Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bessie Burden book cover

Bound in England, probably in the late 19th century for the publisher F.S. Ellis, this cover of beige silk cloth with mesh of gold thread is oversewn with flowers and leaves in imitation of the cover designed for the standard copy by the author, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The book's title is embroidered on the spine in pink and cream thread. The top edges of the pages are gilt, and the other edges are untrimmed; by this time, untrimmed edges were a sign of a special printing, rather than an unfinished binding.
A pencilled note by Alexander Turnbull inside the volume attributes the binding to Miss E. Burden, and this is probably the embroiderer, Elizabeth (Bessie) Burden (1842-1924) who was chief technical instructor at the Royal School of Art Needlework, London, from 1880.
Purchased by Alexander Turnbull sometime between 1915 and 1918.
Upper cover of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ballads and sonnets (London: Ellis and White, 1881). REng ROSS Ball 1881.

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