: Doves Press, 1915. Item #04471
Designed and Finished by Rivière's Leonard Mounteney for Cuneo of Chicago
MOUNTENEY, Leonard, designer & finisher. CUNEO, binders. DOVES PRESS. SHAKESPEARE, William. The Rape of Lucrece. Hammersmith: Printed by T.J. Cobden-Sanderson at The Doves Press, 1915.
One of 175 copies printed on paper. Printed in red and black.
Small quarto (9 x 6 3/8 inches; 230 x 162 mm.). -76, [1, colophon], [1, errata] pp.
Designed and finished by Leonard Mounteney for Cuneo of Chicago ca. 1930 (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in "Bound by Cuneo"; stamp-signed in gilt on rear turn-in "Designed & Finished by L. Mounteney"). Full red crushed levant morocco, both covers with elaborate gilt borders and large decorative gilt corner-pieces with flowers and leaves inlaid in orange and green morocco. The front cover with a superb gilt center piece of a vase with flowers and leaves, all inlaid in various colored morocco. Spine with four raised bands decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments. The top and lower compartments also elaborately inlaid in a floral style in various colored morocco. Wide decoratively gilt tooled turn-ins, pale green watered silk liners and end-leaves, all edges gilt. An immaculate example of one of the greatest designer book-binders of the first half of the twentieth century.
"Leonard MOUNTENEY was born in Nottingham, England, in 1881, and died in Chicago in 1971. He was an extra finisher at Rivière in London until 1924, when he emigrated to America to work under De Sauty at Donnelley’s in Chicago. Two years later he set up a fine bindery for John Cuneo, the rival Chicago printers, where he continued until he was succeeded by his assistant George Baer, I believe about 1960.
Most of the work done at Cuneo’s hand bindery was more modest, but one occasionally sees elaborate bindings signed Cuneo and Mounteney. It’s difficult to say when the Lucrece was bound. My guess is earlier rather than later. Thank you for all the photos. It is a remarkably pretty binding – very unusual on a Doves Press book – and for such a serious poem!" (Many thanks to Marianne Tidcombe for this information).
The Rape of Lucrece (1594) is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare about the legendary Lucretia. In his previous narrative poem, Venus and Adonis (1593), Shakespeare had included a dedicatory letter to his patron, the Earl of Southampton, in which he promised to compose a "graver labour". Accordingly, The Rape of Lucrece has a serious tone throughout.
The poem begins with a prose dedication addressed directly to the Earl of Southampton, which begins, "The love I dedicate to your Lordship is without end." It refers to the poem as a pamphlet, which describes the form of its original publication of 1594.
The dedication is followed by "The Argument", a prose paragraph that summarizes the events preceding the start of the poem, which begins in media res.
The poem contains 1,855 lines, divided into 265 stanzas of seven lines each. The rhythm of each line is iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme for each stanza is ABABBCC, a format known as "rhyme royal", which has been used by Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton and John Masefield.
Tidcombe. The Doves Press, 37.