ABC for Book Collectors

Tags: England, book collector, John Carter, autograph letters, Eighth edition, Michael Sadleir, reference books, Oak Knoll Press, The British Library, Nicolas Barker, English Dictionary, published, Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Carter, Professor Terry Belanger, British Museum, ABC for book collectors, G. Thomas Tanselle, John Hayward, English literature, printed labels, copies, Alois Senefelder, Marbled paper, Ronald B. McKerrow, English books, copy, original, cataloguer, 18th century, rare books, trade binding, Thomas J. Wise, Bibliographical Society, William Thomas Lowndes
Content: ABC FOR BOOK COLLECTORS [half-title]
Other books published by Oak Knoll Press and The British Library for the serious book collector Five Hundred Years of Printing by S. H. Steinberg Encyclopedia of the Book by Geoffrey Glaister The Art & History of Books by Norma Levarie A New Introduction to Bibliography by Philip Gaskell The Pleasures of Bibliophily: Fifty Years of The Book Collector A Bibliography of Printing by E. C. Bigmore and C. W. H. Wyman catalogue available upon request [advertisement]
Eighth edition published 2004 by Oak Knoll Press 310 Delaware Street New Castle, de 19720 and The British Library 96 Euston Road London nw1 2db First published by Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd. 1952. Second edition 1953, Third edition 1961, Fourth edition 1966, Reprinted with corrections 1967, Reprinted 1971, Fifth edition 1972, Reprinted 1973, Reprinted with corrections 1974, Reissued by Granada Publishing 1978, sixth edition 1980, Reprinted 1982, 1985, Reissued 1992, Reprinted 1993, 1994, Seventh edition, revised and expanded, 1995, Reprinted 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, Eighth edition with corrections 2006. Copyright © John Carter 1952, 1953, 1961, 1966, 1972 New material Copyright © Nicolas Barker 1980, 1995, 2004 Reprint (2006) of eighth edition corrected by Raymond B. Williams ISBN 1584561122 (Oak Knoll) ISBN 0712348220 (BL) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Carter, John, 1905­1975. ABC for book collectors / by John Carter­8th ed. / with corrections, additions, and an introduction by Nicolas Barker. p. cm. ISBN 1584561122 1. Bibliography--Dictionaries. 2. Book collecting--Dictionaries. 3. Book industries and trade--Dictionaries. I. Barker, Nicolas. II. Title. Z1006.C37 2003 002.075--dc21 2003054829 Typeset by Hope Services (Abingdon) Ltd, UK Printed in the United States of America [printer's imprint & copyright page]
to JOHN HAYWARD R.I.P. [dedication]
[verso, blank]
INTRODUCTION Like all good reference books, the ABC for Book Collectors, first published in 1952, conveys much in a little space, sets limits to its subject and keeps within them, and ­ saving grace ­ treats that subject with individuality as well as authority, in a style at once concise, forthright and witty. It is, in short, a masterpiece, whose merits are acknowledged by the fact that it has never, in more than fifty years, been out of print. The author, John Carter, was born on 10 May 1905 and died on 18 March 1975. A scholar of Eton and King's College, Cambridge, he knew too well what scholarship meant to embark on the academic life that his attainments might have made his. Instead, in 1927 he joined the famous New York firm of booksellers, Charles Scribner's Sons, with which he remained, apart from war service, until 1953. From then till 1955, he was attachй at the British Embassy in Washington. He then joined Sotheby's, for whom he was largely responsible in opening up a new market in the U.S.A., retiring in 1972. He was also a book-collector, forming a notable collection of A. E. Housman and another, unsurpassable, of William Cory, the Eton master and poet. He was, thus, well equipped to see the book collector's world from every angle, to record it at once dispassionately and with insight. Although for so long a member of the trade, he was never truly in it. Its older members disliked what they took to be his de haut en bas manner and still more his detachment, which they sensed rather than knew, because he was punctilious and honourable in all transactions. But there was nothing snobbish about the generosity and encouragement that he extended to the young, `bibliomites' of the trade or collectors hesitantly beginning, or again those with their foot on the first step of the bibliographical ladder. I was one of them, and I shall never forget the kindness and practical help he gave me, particularly when I had, at short notice after John Hayward's sudden death, to take over the editorship of The Book Collector. It is strange, now, to look back on those days. Our world was indeed a small one and, it seemed, contracting. There were few antiquarian booksellers, mostly old men. Their memories stretched back to the Depression and beyond, when old books were commoner and so were collectors ­ the problem was to sell the books. Now where were the books, and the collectors? They were, they felt, the last generation: the last books would soon be locked up in institutional libraries, and the trade that they knew would soon be wound up.
There was, then, a certain defiance, an assertion of facts and values that might be forgotten, in the ABC when it came out in 1952. Memories of Michael Sadleir and the `Bibliographica' series before the Second World War, the opinions and trenchant style of Stanley Morison, the centre of our little circle, echo in its pages. But how soon it was to change ­ had changed already by 1972, when the fifth edition came out, by which time, Morison had mischievously said, it `might be a serviceable thing'. It is hard to date the beginnings of the change: the simultaneous release of the residue of the Phillipps collection after ten years' seclusion and of the Abbey collection, both alluringly catalogued by Andreas Mayor and Anthony Hobson, was certainly a turning point. But the real change was a larger and more subtle one. The rise in property values forced booksellers to value the space their stock took up: `high street' shops became less and less viable. The wise betook themselves to country rectories and postal business by catalogue, free from opening hours, non-buying browsers and business rates. There was time to look for books (not so hard to find after all if you had the time), and to catalogue them with a shrewder eye to a market now more accurately defined. The only problem was that the number of customers grew no larger. To this the book fair proved the answer, not just the London fair but one in a country hotel or some other public building, where a car full of books might furnish a modest booth, with some over to replenish it if sales were good. At first, I suspect, sales were mostly within the trade (a version of the Indian rope trick whose final economics I have never quite understood), but gradually the public which had come out of curiosity stayed to buy. Why? Partly because, in the more prosperous 70s and early 80s, there was a little money to spare; partly, paradoxically, due to the `flight from money' ­ better if you had it to put into something less prone to erratic fluctuation; partly, too, owing to the decline in modern book production, particularly the paper and the misnamed perfect binding of paperbacks whose leaves fell out on bookshop floors as thick as those that strewed the brooks in Vallombrosa. All this woke a new interest in books, old and not so old. It was not just the old staple of literature and the classics: art and the theatre acquired new professional collections; the decline of industry put a new premium on previously unsaleable obsolete technical manuals; newly cheap travel produced devotees of books about remote parts of the world, particularly those which you still could not reach easily. New collectors, a species believed to be on the brink of extinction, became almost common. New antiquarian booksellers set up. Rare 8
book librarianship, once the province of a few isolated enthusiasts, has become a profession, stimulated by the Rare Book School of Professor Terry Belanger, formerly at Columbia University, now at the University of Virginia, and a generous contributor to earlier editions of the ABC. All this growth would have delighted John Carter, as it does me. One other change he would have viewed with more sadness, the dissolution of the ancient craft of bookbinding, superseded in its primary function by the now largely mechanised process of edition binding. It has not, however, died entirely, but has been translated into the new world of book conservators and art binders, both thriving. Many of the old terms for materials and practices, variable and often imprecise, discussed long ago with Howard Nixon of the British Museum and Kenneth Hobson of Sangorski and Sutcliffe, are now obsolete or disused, except in booksellers' catalogues. Their survival there justifies their presence here, since those catalogues are now historic documents, consulted as such. Perhaps another revival, in the still neglected history of the internal, as opposed to external, structure of bookbindings, may give them a new interest. It remains only to thank all those who, with suggestions for improvement and other encouragement, have lightened the task of preparing the first complete revision of Carter's text. It has not been an easy task to alter words written in a style both classic and succinct, however necessary change may be. Words used originally that seemed then to need no explanation now require it. New words and facts, undreamed of then, have to be added. What was part of everyday trade practice in 1952 has now become history; even definitions seem less definite (unascribed quotations are generally those of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary). I owe a particular debt to Terry Belanger and G. Thomas Tanselle, who shared these burdens by rereading the text in its entirety and commenting on it, line by line. I hope that they and others will continue to maintain their critical interest: there is always room for improvement. I have preserved the original dedication to one to whom I owe as much as did the original author. nicolas barker 9
PREFACE to the original edition Every specialised profession or pursuit develops its own jargon, much of which is unintelligible to the layman. How many general readers can give the meaning of nisi prius, bareboat charter, baton cut, piecrust border, forced rouge, deleted vocals, an equated A6, slightly ullaged or high-factor backward paragraph loops?1 Book-collecting is no exception; and although a good many of its specialised terms are defined in such broader works as G. A. Glaister's Glossary of the Book (1960), while others are explained in the more elementary manuals for collectors, no attempt, so far as I know, has been made to deal comprehensively with the terminology of this particular subject and no other, between one pair of covers. The present book is the result of such an attempt, undertaken in response to an observation made to me years ago by a friend (not a book collector), who said that although he always read the back page of The Times Literary Supplement before the rest of the paper, he was tired of encountering there terms inadequately defined in the dictionaries. My objective, then, has been to isolate and to define, and sometimes to comment upon, such words and phrases, commonly used in bookcollecting, as would be likely to puzzle an educated reader faced for the first time by a bookseller's or an auctioneer's catalogue. Most of these are, of course, tolerably well understood by collectors; and they have come to be used by professionals with the unthinking familiarity of Pitman or Gregg to a shorthand typist. But with the passage of time (and book-collecting is an ancient pursuit) our private language has become heavily encrusted with technical terms, special meanings for ordinary words, and jargon of various kinds. Many such terms are borrowed from the language of bibliography, others from that of printers, paper-makers, binders or publishers. But to both groups collectors, and the booksellers who serve them, have often given their own glosses and specialised connotations. There are also many words and phrases native to the antiquarian book-market but Greek to anyone outside it. This is not an encyclopaedia. It is an ABC. And it is not an ABC of bibliography, or of printing or binding or book-production terms,
1 The Law, shipping, precious stones, furniture, Eton football, gramophone records, the Foreign Office, wine, figure-skating.
though many of these come into it. It is an ABC of book-collecting, for novices, would-be collectors and that section of the literate public which takes an interest in our pursuit without necessarily wishing to share it. If it were also of service to antiquarian booksellers' younger assistants ­ and, after all, even a Bernard Quaritch or a Karl Hiersemann has to start somewhere ­ it would be no more than a small repayment for the professional brains I myself have been picking for a quarter of a century. One or two points need a special word of explanation. Latin and French terms have been included only when they are in common use or have no satisfactory or accepted English equivalent. The language of binding, for instance, is liberally sprinkled with French words; and though we may think that most of these could have been englished by now if the experts had not rather a liking for them, the fact is that many of them never have been. Reference books and bibliographies have been excluded, except those few (e.g. STC, Hain, McKerrow, Wing) which are such household words to cataloguers that they are constantly cited without any clue to their scope or nature. Entries dealing with printers, presses, publishers, binders and the like have been reduced to the minimum, since once started on these there would be no stopping. The meaning of certain words commonly used by cataloguers has been assumed to be self-evident: e.g. as new, clean, faded, frayed, stained, browned, broken, worn, polished, refurbished, rust-hole, alignment. And where a word like anonymous seemed to call for a note, I have not insulted the reader's intelligence by first defining it. Finally, it must be clearly understood that this is a sadly insular book. The taste,1 technique and terminology of book collecting on the Continent differ in so many respects from those of Great Britain and the U.S.A. that it seemed better to exclude continental usage altogether than to make an ineffectual attempt at meeting the widely different needs of those collectors who read foreign booksellers' 1 In respect of French bibliophily Ernest Hemingway recorded the following conversation with an old lady in charge of a second-hand bookstall in Paris: Q. `How do you tell valuable French books?' A. `First there are the pictures. Then it is a question of the quality of the pictures. Then it is the binding. If a book is good, the owner will have it bound properly. All books in English are bound, but bound badly. There is no way of judging them.' 12
catalogues without knowing the language.1 Moreover, although English and American collectors speak much the same language, it must be further understood that where I have made statements or offered dates or risked generalisations about the history of book production or distribution, I am referring to English practice only. The arrangement of entries is alphabetical, but groups of cognate terms have sometimes been combined under a single entry; many adjectives of condition, for instance, are dealt with under the general article. Abbreviations are grouped together at the beginning, but most of the terms they represent appear in the main alphabet in their expanded form. Cross-reference is effected (sparingly and with plenty of apparent inconsistencies) by the use of small capitals; so that when, for example, in the article on Collation, there is mention of cancels, the reader who does not know what a cancel is can turn to the separate entry; while the reader of the entry on Colonial Editions who comes across a reference to publisher's cloth is similarly directed from the particular to the general. Although, as a professional, I can hardly be expected to avoid some bias, I have tried to be impartial in those matters where buyer and seller do not always see eye to eye. It would be too much to hope that I have succeeded, in a book from which I have not attempted to exclude my own opinions. But I was not displeased to find that, among the friends who scrutinised the first draft, it was a bookseller who thought I had been disrespectful to the book-trade, a collector who considered my approach to collecting aggressively commercial, and an ex-employee of a famous Auction House who thought I had been unfair to auctioneers. These reactions suggested that my prejudices, however regrettable, were at least evenly distributed. It was obvious from the start that an undertaking of this kind must depend heavily on the assistance of friendly experts. My publishers (and in particular Mr. Richard Garnett) have given me not only encouragement but much practical advice. My wife, Sir Dennis Proctor, and Sir Edward Playfair (to please whom the book was begun) acted as lay assessors, and under this battery of studied innocence the first draft was drastically purged of jargon and obscurities. Mr. Howard Nixon made extensive contribution to the entries dealing 1 Dictionary for the Antiquarian Book-trade, in eight languages, edited by Menno Hertzberger, is published by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. [For those who need more help in this matter, Bernard M. Rosenthal's Dictionary of Abbreviations Commonly Used by German and Italian Antiquarian Booksellers and Auctioneers (I.L.A.B. 1993) is a concise and witty guide (N. B.)]. 13
with leather binding, a difficult and specialised subject with which I found myself painfully ill-equipped to grapple. Mr. Brooke Crutchley refined the entries concerned with the techniques of printing and papermaking. Messrs. Dudley Massey, Percy Muir, Arnold Muirhead, A. N. L. Munby, Simon Nowell-Smith, Graham Pollard, John Sparrow and the late Michael Sadleir, whom I think of as a sort of Tenth Legion, found time in the midst of busy lives to scrutinise and correct the whole work in draft; and there is hardly a paragraph which does not bear traces of their help. To all these I offer my heartfelt thanks. To one other old friend, who fostered this project in its infancy and laboured unsparingly in its development, my indebtedness is such that the least I could do was to give his name a page to itself. john carter [preliminary leaves end here] 14
ABBREVIATIONS The prevalence of these in booksellers' catalogues varies with the descriptive formula. An elaborate catalogue will have few, but most cataloguers use the familiar ones, and in short-title or clearance lists there may be a good many ­ sometimes explained at the beginning, more often not. Even the abbreviations in common use are not all wholly standardised, nor does the following list pretend to be exhaustive. Most of its contents appear, under the expanded term, in the main alphabet: to those which do not, page references have been appended where appropriate.
