A Fine Cosway Binding with a Portrait Miniature on Ivory by Miss C.B. Currie
[COSWAY BINDING]. KINGSLEY, Charles. The Water-Babies. A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby. New Edition. With One Hundred Illustrations by Linley Sambourne. London: Macmillan and Co., 1885.
First edition illustrated by Linley Sambourne (first published in book form in 1863, with illustrations by Noel Paton). Small quarto (7 15/16 x 6 1/4 inches; 202 x 158 mm.). viii, 371, [1, printer's imprint] pp. Wood-engravings text illustrations.
In a fine Cosway Binding by Rivière & Son (stamp-signed in gilt on the front turn-in) of full red crushed levant morocco. Covers with gilt triple fillet border, front cover set a fine rectangular miniature portrait on ivory under bevelled glass (3 1/2 x 2 5/8 inches; 89 x 66 mm.) of Charles Kingsley by Miss C.B. Currie, within an inner gilt double fillet border and a wide outer gilt floral and leaf border (in the style of Charles MacLeish). Spine in six compartments with five raised bands, lettered in gilt in two compartments, and decoratively tooled in gilt in a similar floral and leaf design in the remaining four compartments, with the date in gilt at the foot. Board edges with gilt double fillet, turn-ins ruled in gilt with similar gilt floral corner ornaments, dark green watered silk doublures and liners, all edges gilt. Stamped in gilt on the rear doublure: "Miniatures by C.B. Currie." Additionally stamped in gilt on the fore-edges of the front and rear boards: "Cosway Binding" and "Invented by J.H. Stonehouse." An inserted certificate leaf signed by both Stonehouse and Currie and numbered in ink identifies the present copy as being "No. 951 of the Cosway Bindings invented by J.H. Stonehouse, with Miniatures on Ivory by Miss Currie." Signed: J.H. Stonehouse, Inventor and C.B. Currie, Artist. Original front and rear blue cloth covers bound in at end. A superb example. Housed in a velvet-lined red cloth clamshell case.
Edward Linley Sambourne (1844-1910), "English draughtsman, illustrator and designer, was born in London, on the 4th of January 1844. He was educated at the City of London School, and also received a few months' education at the South Kensington School of Art. After a six years' Ďgentleman apprenticeship' with John Penn & Son, marine engineers, Greenwich, his humorous and fanciful sketches made surreptitiously in the drawing-office of that firm were shown to Mark Lemon, editor of Punch, and at once secured him an invitation to draw for that journal. In April 1867 appeared his first sketch, ĎPros and Cons,' and from that time his work was regularly seen, with rare exceptions, in the weekly pages of Punch. In 1871 he was called to the Punch Ďtable.' At the beginning he made his name by his Ďsocial' drawings and especially by his highly elaborated initial letters. He drew his first political cartoon, properly so-called, in 1884, and ten years later began regularly to design the weekly second cartoon, following Sir John Tenniel as chief cartoonist in 1901. Examples of his best work in book illustration are in Sir F.C. Burnand's New Sandford and Merton (1872), and in Charles Kingsley's Water Babies (1885), which contains some of his most delicate and delightful drawings. The design for the Diploma for the Fisheries Exhibition (1883) is of its kind one of the most extraordinary things in English art. As a political designer, while distinguished for wit and force, he was invariably refined and good-humoured to the uttermost; yet it is essentially as an artist that he takes his highest place. He died on the 3rd of August 1910. See M.H. Spielmann, The History of Punch (London, 1895)" (Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition).
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