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Late 19th century: Publisher’s Cloth Bindings

As publishers took control over the entire book making process, they began to see the cover as integral to the whole. Cover designs could reflect the content, set the tone for the reader, or attract the consumer. Cloth bindings were not readily accepted at first, but by the end of the century, they were the norm.

Author:  Roberts, Robert.
Title:  The house servant's directory, or, A monitor for private families: comprising hints on the arrangement and performance of servants' work ... and upwards of 100 various and useful receipts, chiefly compiled for the use of house servants ... By Robert Roberts.
Publisher:  Boston, Munroe and Francis; New York, ; C. S. Francis, 1827.
Call Number:  TX 331 .R64 1827

An early example of cloth used for bookbinding. Quarter cloth with marbled paper covers. Paper title label on spine.

The house servant's directory by Robert Roberts.

Author:  Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882.
Title:  Nature
Publisher:  Boston, J. Munroe and Company, 1836
Call Number:  PS 1613 .A1 1836

Full cloth binding with a subtle floral pattern. The decoration is very austere, with just the title stamped plainly in gold on the front cover. Both of these elements are very typical of the early beginnings of cloth bindings.

Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Author:  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864.
Title:  Mosses from an old manse.
Publisher:  New York, Wiley and Putnam, 1846.
Call Number:  PS 1863 .A1 1846

Full cloth binding. The title is stamped in gold on the spine. A geometric pattern is stamped in blind on the front and back covers. The symmetrical layout is common during the 1840s. Yellow cartridge paper endpapers.

Mosses from an old manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Title:  The American farrier; containing a minute account of the formation of every part of the horse ... a description of all the diseases ... accompanied with a copious alphabetical list of medicines.
Publisher:  Philadelphia, U. Hunt & son, 1856
Call Number:  SF 951 .B26 1856

Full cloth binding with gold stamped spine. Covers blind stamped with floral patterns, which were often used during the decade before the Civil War.

The American farrier.

Author:  Pennell, H. Cholmondeley (Henry Cholmondeley), 1837-1915.
Title:  Puck on Pegasus / by H. Cholmondeley Pennell ; illustrated by Leech, Phiz, Portch, and Tenniel ; with a frontispiece by George Cruikshank ; engraved by Dalziel brothers, Joseph Swain, John Swain, & E. Evans.
Publisher:  London : John Camden Hotten ... 1861.
Call Number:  PR 5167 .P6 P8

Full cloth binding with gold stamping on spine and front cover. Front cover design stamped in blind on back cover. Brown cartridge paper endpapers. Edges gilded. The extravagance of the design reflects the styles of the mid-century.

Puck on Pegasus by H. Cholmondeley Pennell.

Author:  Author of the "Gourmet's guide to rabbit cooking."
Title:  Everybody's pudding book, or, Puddings, tarts, etc., in their proper season, for all the year round / by the author of the "Gourmet's guide to rabbit cooking."
Publisher:  London : Richard Bentley, 1862.
Call Number:  TX 773 .E83 1862

Full cloth binding. Gold stamped on spine. Covers blind stamped with pattern and title. Beige cartridge paper endpapers. As the 1860s progressed, restraint and sparseness prevailed.

Everybody's pudding book.

Author:  Rhodes, W. H. (William Henry), 1822-1876.
Title:   Caxton's book: a collection of essays, poems, tales and sketches. By the late W. H. Rhodes. Ed. by Daniel O'Connell.
Publisher:  San Francisco, A. L. Bancroft and Company, 1876.
Call Number:  PS 2698 .R43 C3 1876

Full cloth binding. Gold stamping on spine and front cover. Geometric border design stamped in blind both front and back. Brown cartridge paper endpapers. Machine made endbands.

 A collection of essays, poems, tales, and sketches by William Henry Rhodes.

Author:  Doyle, Martin, pseud.
Title:  Illustrated book of domestic poultry.
Publisher:  Philadelphia, Porter [18--?].
Call Number:  SF 487 .D69 1800z (1880s)

Full cloth binding with the gold and black stamping on spine and front cover. Back cover is copy of front stamped in blind. Brown cartridge paper endpapers. Machine made endbands. This is a good example of 1870s book cover design.

Illustrated book of domestic poultry by Martin Doyle.

Title:  The yellow book.
Publisher:  London : E. Mathews & J. Lane ; Boston : Copeland & Day, [1894-1897]
Call Number:  AP 4 .Y4 v.1

Full yellow cloth binding with black title and images. The late 19th century saw designs bursting the bounds of the cover and becoming almost garish.

The yellow book.

Author:  Riley, James Whitcomb, 1849-1916.
Title:  The flying islands of the night, by James Whitcomb Riley.
Publisher:  Indianapolis, The Bowen-Merrill co., 1892
Call Number:  PS 2704 .F5 1892

Full cloth binding with top half dyed a different shade. Head of textblock gilded. Restrained gold stamping is typical of the 1890s.

The flying islands of the night by James Whitcomb Riley.