ABA ABAA ABPC A.D. A.D.s. Ads., advts., adverts. A.e.g. A.L. A.L.s. A.Ms.s. A.N.s. BAL BAR Bd. Bdg. Bds. BL B.L., b.l. BM BMC BN(F) BPC
Antiquarian Booksellers' Association. Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. American Book Prices Current. Autograph document. Autograph document, signed. Advertisements. All edges gilt. Autograph letter, not signed. Autograph letter, signed. Autograph manuscript, signed. Autograph note (shorter than a letter), signed. See blanck. Book Auction Records. Bound. Binding. Boards. British Library. Black letter. British Museum. British Museum Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century. Bibliothиque nationale de France. Book-Prices Current (p. 48).
C., ca. C. & p. Cat. CBEL Cent. Cf. Cl. Col(d). Cont. Cr. 8vo. Dec. Doc. D-j., d-w. DAB DNB E.f. Ed. E.D.L. Endp., e.p. Eng., engr. ESTC Ex-lib. f. Facs. Fcp. F., ff. Fo., fol. Fp., frontis. g. G., gt. G.e. GKW, GW G.L. G.t. Hf. Hf. bd. IGI ILAB Ill., ills. Imp.
A B B R E V I AT I O N S (continued) Circa (about, approximately). Collated and perfect. Catalogue. Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. Century. Calf. Cloth. Colour(ed). Contemporary. Crown octavo (p. 110). Decorated. Document. Dust-jacket, dust-wrapper. Dictionary of American Biography. Dictionary of National Biography. extremely fine. Edition, editor, edited. Edition de luxe. Endpaper(s). Engraved, engraving(s). Eighteenth-century [once, but now] English ShortTitle Catalogue (p. 202). Ex-library. fine. Facsimile. Foolscap (p. 110). Folio, folios (i.e. leaves). Folio, a size of book. Frontispiece. good. Gilt. Gilt edges (p. 87). Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke. Gothic letter. Gilt tops (p. 87). Half (e.g. hf. cf. half calf ). Half bound. Indice Generale degli Incunaboli. International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. Illustrated, illustrations. Imperial. 16
Impft. Index Inscr. Introd. ISTC Ital. Lev. Lge. Ll. L(o)C L.P. L.s. m. Mco., mor. M.e. MS(S). NCBEL N.d. N.f. N.p. NUC N.y. Ob., obl. OCLC Oct. O.p. Or., orig. p. P., pp. Pict. Pl(s). PMM Pol. Port. P.P. Prelims. Pres. PRO Pseud. Pt. Ptd.
Imperfect. Index Librorum Prohibitorum (p. 130). Inscribed, inscription. Introduction. Incunable Short-title Catalogue (pp. 135, 202). Italic letter. Levant morocco. Large. Leaves. Library of Congress. Large paper. Letter (not autograph), signed (p. 34). mint. Morocco. Marbled edges (p. 87). Manuscript(s). New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. No date. Near fine. No place, publisher, printer. National Union Catalog (p. 155). No year. Oblong. Online Computer Library Center. Octavo. Out of print. Original. poor (this is very rare). Page(s). Pictorial. Plate(s). Printing and the Mind of Man. Polished. Portrait. Privately printed. Preliminary leaves. Presentation. Public Record Office. Pseudonym(ous). Part. Printed. 17
Pub(d). Q. Qto. R.e. Rev. RLIN Rom. S.a. Sgd. Sig. S.l. Sm. S.n. SOED Spr. Sq. STC Swd. T.e.g. Thk. T.L.s TLS T.p. TS. Unb.,unbd. v.d., v.y. v.f. v.g. Vol(s). W.a.f. Wing Wr., wraps. Y.e.
A B B R E V I AT I O N S (continued) Publish(ed). Quotation (p. 34). Quarto. Red edges (p. 87). Revised. Research Libraries Information Network. Roman letter. Sine anno, undated (p. 154). Signed. Signature. Sine loco, no place of publication (p. 154). Small Sine nomine, without name of printer or publisher (p. 154). Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Sprinkled. Square (in shape). Short-Title Catalogue (p. 202). Sewed. Top edges gilt (p. 87). Thick Typed letter, signed. Times Literary Supplement. Title-page. Typescript. Unbound. Various dates, years, Very fine (copy). Very good (copy). Volume(s). With all faults. Wing's Short-Title Catalogue of English Books, 1641­1700 (p. 231). Wrapper(s). Yellow edges (p. 87).
Abbreviations for SIZES OF BOOKS (see format)
Fo., Fol., 2є Qto.,. 4to, 4є Oct., 8vo, 8є 12mo, 12є
Folio. Quarto. Octavo. Duodecimo (twelvemo).
16mo, 16є 24mo, 24є 32mo, 32є 64mo, 64є
Sextodecimo (sixteenmo). Twentyfourmo. Thirtytwomo. Sixtyfourmo.
ADAMS H.M. Adams's Catalogue of Books printed in the Continent of Europe, 15011600, in Cambridge Libraries 1967, despite its apparently restrictive title, is the most extensive complete available list of 16th-century European books, a fact frequently acknowledged by booksellers with the formula `not in Adams'. All 16th-century books cannot, in the nature of things, be at Cambridge, and other catalogues, off- and online, may supplement the record, but that would spoil the story.
ADVANCE COPY During the last century, publishers extended the practice of circulating advance copies of a new book to reviewers, chosen booksellers, judges of book-clubs, etc., besides those provided to their own travellers `subscribing' it to the trade. Such copies are normally either final proofs or the first sheets to be gathered of the main run. They are often put up in plain or printed wrappers. But they may be bound; and if so the binding may occasionally retain a feature discarded in the published edition, or lack some final detail, or even be of a different colour or material (see trial binding). Such advance copies as show variations from the published edition, whether of text or binding, are naturally of interest to the keen collector. Even where no variations have yet been noticed, they are by their nature examples of an early state of the printed text (see issues and states), and they may on occasion be useful to the bibliographer confronted with a doubtful point in the published edition. But they do not (as is sometimes suggested) represent a first or early issue in the proper sense of the word; nor can the existence of fifty advance copies of a book prejudice in any way the firstness of the first edition as issued on the day of publication.
ADVERTISEMENTS These have engendered as much heat and argument as any factor in book-collecting. It is first necessary to distinguish between: (a) Leaves of advertisement, usually, though not necessarily, the publisher's, which are integral to the gathering (or quire or
A DV E RT I S E M E N T S (continued) section), i.e. printed in the same operation with, and on the same paper as, and gathered for binding with, the sheets of the book itself; (b) Leaves of advertisement ­ publisher's, wholesaler's, distributor's, or other ­ printed separately from the book and often on different paper, seldom peculiar to it, but bound up with all, or some, recorded copies. The former date from the 16th century and were common in English books of the 17th and 18th. Their absence (discarded in binding or torn out later) incommodes the reader no more than the absence of a blank leaf or a half-title; for the text is not affected. But they may be bibliographically significant, and since, even if they are not, they are an integral part of the book, as intended by its publisher and executed by its printer, a copy cannot be considered as technically complete without them. It is worth noticing the practice, normal in the hand-press era, of printing extra copies of the titleleaf only to serve as advertisements in booksellers' shops; few such ephemera survive. Inserted leaves of advertisements, usually in the form of publishers' lists or catalogues, are uncommon before the end of the 18th century, common in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and considerably less common since 1915. Being wholesale appendages, they belong to the age of edition-binding, whether in boards, wrappers or cloth. The normal practice would be for a publisher (or before the 1840s the wholesale distributor, who might not be the publisher) to provide his binder with a supply of some current list, with instructions to insert it either in specified books or in all his books as they came forward for binding. If the binder had no supply when he was ready to start, he would probably go ahead without; if the supply ran out, he would not wait for more, but would simply continue without the catalogue; or if he had a pile of an earlier list from the same publisher, he might use these up without regard to their being out of date. The hazards and permutations were as numerous as their results are often unaccountable. Moreover, others besides the publisher whose name is on the title-page may in certain cases have been responsible for the wholesale binding, whether in boards, half cloth or (less often) cloth, of a part of the edition. A wholesaler for the provincial trade, an exporter to the colonial market, an Edinburgh or Dublin agent, a jobbing publisher who had bought a `remainder' of the edition ­ any of these might buy 20
in quires, order his own binding, and insert his own catalogue (see wholesaler's binding, remainder binding). And if anyone wants to see how often such alien catalogues are found in primary bindings, especially of the boards period, he need only look through Michael Sadleir's XIX Century Fiction, where he will find dozens of examples. As it has been a common practice since the early 19th century for such publishers' catalogues to be dated, their evidence in assessing priority between two observed variants of a book is sometimes useful. (It is obvious, for example, that copies of Trollope's The Warden 1855 with an 1858 catalogue cannot have been among the earliest issued.) But it is evidence which must be used with great caution; and the classification of one copy of a book as preceding another because, though otherwise identical, its inserted catalogue is dated a month earlier than that found in the other, is no more valid, without strong support from other arguments, than the proposition that a third copy is incomplete without any advertisements at all. An excellent example of a misleading sequence of advertisements is Wells's Tono Bungay 1909, which is neatly dissected in Muir's Points, pp. 23, 24. And if the collector insists on having the publisher's catalogue in his copy of Maugham's Of Human Bondage 1915, despite its absence from many demonstrably early-issued copies, he should remember that the same catalogue was used in half a dozen other Heinemann books published in the same season but less esteemed today, and look carefully to see whether a copy of one of these has not been deflowered to make him happy. Books issued in parts present a special problem. For, casual as edition-binders will often have been about inserting catalogues in cloth books, the assembly line for a popular mid-19th century part-issue must have been a nightmare, which experience suggests was only made sufferable to its operatives by an attitude so easy-going as to have amounted sometimes to levity. Cataloguers and bibliographers (see, for instance, Hatton & Cleaver's Bibliography of Dickens's Novels issued in Parts) have scrupulously noted every conformity to, or departure from, the complement of variegated slips, sheets, inserts and the like, which has been accepted as the norm for any individual part in, say, Ask Mamma or David Copperfield. But how is the norm to be arrived at? The specialists have not always realised that the rarer the slip the less reason to suppose it a genuinely requisite component ­ and parts are made-up more freely, and with wider approval, than any other class of book. A part-issue publisher would often farm out the contract for x thousand insertions, probably through an agent, to advertisers of mackintoshes and hair lotions, and the liability to confusion, casualness, shortages and mishaps in delivery from a dozen jobbing printers to the bindery 21
A DV E RT I S E M E N T S (continued) multiplies a hundredfold the difficulty of establishing with confidence, a century later, the basic constituents. Which slips were, and which were not, included in the earliest, or even the large majority of the copies of some particular part, and with what degree of whose authority? Part-issue collecting has its own special fascination, and its own rules (more of them made by enthusiasts than by rationalists). The general collector who wants a book in parts can either enter into the spirit of the thing and insist on a set with the sprig of heather or the bicycle clip in Part 19; or he can accept the more relaxed attitude which has gained a good deal of ground in the last 65 years ­ that provided you have correct text, plates and wrappers, plus perhaps any publisher's catalogue which ran steadily throughout the issue, the miscellaneous extras are optional rather than essential. They certainly had nothing to do with the author and, unlike the advertisements in cloth-bound books, they had very little to do even with the publisher, except as a source of revenue. It has to be admitted, however, that many of them are uncommonly entertaining. А LA GRECQUE, ALLA GRECA A style of binding with thick boards, grooved on the edges and flush with the trimmed leaves of the book, the tail- and headbands therefore protruding above and below the boards. These bands, sewn deep into the quires of the book, are an important part of its structure, in which sewing bands, if present, do not carry the weight of the covers. The clasps are usually of plaited strands of leather, ending in a ring fitting over a pin protruding from the edge of the opposite board. This distinctive style, employed in Greece during the Middle Ages and after, usually in monastic or religious foundations, was also imitated, generally for fine bindings for identifiable collectors, on Greek printed books, during the 16th century. Books thus bound sit uneasily on shelves: they were originally designed to be kept in chests (see bookshelves), fore-edge down, and lifted out by the head- and tailbands. ALDUS, ALDINE The great Venetian printer Aldus Manutius (Aldo Manuzio, 1452­1515) initiated the printing of the Greek classics and the series of pocket-classics, for which he is chiefly famous. His device of a dolphin and anchor was widely imitated, not least by William Pickering in the 19th century, together with the title Aldine Classics for his similar series of the major authors of English literature. 22
ALL PUBLISHED This means that, despite appearances or an original intention to the contrary, the volume or series described was not continued, and is thus as complete as it ever can be in this form, given its (usually) unexpected truncation. ALMANAC A kalendar, usually in pocket-book (more rarely sheet) form, augmented with Saints' days, fair-dates and astronomical and meteorological data; a bestseller from the start and protected by jealously guarded patents, the different titles, hot rivals in the 17th century, were all finally swallowed up by Dr Francis Moore's Vox Stellarum, familiarly known as `Old Moore's Almanack'. AMERICAN BOOK PRICES CURRENT Published annually since 1895: first edited by Luther S. Livingston, for many years afterwards by Edward Lazare and now by Katharine Kyes and Daniel J. Leab. Now divided into two sections: (1) printed books, maps, charts and broadsides, (2) autograph letters and manuscripts. Each volume (published in January every year ­ ABPC is the most punctual, as well as accurate, of such records) contains an entry for every lot in all recorded sales. Nothing is included which sold for less than $50.00. Since 1958 ABPC, as it is commonly called, has included (without feeling the need, as yet, to change its title) the record of printed books (and, unlike its British competitor, of MSS) sold in the principal London and European auction houses as well as those of the United States and has recently added Australia to its coverage. From January 1994, too, ABPC has been made available in CD-ROM, with over half a million entries going back to 1975. It is now, since the demise of book auction records, the only record of sales, and a very good one at that. See also auctions (3). AMERICANA Books, etc., about, connected with or printed in America, often, but not exclusively, the United States of North America; or relating to individual Americans: as distinct (properly, though nowadays not invariably) from books by American writers. The Columbus Letter is a piece of Americana, as describing the discovery of the continent; the Bay Psalm Book, as the first known book printed in what is now U.S.A.; and Thomas Paine's Common Sense, as one of the influential documents of the War of Independence. Poe's The Raven, on the other hand, is not Americana, nor is Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. Mark Twain's 23
