In A Splendid Exhibition Binding
One of Only A Few Copies On Glazed Leaded Paper
[BEDFORD, Francis, binder]. GOLDSMITH, Oliver. The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith. Illustrated by Wood Engravings From the Designs of C.W. Cope, Thomas Creswick, J.C. Horsley, R. Redgrave and Frederick Tayler: Members of the Etching Club. With a Biographical Memoir, and Notes on the Poems. Edited by Bolton Corney, Esq. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1846.
One of only a handful of copies printed on heavy glazed leaded paper. Small quarto (8 1 4 x 5 3/4 inches; 219 x 147mm.). xxviii, 235,  (printers imprint). Thirty-eight black and white text illustrations.
Exhibition binding for the Paris Exposition Internationale de 1878 by F. Bedford (stamp-signed on lower front turn-in, ID'd and dated, 1879, in pencil to rear free endpaper by original buyer) in full deep forest green morocco in a classic Padeloup-stye repetition mosaic binding of elaborately rolled gilt borders enclosing antelope brown morocco onlays with gilt dots, stars and floral tools with forest green borders featuring open dots and red calf onlays with gilt stars. Spine compartments reiterate cover design. Gilt-rolled edges. Broad, extravagantly gilt dentelles. Maroon silk endleaves. All edges gilt. Bookplate of "Chateau De Rosny - La Solitude" on front paste-down.
"Francis Bedford, (1799–1883), bookbinder, was born at Paddington, Middlesex, on 18 June 1799. His father is believed to have been a courier attached to the establishment of George III. At an early age he was sent to a school in Yorkshire, and on his return to London his guardian, Henry Bower, of 38 Great Marlborough Street, apprenticed him in 1817 to a bookbinder named Haigh, in Poland Street, Oxford Street. Only a part of his apprenticeship was served with Haigh, and in 1822 he was transferred to a binder named Finlay, also of Poland Street, with whom his indentures were completed. At the end of his apprenticeship he entered the workshop of one of the best bookbinders of the day, Charles Lewis, of 35 Duke Street, St James's. He was Lewis's foreman for many years and, when Lewis died in 1836, managed the business for Lewis's widow, Maria. It was during this period that Bedford's talent was noticed by the duke of Portland, who became not only a patron but a friend. In 1841 Bedford entered into partnership with John Clarke of 61 Frith Street, Soho, who was known for binding books in tree-marbled calf. Clarke and Bedford carried on their business in Frith Street until 1850, when the partnership was dissolved. In 1851, prompted by ill health, Bedford went to the Cape of Good Hope where he remained for several years, the expenses of his stay being met by the duke of Portland, and on his return to England he established himself in Blue Anchor Yard, York Street, Westminster. He afterwards added 91 York Street to his premises.
"Bedford was considered the leading English bookbinder of his time, surpassed only by the best French binders. He was a craftsman rather than a designer and his work, though well executed, is not innovative. The number of volumes bound by him is large, and according to his obituary in The Bookbinder, ‘year after year a constant stream of beautifully bound books went forth from his hands’. Many of his best bindings are imitations of the work of the French bookbinders of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, and the bindings of Samuel Rogers's Poems and Italy, of which he bound several copies in morocco inlaid with coloured leathers and covered with delicate gold tooling in the style of Padeloup, are fine examples of his skill.
"Bedford himself considered that an edition of Dante, which he bound in brown morocco and tooled with a Grolier pattern, was his chef d'œuvre, and wished it placed in his coffin; but his request was not complied with, and it was sold at the sale of his books for £49. He obtained prize medals at several of the great English and French exhibitions. His books were sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge, in March 1884, and realized £4,876 16s. 6d. Many of the best examples of his work were among them.
"A few months after his death the business was bought from Bedford's nieces by Joseph Shepherd. Shepherd ran the business and continued to use the Bedford name until 1893" (Oxford DNB).
Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) was the acclaimed Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright and poet best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770), and his plays The Good-Natur'd Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1771, first performed in 1773). He also wrote An History of the Earth and Animated Nature. He is thought to have written the classic children's tale The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, the source of the phrase "goody two-shoes."
The "Chateau De Rosny - La Solitude" was the Versailles-like mansion outside of Paris originally owned by the Duc and Duchess Marie-Caroline Du Berry, an ardent bibliophile, and bought in the 19th century by the Lebaudy family, which continued to acquire books for the Chateau's esteemed library. Item #02284
Out of stock