New York: The Grolier Club, 2023,
First Edition. large octavo, red cloth stamped in gilt. 496 pp. with 235 color plates. The Grolier Club, Item #33201
A beautifully produced celebration of bookbinding, its design and history. The average reader may not pay them any mind, but to those steeped in book history and collecting, bookbindings are simultaneously art and conveyors of provenance and backstory They often give expression to a book’s contents and always are delightfully tactile—all but the most pedestrian of them have a story to tell. The importance of historic and fine bindings to the founders of the Grolier Club is evidenced by their establishment in 1895 of the Club Bindery, as well as by the more than thirty-five exhibitions of bookbindings that have been held at the club. Ranging from early incunabula to newly produced books from the present day, the Grolier Club collection boasts some of the finest bookbindings in the world. This meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated tome highlights the milestones among European and American bindings from that collection. It’s a delight for the eye as much as an important scholarly work for the sophisticated bibliophile. Very fine.