A M E R I C A N A (continued) Huckleberry Finn or Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers might be considered borderline cases, for if they are primarily outstanding works of American literature, they are also classically descriptive of the countryside and life of the people. A currently fashionable sub-category should be mentioned: Western Americana. This embraces any piece of manuscript or printed matter documenting or deriving from the great westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century, from Lewis & Clark and the Louisiana and Gadsden Purchases down to Buffalo Bill and Frederic Remington. More local enthusiasms are reflected in other neologisms, such as Texana or Californiana. Since Canada, Mexico, Central and South America are just as much part of the hemisphere as the United States, and since their ana have keen collectors, the implicit limitation in terms like `Latin Americana' is beginning to break down. This catholic view has been enhanced by the publication, begun under the editorship of the late Mr John Alden, of European Americana, a catalogue of generous comprehension, as applied in the collection of the John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R.I. ANA A collective noun meaning a compilation of sayings, table talk, anecdotes, etc. Southey described Boswell's Johnson as `the Ana of all Anas'. Its most familiar use is, however, the original one (from which the noun was made) in the form of a Latin suffix meaning material related to as distinct from material by; e.g. Boswelliana, Railroadiana, Etoniana. Like other such suffixes it is not always easily attachable to English names, even assisted, as commonly, by a medial i. Shaviana, Harveiana and Dickensiana are well enough; but Hardyana is repugnant to latinity, Cloughiana and Fieldingiana are awkward on the tongue, and should one write Wiseiana, Wiseana or Wisiana? ANNUALS Of books issued serially once a year two special classes have particularly interested collectors. (1) The anthologies of prose and/or verse, usually illustrated with steel engravings, which were a feature of late Regency and early Victorian publishing in England: copied originally from German and French models. Examples are The Keepsake, The Book of Beauty, Friendship's Offering, The Literary Souvenir. These were the gift books or `table books' of the day, and many of them contain first printings of work by famous authors, often anonymous. 24
(2) The Christmas annuals issued late in the 19th century by the publishers of popular or fashionable magazines; e.g. Belgravia, The Mistletoe Bough, Tinsley's, Routledge's. These would often contain, and sometimes consist entirely of, a short novel by a contemporary best-seller or a promising dark horse. ANONYMOUS There is the formal anonymity of a book whose author, though his name is not on it, is known (e.g. Gulliver's Travels, The Vicar of Wakefield or Sense and Sensibility). For the cataloguing of these and similar pseudonymous books (e.g. Alice in Wonderland or Jane Eyre), some booksellers use, and others dispense with, the conventional square (or equally common round) brackets. There is also, however, the real anonymity of `authorship unknown'. And once in a while the cataloguer has to admit defeat. Since a book by an unidentified author is harder to sell (other things being equal) than one of known paternity, it may reasonably be assumed that he has consulted halkett and laing and the other obvious reference books. Yet Anon. is an infrequent entry-heading in catalogues, less because there are not in fact many books whose authorship is unknown, than because anonymous titles are usually (and sensibly) listed under subject or category. There is generally a fair sprinkling among `Old Novels', and more amongst `Economics' or `Civil War Tracts'. ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLER The lines of demarcation between `rare books', `old books' and `second-hand books' have never been, and can never be, clearly defined. The same applies to most of those who deal in them; and the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association makes no distinction between a man who specialises in incunabula, another who deals only in modern firsts, a third who restricts himself to botany, and finally a general second-hand dealer, provided that his business is primarily in old books. The most comprehensive directories are those published by the Sheppard Press, London: Dealers in Secondhand and Antiquarian Books in the British Isles, now in its tenth edition, European Book Dealers, and Book Dealers in North America (arranged regionally as well as by specialities); the same firm's Directory of Book Collectors should also be noted. In the U.S.A. there are the seven regional issues of David S. and Susan Siegel The Used Book Lover's Guides. 25
ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS' ASSOCIATION (INTERNATIONAL) The British trade association, founded in 1906. Its badge may be seen on a good many booksellers' catalogues. A list of members can be had on application to the ABA's office, Sackville House, 40 Piccadilly, London W1J 0DR, e-mail: [email protected] ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS' ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA The trade association of antiquarian booksellers of the United States, founded in 1949. A list of members can be had on application to ABAA's headquarters, 20 West 44th Street, New York, NY 100366604, e-mail: [email protected] ANTIQUE (1) This has one specialised and superficially misleading use: for bindings (mostly calf or half calf) which are in fact modern but have been executed in the style of some earlier period. Alternative descriptions for this tactful approximation to the book's original dress would be `old-style calf ', or `half calf, period style'. Calf antique is also sometimes used to denote divinity (or oxford) calf. Genuinely antique binding, if not precisely datable, will be described as original, contemporary, early, or simply old. (2) A kind of paper, with a rough, uncalendered finish, either wove or laid. AQUATINT See colour-plate books, illustration processes. ARMORIAL As an adjective, used of (1) a binding blocked with the coat of arms, usually in gilt, of its original or a subsequent owner, and (2) of bookplates based on, or incorporating, the owner's arms. As a noun, used colloquially for an armorially decorated book. ART When used of paper this adjective means a glossy or `coated' variety. When used of a covering material, e.g. art vellum, art leather, it is a commercial abbreviation for artificial. 26
AS ISSUED A term used to emphasise the original condition, as issued, of the book described, especially when some individual feature contradicts normal expectation; e.g. `edges trimmed, as issued', `stitched, without wrappers, as issued', `half roan, as issued'. See advance copy. AS USUAL A favourite qualification, among booksellers' cataloguers, to the admission of some defect or imperfection which is, or can be maintained to be, so prevalent as to be almost normal among copies of the book described; e.g. `foxed as usual', `lacks half-title as usual', `Q4 is a cancel as usual', `spine faded as usual'. ASSOCIATION COPY This term, often scoffed at by laymen, is applied to a copy which once belonged to, or was annotated by, the author; which once belonged to someone connected with the author or someone of interest in his own right; or again, and perhaps most interestingly, belonged to someone peculiarly associated with its contents. Its extension to mean any book owned by a famous person can only be excused by establishing some point of real contact, other than the simple fact of possession. The catalogue note will generally explain the nature of the `association', which may vary from the obvious to the remote. An example of the former is Herman Melville's copy of The Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex of Nantucket (New York, 1821), with 18 pages of notes in his hand. A subtler one would be the copy of Maugham's Cakes and Ale 1930 from the library of Hugh Walpole, who has generally been identified with one of the characters in the book. But only a cataloguer who despaired of selling a first edition of Norman Gale or F. W. Bain on its merits would dress it up as an `association copy' on the grounds that it had (say) John Drinkwater's signature on the flyleaf. If an entire section of a bookseller's catalogue is devoted to `association books', it will often include presentation and inscribed copies; but this is a loose application of a term which has its own proper and useful connotation. A thoroughly bogus use of association copy, and one which should be actively resisted by collectors, is its application to a book of no importance in which there has been inserted (by an unknown hand) a letter by a person of some importance. A recent manual for bookcollectors, for instance, described as `an important item of Wildiana' 27
A S S O C I AT I O N C O P Y (continued) a volume of old sermons in which someone had pasted, without visible connexion, a letter in Oscar Wilde's hand. This is stretching the meaning of `association' well beyond the breaking-point. ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONALE DE BIBLIOPHILIE Founded by a group of mainly French bibliophiles in 1963, the Association now numbers some 800 members worldwide. It holds a week-long congress in some centre of bibliophilic interest every alternate year, with a `colloquium' of shorter duration in the intervening years. Its proceedings are published in separate volumes, some in the Bulletin du Bibliophile, which is supported by the Association. AUCTIONS Sales of books by auction go back to the middle ages, although their enhancement by printed catalogues dates from the second half of the 17th century. Traditionally, auctioneers undertake to conduct the sale, charging consigners a percentage of the prices realised for their pains. In the 1980s British and American houses began to follow European practice by levying a premium (a percentage of the prices realised) from the purchaser, as well as the consigner. Auctions conducted on the internet, notably on eBay, have their own conventions and risks. The subject may conveniently be divided into four sections; (1) Catalogues, (2) Bidding, (3) Prices, (4) Terminology. (1) The description of books, MSS., fine bindings, etc., in sale catalogues varies widely in fullness, precision and authority. It was once the case that the dressiest catalogues, unquestionably, were those of the Continental houses, with Paris perhaps the most lavish. But in recent times Sotheby's and Christie's have vied with each other in elaborating, especially for sales of importance or specialised interest, their conscientiously precise, but previously rather tight-lipped, descriptive formula; this is happily preserved in the elegant but nononsense catalogues of Bonham's and Bloomsbury Book Auctions in London, or Swann's in New York. By contrast, the catalogues of most (but not now all) provincial auctioneers, who are normally selling books as part of a mixed property, are often notably uninformative, especially as to the contents of lots in bundles; and although legal warranty for the accuracy of descriptions of the lots offered is carefully restricted throughout the auction business as a whole, it is naturally a livelier issue in sales for which the catalogue makes no pretence to expertness. Yet the collector who contemplates bidding at 28
an auction without professional advice would do well first to ponder, not only the estimate of its likely cost, now a regular feature of the catalogue description, but also the conditions of sale printed in every auction catalogue, which vary from firm to firm, and sometimes from sale to sale by the same firm; and then to remember that the return of any lot not actually incomplete or seriously misdescribed will be a matter of grace, not of right. The better auction houses, course, take care to describe their offerings accurately, since `returns' are just as much of a nuisance to them as to the buyer (but see below, not subject to return). Despite occasional lapses, their cataloguers do their best to keep abreast of bibliographical research. And the annotation of important lots is often of a thorough and scholarly character. In the description of fine early bindings, for example, Sotheby's catalogues, thanks to the experienced connoisseurship of the Hobsons, pиre et fils, have achieved an authority shared by very few booksellers; and the same might be said of the firm's cataloguing of manuscript material over the last forty years. Indeed, catalogues of famous libraries sold at auction have taken their place as indispensable reference books on the shelves, not only of booksellers and collectors, but also of scholars and librarians. (2) Yet bidding at auction ­ any auction ­ is subject to many hazards besides the one well known in old wives' tales: that of innocent bystanders who nod without thinking and have a white elephant knocked down to them. This risk, if no other, can be avoided by entrusting one's bid to the auctioneer, who will execute it in confidence, but also, of course, without assuming any additional warranty or exercising any such special discretion as is implicit in the employment of an agent. There is the psychological risk: that one may be carried away by competitive fever. There is the economic fallacy: that any book bought at auction must be a bargain ­ a fallacy based on the supposition that all prices at auction sales are as it were wholesale, and that by buying in the rooms one cuts out the middleman (i.e. the bookseller). There is the risk of failure to realise that, while a bookseller guarantees his offerings, the rule in the auction room is caveat emptor. For once the hammer has fallen, the lot is yours; and if you find, when you get your books home, that one has been re-cased, another is not the first issue, while a third is not as fine a copy as you had imagined from a too brief examination before the sale, you will remember too late that the onus of satisfying yourself on these points has throughout been understood to be yours and not the auctioneer's. 29
AU C T I O N S ( continued) Veteran collectors can, and sometimes do, bid for themselves without burning their fingers. They have examined their lots with care, they know what each book is worth (and also what they may have to pay, which is often not at all the same thing), and they are ready to pit their knowledge and sale-room tactics against those of the booksellers. Perhaps they simply enjoy an exhilarating session in the rooms. But they are still in a small minority; for most experienced collectors have concluded that they are more likely to get the lots they want, and get them at reasonable prices, if they entrust their bids to a chosen bookseller. Many collectors and institutional librarians employ a regular agent for their auction business in each city. If not, in selecting their agent for a particular sale or a particular lot they will probably have regard not only to their agent's knowledge and judgment, but also (especially in the more specialised fields) to the advantage of eliminating a likely competitor thereby. The normal commission charged by booksellers for executing bids at auction is ten per cent, which may seem expensive for a well-known and bibliographically uncomplicated book of high but stable market value ­ one, that is, which does not involve much expert examination or much expert estimation of price. But over a series of transactions `on commission' the bookseller will probably engage a great deal more professional skill and spend a great deal more time in his customer's interest than is adequately repaid by his ten per cent. This of course is payable only on successful bids; yet for the lots on which he is outbid he will have provided equally full service ­ in advice as to the probable price, in collation and appraisal of the material, in attendance (often with wearisome waiting between lots) at the sale and in the highly skilled business of the actual bidding. The novice collector does well to recognise that in a bookshop there is a strong bond of common interest across the counter, but that in the sale-room everyone's hand (except the auctioneer's) is against him. If he is a man of spirit, he may relish the encounter, hoping to beat the professionals at their own game and prepared to take a few knocks in the process. Yet if he is also a man of sense, he will only do so after careful reconnaissance, and then with his eyes wide open. (3) Prices in the auction room, as listed in the annual records, can be misleading unless they are carefully interpreted. For a reasonably common book ­ one, that is, of which a copy or two turns up at auction every year ­ the records provide a general idea of the level or trend of prices; and when, as often, these seem to fluctuate wildly, it must be remembered that one copy may have been in brilliant condi- 30
