DOVES BINDERY -- Publius VERGILIUS MARO (70-19 B.C.). The Eclogues and Georgics, translated by J.W. Mackail. London: T. and A. Constable for Rivingtons, 1889.
4° (157 x 118mm). Woodcut title-vignette. (Some spotting.) Crushed green morocco gilt, forwarded by Irene Nichols and bound and finished by Sarah and Mary Ellet Kendall at the Doves Bindery, completed in 1907, boards with frames of gilt rules with cornerpieces of flower and leaf tools, outer borders of single gilt rules, gilt-ruled board-edges, turn-ins ruled in gilt with flower-tool cornerpieces, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in one and dated at the foot, other compartments decorated with flower and leaf tools, gilt edges (spine a little faded, edges very lightly rubbed). Provenance: autograph inscription by Cobden-Sanderson giving details of binding, signed and dated 'T.J. Cobden-Sanderson 1907'.
A FINE BINDING BY THREE PUPILS OF COBDEN-SANDERSON, ANNOTATED BY HIM. After reading English at Oxford, Irene Nichols travelled in Russia, Poland and Italy, where she studied bookbinding in Rome. On her return in 1888, she was introduced to Cobden-Sanderson by a friend of his wife's, and she studied with him, and established herself as a binder, before giving up binding for social work at some time during the latter 1890s; however, as Tidcombe notes, 'in that short time, she made a name for herself as a lady bookbinder' (The Doves Bindery, p. 71). The Kendall sisters appear to have often worked together on bindings, and it seems likely that this volume was covered and tooled by them in c. 1907 when the Kendalls were students at the Bindery, but that Nichols had forwarded it some years earlier (perhaps in c. 1889-1895), and that it had remained unfinished until 1907, when it was completed as a memento mori of Nichols, who had died of influenza in January 1907 at the age of 45. For a forwarded but uncompleted Doves binding see Christie's London, sale 16 November 2005, lot 111.