Close-up details of a Kelliegram Book Binding

Kelliegram Bindings

Four examples of Kelliegram Book Covers

Four examples of Kelliegram Book Covers

Kelliegram bindings were an innovation of the English firm of Kelly & Sons. Often, one of the engravings inside the books was reproduced on the cover with leather onlays (a thin piece of leather glued on top of another piece of leather) or inlays (a thicker piece of leather glued next to another). This technique was used by other famous English binders, such as Riviere & Son (see the two next bindings), Bayntun, Root and others.

Here are four examples of Kelliegram book bindings, from left to right, top to bottom:

  • Peg Woffington, by Charles Reade. 1899. Bound by Kelliegram for Brentano’s, NY.
  • Coaching Days & Coaching Ways, by W. O. Tristram. 1893.
  • Cranford, by Mrs. Gaskell. 1895. Bound by Kelliegram for Brentano’s, NY.
  • Sir Roger de Coverley, by The Spectator. 1863. Bound by Kelliegram for Brentano’s, NY.

The examples below show the illustrations used in the cover design.

The Ingoldsby Legends

The Ingoldsby Legends, by T. Ingoldsby, illustrated by A. Rackham. 1930. The pictorial cover is a copy of an illustration. Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen, Edmund Dulac, Sulamith Wulfing are considered among the great illustrators from the golden age of illustration during the first quarter of the 20th century. Others included W. Heath Robinson, Eric Pape, Maxfield Parrish, Orson Lowell, Franklin Booth, Elizabeth Shippen Green, J.C. Leyendecker.

Ingoldsby Legends  Illustration Ingoldsby Legends Covers

The Pickwick Club

The Pickwick Club, By Ch. Dickens, illustrated by C. E. Brock. 1930. The cover is also a copy of an illustration. The amount of details shown on the covers is simply amazing and calls attention to the craftmanship of the binder.

Ingoldsby Legends  Illustration Ingoldsby Legends Covers

English Travel Books from the early 20th century

This picture shows books with scenery inlaid on the spines. These are travel books published at the beginning of the 20th century, when rich Englishmen and women travelled all over the world. They are extensively illustrated with wonderful watercolor or oil paintings. They were published by Adam & Charles Black and J. M. Dent in England between 1900 and 1920. None of them are signed, so the names of these talented binders remain unfortunately unknown. Ingoldsby Legends Covers

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