tion and the next one a cripple ­ a crucial difference which the abbreviated style of these records cannot be expected to make clear. For rarer books the occasional entries will, of course, provide some idea of the ruling price; but the more infrequent they are, the greater the need to consider the usually invisible factors ­ condition (as always), but also, was this an important sale, when prices tend to be high? Or did the copy come up at the fag end of a miscellaneous one, when even booksellers tend to he weary and uninterested? Were there perhaps two keen collectors after the same lot, and therefore two exceptionally high commissions given? Or was this, by contrast, the purchase of a prudent bookseller buying for stock? Was there some point about the book, unmentioned in the sale catalogue (the source of the entry), which would account by its presence for a high price or by its absence for a low one? It is also, of course, necessary to take into account the economic climate at the date when the price was reached. Many a book which brought a booming price in the Roxburghe sale in 1812, during the inflation of the Napoleonic wars, fell off in the twenties, and heber's sale in the mid-thirties reflected an even severer depression. To take some more recent examples, prices were very high in certain categories (e.g. 18th century literature, the Romantics, modern first editions) during the 1920s. Prices across the board were low during the early and middle 1930s. Prices in many departments have risen steadily (e.g. Science and Medicine, colour-plate bird and flower books, modern literary manuscripts and correspondence) during the past fifty years, although they have stabilised somewhat recently. Moreover, an American considering a price record in sterling does well to remember that the sterling-dollar rate has fluctuated, often abruptly. In short, the auction records have to be used with caution even for their main purpose, which is to give prices. As for the bibliographical information provided, at least by the English annual, it should be treated with even greater caution; for it is abbreviated (not always intelligibly) from notes in the auctioneers' catalogues, which are themselves drawn from all sorts of sources ­ and have occasionally been known to include the happy excursions into bibliographical theory and the optimistic estimates of rarity which some collectors pencil on the flyleaves of their favourite books. Even the most responsible auctioneers, it will be recalled, are very careful to limit their assumption of warranty; and their cataloguers, however expert, are almost always working against time. For a further qualification applicable to English saleroom prices before 1927 (and even since) see rings. 31
AU C T I O N S ( continued) For details of the annual records see american book-prices current, book auction records and book prices current. (4) In conclusion, a few miscellaneous notes on the terminology of the saleroom, which has its own jargon. The ownership of substantial or important properties sold at auction is usually advertised. But the majority of sales in the principal London and New York rooms are made up of various properties, and a good many of these are apt to be anonymous. This cloaking of ownership, which conceals a book's immediate provenance, is sometimes due to the modesty of the consigner (e.g. `The Property of a Nobleman Resident Abroad', `The Property of a Lady' or ­ the last word in this direction ­ `The Property of a Deceased Estate'), or the disinclination of a wellknown collector to be identified with the books he is discarding. More often it is simply that the property is neither large enough nor important enough (or the consigner newsworthy enough) to rate a separate heading. A proportion of these anonymous properties, however, may come from booksellers' stocks, generally identified as other properties: one may have bought a library containing a mass of books outside his field; another has had certain books in stock for a long time and is tired of offering them unsuccessfully; or another judges that some particular book will fetch a better price at auction than he could get for it in his shop. This may wish to reach a wider public than his own catalogue list; that may have his eye on a collector who prefers buying at auction to buying from a bookseller. Then it must be realised that with few exceptions there will be a reserve on a lot, below which it may not be sold. The reserve figure has to be agreed between vendor and auctioneer, as has its relation to the estimate. In both, the auctioneer requires a degree of flexibility, exercised on the rostrum if he judges that a promising bidder is at or beyond his mark. (It is illegal in England to put a reserve on a lot and then bid it up oneself or employ an agent to do so.) Lots which fail to reach the reserve are knocked down as such, and are said to be bought in; and the owner will pay the auctioneer's commission, usually on a reduced scale. The last unsuccessful bidder on a lot at auction is known as the under-bidder or the runner-up. AUTHOR'S BINDING Copies to be presented by authors to their friends or to public figures were, from the earliest times, occasionally bound to their order; normally in a superior manner, but by no means always recognisable as 32
such. (morocco was a common style for this purpose in the 17th and 18th centuries and vellum, gilt, in the 16th.) In the absence, therefore, of an inscription or other evidence, the statement that a leather-bound book is in an author's binding will usually be made ­ and should always be received ­ with caution, still more so the assumption (commonly made) that such a book must be the dedication copy. Howard Nixon once said that he had never seen a letter from an author presenting his book to the dedicatee that did not plead illness, an impending journey, or just the desire to see it in his patron's hands as quickly as possible, as an excuse for enclosing it unbound. During the age of publisher's cloth, an author might occasionally have a dozen or more copies put up in a special style, or a different colour, for presentation to his or her friends: Lewis Carroll, Ouida and Mrs Henry Wood provide a number of examples. But since the authenticated instances of this are rare, it is usually safer to presume that such bindings were a publisher's variant for the gift market (see gift binding) until the author's connexion has been proved. AUTHOR'S CORRECTIONS The larger changes made by an author to his work after it has been set up in type and before it is printed, the cost of which is charged by the printer, as distinct from printer's errors. Some authors continue to rewrite even after a book has been printed, necessitating cancels (for which the printer will send in another bill); if their work is attended with success, this process may be extended to its subsequent forms. Their printers (or publishers) may tire of it, but the book collector will delight in the multiplicity of editions and impressions, issues and states, thus distinguished. The capacity of the author to generate and alter texts electronically has diminished the burden in time and money, but by no means eradicated it. AUTHORISED EDITION When the collector of first editions is called upon to explain or defend his pursuit, he often emphasises the importance (as well as the sentimental appeal) of the earliest authentic text. But when he sees `first authorised edition' in a catalogue description, that argument is apt to yield to his preference for chronological priority. For he will infer that this authorised edition was preceded by an unauthorised one; and even though he may take this opportunity of acquiring the former, he will nevertheless probably continue to covet the latter as well (and even more violently).
[signature] 33
AU T H O R I S E D E D I T I O N (continued) A good many 16th, 17th and 18th century books were first printed without their authors' consent ­ Browne's Religio Medici 1642, Prior's Poems 1707 and La Rochefoucauld's Maximes 1664 are wellknown examples, and Woodfall's authorised edition of The Letters of Junius 1772 was preceded by dozens of unauthorised ones. Such editions were printed sometimes from correct, sometimes from garbled manuscripts, furnished by or purloined from the friends among whom they were circulating. In the 19th century, popular works serialised in magazines were specially liable to piracy, whether Thackeray appearing in New York, Emerson in London or Balzac in Brussels earlier than from their accredited publishers. To the French legitimacy is sacred and insularity traditional: йdition originale, when used of a native author, means not first edition but the first authorised edition printed in France. In England and America, collectors and the trade have usually regarded a first unauthorised edition of domestic production as something to be taken seriously and priced much higher than the subsequent first authorised edition. The products of foreign enterprise, whether translated or (more rarely) in the original, have a special fascination for the keen author-collector. See also `follow the flag', piracy. AUTOGRAPH In our world it is an adjective (and is better not used as a noun). It is properly applied to a manuscript, a letter or a document, either in the hand of, and preferably signed by, the author of one's choice, or on the subject of one's choice; or annotations in books, whether signed or not. Descriptions of the former are commonly buttressed with abbreviations, for which see the list of abbreviations above. It is as well to remember that without the essential preliminary `A', `L.s' must be assumed to be in the hand of another, with only the signature autograph. `Q.', now rare, stands for an autograph extract, if (as often) musical, then in notation, from the author's or composer's work, written on a loose sheet, an autograph album leaf, or even a photograph. The use of autograph as a noun is generally only extended to the writer's signature, often the hapless victim of the `autograph'collector's scissors. Albums of such objects now induce melancholy contemplation of the fate of the letters and documents from which they were barbarously shorn. See A.N.L.Munby's, The Cult of the Autograph Letter in England 1962, the classic text on this subject. See also holograph. 34
BACKED (1) Of leaves, whether text or plates: see mounted (2). (2) Of the binding: this refers to a volume whose spine is covered with a different material from the sides; e.g. `marbled boards backed with leather', `original boards backed with cloth'. Backed, when used in this sense without qualification, almost always implies that the spine has been recovered at a later date with some alien material. This is not quite the same thing as re-backed, which (again if unqualified) implies that the new spine is of the same material ­ and sometimes in approximately the same style ­ as the one it is replacing. BACK, BACKSTRIP `Back' is a frequent synonym in the antiquarian book-trade for what English publishers and edition-binders normally call the spine of a book, and Americans sometimes the backbone or shelfback: whether leather-bound, cloth-bound, boarded or wrappered. It was first pasted to the back of the quires, forming a flexible back; refinement of tooling and economy dictated the hollow back in the 18th century. Backstrip is commonly used to describe the paper spine-covering of books in boards (2), which is usually different from the paper covering of the boards. Back is used in such terms as `gilt back' (of leatherbound books) or `boards, cloth back' (see half cloth), but should be, and mostly is, avoided in any context where it might be confused with the back cover, or lower board, of the binding. BALLS Type was inked by pairs of round ink-balls, pieces of hide (pelts) stuffed with wool, gathered and loosely attached by nails to a wooden handle. One of the pressmen would rock them on the ink-block (a small table adjacent to the press) until they were evenly covered in ink, and then convey it to the type-pages of the forme with a similar rocking motion. After printing, the balls would be dismantled, the pelt cleaned and the wool stuffing teased out until it was soft and pliable again. The action of applying ink, particularly in winter when the ink was thicker, was apt to pull out any piece of type not effectively locked up in the forme. Its absence might not be noticed, or not immediately, but if seen and replaced, three different states of the sheet were thus brought into being, an episode calculated to fill the cup of the point-maniac. See forme, issues and states. 35
BANDS In normal European and American practice, when a book is bound the gathered quires or sections are sewn on to horizontal strips of some strong material, which are then laced into the boards (or simply pasted if the book is cased). These strips were made of tanned or tawed leather up to about 1700; hemp cords were used from the 16th century, and linen tapes from the 19th. From (if not before) the 17th century, thicker bands might be recessed in grooves sawn into the backs of quires to accelerate sewing (see french-sewn). This prepared the way for the hollow back, not vice versa. But the conservative taste of book-collectors refused to give up the external appearance of bands, for which see raised bands. The bands are the spinal vertebrae of the back; they bear most of the strain of use (and, if it is a heavy folio, simply standing on a shelf ). They wear at the hinges, and ultimately break. Before this, the joints too will have cracked. Should the book be then re-jointed, and if so how? See also tacket.
BASIL Heavily glazed sheepskin, usually of a dull crimson colour, once used mostly for ledgers and the like; now obsolete.
See half-title.
BEARER TYPE In the 15th and 16th century printers with a forme containing a page wholly or partially blank would fill the space with lines of type, either from a previously printed book or randomly assorted, or a woodblock of convenient size, so that the tympan rested evenly over the whole forme. These lines, even if casually inked, did not print, since no aperture was cut in the frisket where they were, but a blind impression from them is sometimes legible.
BEST EDITION This once frequent term referred to the booksellers' favourite, rather than the most recent critically approved edition. It is more often characterised by the splendour of its appearance than the accuracy of text, though the latter is clearly implied. Such editions were sometimes bound or rebound in polished or tree calf, popular when the term entered the booksellers' vocabulary in the 19th century.
