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BOUND BY MARIUS MICHEL

LOCKER, Frederick [editor]. Lyra elegantiarum: a collection of some of the best specimens of vers de societe and vers d'occasion in the english language by deceased authors.

London. Edward Moxon & Co., 1867. First edition.
8vo. xx, 360pp. With a half-title. Attractively bound by Marius Mitchel in contemporary gilt-tooled orange levant morocco, red morocco floral onlays, A.E.G., gilt-tooled green levant morocco doublures, free end-leaves of coloured brocaded silk, housed in custom morocco-backed slipcase. Two morocco bookplates to front marbled paper fly-leaf, one unidentified, the other of Francis Kettaneh, printed booksellers description pasted to verso. A fine copy.
An exquisitely bound copy of the first edition of poet Frederick Locker's (1821- 1895) anthology composed of specimens of vers de société and vers d'occasion gleaned from his ample experiences of high society, including poems by, inter alia, Byron, Coleridge, Thackeray, and Swift. The scarcity of this first edition is no doubt accounted for by its near immediate withdrawal from sale as it contained poems by Walter Savage Landor (1775-1865) printed without permission of the copyright holder, John Forster.

Considered the eminent binder of his generation, Henri Marius Michel (1846-1925)
believed passionately 'that bookbinding needed a new vocabulary of ornamentation in
order to express the mood and spirit of contemporary authors' (Duncan & De Bartha, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Bookbinding, New York, 1989). He found in the 1878 International Exposition a convenient and appropriate forum through which to promote the revolutionary style of decorative ornaments based on nature, a style he called 'La Flore Ornamentale'. He was at first viewed as impudent and rebellious, and his work was objected to on theoretical grounds as being too much like 'art', and too little like a product of the binder's craft. But, in the words of Duncan & De Bartha, 'the young man's fervent convictions, as well as his superb technical skills, as both a binder and a gilder, won him an increasing number of supporters. By 1885 his designs were seen as a viable alternative to traditional bindings for certain books'. Other binders began to imitate his approach, but Marius Michel the younger was the 'undisputed leader of the new movement, [his] incomparable technique, harmonious selection of colour, and infinite variety of plant motifs [placing] his work above those of his contemporaries'.
£ 2,500.00 Antiquates Ref: 20866