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    [Fine Binding by Roger de Coverley]. Matthew Arnold. Poems. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1853 and 1855. Later edition ("A New Edition," 1853) and first edition ("Second Series," 1855). Two volumes. Small octavo (6.75 x 4 inches; 171 x 102 mm). xxxv, [1], 248 pages; v, [3], 210 pages. Exquisitely uniformly bound by Roger de Coverley (stamp-signed in gilt to front pastedowns) in fine full crimson crushed morocco with all-over gilt floral and vine design motifs, gilt stippling and ruling on both covers, spine with five raised bands and four compartments with all-over gilt stippled design motifs, two compartments lettered in gilt, edges of boards with single gilt rule; minor edgewear, slight rubbing to front joint of volume II. Inner dentelles decorated and ruled in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; minor offsetting to free endpapers. Some foxing and minor spotting to both volumes, more significantly to volume I, both a bit thumbsoiled, volume I presumably washed with remnants of ink inscriptions still faintly visible (includes half-title recto and verso, title page, and some text pages). Very good volumes, in beautifully executed, near fine, bindings.

    Roger de Coverley (1831-1914) apprenticed in the binderies of Zaehnsdorf and Leighton's of Brewer Street early in his career. When he established his own workshop at Leicester Square in the early 1870's, de Coverley mastered his trade, becoming both forwarder and finisher. His style was professional and conservative, but characterized by a high degree of craftsmanship and originality.

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