BED OF THE PRESS The bed was a metal or stone plate, made to hold the forme, and run in on rails below the platen, which was lowered to make the impression. B E V E L L E D E D G E S or B E V E L L E D B O A R D S A technique of binding in which the edges of the boards ­ usually extra thick boards ­ have been bevelled, i.e. cut to an oblique or slanting angle, before being covered. BIBLIOGRAPHY The word has two main meanings, really quite different, despite the fact that they may shade into each other in some cases. One (the more familiar to the general public) is a Reading List, a guide for further study or a list of works which have been consulted by the author; and this will not normally give any detailed description of the books listed. The other, familiar to collectors, is the study of books as physical objects. Bibliographers are practitioners in this latter sense. They may be also librarians or collectors or booksellers, experts on an author or on the literature of a particular subject. But they need be none of these; nor are any of them ipso facto bibliographers. And bibliography, in this same sense, is the systematic description of books according to subject, class, period, author, country or district; or of the products of a particular press or publishing house. Bibliography may be enumerative, analytical or descriptive: ranging in scope and method (see degressive) from a hand-list to a heavily annotated catalogue. The kind which accounts for many of the references in booksellers' catalogues is the author-bibliography: an account, whether in outline or elaborate, of the printed works of a single author. This will normally be cited simply by the name of the bibliographer; so that readers who find attached to the description of a book by Donne the bare reference `Keynes 27', to one by Gibbon, `Norton 12' or to a copy of Willa Cather's Sapphira and the Slave Girl 1940, `Crane A22', may safely assume that these are the compilers of the standard bibliographies of those authors. They have, further, the right to assume that, unless anything is said to the contrary, the copy in question conforms exactly, in collation and all other material details (the binding excepted, if earlier than c. 1830), to the description given in the bibliography cited. Not all author-bibliographies, however, are of equal merit, and many are out of date. There are, also, books over which very 37
B I B L I O G R A P H Y (continued) respectable authorities disagree, where the unscrupulous cataloguer might be tempted to cite only the one who supports the copy in hand. The judicious collector soon learns that verdicts are not infallible just because they are in print; that behind `Latour's first issue' lurks the possible implication that Lйoville is of a different opinion; that the cry of `Not in Lafite' should excite him only if Lafite's work both claims to be comprehensive and has some reputation for accuracy; but that as long as others continue to cherish a variant or an issue canonised by however incompetent a bibliographer, so long will booksellers continue to cite even an incompetent bibliography (if it suits them) rather than none at all. BIBLIOMANIA Literally, a madness for books. A bibliomaniac is a book-collector with a slightly wild look in his eye. BIBLIOPHILY The love of books. A lover of books is a bibliophile. BIFOLIUM A pair of conjugate leaves; see folio (3). BINDER'S CLOTH Any cloth binding, whether old or new, which is individual to the copy, i.e. not edition-binding. It is often used for collections of pamphlets, French novels or other paper-covered books the owner did not think worthy of the dignity of leather. And from the collector's point of view it falls (with something of a thud) between two stools, for the contents are neither in original state nor handsomely bound. Binder's cloth is usually easy to distinguish, on stylistic grounds, from publisher's cloth; for it is almost always lettered from type or from standard (not specially cut) dies, and if it is ornamented at all, the decoration is apt to be of conventional or even desultory character. The few exceptions date from the very early years of editionbinding in cloth (i.e. before about 1830), when both materials and style were still primitive; though remainder bindings or library bindings of later date are occasionally so degraded in style that the first example one sees might almost be taken for binder's cloth. 38
BINDER'S AND BOOKSELLER'S TICKETS These are of three kinds. (1) During the last three quarters of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th, some binders signed their work with a small engraved or printed label, affixed usually to the top outside corner of one of the front endpapers. Thus, while a catalogue note which simply says `by Derome le jeune' or `by Staggemeier', or `by Charles Hering', means that the cataloguer is reasonably confident that the book was bound by one of these masters, if he can add `with his ticket' he has firm evidence for the attribution (and the price goes up accordingly). During the last hundred and eighty years or so these tickets were for the most part superseded first by a smoke-printed stamp on the paste-down or front free endpaper, then by a pallet stamped (in gilt, in ink, or blind) on one of the turn-ins, usually along the lower edge, sometimes at the foot of the spine. From the collector's point of view the modern method of signature has this advantage over the ticket that it cannot have been transferred, by some unscrupulous earlier owner or bookseller, from another book of less intrinsic interest, a practice that has confused proper study of the work of Derome pиre et fils in particular. See also signed bindings, pallet. (2) The other kind of binder's ticket, very similar but usually printed, was used by some of the more substantial edition binders ­ e.g. Westley, Burn, Edmonds and Remnant ­ during the middle and later decades of the 19th century, and was almost invariably placed at the inside lower corner of the back paste-down endpaper. These tickets have some evidential value to bibliographers as a record of the primary (or secondary) binding and should always be recorded. (3) Booksellers' tickets served the same purpose as the binder's, as a modest advertisement; they began about the same time, and have only recently become extinct. They are of interest to the collector as an index of the distribution of the book, and, with all due caution, if as sometimes the name of the bookseller is followed by the words `stationer and bookbinder', as evidence of where the book was bound, if not by whom (see pallet). BINDER'S DUMMY A set of blank sheets, of the same substance and extent as the book to be printed on it, sent by the publisher to the binder, who cases and blocks it as instructed, and submits it to the publisher for approval; to be distinguished from the salesman's sample. Binder's dummies, having served their purposes, are sometimes passed on to the author, who may use them for other purposes. 39
BINDING, BINDINGS This is a common subject-heading in booksellers' and auctioneers' catalogues. Fine bindings have been long and actively collected, and often therefore very highly priced. But until the days of Weale and Gottlieb (say 1890­1910) research into binding history, and critical attention to individual craftsmen and their patrons, lagged so far behind enthusiasm that no statements made by anyone else before 1920 should be taken for granted. The past century, however, has witnessed an efflorescence of historical and critical scholarship in this department; and if its published (or privately printed) results are too expensive for the average collector to buy for reference purposes, the catalogue of the nearest wellfound library will provide guidance under the names of Strickland Gibson, E. Ph. Goldschmidt, G. D. & A. R. A. Hobson, J. B. Oldham, Ernst Kyriss, Tammaro de Marinis, L. M. Michon, Charles Ramsden, H. M. Nixon, Mirjam Foot, Janos Szirmai, Chris Clarkson, or Nicholas Pickwoad, and others whose work shows that the practitioners of the bibliopegic art in Europe, down to the early 19th century at any rate, are by now beginning to be properly documented. The contributions of Seymour de Ricci or Gordon Duff, the catalogues of such collectors as Madame Whitney Hoff, J. W. Hely Hutchinson and Major J. R. Abbey, and those of such special exhibitions as those held in the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1957­8 and at the Pierpont Morgan Library in 1971 extend the list. Those who are curious, as they should be, about functional as well as decorative developments must consult Graham Pollard's paper on `Changes in the Style of Book-binding, 1550­1830' (The Library, June, 1956), which has been freely pillaged in the present manual; and Bernard C. Middleton's A History of English Craft-Bookbinding Technique 1963 (reprinted 1982). The work of Willman Spawn has enlarged knowledge of binding of all kinds in the U.S.A. Finally, those interested in publishers' bindings must start with Michael Sadleir's pioneer work, The Evolution of Publishers' Binding Styles 1930, before moving on to those of Ruari McLean, Douglas Ball and Edmund King, while Sue Allen is the acknowledged authority on publishers' cloth in the U.S.A. See also а la grecque, antique, armorial, author's binding, cambridge style, cathedral bindings, cottage style, divinity calf, dos-а-dos bindings, edwards of halifax, embroidered bindings, etruscan style, fanfare bindings, fine bindings, gift binding, gutta-percha binding, harleian style, jansenist style, law calf, library bindings, lyonnaise, samuel mearne, mosaic 40
bindings, mottled calf, romantique style, roxburghe, royal bindings, signed bindings, spanish calf, trade binding, tree calf, trial binding, wholesaler's binding. BINDING COPY This means (or should mean) a copy whose covers are in a parlous state, but whose interior is clean and which is worth rebinding. If it is indeed thus, the bookseller will now usually have had it rebound. The term has thus become rare, if not obsolete. (If covers and contents alike are in unsightly condition, the usual, slightly desperate, description, is reading copy.) See also honest copy. BINDING MATERIALS See basil, binder's cloth, boards, buckram, calf, canvas, cloth, cloth grains and fabrics, crushed morocco, forel, goatskin, hair-sheep, hard-grain morocco, levant, morocco, niger, oasis, paper boards, parchment, pigskin, roan, rough or reversed calf, russia, scored calf, sheep, skiver, straight-grain morocco, turkey leather, vellum, wrappers. BINDING TERMINOLOGY See backed, bevelled, blind, blocking, border, boss, cased, cuir-ciselй, dentelle, diaper, diced, disbound, doublure, drawer-handle, extra, fillet, frame, french-sewn, full, gauffred edges, grain, grooves, guarded, half bound, half cloth, headband, hollow backs, inlaid, interleaved, label, letteringpiece, limp, linings, marbled, misbound, mitre, onlaid, pallet, panel, paste-down, plough, pointillй, primary binding, publisher's cloth, quarter bound, raised bands, re-backed, recased, re-jointed, remboоtage, re-set, roll, secondary binding, semй, sewn, sprinkled, square, stamped, stapled, stilted, threequarter bound, tooling, top edges gilt, unlettered, yapp. BINDING VARIANTS A general term for the variations, whether of colour, fabric, lettering or decoration, between different copies of the same edition of a book bound (cased) in publisher's cloth. They are usually the result of the normal publishing practice of binding up an edition not all in one operation but in batches as required; sometimes they are evidence of the sale of copies wholesale in quires for binding to another's order. See publisher's cloth, primary, secondary, remainder, author's binding, gift binding, library bindings. 41
BISQUING Obliterating passages in a printed book by painting them out with black ink or paint or overprinting with a blank block, usually undertaken in the interests of censorship (see imprimatur) or cancellation for some other reason. Sometimes spelt `bisking'.
See gothic.
BLANCK Bibliography of American Literature, Yale University Press for the Bibliographical Society of America (9 volumes, 1955­1991; index 1995; CD-ROM version 1997), begun by Jacob Blanck (1906­1974) and completed by Michael Winship and others. Commonly abbreviated to BAL, this is the most fully detailed primary bibliography (it excludes contributions to magazines) of the principal figures in American literature (it covers about 300 writers of belles-lettres, from the American Revolution to 1930), as distinct from americana, yet attempted.
BLANK LEAVES, BLANKS Where these are an integral part of the book as completed by the printer, the bibliographer will record, and the fastidious collector will insist on, their presence, though the collector may make allowances in the case of a very rare book. Mere readers will prefer to remember the note printed, in Greek and Latin, on the otherwise blank leaf A9 of the Aldine Isocrates of 1513, which, freely translated, reads: `This leaf is an integral part of the book, but cut it out if it bothers your reading, for it is nothing'. Blanks sometimes occur at the beginning of the book, occasionally at the end of a clearly marked division, often at the end of the last gathering (as in this book). In 17th century or earlier books an initial blank may, though rarely, carry a signature letter; and occasional examples of this persist in more modern books. In a leather-bound book it is necessary to distinguish these printer's blanks (sometimes signalised by cataloguers as `blank and genuine') from any extra leaves which the binder may have used in the front or back ­ conveniently called binder's blanks. If the collation calls for a blank leaf and you are in doubt whether the one present in your copy is the printer's (and so essential) or the binder's (and so irrelevant, or at least no substitute), compare the texture of the paper, the direction and width of the chain-lines, or the watermark, if any, with those of the paper in the body of the book.
