HOE, Robert (1839-1909). A lecture on bookbinding as a fine art, delivered before the Grolier Club, February 26, 1885.
New York: De Vinne Press for the Grolier Club, 1886.
4o (240 x 190 mm). PRINTED ON VELLUM, apparently one of three copies. 63 binding reproductions (artotypes by E. Bierstadt, each in three impressions on different surfaces).
RICHLY BOUND BY RIVIERE & SON FOR THE AUTHOR: strictly contemporary gold-tooled citron morocco over heavy pasteboard, covers decorated with a wide border of small tools in the style of Roger Payne, spine densely tooled in compartments, corner ornament on turn-ins, signed on front turn-in, gold-tooled borders on red morocco doublures, red watered-silk free endleaves, gilt edges. Cloth folding box. Provenance: Robert Hoe (bookplate), his sale New York 1912, Part II, lot 1627.
FIRST EDITION of this early American work containing reproductions of historical bookbindings. UNIQUE COPY PRINTED ON VELLUM FOR THE AUTHOR, WITH THE PLATES PRINTED ON VELLUM, JAPANESE VELLUM AND SATIN. Robert Hoe was a founder and first president of the Grolier Club. He may with justification be classed among the great book collectors of all time, owned two Gutenberg Bibles (one on vellum), and was the first American to collect bookbindings systematically and with informed taste.
"The firm of Rivière & Son, until 1939 one of the leading commercial London 'West End' bookbinders, was founded by Robert Rivière (1811-1888), a craftsman of outstanding accomplishment. He had no sons of his own, but in 1881 took the eldest son of his second daughter, Percival Calkin, into partnership, calling the firm Riviere & Son. It appears to be likely that [this] binding was still made under Rivière's supervision. Rivière and his successors specialized in pastiches of former binding styles" (BBB Wittockiana 43). On Robert Rivière and the subsequent history of the firm, see Nixon, Five Centuries 98.