputation of British bookbinding worldwide. Stephen currently runs a bindery in Halifax, West Yorkshire, working on private press editions, presentation work, and design bindings. Recently, he has been involved with a major collaboration to bind the Highgrove Florigelium for HRH Prince Charles. His design bindings are housed in private collections and institutions worldwide, including The British Library and The National Library of Scotland.
Condition Report: The binding, clamshell box, and paper slipcase are in FINE condition with no flaws. Internally, the book is very clean with some mild age related tanning to the pages and some occasional spots to some of the text pages. There are no signs of previous ownership. Overall, this is a beautiful unique binding by Stephen Conway that houses the true first edition of one of the great works of literature.
Photographs of the book, clamshell box, and slipcase appear in the photo section of the listing.