[printer's blank]
[blank verso]
If this test fails, open the book as wide as you dare, examine the extreme inner edge of the doubtful leaf, and see whether it is conjugate with a leaf of the text or not. The printer's blank should be: the binder's blank cannot be. The blanks (variable both in incidence and in number) used by mid-19th century American edition-binders when casing books in publisher's cloth can be differentiated from those that are properly integral with the first and last gatherings, even if such integral leaves (for there may be more than one at either end) are used as endpapers or, in extreme cases, pasted under the paste-downs; binder's blanks are almost always distinguishable by paper-stock different from that of the text, and may be found in different quantities in different copies. A blank leaf is provided for the fastidious collector. BLIND (of tooling or blocking or stamps) Decoration or lettering on a binding is said to be blind or in blind when the binder makes a plain impression in the leather or cloth with a tool, die-stamp or roll, without any addition of gold or colour; e.g. `contemporary blind-tooled calf; `secondary binding, in blue cloth with the decoration in blind'. Similarly, `blind stamp on title-page' signifies that an owner's name or the words Review Copy, Presentation Copy or the like have been impressed by a die into the paper. Blind impression, a term invented by incunabulists but now more widely used, refers to the impress of bearer type on a blank page, or part of a page, which sometimes throws light on the circumstances of the book's printing or on the identity of its neighbour in the press. BLOCK, BLOCKED, BLOCKING (1) In binding terminology, a block is a piece or plate of metal, without a handle, bearing an engraved design for decorating the covers of a book, and intended to be used in a press. The process of applying these is known as blocking, and the press used is a blocking or arming press. Fundamentally the production of the so-called `panelstamped' binding of the early 16th century was the same as that of the gift book of the mid-19th. Both were blocked. In America, the more common term for blocking is stamping. (2) The wood-block used by a wood-engraver (see wood-cut): occasionally met with in such contexts as `with fine, clear impressions of the wood-engravings (most copies show the blocks badly worn)', or 45
B L O C K , B L O C K E D , B L O C K I N G (continued) `the original blocks are preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum'. (3) From the 1860s blocks for letterpress printing were also produced by photo-engraving, those with a screen known as half-tone blocks, those without as line-blocks or cuts (in America, zincos). See illustration processes. BLOCKBOOKS Blockbooks, or xylographica, as produced in Europe ­ usually with more illustrations than text, often hand-coloured, and mostly of a popular and/or religious character ­ were long supposed to have preceded the invention of printing from movable metal types (by Johann Gutenberg, c. 1440­50). In the last thirty or forty years, however, research, much of it conducted by the late Allan Stevenson, into the paper of surviving copies, has established that (despite the solitary example of the unique Apocalypse I in the Rylands Library, which he dated c. 1451) the heyday of the blockbook was in fact the 1460s, to which the early and famous examples ­ whether Apocalypse, Biblia Pauperum, Arts Moriendi, Cantica Canticorum or Speculum Humani Salvationis ­ have been proved to belong. Many others, mostly of lower price and quality, belong to the 1470s, while isolated specimens continued to appear up to c. 1500. The blockbook was essentially a PICTURE BOOK, the illustration and its accompanying text being cut with the knife on wood and printed on one side of the paper only. They were often, perhaps normally, impressed from two-page blocks reaching across the sheet, in a brownish or greyish water-based ink (only from c. 1470 was oil-based ink generally used, thus allowing printing on both sides of the leaf ). Examples are nowadays of extreme rarity, cost a great deal of money, and will be beyond the horizon of most collectors. BLURB A slang word, borrowed from the vocabulary of the publishing business (where it was originally coined to denote the commendatory description of a book on the paper covers or flaps of the jacket, sometimes supplemented by a commendatory sentence or phrase supplied by, even in extremis purchased from, a writer of suitable authority), and irreverently applied to those puffs or `write-ups' with which booksellers sometimes embroider their catalogues. The blurb is quite distinct from the note of literary description or background which, for important or obscure books, often follows the physical and 46
bibliographical particulars. It is essentially persuasive or laudatory. And it comes in a number of styles: (i) the quotation, or second-hand advertisement; (ii) the original composition, impersonal; and (iii) the ostentatiously personal. Type (i) usually takes the form of a sentence or two of praise culled from an established source whose antiquity puts them beyond question ­ Johnson, Hazlitt, Matthew Arnold, Saintsbury, T. S. Eliot or Edmund Wilson ­ or, if that has proved elusive, from the DNB, DAB, Cambridge History of English Literature, BAL, PMM or even the Encyclopaedia Britannica. For modern books, words found on the jacket may suffice. A variation is the anecdotal; e.g. `Macaulay is reputed to have read all four volumes of this book at a sitting', or `General Burgoyne said he would rather have written this poem than capture New York'. Type (ii) is probably the commonest, and it varies widely with the character (and prose style) of the cataloguer. But there are three main subdivisions: the solid but dull ­ e.g. `This is the chief work of the eminent French essayist'; the enthusiastic ­ e.g. `It is impossible to overestimate the importance of this great speech in the annals of American History'; and the picturesque ­ e.g. `This book was, as it were, the first shot in the Marxist revolution'. Type (iii) is sometimes categorical ­ e.g. of an 1880s reprint of the Waverley novels, `Scott was one of George Eliot's favourite authors ­ difficult to think of higher praise than that for any writer'; and sometimes defiant ­ e.g. `Despite the indifference of contemporary critics, here is an author who will be read when most of today's idols are forgotten.' Blurbs annoy some collectors, amuse others, possibly influence a few. Good ones are much harder to write than you think. BOARDS (1) In the widest sense, the wood, paste- or pulp-board, straw-board or other base (not leather) for the sides of any bound or cased book, i.e. any book in hard covers. As commonly used, the term includes the covering of the actual board (usually paper), thus ­ `old marbled boards, calf back', `blue-grey boards, canvas back, Kelmscott style', `front board detached, but a clean copy', `new boards, leather label'. Old-fashioned cataloguers described the covers of a book in publisher's cloth as cloth boards. (2) Also used in a specialised sense, to mean the original boards, backed with paper, in which many books were temporarily encased for distribution between about 1700 and 1780, and most books 47
B O A R D S (continued) between 1780 and the 1830s, when edition-binding in cloth began to take hold. Such bindings are usually, but not invariably, contemporary with the printed sheets they enclose, although frequently taken as such. Thus ­ `the boards-and-label period', `second issue in cloth, the first issue being in boards', `nice copy in half calf of a book virtually unprocurable in boards', `the Kern copy in boards was sold for $13,000'. But the collector who has become infatuated with the charm of original boards will do well never to assume that the term boards, in a catalogue description of a book, is necessarily being used in sense (2). When a bookseller is offering a book in original boards he will usually say so. BOOK AUCTION RECORDS Published annually (and for a period also in quarterly parts) from 1902 to 1997, BAR covered the principal British and American sales, with a selection of others, listing items which fetched Ј70 or more (for UK sales), but excluding composite lots or bundles. It did not record manuscripts or autograph letters, but maps, charts and plans were included in a separate section, while atlases were included in the body of the text. Between the wars and up to about 1960, BAR had the widest coverage, although its earlier contemporary Book-Prices Current had longer descriptions and better editorial introductions. Since then, however, american book prices current began to include sales outside America, and BAR was gradually outstripped in both coverage and speed. Within its period, however, it remains a useful working tool for tracking the progress of significant books. For some general observations on auction prices see under auctions (3). BOOK FORM A term used to distinguish the first appearance of any work in a book from an earlier first printing in a periodical, series of proceedings, broadside, leaflet or the like. For instance, a Churchill speech might be first printed in The Times, then in Hansard, then possibly in a party leaflet; but unless it was issued as an individual unit between its own covers, its `first edition in book form' would probably be a collected volume of speeches, issued perhaps several years later. Similarly, John McCrea's poem `In Flanders fields the poppies blow' was published in Punch in 1915; but its first edition in book form was an anthology called In the Day of Battle, Toronto, 1916. The term may also be applied to the author; e.g. Catholic Anthology 1915 was T. S. Eliot's `first appearance in book form'. 48
Of a book first issued in parts and subsequently as a threedecker or otherwise bound or cased, the more usual term is `first edition in volume form'. BOOK-LABEL A label of ownership, usually affixed to one of the front endpapers and (whether engraved or printed) simpler in style and smaller than a book-plate. It will normally consist merely of the owner's name. B O O K - P L AT E or E X L I B R I S `The size of a book-plate', said William M. Ivins, `is usually in inverse proportion to the owner's interest in books.' Bookplates may be of artistic interest (`fine Chippendale book-plate in all four volumes', `bookplate engraved by Reynolds Stone') or they may help to establish the book's provenance by identifying an earlier owner. Even when they have no apparent interest, it is absurd to regard them as a blemish (`book-plate on front endpaper, otherwise a fine copy'), unless the art work is so ugly as to qualify as a blemish in its own right. They are not, however, too difficult to remove ­ and replace. Thus, the collector who is attracted to a copy of some considerable book because it has, say, Gibbon's or Horace Walpole's book-plate should scrutinise it with care, for many inconsiderable books from both libraries have been in circulation for a good many years, and one of these may have yielded up its book-plate. B O O K - S H E LV E S Many books have been written on the subject of library furniture. Here let it suffice to say that although relics of shelves were found in excavating the oldest surviving library building (at Pergamon), boxes were used to keep books in classical and post-classical times, and later cupboards, in which the book might rest on its side. The earliest shelves form the lower part of reading desks, to which the book was chained, normally by the fore-edge, which faced outwards. Thus, up to the 17th century when book-shelves as such became common, books were often lettered on the edges, or unlettered. BOOK-SHOE An open box made of acid-free board designed as an inconspicuous support on the shelf for a book with weak or broken hinges. Its principal use is in little-used but historic library rooms, where the books are on show and their seemly appearance is important. The sides and back of the book-shoe are cut to the board-size and width of the book; 49
B O O K - S H O E (continued) the head and back are left open, and an extra pad added to support the tail of the text-block. This enables a little-used book to rest, with its (frequently gold-tooled) spine ­ but not the support ­ visible. For cleaning purposes, the book can be taken from the shelf in its shoe, the head-edge free to be dusted The shoe also acts, like a phase-box, as a warning that its contents are fragile and should be handled with care. B O O K - S TA M P An ownership stamp of metal or rubber applied in ink or blind to an endpaper, fly-leaf or title-page, or to the cover, by an impressed metal die, whether gilt or blind. See library stamp. BOOKSELLERS' CATALOGUES These range, in pretension, from the duplicated sheet headed Secondhand Books to the cloth and gold volume listing Fifty Rare Books and Manuscripts, with a full-page illustration of each. They are of many shapes, sizes and styles: general, semi-specialised, specialised; well or ill, enticingly or dispiritingly, thoughtfully or conventionally printed (or issued as a CD-ROM or on the web); personal or impersonal in content, and in annotation (see blurb); detailed or sparing, reliable or unreliable, in description of the condition of the books offered; conservative or dashing in bibliographical speculation (see issue-mongers); scholarly, businesslike, or casual; sometimes carefully and consistently priced, sometimes erratically or even waywardly; arranged alphabetically, or by subject, or by date, or sometimes simply hugger-mugger (`I want the customer to read right through, not skip'); with the one common denominator that, to a true collector, they are all worth reading. A general catalogue would need to contain many very fine or some especially interesting things for the average collector to give it permanent shelf-room. Most people, whether amateurs or professionals, tear out and file, rather than face the inexorable, un-indexed accumulation. Specialised, and even semi-specialised, catalogues are another matter; and whether one binds in groups or series, files in boxes, or shelves in some sort of order, a selection of the booksellers' catalogues of the past is one of the most important and most frequently consulted departments in any alert collector's reference library. This is not merely for the comparing of prices: it is for the contributions to scholarship, bibliographical and other, which responsible antiquarian booksellers have made, and make, every year. 50
The citation of examples is too invidious a task to be pursued as fully as it deserves. Let three, then, suffice: the series Bibliotheca Chemico-Mathematica prepared for Henry Sotheran & Co. by Henry Zeitlinger ­ a pioneer omnibus for collectors of scientific books; the Catalogue of Type-founders' Specimens etc., prepared by Graham Pollard for Birrell & Garnett in 1928, which is one of the standard reference books in its field; and David Magee's Victoria R.I.: A Collection of Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Original Drawings, etc. (3 vols 1969­70). BORDER (1) A frame round part or whole of a printed page, as in `title within rule border' or `engraved border'. (2) When used in descriptions of binding, whether of leather or cloth, the term properly means decoration that closely borders the edges of the cover (cf. frame). BOSSES Metal knobs used by the early binders, originally to protect the surface of the leather sides, but sometimes incorporated in the decoration. BOUGHT IN If a book offered for sale by auction fails to reach its reserve, it is bought in by the auctioneer. This used to be done under an assumed name, but `open' practice now requires the fact to be stated. BOWERS Fredson Bowers's Principles of Bibliographical Description 1949 is the fullest statement of the practice as well as principles involved in making an accurate bibliographical description of a book. Although famous for his editions of Jacobean and other authors and many other works, it is to this work that the plain name bowers is attached, next on the bibliographer's shelf to mckerrow and gaskell. In the years since Principles was published, it has been amended and extended in various ways; a convenient listing of such work can be found in G. Thomas Tanselle's `A Sample Bibliographical Description with Commentary' in Studies in Bibliography XL 1987. BOUND In a bound book, whatever the material which is to cover the sides and spine, the folded sections of printed matter are sewn on to horizontal 51
B O U N D (continued) cords or bands (usually four or five), the free ends of which are then drawn through holes in the boards and firmly attached. The result is that leaves and binding become a structural entity before the covering material is glued or pasted on to the boards (cf. cased). BREAKING-UP colour-plate books are often broken up and the plates sold separately for framing. The text will be thrown away. Book-collectors regard this as vandalism; and reasonably, since it destroys a book. Print-sellers and fashionable interior-designers would no doubt plead the greatest happiness of the greatest number, if they were to give any thought to the matter. Except for bulky encyclopaedias and the like, most booksellers dislike breaking-up a complete book (incomplete copies are another matter: see leafbook); but this respect for an entity seldom survives a market development which makes separate plates easier to sell and more profitable. The breaking up of atlases has been a more serious loss to scholarship. Many have been the victim of the quest for the ideal copy, an ignis fatuus in cartographic terms, since many atlases were specially made up by publisher or bookseller to meet the needs of a particular customer. Even more deplorable is the custom of breaking up tract volumes; where once this was done for the sake of a single valuable item and the rest discarded (many an STC pamphlet has been sacrificed for a single Jacobean play), now all are preserved, the parts (as with plate books) being judged more valuable than the whole. Worst of all is the destruction of medieval manuscripts, either in the interest of art or handwriting. To Ruskin, only miniatures were worth preserving: `Cutting up manuscript; hard work', he wrote in his diary. To Otto Ege, a less than complete manuscript was an invitation to reshuffle its leaves with those of other similarly afflicted books to furnish specimens for the study of palaeography. It is odd to think that either might have regarded the Trиs Riches Heures, at one point in its career, as a breaker. Breaking up books, whether for filthy lucre or from higher motives, is wrong. BREAKING COPY or BREAKER A book, especially a colour-plate book, which is so seriously imperfect that it seems fit only for breaking-up. Besides picture books, rare early printed books in fragmentary state are sometimes thought suitable `breakers' for typographical collections; and the practice is also 52
applied to literary treasures ­ e.g. single plays extracted from an imperfect Shakespeare folio, or single books from a 1611 Bible. The term breaker is also sometimes applied to anyone who habitually does so. THE BRITISH MUSEUM CATALOGUE OF BOOKS PRINTED IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY The first volume published in 1908: still in progress. Although this is only one of many special catalogues issued by the British Museum in addition to its general catalogue, it is the one most commonly cited by booksellers, usually by the abbreviation BMC. Arranged on proctor's principles, it is less convenient for first reference than hain or goff, which are alphabetical; and containing only the books in the Museum's collections, it is not so complete as the gesamtkatalog will be if it is ever finished. But (apart from being in English) its admirable introductions and plates, and its vast range, make it an indispensable reference book for even a desultory collector of incunabula. The lithographic reprint of vols. I­X (Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Belgium and the Iberian peninsula) contains corrections and notes from the departmental copies. BMC is not the same as the British Library's General Catalogue, of which the most recent printed edition (published by K. G. Saur) is complete up to 1975. An ongoing electronic version is available on the Library's web-site, BROADSIDE or BROADSHEET (1) Words applied to any piece of printed matter printed on one side only of a single sheet. Strictly, neither term should be applied to any but a whole, undivided sheet. Bibliographers abbreviate it to 1є. (2) The format of newspapers of similar size. BROCHURE A genteel, and superfluous, synonym (taken from the French, who prefer brochй) for a pamphlet, Confusingly, in America a brochure is a folder. BROKEN TYPE Since the commonest cause of broken or damaged type is wear and tear in the course of printing, observed deterioration as between copies of the same edition may help (especially in 19th and 20th century books) to distinguish between impressions, issues or states of 53
B R O K E N T Y P E (continued)
that edition. It is, however, evidence which must be applied with
caution, and the collector should beware of its frequent abuse by
issue-mongers. Probably more books than not have a
somewhere, or a
printed letter which looks like one, just as
there are few books without a misgrint. And no encouragement
should be given to the excited cataloguers who rush to draw unwar-
rantable conclusions from either.
