Compleat Angler, The.; or, Contemplative Man's Recreation: Being a Discourse on Rivers, Fish-Ponds, Fish, and Fishing... With the Lives of the Authors: And Notes Historical, Critical, Supplementary and Explanatory; By Sir John Hawkins.

A Very Early Example of a Fine Kelliegram 'Inlaid' Binding

[KELLIEGRAM BINDING]. WALTON, Isaac. The Compleat Angler; or, Contemplative Man's Recreation: Being a Discourse on Rivers, Fish-Ponds, Fish, and Fishing... With the Lives of the Authors: And Notes Historical, Critical, Supplementary and Explanatory; By Sir John Hawkins. London: Printed for Samuel Bagster, 1808.

Seventh Hawkins edition. Octavo ( 8 1/16 x 4 3/4 inches; 205 x 122 mm.). [iv], vi, 7-345, 348-512 pp. Illustrated with sixteen engraved plates after Philip Audinet, two engraved pages of music and thirty-two engravings in the text.

Bound ca. 1890 in a stunning Art Noveau binding of dark green crushed morocco, handsomely gilt and inlaid, by Kelliegram, both covers with a fanciful Art Nouveau design within a single gilt frame, of a large inlaid lily in different shades of green, blue and brown, these inlays connected by gilt which descend to feature three groups of fish (seven, three seven), seven inlaid red morocco cherries, and fine sprinklings of gilt dots. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled in compartments with similar inlaid red morocco cherries and gilt fish, gilt board edges. Decorative turn-ins continuing the inlaid red morocco cherries and the gilt fish motifs. The turn-ins enclosing pictorial morocco doublures, the front doublure inlaid in many colors depicting a bridge over a river; the rear doublure similarly inlaid in various colors depicting a country scene. Red watered silk endleaves, all edges gilt. The spine lightly sunned to a warm shade of dark brown, otherwise a very fine and early example of a Kelliegram binding.

This fine example is not signed - possibly because it would have been executed around the time that the firm's stamp changed from Kelly & Sons to 'Kelliegram'.

"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.

"In the 1880s, Kelly & Sons began to use cloth with the reverse side showing for the sides of half-leather bindings. The reverse cloth had a more interesting and less artificial appearance, with an additional advantage of not being affected by water. The development 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, John. Kelliegram Bindings. Bryn Mawr Library Newsletter, No. 2, April 1998).

Coigney, 17. Item #03159

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