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The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, First Edition, 1894, "Cosway Style" Binding



The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Illustrated by John Lockwood Kipling and W.H. Drake

First Edition, First Printing

Published by Macmillan and Co., London in 1894

Unique “Cosway Style Binding” and Clamshell Box

Exceptional Condition

Binding Details:  Stunning “Cosway Style” binding in full red morocco leather that features a fine hand-painted portrait miniature of Rudyard Kipling on ivory under glass inlaid to the front cover. The spine treatment consists of raised bands with elaborate gilt decorations, titling, and characters contained in the book. In addition to the miniature inlaid into the front cover and a gold gilt image of a wolf on the rear cover, the boards are gilt ruled with decorative floral stops. There are elaborate gilt dentelles, floral gilt decorated blue morocco doublures, and red water-silk endpapers. All page edges are gold gilted. The book is housed in a custom made clamshell box that features a leather spine label with gold gilt titling.

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 first edition, first printing of Nobel Prize Laureate Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work “The Jungle Book” published by Macmillan and Co., London in 1894. Among the most popular books ever written, The Jungle Book comprises a series of stories about Mowgli, a boy raised in the jungle by a family of wolves after a tiger has attacked and driven off his parents. Threatened throughout much of his young life by the dreaded tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli is protected by his adoptive family and learns the lore of the jungle from Baloo, a sleepy brown bear, and Bagheera, the black panther. Subtle lessons in justice, loyalty, and tribal law pervade these imaginative tales, recounted by a master storyteller with a special talent for entertaining audiences of all ages.

The book measures 7. 5 x 5” with 212 pages as well as an author’s preface and table of contents.

Condition Report: The binding and clamshell box are in FINE condition with no issues. Internally, the book is very clean. Overall, this is a beautiful “Cosway Style” binding that houses the first edition of Kipling’s most famous work.

Photographs of the binding and clamshell box appear in the photo section of the listing.