BRUNET Manuel du Libraire et de l'Amateur de Livres, by Jacques-Charles Brunet, in its last edition in the author's lifetime 5 vols., Paris, 1860­64, with a sixth volume of Table, followed by two supplementary vols., 1878­80. The complete work in this form has been several times reprinted in recent times. Despite its age, Brunet is still valuable as the last and greatest summation of all the desirable books published in Europe from the invention of printing; of some rare books, it remains the sole citation.
BUCKRAM A durable bookbinding cloth, sturdily woven (sometimes with a double warp) of linen or cotton threads, and calendered to give it a smooth finish. Originally starch-filled, the current usage of buckram has broadened to include pyroxylin, acrylic, vinyl, and other fillings and coatings. Buckram, canvas, and similar cloth fabrics are more resilient (and more resistant to unkind environmental conditions) than all but the toughest leather. Linen buckram is now sadly rare.
BUNDLES Books not thought worth the dignity of separate lotting are sold at auctions in bundles of more or less homogeneous content.
CALF Leather made from the hide of a calf: the commonest leather used in bookbinding. It is smooth, with no perceptible grain. Its natural colour is pale biscuit but it can be dyed almost any shade. Calf can be treated in a number of ways, and for books full bound (as distinct from half bound) it will often be further described as polished, sprinkled, mottled, stained, tree (a special pattern), marbled, diced, scored or grained. There are also special styles, such as rough or reversed, divinity, law and antique.
In catalogues, calf (unqualified) will usually denote a binding not so new as to be shiny and not more than about a hundred years old; old calf, a binding clearly not modern, but one which the cataloguer does not consider contemporary with the book and hesitates to date with any precision; early calf (which would not be used of a book printed later than about 1750), one seemingly bound (or rebound) fairly soon after publication, but not close enough to it to justify the adjective contemporary. For the considerations which govern (or ought to govern) the use of the term original calf, see trade binding, original state. CALLED FOR A favourite expression with booksellers' cataloguers; e.g. `without the advertisement leaf called for by Hock', `with the misprint on p. 113, as called for by Sherry', or `with the half-title in volume 2 (none called for in volume 1)'. The authority relied on will usually be mentioned by name; but in a fair number of cases, like the third above, we are expected to conform to some anonymous and thus more potent fiat. For while it is permissible to dissent from a named bibliographer, an undefined body of assumed knowledge is beyond the reach of argument. CALLIGRAPHY Calligraphy has been defined by Stanley Morison (in the Encyclopaedia Britannica) as `freehand in which the freedom is so nicely reconciled with order that the understanding eye is pleased to contemplate it'. In our context the noun and its adjective calligraphic are used not only to denote a manuscript whose beauty of script is its principal attraction, or a manual of penmanship, or an engraved writing-book, but also any fancy penwork in a manuscript or inscription or any non-representational flourishes in an engraving. THE CAMBRIDGE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE (CBEL) Edited by F. W. Bateson, 4 vols., 1940, Supplement edited by George Watson, 1957, New edition (NCBEL) by George Watson, 5 vols., 1969­77, now again under revision (a third edition of volume 3 edited by Joanne Shattock appeared in 1999). Although cited by booksellers less often than might be expected, CBEL is the only serious attempt since lowndes to produce a bibliographical survey of the whole of English literature. It includes every writer who could be called an author, with short-title and first 55
THE CAMBRIDGE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF E N G L I S H L I T E R AT U R E ( C B E L ) (continued) publication date of their works, important reprints, revised editions, critical and biographical works, etc., etc. Dates given for original editions are naturally not infallible. The sections arranged under the more specialised headings contain some of the most valuable information in the book; and articles, originally by Graham Pollard and augmented by his successors, on book production and distribution, book collectors, libraries, newspapers, etc., demand special mention in the present context. CAMBRIDGE STYLE (of binding) Bookbinders have used this term for at least a century to denote an originally Restoration style of calf binding with panelled sides: a rectangular frame left plain with the central rectangle and border mottled or sprinkled. Though doubtless used elsewhere, this style was such a favourite with the binders of Cambridge in the early years of the 18th century as to have been recognised as a speciality: hence presumably its name (sometimes in the form Cambridge pane). CANCELS, CANCELLATION `A cancel is any part of a book substituted for what was originally printed. It may be of any size, from a tiny scrap of paper bearing one or two letters, pasted on over those first printed, to several sheets replacing the original ones. The most common form of cancel is perhaps a single leaf inserted in place of the original leaf ' (mckerrow). The maximum number of substitute leaves which, collectively, still qualify for the term cancel (in the singular) has apparently never been laid down. Cancels, being testimonies to human error, have been common since printing was invented, and they were particularly common in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were often added to the last sheet to be printed, generally the prelims, to fill it up; such cancels usually only correct trifling printer's errors. With the development of high-speed machinery during the past hundred years or so it has become progressively easier and cheaper to reprint the two-or fourleaf fold or even the whole gathering in which the fault has been found than to insert a separate substitute leaf. But this alternative is 56
normally adopted only if the error is discovered before the quires are stitched; and there are therefore plenty of exceptions ­ Swinburne's Poems and Ballads 1866 and Maugham's The Painted Veil 1925, for instance, were peppered with single-leaf cancels. The original sheet or leaf is called the cancelland (or cancellandum). That which is printed to replace it is called the cancel (or cancellans). A substitute fold will (if ready in time) be sewn in, but a substitute leaf (or fold, if the text is expanded) is pasted on to the stub of its cancelland. In default of external evidence (such as the prosecution of author or publisher for issuing words removed by cancellation), it is usually impossible to tell whether the process of cancelling a leaf or leaves was carried out before or after the book was published. (See issues and states.) But in either case the earlier, uncorrected form of the passage will be of interest; and it may be of great interest if the correction was not merely a verbal or grammatical one, but represented a change of thought, an addition or (as often) a suppression by the author. The usual method for indicating to the binder that a certain leaf was to be cancelled was to slit it upwards at the foot. Occasionally a leaf slit in this way, having been overlooked by the binder, will be found bound up in the book (with or without its substitute). It should not be mistaken for a leaf which has been carelessly or accidentally torn. The cancellans would often be given a signature mark (sometimes asterisked), whether the cancellandum had one or not. Cancel title-leaves. In Seventeenth-Century England a publication would often be shared between two or more bookseller-publishers, each of whom might have his own imprint on his share of the edition. Although these copies were normally published simultaneously, all the variant title-leaves except one will probably be cancels. (Wellknown examples are Herbert's The Temple 1633 and Locke's Humane Understanding 1690.) A different type of cancel title (making an issue, not a state) results from the unsold copies of a book being furnished either with a later-dated title from the original publisher (e.g. Henry Vaughan's Silex Scintillans 1650­55, Trollope's The MacDermots of Ballycloran 1847­48) or that of another publisher who had taken over the book (e.g. Paradise Lost 1667­69, Lyrical Ballads 1798, the Brontлs' Poems 1846). The collector who wishes to pursue cancels beyond mckerrow or gaskell is recommended to R. W. Chapman's monograph, Cancels (Bibliographia Series, No. 3, 1930). 57
CANNIBALISATION The vice of breaking up two (or more) copies of a book to achieve a complete set of variants never otherwise found within the same covers. The Grands and Petits Voyages of De Bry and the better known Victorian novels have been the principal sufferers. C A N VA S A material used mostly for rough jobbing binder's work. Exceptions are; (1) Certain kinds of chapbooks and educational books, which were issued between about 1770 and about 1830 bound in plain buff or green canvas or canvas-buckram, (2) The spines of board bindings on private press, de luxe, or other slightly self-conscious books from William Morris's Kelmscott Press (1891) onwards, (3) By extension from the latter, as publisher's cloth by certain publishers, e.g. the Bibliographical Society and the Phaidon Press, up to c. 1960. CAPTION When this word was first borrowed from legal phraseology and applied to books, it meant `the heading of a chapter, section or article' (SOED). But it is now generally used to mean the title or line of text under an illustration. Other names for this are underline and legend. CARTOUCHE A tablet, for inscription (e.g. the titling of maps) or ornament; originally in the form of a scroll, but sometimes used loosely (especially in descriptions of bindings) for round, oval or decorated labels. CASE (1) A large shallow tray divided into compartments to contain type. The frequency of use and therefore quantity determined the size of the compartments, which were similarly arranged to be convenient to the compositor's hand. The upper case contained the majuscules, the lower case minuscules. (2) The separate construction of boards, hollow and cover material used for cased binding. CASED, CASING (as opposed to bound) In a cased book the boards, hollow and their covering material are made up separately, in quantity. The quires, usually sewn to bands or cords and covered by a strip of canvas (called mull) glued on to their 58
backs, are inserted mechanically into the case, itself machine-made. They are attached by gluing the overlaps of the mull, with the bands or cords, to the inner edges of the boards, over which the endpapers are then pasted down. Casing has been the normal method of edition-binding for more than a hundred and fifty years; and although the result, which is a ready-to-wear not a tailored job, cannot compare with binding for durability, it is perfectly adequate for cloth-bound books. Today, indeed, casing is so much taken for granted that the words bound and binding ­ as in `cloth-bound' or `publisher's binding' ­ are used without regard to the important technical distinction between the two methods. It is also used for covering books in leather. CASES AND BOXES These are specially made to measure for the preservation of precious or fragile books. The four commonest kinds are: (1) the slip case, (2) the fall-down-back box (of which the solander case or box is an aristocratic version), (3) the pull-off case, and (4) for pamphlets and wrappered books of slender bulk, the four-fold wrapper or portfolio with flaps. The slip case is generally open-faced to show the spine of the volume or volumes. If so, the open end may be leather-edged (a style popular in France). It should have either thumb-holes or a ribbonpull, unless the book is to be shaken or poured out. If slip cases are too loose, the book falls out; if too tight, it is damaged at the edges every time it is taken out or replaced, unless this is prevented by wrapping the book in a two-fold or, more commonly, four-fold folder, before it is slipped into the case. This treatment, however, prevents any part of the book being visible on the shelf. The fall-down-back box has a double-hinged spine, so that it lies flat when opened. The lower half holds the book to be preserved and the upper half closes upon the lower. It may be of full or half leather (more often morocco than calf), of cloth or buckram (either with a leather label or lettered direct), or even (rarely) of paper-covered boards. It is for most purposes, if well built and well fitted, the most satisfactory kind for books, for the volume or volumes can be taken out and put back with the minimum risk of damage, and it can be opened to display its contents without their necessarily having to be handled at all ­ an important point if a precious book is being shown to some possibly ham-fisted layman. The pull-off case is almost always made of leather, is airtight (a dubious advantage, mitigated by the `blow hole ' usually found on the 59
C A S E S A N D B O X E S (continued) top edge to allow air to escape when the top is taken off or replaced) and sometimes has an asbestos lining (it is the only kind which can be fire-proofed). It is made in two halves, the book being placed in the lower and the upper then fitted on to it. The four-fold wrapper may be simply made of acid-free board (see phase-box) or more elaborately of cloth over boards. It serves to protect pamphlets in wrappers, offprints, or other matter too slight to stand unprotected on the shelf. The question whether or not to enclose a book for its better preservation (incidentally cutting it off from the circulation of air) is often a difficult one; and practice varies more with the taste of individual collectors than with climatic or practical considerations. A row of cloth boxes does not make much of a show on a bookshelf, and even the most elegant levant solanders or pull-offs, though many people think very highly of their appearance, somehow never look at all like books. Furthermore, to examine or display a book preserved in a pulloff case, or any case with an inner folder, requires three hands and a table-top. Yet without some sort of case, pamphlets can hardly stand comfortably on a loose shelf, nor be easily replaced on a tight one. Fragile volumes, whether in wrappers, boards, friable cloth or leather weak at the joints, are liable to damage and deterioration on the open shelf, and ought to be protected; as, no doubt, ought painted or elaborately decorated bindings. But to put a plainly and solidly bound book in a box is seldom necessary, and to do so (as is done) with one recently bound is surely mere ostentation. Yet even those who dislike cases will admit that they are sometimes necessary; and it may be recalled that the most obnoxious kinds ­ the slip-in case and the pull-off ­ have an ancestry which goes back at least as far as the 18th century. Whatever general policy the collector decides to adopt, or whatever decisions he makes in individual instances, he will realise that booksellers are more prone to boxing and casing than he himself need be: for three special reasons. One is that a bookseller may have a book exposed to the public on his shelves for some time, so that a not too expensive case fulfils for him a function similar to that of the dustjacket on a new book. It also helps to ensure respectful handling by potential purchasers. Secondly, he may think (often correctly) that any book in a box has a more impressive and expensive look than the same book without one. And thirdly, if he has a rather poor copy of a book, he may consider (again often correctly) that a handsome case will distract attention from a stained or shaky binding. 60
CASTING OFF The process by which the extent of a book was calculated from the copy. It pre-dated the invention of printing, and may have originated when the scribe wrote on a whole skin ruled for writing, rather than a bifolium, and preferred to follow the non-sequential order in which the pages occurred (see imposition). Casting off helped the compositor in allowing him to set by formes, both speeding up the rate at which pages could be delivered to the press and economising type, since only half as much was required as for a full sheet, and the type of a forme once worked could be returned to the case by distribution. Casting off was also used to forecast the length of a book and thus the amount of paper needed for an edition. From the 19th century, it was also used by the printer to provide a publisher with an estimate of cost. CATCHWORD By ancient custom, long predating the invention of printing and for the benefit of those reading aloud from a book, below the last word on a page the first word on the next page was duplicated. This was called the `catchword' (e.g. the word which at the foot of this page.) The collector who is not a bibliographer is likely to have to concern himself with catchwords only in two contexts. First, they will sometimes be referred to where they are (or are thought to be) involved in some point, usually relating to a non-coincidence between catchword and the first word on the following page ­ e.g. of Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer 1773, `the state with the catchword "Tony" on N2 verso'. This may point to the insertion of a cancel. Secondly, it is always wise, when considering a cropped copy of an early book, to make sure that no catchwords have been trimmed off or cut into. CATHEDRAL BINDINGS This term is applied to bindings decorated with Gothic architectural motifs ­ often including a rose window ­ produced in France and England between c. 1810 and c. 1840. In superior bindings this decoration was sometimes built up of large single tools. In more mass-produced work with cheaper materials the designs were normally blocked on the covers. CHAIN LINES The widely spaced lines (distinct from the lighter, close-set lines which run at right angles to them) visible in the texture of laid paper, made by the wire mesh at the bottom of the tray in which 61
