In an Elegant, Beautifully Wrought Pictorial Binding
[BAYNTUN OF BATH, binders]. INGOLDSBY, Thomas (pseudonym of Richard Harris Barham). The Ingoldsby Legends. Or, Mirth and Marvels. The Three Series. London: Richard Bentley, 1855.
Tenth edition. Three octavo volumes (7 5/8 x 4 3/4 in; 193 x 121 mm). xii, 338, ; iv, 288; vi, , 364 pp. Twenty engraved plates by George Cruikshank and John Leech, including frontispieces.
Uniformly bound c. 1925 by Bayntun of Bath (stamp-signed to front turn-in) in full crushed blue morocco with a multi-colored pictorial onlay vignette to each upper cover, the vignette within an enchanting arabesque-bordered frame with extensive gilt dots as background. Wide turn-ins with triple fillets. Gilt rolled edges. Gilt ornamented raised bands. Gilt framed and ornamented compartments. All edges gilt. Pink marbled endpapers. A fine set, handsomely bound.
The exquisite multi-color leather inlays on the front cover of each volume depict as follows:
First Series: The Great Lord Cardinal. From the Jackdaw of Rheims (opposite page 221)
"Then the great Lord Cardinal call'd for his book,
And off that terrible curse he took;
The mute expression
Served in lieu of confession,
And, being thus coupled with full restitution,
The Jackdaw got plenary absolution."
Second Series: Shylock. From The Merchant of Venice (opposite page 45)
"I believe there are few
But have heard of a Jew,
Named Shylock, of Venice, as arrant
In money transactions, as ever you
An exorbitant miser, who never yet
A Ducat at less than three hundred per cent."
Third Series: Sir Christopher Hatton. From The House-Warming, A Legend of Bleeding-Heart Yard
(opposite page 292)
"The fact is, Sir Christopher, early in life,
As all bachelors should do, had taken a wife,
A Fanshawe by family, ---one of a house
Well descended, but boasting less "nobles" than nousÖ"
"George Bayntun [1873-1940] served an apprenticeship with the Taylor family, before starting his own bookbinding business in 1894. He took on London binders to raise the standard of craftsmanship and soon moved into larger premises on Walcot Street. It was recognized that 'He has brought intelligence into play as well as high craftsmanship." In 1939 the Bayntun and Rivière & Son binderies were incorporated into a new set of premises on Manvers Street (Bath), in which the business still exists today.
"George Bayntun adhered to traditional book binding techniques: 'We work in the old way. Machine binding? Ah yes....but not for us.' He had an especially good relationship with many pre-eminent American dealers, and Arthur Brenanto, Maurice Inman, Nat Ladden and Dr Rosenbach hosted a lunch in his honour on a visit to New York in 1936.
"George Bayntun died at the age of 67 in 1940, having built a world famous business. George Bayntun's last years were crowned by the frequent patronage of Queen Mary, who spent the war years near Bath. She granted the firm the appointment of Bookseller to Her Majesty in 1950" (Wiki).
Richard Barham's famous series of often-macabre (and often non-politically-correct!) parodies of myths, legends and ghost stories, many in verse - illustrated with plates by George Cruikshank and John Leech. These pieces began appearing in Bentley's Miscellany in 1837 (at about the time Oliver Twist was appearing there), and were immensely popular with that journal's readers -- so much so that they were subsequently collected in these three separately-published volumes. Though Barham's work is largely forgotten today, we do have several hold-overs from it - such as the tale from which Walt Disney devised "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and the earliest published version of the children's poem about the dog "Bingo" Öand Bingo was his name-O".
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