Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sangorski & Sutcliffe binding

A fine example of an elaborately illuminated Sangorski manuscript in a superb Sangorski & Sutcliffe binding

The Vision of Sir Launfal by James Russell LOWELL. . 21 pp. Pre-Raphaelite style calligraphic manuscript on vellum, by Alberto Sangorski but unsigned. With a large illuminated watercolour on the title page with 3 other illuminated watercolours and very elaborate illuminated borders with lavish use of gilt and colour on six of the pages plus illuminated initials throughout, written in black and red ink. In a remarkable lavish signed binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. In the originalsilk and velvet lined box of green leather. Illuminated and bound for the Grolier Society, London. c.1909. POA

A verse parable based on the Arthurian legend of the Holy Grail, which was one of the most popular works of the 19th century Boston writer James Russell Lowell, perfectly illustrated with Pre-Raphaelite miniatures with lavish use of gilt and medieval armorial designs.

Sangorski & Sutcliffe was one of England’s foremost binding firms during the early decades of the twentieth century. Founded in London in 1901 by the Polish émigré Francis Longinus Sangorski (1875–1912) and George Sutcliffe (1878–1943), the firm began in 1905 to specialize in magnificent custom-made bindings. Some of their most lavish efforts were reserved for unique literary calligraphic manuscripts such as this one, written in neo-Gothic calligraphy with beautiful Pre-Raphaelite illuminations. this one is unsigned but is most probably by Alberto Sangorski (1862–1932), the binder’s brother.

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