Binding for The Vicar of Wakefield

Henry Shaw, designer


Elaborate gilt blocking on blue cloth.

8 x 5½ inches

This striking design appears to be the only cover design by the antiquarian Henry Shaw; Robin de Beaumont, who made the attribution, calls it ‘one of the most beautiful trade bindings of the period’ ( Catalogue,p.36). The swirling tendrils seem to belong to the early Victorian period, although the exuberant showiness of the design as a whole prefigures the extravagance of books of the 1860s.

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Photograph and text by Simon Cooke

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