London: Chatto and Windus, 1883. Item #02141
In a Beautiful and Unusual Kelliegram Binding
From the Library of Jakob Raskob - Builder of The Empire State Building
[KELLIEGRAM Binding]. [CRUIKSHANK, George]. JERROLD, Blanchard. The Life of George Cruikshank. In Two Epochs. A New Edition. With Eighty-Four Illustrations. London: Chatto and Windus, 1883.
New edition. Octavo (7 1/4 x 4 1/4 in; 180 x 116 mm). xvi, 392 pp. Nineteen black and white plates with tissue guards, sixty-five black and white text illustrations.
Bound by Kelly & Sons ca. 1900 in an unusual Kelliegram (thus signed) binding of full crimson crushed morocco with gilt-decorated frame to covers, and multi-colored morocco inlaid portrait to spine. One raised band. Turn-ins with gilt corner pieces. All edges gilt. Green silk end leaves. Original red cloth covers and spine bound in at rear. With the bookplate of John J. Raskob.
The beautifully inlaid and colorful "Kelliegram bindings were one of many innovations of the English commercial binding firm of Kelly & Sons. The Kelly family had one of the longest connections in the history of the binding trade in London, having been founded in 1770 by John Kellie, as the name was then spelled. The binding firm was carried on by successive members of the family into the 1930s. William Henry Kelly significantly developed the company in the first half of the nineteenth century, followed by William Henry, Jr., Henry, and Hubert Kelly, who took control in 1892, taking the firm into the twentieth century…The development [during the 1880s] that came to be known as Kelliegram was one of the bindery's most notable, and the popularity continues today as demonstrated by the prices Kelliegram bindings command at auction and in the rare book trade" (Dooley, Kelliegram Bindings, Brynmawr Library).
George Cruikshank was and remains the most celebrated caricaturist and book illustrator of the 19th century.
The previous owner, the noted book collector John Jakob Raskob, was a financial executive and businessman for DuPont and General Motors, and the builder of the Empire State Building.