Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field…
Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Company, 1811. Item #05168
"Day set on Norham's castled steep.
And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep… "
Bound by Taylor & Hessey and with a Fine Fore-Edge Painting
by the "Double-Line Painter"
[FORE-EDGE PAINTING]. [TAYLOR & HESSEY, binder]. [DOUBLE-LINE PAINTER, artist]. SCOTT, Sir Walter. Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field… The eighth edition. Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Company, 1811.
With a very fine early twentieth century fore-edge painting by the "Double-Line Painter" showing a view of Norham Castle in Northumberland depicting the opening lines of the poem.
Octavo (8 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches; 210 x 133 mm.). [viii], -377, [1, blank], [i]-cxxviii pp. Additional engraved vignette title-page and nine engraved plates. The title-page and plates with old water stain at top left corner, some occasional and light spotting, otherwise near fine.
Handsomely bound ca. 1811 by Taylor and Hessey, Booksellers, London. Stamp-signed in gilt on the fore-edge of the front board "Bound by Taylor & Hessey". Full dark blue straight-grain morocco, covers elaborately paneled in gilt, spine with five raised bands, three of them double, elaborately decorated and lettered in gilt in compartments, decorative gilt board-edges and turn-ins, ochre watered silk liners and endleaves, all edges gilt. With the engraved bookplate of Isabel Beckwith Closson on front blank. A lovely example.
The "Double-Line Painter" was an English artist, name unknown, possibly active in the 1920s. The most identifiable feature of this artist's work is the label for the painting. The artist labels his own paintings on the the front fly-leaf. If you look carefully you will see a neat light penciled double-line above and below the written title (like an architect would do). The painting title itself is also neatly written in tiny letters. This artist is highly skilled painter with high productivity." (Jeff Weber. Annotated Dictionary of Fore-Edge Painting Artists & Binders, pp. 95-96). Jeff Weber cites eight example of the "Double-Line" artist in his book on pp. 96-97.
'Norham Castle' is in Northumberland, England, overlooking the River Tweed, on the border between England and Scotland. In the nineteenth century, Norham Castle became well known far and wide from the paintings of J. M. W. Turner. He first painted the castle in 1797, but returned to paint it many times.
“Taylor & Hessey were busy throughout these fifteen years [1808-1823], not only in publishing and in binding, but also in re-binding books published by others. They issued, among other works, Pope's translation of the Iliad and Thomson's Seasons; but they also put fine bindings upon books by Milton, Crabbe, Cowper, Scott, and others, published by Johnson, or by Sharpe, or by Hatchard, or by Reeves, or by Longman… Taylor & Hessey usually bound their fine books in morocco—red, blue, brown, crimson, green—and "signed" their bindings by stamping their name in gilt in the fore-edge of the binding (not the leaves, note), whenever the boards inside the leather were thick enough to carry the name of the firm… (C.J. Weber, Fore-Edge Painting, pp. 106-7).
Provenance: Isabel Beckwith Closson (1907-2004); Weber. 1001 Fore-Edge Paintings. Maine, 1949. P. 152; Randall Moscovitz.