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Poems of Wordsworth, 1879, Signed Asprey London Cosway Style Binding



Poems of William Wordsworth

Published by Macmillan and Co., 1879, Limited to 750 Copies

Signed Asprey “Cosway Style Binding” and Clamshell Box

Exceptional Condition

Binding Details:  Stunning signed Asprey, London “Cosway Style” binding in full red morocco leather that features a hand painted miniature on ivory under glass inlaid to the front cover depicting a portrait of William Wordsworth. The spine treatment consists of raised bands with elaborate gilt decorations and titling. In addition to the miniature inlaid into the front cover, the boards are gilt ruled with decorative floral stops. There are elaborate gilt dentelles and marbled endpapers. All page edges are gold gilted. Asprey, London has affixed their binders stamp in gilt on the bottom inside cover. The book is housed in custom made clamshell box by Aprey that is a combination of leather and cloth that features a leather spine with raised bands and gold gilt ruling and titling. The Asprey, London binder’s stamp appears in gold gilt on the inside of the box.

About Cosway Bindings

Cosway bindings (named for renowned 19th-century English miniaturist Richard Cosway) were first commissioned in the early 1900s by J.H. Stonehouse, managing director of London booksellers Sotheran & Company, from the famous Rivière bindery, who employed Miss C.B. Currie to faithfully imitate Cosway's detailed watercolor style of portraiture. These delicate miniature paintings, often on ivory, were set into the covers or doublures of richly-tooled bindings and protected by a thin pane of glass. Cosway bindings executed by other than the original collaborators (Stonehouse, Sotheran, Rivière, and Currie) are designated as "Cosway-style" bindings.

Book Details:  This is the large paper edition of "Poems of Wordsworth” published by Macmillan and Co., London in 1879 with a limitation of 750 copies. This anthology of the British Poet Laureate presents his works in chapter form and includes:

Poems of Ballad Form

Narrative Poems

Lyrical Poems

Poems Akin to the Antique, and Odes


Reflective and Elegiac Poems

The volume measures approximately 8” x 5” and contains 331 pages as well as a preface, table of contents, and list of first lines. 

Condition Report: The binding and slipcase are in FINE condition. Internally, the book is clean with some light sporadic spots to the text pages. There are no bookplates or sign of previous ownership. Overall, this is a beautiful Asprey, London “Cosway Style” binding that houses the poetry of one of the greatest poets of the 19th century.

Photographs of the binding and clamshell box as well as the inside front cover with the Asprey stamp appear in the photo section of the listing.