The Bindings of To-morrow.

A record of the work of the Guild of Women-Binders and of the Hampstead Bindery. With a critical introduction by G. Eliot Anstruther.

London: printed for the Guild of Women-Binders, 1902 Stock Code: 140060

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First edition, number 476 of 500 copies only. The magnificent chromo-litho plates feature 50 bindings by the Guild, many with the names of their designers and executors. It was produced to accompany an exhibition in London to showcase the Guild's work alongside that of the Hampstead Bindery.

The Guild of Women-Binders was established in 1898 by bookseller Frank Karslake as "a way of publicising and promoting the sale of books bound by women" (Tidcombe pp. 27-8). Karslake set up the Guild following a display in his shop from November 1897 to February 1898 entitled an "Exhibition of Artistic Bookbinding by Women". This exhibition featured the work of female binders such as Annie S. Macdonald, whom Karslake met showcasing their binding at the Victorian Era Exhibition of 1897, and many of whom would become founding members of the Guild. In 1899 Karslake's daughter, Constance, set up a workshop for the Guild in Hampstead where members could train and work. In keeping with the co-operative spirit of the Guild few bindings were signed by the individuals involved, and the majority left unsigned. The Bindery closed shortly after the exhibition for which this book was produced, while the Guild continued until 1904. Despite its short history, the Guild is a notable part of binding history as the binders produced "designs that were freer and less stereotyped than those of men in the trade, and they readily experimented with new techniques" (ibid. pp. 123-24).

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Quarto. Original green cloth, title to spine in gilt, fore edge untrimmed.


with 50 chromo-litho plates, all with tissue guards.


Bookplate of William S. Argent designed by Henry Ospovat to the front pastedown. Spine sunned, a little mottling to covers, a little foxing to contents, but generally quite clean, the plates bright and presenting well. A very good copy indeed of this beautiful production.


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