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Binding by Morrell, late 19th or early 20th century

A honeysuckle design is the main feature of this brown goatskin binding, with dots and leaves filling the corners. The leaf design is continued on the spine. The edges and turn-ins are also gold tooled. The upper turn-in is stamped: Morrell binder.

The bookbinding firm Morrell was originally founded by W.T. Morrell in 1861 when he acquired the workshop of Charles Lewis at 17 Frith Street, Soho, London. Morrell’s son W.J. Morrell took over the management in 1887 after his father’s death, and subsequently brought his brother John Morrell into partnership. In 1891 an observer noted that W.J. & J. Morrell, at that time employing 50 people, preferred to bind all their work by hand and the gilding and the marbling of both paper and leathers was also done onsite. A speciality for which they were known were bindings in the Roger Payne style, although this firm was also known for their own creative designs.

Purchased by Alexander H. Turnbull in 1907 from Bernard Quaritch.

Upper cover of Algernon Charles Swinburne, Laus veneris (London: Edward Moxon & Co., 1866 [i.e. ca. 1890]). REng SWIN Laus 1866.

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