Ingoldsby Legends, The; Or Mirth & Marvels. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Rackham Meets Riviére
In a Masterful Onlaid Binding

[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. INGOLDSBY, Thomas (pseudonym of Richard Harris Barham). [RIVIÉRE and SON, binders]. The Ingoldsby Legends Or Mirth & Marvels. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1930.

Later edition, originally published in 1898. Octavo (7 1/4 x 5 in; 185 x 125 mm). xxiii, [1], 638, [2] pp. Twelve color plates including frontispiece, ninety drawings in black and white.

Contemporary full wine crushed morocco by Riviére and Son (stamp-signed) with gilt strapwork frame with gilt tooling and rolls enclosing a multi-colored onlaid calf and morocco pictorial panel reproducing the illustration opposite p. 170, "If anyone lied - If anyone swore." Gilt-rolled turn-ins. Custom marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. Upper joint expertly and almost invisibly repaired.

The illustrations for this volume proved a turning point in Rackham's life. "In 1898, which was to be a watershed year for Rackham, Dent invited him to produce one hundred black and white illustrations for R.H. Barham's quaintly medievalizing poems and stories The Ingoldsby Legends of Mirth and Marvels. The £150 fee for this important commission bought, in addition, ownership of the originals and copyright.…[The] episodic nature and superficial, rollicking humour [of the tales] were well suited to Rackham's talents, presenting him with endless opportunities to exercise his talent for the macabre and the inventive, the fantastic and the knockabout comic" (Hamilton, Arthur Rackham. A Biography, p. 49).

Robert Riviere (1808–1882), bookbinder, was born in London in 1808. On leaving school, in 1824, he apprenticed with Messrs. Allman, the booksellers, of Princes Street, Hanover Square. In 1829 he established himself at Bath as a bookseller, and subsequently as a bookbinder in a small way, employing only one man. But not finding sufficient scope for his talents in that city, he came in 1840 to London, where he commenced business as a bookbinder.

The excellent workmanship and good taste displayed in his bindings gradually won for them the appreciation of connoisseurs, and he was largely employed by the Duke of Devonshire, Mr. Christie-Miller, Captain Brooke, and other great collectors. He also bound for the queen and the royal family. In the Great Exhibition of 1851 he exhibited several examples of his skill, and he obtained a medal. The bindings of Riviere, in the quality of the materials, the forwarding, and in the finish and delicacy of the tooling are deserving of almost unqualified commendation. His bindings are wonderful specimens of artistic taste, skill, and perseverance. Riviere bequeathed his business to this son-in-law in 1880, and the name of the firm was changed to Riviére & Son. Bayntun of Bath acquired Riviére c. 1930.

Cf. Riall, p. 26. Cf. Latimore and Haskell, p. 11. Item #02520

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