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Tregaskis Bindings Collections

Date range: 1893-1993

Number of items: 159 items

The original Tregaskis Binding Collection contains seventy-three copies of the Kelmscott Press’s The Tale of King Florus and the Fair Jehane (Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1893) in unique bindings from twenty-seven different countries, commissioned for exhibition in 1894 by the London booksellers James (1850-1926) and Mary Lee Tregaskis (1853/4-1900). Seventy-six copies were sent out. One copy was returned from Kashmir unbound, as no binder could be found, another was destroyed in an earthquake in Greece, and a third was lost in a fire in Saxony. There is also one copy in the standard Kelmscott binding of linen-backed boards.

The work of several women binders is represented in the collection, most notably Sarah Prideaux (1953-1933) and Elizabeth MacColl (1863-1951); three bindings embroidered by women include a design by Walter Crane (1845-1915) that was executed by his wife.

The Library also owns the Tregaskis Centenary Bindings Collection, which comprises eighty-five copies of the Folio Society edition of Andrew Marvell’s (1621-1678) The Garden & Other Poems (London: Folio Society, 1993) in contemporary design bindings from thirty-two countries.

The collection was commissioned for exhibition in 1994 by Designer Bookbinders and was purchased by the Library with support from the Museums and Galleries Commission and the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund. Together these collections constitute a remarkable conspectus of fine bookbinding throughout the world at the end of the 19th and 20th centuries.

See also:

Further Information:

Published catalogue, Tregaskis Centenary Exhibition (1994) , Tregaskis Centenary Exhibition: A Catalogue of the Tregaskis Centenary Exhibition 1994, Together with a Facsimile of the Tregaskis Exhibition Catalogue of 1894 and Colour Plates of the Bindings in Both Exhibitions, with introductions by Marianne Tidcombe and an essay by Bernard C. Middleton (London: Designer Bookbinders, 1994).

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