Rudyard Kipling Poems 1886 – 1929, 3 Volumes
First Edition – Signed Presentation Copy – 3 of 12
Published by Doubleday, Doran, New York in 1930
Owned by the Publisher Nelson Doubleday
Stunning Inlaid Leather Bindings by The French Binders (Doubleday)
Binding Details: Stunning signed inlaid full morocco leather bindings by The French Binders who were the in-house binders for the publisher of the books, Doubleday, Moran. Each volume features an inlay of a large vignette on the front cover in blue, green, brown, and tan morocco leather. The spines have raised hubs with gilt ruling and titling. There are morocco leather doublures with floral stops, watered silk endpapers, and the top page ends are gold gilted. Each of the volumes is housed in a slipcase with a morocco leather opening. The French Bindery stamp appears in gold gilte on the bottom of the inside front cover.
Rebecca Rego Barry in her article for The Literary Pub wrote the following about these bindings, “Doubleday is one of the eponymous publishing houses that dominated 20th-century American literary culture. From its founding in 1897 through various mergers and its eventual sale to Bertelsmann, it has thrived. The third and last of the Doubledays to run the company. Nelson Jr., who died in 2015, sold his stake in 1986, the same year the Mets, a team he co-owned, won the World Series. Rudyard Kipling was, arguably, the most important author in Doubleday’s history. Kipling and Doubleday were indeed steadfast pals, referring to each other as “Rud” and “Effendi” (Kipling’s nickname for F.N., supposedly a mash-up of his initials and the “Turkish or Arab name for Chief,” Doubleday writes). There are several examples of finely bound and gilt-decorated Kipling books, bound by Doubleday’s in-house bookbinders, The French Binders, whose output he described as “the cream of all the fine binding work done in this country.” This one is a first edition of Kipling’s Poems 1886-1929, copy number 3 of 12 presentation sets bearing the author’s signature and bookplate. The morocco leather binding and watered silk endpapers suggest just how much Kipling meant to his publisher.”
Book Details: This is the first edition of Rudyard Kipling: Poems 1886 – 1929 published in 1930 by Doubleday, Doran in a limited edition of 537 with 12 of these being presentation copies. This is one of the 12 signed presentation copies which bears the bookplate of Rudyard Kipling and is number 3. The three volumes contain all of Kipling's poetry up to 1929 with the exception of his two first volumes that were published by his parents, Schoolboy Lyrics and Echoes, and are presented in the order in which they were published. Christopher Benfey in his 2013 article on Rudyard Kipling in the New Republic wrote, “Rudyard Kipling’s creations in verse and prose are among the most familiar in the English language. It would be difficult to shield a child in any Anglophone country from Mowgli’s exploits among the wolves, or from an explanation of how the leopard got his spots. Many teenagers are still exposed to the hammering exhortations of “If—,” recently voted the most popular poem in Great Britain … From the mid-1890s to World War I, Kipling, who won the Nobel Prize in 1907, was probably the most successful writer alive. And yet this consummate craftsman was always an innovator, driven by his own aesthetic promptings, and always a poet first.”
Each volume measures approximately 11” x 8” x 2” and includes an index of contents and an index of first lines. The book is signed on the limitation page by Rudyard Kipling and indicates that this is presentation copy number 3 of 12.
Condition Report: The bindings are in FINE condition with extremely superficial surface wear. Internally the books are very clean with no foxing or other markings. There are no bookplates or signs of previous ownership. Overall, this is a beautifully bound signed presentation copy of the poetical works of one of world’s greatest writers.
Photographs of the binding, the limitation and signature page, and Rudyard Kipling’s bookplate appear in the photo section of the listing.