Bookbinding Design Archive with Eleven A.L.S. From John Masefield

Bookbinding Design Archive with Eleven A.L.S. From John Masefield


No Publisher


[Farran, E. Gertrude]; Masefield, John



[50] and [24], designs and letters of various dates, mainly between 1905-1913, one bound in cloth, the other morocco backed in wooden boards. Generally in good condition, occasional creasing and tears to several of the designs, some loose, but mainly in decent order and tipped in, with a few folding out. Two oblong octavo albums of original designs for bookbindings executed by E. Gertrude Farran, including some for John Masefield, with a few old photographs of the finished books. The archive also includes designs for labels, newspaper cuttings of related interest and several letters from different correspondents including Farran's clients, leather sellers and W. Hale White, who had shown the bookseller Bain several of Farran's bindings to try to secure some commissions, (unsuccessfully it seems), amongst others. Farran appears in Tidcombe's seminal 'Women Bookbinders 1880-1920', noting the appearance of Farran's binding on 'The Gospel of Work' in 'The Art Journal' (Tidcombe, page 174). A letter relating to to this is included here: "Dear Miss Farran, We like the 'Gospel of Work' very much and my sister thinks it suitable for the 'Art Journal' where a little notice of it with an illustration will appear in February ... It is now at the Art Journal offices being photographed ... Yours Sincerely Christina J. Statchley". Of perhaps the greatest interest are a small group of eleven letters from John Masefield, later the Poet Laureate, to Farran. The letters relate to several pieces of work that Masefield had commissioned, including cases for his manuscripts and bindings for his proofs, "keeping the edges uncut in any way by the guillotine, please?". A unique archive, offering a rare insight into the design processes and development of a highly skilled bookbinder


8vo (Oblong)





Book Type

Archive with A.L.S.

Publish Place

No Place

Publish Year



First Edition


Signed by Author