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Autumn Symphony

Twirling Vines and Dancing Leaves
 
Conjuring the magical sense of an autumnal orchestra, these covers are based on the work of Henri Francois Victor Marius Michel (1846–1925), who, along with his father, Jean Michel (1821–1890), founded the 20th-century French school of binding. Marius Michel’s genius involved using curved stamps to create exotic foliage and flowers. His great and lasting insight was that the decoration of the book’s cover should relate to its contents. Everything from the choice of skins, silks and papers, to his ability to coax miracles from string and cardboard, made Marius Michel an inspiration to all who came after. The Cadenza cover, so named for its evocation of a lively eddying of leaves before the winter sets in, reproduces a binding created in 1907. The original was in green crushed levant morocco and inlaid with leather in ten colours. The inspiration for the Allegro cover was red crushed levant morocco adorned with different coloured leathers and botanical patterns. Both bindings are part of the Mr. Spencer Collection held at the New York Public Library.