A really wonderful little binding; the present was the famous book binder, Henry Blackwell's personal copy of an excellent little work on Roger Williams.
Blackwell was one of the finest binder's of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His elaborate bindings are considered some of the premier examples of early 20th century craft and fetch thousands of dollars.
The present example is a simple, clean, morocco and marbled binding. Superbly executed, it also bears his H. T. Sears designed bookplate on the pastedown and is stamped, "Bound by Blackwell," per usual.
Guild, Reuben Aldridge. Footprints of Roger Williams. Providence, R. I. Tibbitts & Preston. 1886. 48pp.
Very good condition with some light rubbing at extremities; text superbly crisp.
Henry Blackwell (1851-1928), bookbinder and bookseller, bibliographer and biographer, was the son of bookbinder Richard Blackwell of Liverpool whose bindery appeared in the Liverpool & Birkenhead Trades Directory in 1870. Henry emigrated to New York in 1877 where he supervised a large bindery. In 1892 he established hisown shop in New York City. Blackwell played a prominent part in the Welsh-American life of his adopted country. He was a scholar of Welsh literature as well as binding, his 1899 essay, Notes on Bookbinding, was a memorable contribution. He had the largest Welsh Collection of books on this side of the Atlantic, and wrote articles, books and bibliographies about Welsh-American books. In 1893, he commissioned H.T. Sears to engrave a Welsh bookplate for his Welsh books [present here]. He also wrote articles about bookplates. He was a member of ex libris societies in America, England, France and Germany. He wrote the Introduction and a chapter on the study and arrangement of bookplates for W.G. Bowdoin's book, The Rise Of The Book-Plate, New York, 1901. His Private Library was sold at The Collectors Club in November 1915.