Brush, Christine Chaplin
The Colonel's Opera Cloak
Becher, Arthur E.; Kemble, E.W.; Decorative Design. Hard Cover. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904. 1st Edition. Near Fine.
First edition thus. Illustrated by Arthur E. Becher and E.W. Kemble. Bound in the publisher's decorative cloth binding designed and signed by Decorative Designers, with color embossed decorations and gilt lettering to the front cover and spine. A near fine copy, with light wear and rubbing to the spine and corners, else clean and fresh. With full page sur blanc illustrations by Becher and in-text illustrations by Kemble. The Colonel's Opera Cloak is a novel by Christine Chaplin Brush. The novel features the poor Southern St. John family, who are in possession of an opera cloak owned by the absent Colonel St. John. While all of the characters are interesting in their own right, the story is clearly more for the reader's general amusement rather than to present a moral or lead the reader to a certain conclusion. This fact is underscored by Brush's choice to make Colonel St. John's opera cloak the main character. She explains that the cloak "warmed and clothed the St. John family; which was with them by day and by night, in pleasure and in sorrow…which neither ate their food nor spent their money, which did not smoke, nor play, nor drink, like the Colonel." The book's purpose is also reinforced by this edition's attractive trade binding, which emphasizes that this is not a utilitarian text but rather a source of amusement and beauty. Decorative Designers (1895-1931) was a New York City based firm that produced book bindings, dust jackets, illustrations, and advertisements. Founded by the married couple Henry W. Thayer and Emma Redington Lee (Emma Thayer), Decorative Designers was one of the most prolific producers of American decorative bindings. They were capable of mass production as a result of its division of labor between its staff of talented designers and artists; Thayer was in charge of typography and created much of the lettering, while Lee created many of the decorative borders and designs. Other members of Decorative Designers include the figure designers Charles Buckles Falls and Jay Chambers as well as the engravers Rome K. Richardson and Adam Empie. As a result of the collective collaborations and individual creations of its staff, Decorative Designers was a dominant organization in the heyday of decorative book bindings.
Item #BCC001 Price: $50.00