A fine example of a "romantic binding (in-8), it has a very detailed pictorial front cover board which illustrates the woodland home of the Robinson family. This type of binding was popular from 1840-1870, after which it disappeared from production. This brief period was known as the "Age d'Or" for the magnificent polychrome and illustrated bindings produced.
The very detailed polychrome front cover board design was made from one large plaque, stamped in gilt over individually hand-cut pieces of paper. The work is delicate and fine. There is a monkey, bear, ostrich and a young man riding an emu. There are flowers, knotty tree limbs. The tree house is detailed and Mom and Dad Robinson are on the porch. There is a blind stamped frame surrounding the design.
The back cover board has one small gilt medallion of a young man clinging to a rock, a lightening bolt above his head. The back board repeats the blind stamped frame. The spine is sumptuously filled by an incredible plaque. The design is intricate and exceptionally luxurious. One small plaque has a central deer, another a winged phoenix and a third a large basket of flowers. The colors underneath the gilt are green, yellow, red and blue. The title of the book is stamped in a single gilt medallion.
The French text is illustrated by 14 full page and scattered vignette engravings. The full page engravings are incredibly detailed, in a pencil sketch format in sepia. Both the subject in each engraving and the artistic detail are of importance. Animals of all varieties are pictured, from iguana, zebra, bison, snake, wild boar to standing, talking bear. The reader can "read" the story by just looking at the outstanding engravings.
The binding measures 8 1/2' x 5 1/2" x 3" thick. It survives in very good antique condition. There is no visible loss to the gilt plaques, the deep navy color remains without faded portions. The binding corners have slight wear as is expected with age.
This is a fine title for a decorative library or for a collector of fine bindings.
Item ID: LC136
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