London: Macmillan and Co., 1885. Item #04428
An Early Example of Alice Pattinson's Fine Binding
One of Douglas Cockerell's Students
PATTINSON, Alice, binder. PATER, Walter. Marius the Epicurean. His Sensations and Ideas… London: Macmillan and Co., 1885.
Second Edition. Two octavo volumes (7 7/8 x 4 7/8 inches; 200 x 124 mm.). [1-11], 12-239, [1, blank]; [1-9], 10-218, pp.
Bound by Alice Pattinson in 1904 stamp-signed in gilt "19 AP 04" on rear turn-ins. Crushed navy blue morocco, covers with matching designs on front and rear, featuring a symmetrical chevron-like design enclosed within an inlaid green morocco border at the edges of the covers richly decorated with gilt leaves, dots, and corner flowers. Spines with five raised bands, similarly decorated in gilt with olive morocco inlaid borders elaborately decorated and lettered in gilt in compartments. Gilt-ruled board edges and wide turn-ins triple-ruled in gilt, dark green paste-downs and endleaves, top edges gilt, others uncut. The bindings are in fine condition with absolutely no signs of wear.
An early example of Alice Pattinson's fine work, one of Douglas Cockerell's students.
Alice Pattinson was one of a small group of distinguished female binders at work in England at the turn of the century. Among other distinctions, she was chosen (along with Katharine Adams and Florence Paget) as one of the three women employed to bind the forty copies of the Ashendene "Song of Songs" (1902), the illuminated book printed on vellum that stands as one of the greatest achievements of the modern private press movement. "Alice Pattinson (Mrs. Raymund Allen) was also one of Cockerell’s pupils, and she set up her bindery in his rooms at 29 Gilbert Street when he moved out to Ewell in 1902. She received a good deal of praise for her bindings, which were illustrated in Art Workers Quarterly, Art Journal, and The Art of the Book (1914). Her work was indeed to a very high standard, but, like Sarah Prideaux, she had professional help. She must have bound a few books under Cockerell, but virtually all her later bindings were forwarded by her partner Else Hoffman, and finished by George Fisher, who at the time was one of the finest finishers in England. Fisher attended Douglas Cockerell’s evening classes at the Central School, and Cockerell introduced him to Pattinson just after he had finished his apprenticeship with Rivière’s. Pattinson made no secret of employing Fisher, although frequently her bindings were illustrated in catalogues and journals with no mention at all of who did the different parts of the work. Her bindings are signed with the monogram of her initials, similar to that of Annie Power, and are usually dated. Else Hoffman also did some binding on her own account, in a style similar to Pattinson’s. She often showed her work at A&CES exhibitions, and also exhibited at Frankfurt in 1906, and at Leipzig in 1914. She lived at ‘Oak House’ (later ‘The Cottage’), The Mount, Sydenham." (Marianne Tidcombe. Women Bookbinder 1880-1920, p. 170).
Marius the Epicurean: his sensations and ideas is a historical and philosophical novel by Walter Pater (his only completed full-length fiction), written between 1881 and 1884, published in 1885 and set in 161-177 AD, in the Rome of the Antonines. It explores the intellectual development of its protagonist, a young Roman of integrity, in his pursuit of a congenial religion or philosophy at a time of change and uncertainty that Pater likened to his own era. The narration is third-person, slanted from Marius's point of view, added to which are various interpolated discourses, ranging from adaptations of classical and early Christian writings to Marius’s diary and authorial comment.
Walter Horatio Pater (1839-1894) was an English essayist, literary and art critic, and fiction writer, regarded as one of the great stylists. His works on Renaissance subjects were popular but controversial, reflecting his lost belief in Christianity.