Spotlight On … Zaehnsdorf Bookbindings.

Spotlight On … Zaehnsdorf Bookbindings.

Spotlight On … Zaehnsdorf Bookbindings.

Written by Dr. Graham Lampard

A History of Lace by Mary Bury Palliser – London, Sampson Low, Son & Marston 1865.

This book was bound for Exhibition by Joseph Zaehnsdorf, one of the leading bookbinders of the 19th Century, with the exhibitors Blind Stamp on the rear doublure. It features a dark blue exhibition dentelle binding with raised bands with dotted roll, compartments elaborately gilt. Gilt French fillet panel, edged with a dog-tooth roll, encloses a broad dentelle panel. The field crossed by vertical dotted lines is broken by small lily tools, featuring fine double fillet edge-roll, all edges gilt with inner gilt dentelles and gold brocaded mottled ikat silk doublures of cerise and pale grey. The book itself is unusual in that it has an engraved frontispiece, a decorative title page, seventeen plates in single colours – ochre, pink, cyan, mauve (scarce to find such colours at this date) – and numerous illustrations to the text, many of them full-page.

This bookbinding a highly attractive copy, in an entirely suitable and unique dentelle binding that is on loan to the National Leather Collection. It is one of a number of excellent bindings that form part of a leather literary body of work ranging from samples of the Dead Scrolls, 9th Century Qu’ran pages through the latest addition, a first edition of John Waterer’s “Leather in Life, Art and Industry”, which was superbly bound in a traditional full grain, black, goatskin binding by expert bookbinder Trevor Lloyd.

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