Nowhere is the heft and glory of history more palpable than in the book arts. The 19th century brought several innovations, both functional and æsthetic, to the craft of bookbinding. Advances in mechanisation enabled publishers to start producing books on a large scale while staying true to the exquisite, ornamental beauty of the cloth- or leather-bound book. This reproduction of an antique French binding is based on a cover designed in 1829 by publishers A. & W. Galignani for “The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.” It features many of the hallmarks of fine binding from that era, when book designers looked to their forebears from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries for guidance.
This cover suggests the fine Moroccan leather preferred for bindings of the era, as well as the structural sturdiness, careful finishing and ridged spine venerated by discerning bibliophiles. The decorations mirror architectural trends of the time such as rosettes, spirals and stylised leaves. The rich tones and textural sophistication found in our reproduction create a stunning rendition of the original binding.