: Privately Reprinted, 1886. Item #03821
"Just like Love is yonder rose,
Heavenly fragrance round it throws…"
Luis de Camoens - Portugal's Greatest Poet
A Wonderful Inlaid Binding by Charles Meunier
[MEUNIER, Charles, binder]. CAMOENS. Luis de. Love Poems from the Portuguese of Luis de Camoens. By Lord Viscount Strangford. [London]: Privately Reprinted, 1886.
Limited to 50 copies on Japan Paper (this being number 49), signed by the editor, B.B. Haggin. Additionally inscribed on a front blank leaf "Compliments of the Editor/B.B. Haggin/March 27th, 1892."
Small quarto (8 9/16 x 6 9/16 inches; 217 x 167 mm.). [iv], , [3, blank] pp. Original stiff paper wrappers decorated in gold bound in. Illustrated with very attractive, engraved head and tail-pieces.
Bound ca. 1886 by Charles Meunier (stamp-signed in gilt on lower turn-in). Full rose colored crushed morocco, each cover richly and decoratively bordered in gilt surrounding a rectangular foliate frame with sixteen flowers inlaid in black morocco and fourteen leaves inlaid in green morocco. Spine with five raised bands and five inlaid black morocco flowers, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments in a matching design, decorative gilt board-edges, wide gilt decorated turn-ins, blue silk liners and end-leaves, marbled end-papers, all edges gilt. Housed in a felt-lined dark blue cloth clamshell case, spine with leather label, lettered in gilt. A spectacular binding on a beautifully printed book.
Charles Meunier (1865-1940) began his apprenticeship as a bookbinder at age eleven. Five years later, at age sixteen, he joined master binder Marius-Michel's workshop. He soon grew weary of producing traditional bindings and established his own bindery in 1885, at the tender age of twenty years old. CM was thought to be innovative and instinctive, with great reserves of energy and undeniable artistic talent... Drawing on traditional and modern techniques and forms of decoration, Meuniere mixed classical punches...with newly fashionable incised and modeled leather panels. His output was prodigious; by 1897 he had produced roughly six hundred bindings" (Art Nouveau and Art Deco Bookbinding, p. 194).
Luís Vaz de Camoens (c. 1524-1580), is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet. His mastery of verse has been compared to that of Shakespeare, Vondel, Homer, Virgil and Dante. He wrote a considerable amount of lyrical poetry and drama but is best remembered for his epic work Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads). His collection of poetry The Parnasum of Luís de Camões was lost in his lifetime. The influence of his masterpiece Os Lusíadas is so profound that Portuguese is sometimes called the "language of Camoens"