Probably ‘over the top’ – but fun!

Alfred W Pollard was a distinguished bibliographer, Assistant Keeper of Books at the British Museum and Honorary Professor of Bibliography at Kings College, London. In 1912 Methuen published his study of early fine printing, ‘Fine Books’, in their Connoisseur’s Library series. Copies of the first edition sell for around £100 at present.

In 1973 a specialist re-print publisher, EP Publishing, issued a re-print, with a new introduction. The printing is fine, the paper quite acceptable and the binding (as far as sewing the sections together is concerned) perfectly sound. But the covers are a great disappointment – bright red cloth with unsuitable title lettering and then a cheap poorly designed dust-jacket. EP seems to have gone out of business.

Wrong lettering!

Now, this near-travesty was offered on a local booksellers bargain shelf for £1. So I bought it, took the covers off, sewed proper endbands at head and tail, put five false bands on a hollow spine and covered the book in dark brown calf. For a book published in 1912 originally a suitable decorative treatment could be along Doves Bindery, or Douglas Cockerell lines.

Four hours later:

Too much, perhaps, but better than before!

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