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Blissful Books and Bindings

Unknown binders

Although the binders responsible for the beautiful works included in the Bliss Collection are usually known, there are a few that are unsigned. It seems that even Miss Bliss did not know who the artists were or her cataloguer would have identified them in the binding descriptions provided with the collection.


Gardner, Ernest Arthur, 1862-1939
    Six Greek Sculptors, by Ernest A. Gardner. London, Duckworth and co.; New York, C. Scribner's sons, 1910

Bound in dark blue three-quarter levant, with a gilt ruled panel on the spine. The end papers are marbled and the top edge gilded.

bliss gardner

Gairdner, James, 1828-1912
    Houses of Lancaster and York, With the Conquest and Loss of France. 9th edition. London, Longman, Green & Co., 1896.
    2 v.

Bound in contemporary full green levant, tooled in gold and inlaid with a red and white morocco rose design. All edges are gilt. Inside, a green morocco border, tooled in a gold rose design and lettered with quotations from Shakespeare's Henry VI, surrounds a crimson moiré silk doublure and faces a matching moiré lining.     The plates are from various sources; four are colored by hand. One plate is an original painting, signed E.M.S., of the two roses surrounded by a green border; three are proofs with engraver's corrections noted in pencil; one is double and mounted on a hinge. Apparently, this copy contains 189 extra plates, though the title page states that there are 190. The plates are by Gaillard, David, Heath, Chapman, Cook and others after Picart, Le Jeune, Mabeuse, Harding and others. The original text leaves, which were meant for a smaller volume, and many of the additional plates are inlaid for binding.

 bliss gairdner

Hübner, Joseph Alexander, graf von, 1811-1892.
    Neuf Ans de Souvenirs d'un Ambassadeur d'Autriche à Paris Sous le Second Empire, 1851-1859, publiés par son fils le comte Alexandre de Hübner. Paris, Plon-Nourrit et cie, 1904.
     2 v. (v. 1 only.)

Bound in half lilac levant, faded to brown on the spine, which is decorated and lettered in gold; the boards are covered with marbled paper which matches that of the end papers. The top edge is gilt, the other edges uncut.

bliss hubner

Nouveau Théatre du Piemont et de la Savoye, ou, Description Exacte de Leurs Villes, Palais, Églises, & Principaux Édifices &c. : le tout sur les plans tirez sur les lieux & avec les planches dessinées & gravées la plupart sur les lieux & par les plus habiles maitres, & retouchées par l'éditeur; le tout mis en ordre. A la Haye : Chez Rutgert Christophle Alberts, 1725
    2 v. in 4

 Bound in old marbled calf (probably not contemporary with the publication), decorated with an ornamental gold border. A similar ornamental frame, decorated at the four corners, surrounds a gold filigree diamond design on the front and back covers. The spine has maroon and dark brown paper labels; there are marbled end papers and gilt edges.
    This copy once belonged to the Academy of Natural Sciences and has a bookplate on which a small label reads: "Ordered to be sold by the Acad. Nat. Sciences of Philada. April 25, 1882."

bliss nouveau
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