C H A I N L I N E S (continued) which it is made. They are sometimes imitated in machine-made papers. If there is any doubt about the genuineness or, in the case of blanks, relevance of a leaf or leaves in a book printed on laid paper, the chain lines, which vary in spacing between different papers, offer a useful preliminary check. CHAPBOOKS Small pamphlets of popular, sensational, juvenile, moral or educational character, originally distributed by chapmen or hawkers, not by booksellers. Not in current use since about 1830, except as a conscious archaism (e.g. Field and Tuer's publications in the 1890s, Lovat Fraser's Flying Fame series, etc.). CHASE A rectangular metal frame made to contain the type-pages with which it makes up the forme. CHEAP COPY When a collector sees a book described as `a cheap copy', he will be well advised to study the list of defects which generally accompanies such a description. Purists and speculators seldom buy such copies. The former would rather wait for a fine one, even though it will cost more; the latter learns from experience that defective copies, however cheap, are rarely bargains in terms of resale. But for the modest collector who knows that a fine copy of some book he covets will always be beyond his means, a `cheap copy', taken with his eyes open, may be an acceptable compromise between a fine one and none at all. See also condition. CHECK-LIST An increasingly popular term, of American origin (1853), which is sometimes used for, and could usefully be confined to, something less full than a hand-list (1859), but fuller than a short-title or `finding' list; but which in common usage is virtually synonymous with a handlist. 62
CHINA PAPER A very thin, soft, absorbent paper, made in China from bamboo fibre, yellowish or greyish or straw-coloured, used for proofs of engravings or wood-cuts, and occasionally also for lithographs. The proofs are usually pasted on to stouter paper. Sometimes called India Proof Paper. There are European imitations. See india paper. THE CHRONOLOGICAL OBSESSION The importance attached to chronological priority ­ first edition, first issue and so on ­ looms so large in modern book-collecting that a novelist describing a bibliophile, or the man-in-the-street apologising for an eccentric friend, will say that so-and-so `collects first editions'. Many of the hoariest gibes against book-collecting are provoked by the same excusable misconception. Yet the predominance of this particular factor among the many which may make a book interesting, desirable or important is actually of quite recent development (the average 19th-century collector was as much interested in the finestlooking or best-edited edition as in the first); and some good judges regard it as both parochial and probably transitory. Nevertheless, many collectors and booksellers and bibliographers have allowed their zealous preoccupation with the minutiae of priority to become an obsession. A glance at such entries as advance copy, trial issue, misprints, issue and state, `follow the flag', or pre-first will show some of the forms which this obsession takes; and if a slightly acid note is discernible in the comments offered there and elsewhere in this book on the more extreme manifestations of priority-consciousness, it must be set down to the conviction that all extremes are a bore. See dates. CIRCULATING LIBRARIES Circulating libraries were created by societies of subscribers, whose contributions paid for the books and gave them the right of successive borrowing; founded in England in the 1700s and not long after in America (the Library Company of Philadelphia dates from 1731). Their books might be bought ready bound or else were given a library binding for the library. Circulating libraries often inserted their own book-plate, sometimes with a list of borrowers, whose names and the frequency of borrowing interest historians of book usage. CLASPS Clasps, like bosses and corner-pieces, were part of the protective armour of medieval (and post-medieval) bindings. A clasp, either of 63
C L A S P S (continued) metal with a hinge, or with an intervening strip of leather or textile, on one board snapped into a catch on the other. Its object was to keep the book closed, relieving any strain on the joints from casual movement. In England and France the clasp was on the upper board, the catch on the lower; elsewhere in Europe the positions were reversed. See ties. CLOTH The commonest material used for the binding (strictly the casing) of books as published in the English-speaking countries since the second quarter of the 19th century. There is a sharp distinction between publisher's cloth and binder's cloth, and the unqualified description cloth in a bookseller's catalogue (unless devoted exclusively to quite modern books) does not necessarily imply the former. See also colours of cloth, half cloth. CLOTH GRAINS AND FABRICS Like so many other aspects of bookbinding, the classification and nomenclature of the basic fabrics used for publisher's cloth binding are based on manufacturers' and binders' usage, and are not yet standardised in terms of bibliographical description. But no one attempting a description can ignore this problem, and must make the best job of the material to be recorded with the available vocabulary. It was first systematically attacked by Michael Sadleir, in his Evolution of Publishers' Binding Styles (1930). His classification, based on historical principles, capable of family grouping, descriptive in nomenclature, was developed in John Carter's Binding Variants in English Publishing, 18201900 (1932). Sadleir further expanded and refined it in his catalogue of XIX Century Fiction (1951), with illustrations of a wider range of typical 19th-century cloth grains than the earlier works provided. (Reprinted in The Book Collector, vol. 2, no. 1, 1953.) Some recent bibliographers of authors of the period 1830­90 (since when differences of fabric are both less conspicuous and generally less often significant) have adopted the Sadleir system, albeit rather gingerly. Others have seemed to decline its niceties. The only alternative system so far produced keys a specific fabric by letter to the nowadays approximately standardised sample-books of the book-cloth manufacturers, with notional letters for patterns no longer (or never) therein designated. This system, though it is capable of greater precision in identification, was considered and rejected by Sadleir and Carter in the early 64
thirties, as being mechanical, inelastic and virtually impossible to memorise: but it has been adopted, with all the authority of the Bibliographical Society of America, in Jacob Blanck's Bibliography of American Literature (Yale University Press, 1955­1991), with explanation in vol. 1 and the key plate repeated in succeeding volumes. The most convenient and now generally used summary of patterns is that reproduced by gaskell; see also G. T. Tanselle in Studies in Bibliography XXIII (1970). See also grain. CODICOLOGY The study of all aspects of the manuscript book, not just the script (palaeography) or decoration. The word is fairly new, and there are several claimants for its invention. COLLATION, COLLATED To the binder, collation refers to the process of gathering; to the bibliographer, it implies the process of comparing the book in hand with another, or to a canon by which its completeness can be established. In the sentence, `this copy has been collated with the one in the British Museum', the cataloguer is using the word in its simpler sense of `to compare'; and the implication is that the two copies are of the same composition. When he pencils on the endpaper `collated and perfect' (or simply `c. & p.'), he is using it in the special sense of `to examine the sheets of a printed book, so as to verify their number and order'. The operative word is `verify'. Verify by what? If no bibliographical description of a book is available and no other copy for comparison, `collation' in this sense can do no more than reveal obvious imperfections. Yet once the collector has mastered the method in which the leaves of printed books are gathered, and the customary signature marks by which the gatherings are identified by the printer for the binder, he can at least tell, even where there are no page numerals, whether any leaves are missing from the body of the book. The preliminary leaves are more tricky: for being generally printed last and comprising such variable features as half-title, list of contents, dedication, etc., they are not always of straightforward composition, and often are not signed at all. But collation has acquired a further, and to most collectors more familiar, connotation: the bibliographical description of the physical composition of a book, expressed in a more or less standardised formula. This recites the sequence of letters printed or written on the first page of a quire, originally intended for the guidance of the
C O L L AT I O N , C O L L AT E D (continued)
binder. The collation, in this sense, consists of three parts: an indication of the format, the register of signatures, and a record of the number of leaves. Thus `8vo A­L8M4' means an octavo volume of 92
leaves, gathered in eleven quires of eight leaves and one of four: there
is no J (or U or W) in the European signature alphabet, though these letters are sometimes found in 19th-century American books. This is
an extremely simple example; and in order to show what a collation
can look like, here is a notional one published in The Book Collector
(vol. 1, no. 4) as A4B­C4 (C3
a2t)esDt ­foGr4it(sbiGbl2i)ogHra4p(h­iHca2l.3re,ader*s2:).`'QDurarGtoa:ske4ll*'s2
expansion of this formula is as follows: `An unsigned four-leaf
section, the first leaf conjugate with the fourth and the second with the
third (henceforth a "quarto section"); followed by a conjugate pair of
leaves signed with an asterisk; followed by an unsigned quarto section
(given the inferential signature A); followed by two quarto sections
signed "B" and "C" respectively, in the second of which the third leaf
is followed by an inserted unsigned conjugate pair; followed by four
quarto sections signed "D", "E", "F" and "G" respectively, in the last
of which the second leaf has been removed and replaced with a can-
cellans; followed by a quarto section signed "H", the central conjugate pair of which (i.e. H2.3) was signed with an asterisk, and removed to
become the second section of the preliminaries, noted above. (It is
assumed that this state of affairs can be proved by the existence of a copy with H2.3 in its original position).' From this it may be seen that
the collector who aspires to understand the collation of early books ­ complicated by half-sheet imposition or gathering, unsigned quires, inserted single leaves (or singletons), cancels and so forth ­ must brace himself to a thorough study of mckerrow, probably also of bowers and perhaps even of greg's introduction to vol. IV of A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration (1959), gaskell and other sources. He will note meanwhile certain shorthand conventions; e.g. that P4 means a four-leaf gathering signed P, whereas P4 (or sometimes P4) means the fourth leaf of the gathering signed P; that the recto and verso of the leaf are distinguished by some bibliographers as P4r and P4v, although others prefer P4a and P4b (r and v being dangerously
like one another when written); that among the older bibliographers
unsigned leaves or gatherings are recorded as [P] if the signature let-
ter can be inferred, as [ ] or [-] if it cannot; that the newer custom is to use for unsigned preliminary leaves or gatherings, for unsigned
leaves or gatherings inserted in the body of the book, and an italic
letter for an inferential signature. He will further bear in mind that collation takes account only of those leaves of the book which were delivered to the binder by the printer. It includes, that is to say, any blank leaves or leaves of advertisements forming part of the gathered sections of the book; but it excludes endpapers, binder's blanks, inserted advertisements, etc. It will be seen that collation by signatures, which is the only scientific method of describing the physical make-up of a book, is a technical procedure governed by strict rules. For modern books, however, bibliographers obedient to the degressive principle have evolved various simplified descriptions and formulae, more or less adequate to their material but unfortunately not yet (except to some extent in the Soho Bibliographies series) standardised. collected (1) A collected author is one who has attracted and retained the attention of book-collectors. (2) A collected edition is the publisher's term for a uniform collective series of an author's works. (3) A collected set is an assemblage of an author's works, not necessarily complete, but implicitly substantial, not necessarily (though often) in first edition, brought together by a collector or bookseller. (4) A poem, article or short story which had previously appeared in a periodical or anthology is sometimes said to be `first collected' when it is republished in a volume devoted exclusively to its author's work. COLONIAL EDITION It was a common practice in the English publishing trade between the 1880s and the First World War to put up in a different, usually cheaper, style that part of an edition (especially of fiction) which was to be exported for the Empire market. Although they are in publisher's cloth, and as issued, and were usually printed in the same run as the regular edition (though sometimes on different paper), or at least from the same type (during the decline of the three-decker, the leads might be removed from the pages of a novel thus published to produce a one-volume Colonial Edition), these colonial copies were once regarded by collectors with disfavour: now no prudent collector will ignore them (cf. `follow the flag'); indeed, with the decline of the British empire, they have become an object of collecting themselves. 67
COLOPHON The finishing stroke (from the Greek word meaning summit): a note at the end of a book (sometimes accompanied by a device or mark) giving all or some of the following particulars: name of work, author, printer, place of printing, date. (See also imprint.) In very early books most of these particulars may not be found elsewhere, and when inspecting the credentials of an incunable it follows that one begins by turning to the last page, not the first. In its elementary function of identifying the edition, the colophon has been generally superseded, since the early 16th century, by the title-page; and during the transitional period, when both were in use, discrepancies may be found between the two: the Venetian printer aldus printed internal as well as final colophons that indicate the date of printing at that point, reserving the date of publication for the title-page; less excusably, a reprinted title-page may be found combined with an out-dated colophon, where the compositor has followed copy too precisely. The colophon has persisted to the present day in books whose printer is thought by the publisher (or thinks himself ) important enough to justify the formality. And the word is sometimes, but wrongly, used of the printer's ­ or even of the publisher's ­ device on the title-page. COLOUR-PLATE BOOKS A broad category, common in booksellers' catalogues, including any book with plates in colour, whether picturesque, sporting, natural historical or satirical, and whether these are wholly printed in colour, aquatinted with hand-coloured detail or wholly hand-coloured on an engraved or lithographed base (see illustration processes). Many books in the two last-named classes were originally issued in alternative states ­ coloured and uncoloured; and a very sharp eye is sometimes needed to distinguish skilful modern colouring from contemporary work. Despite the existence of technical and descriptive studies by Burch, Martin Hardie, Strange, Dunthorne and others, and the great expansion of knowledge of individual books recorded in the Abbey Catalogues, omission from which justifies the accolade `not in Abbey', the bibliography of colour-plate books is not yet adequate to the specialised complexities of a hybrid form of publishing. The collector who buys them for their looks, or for the subjects portrayed, will usually be content to trust his eye for quality and freshness, his experience or his bookseller for originality, in the colouring. If he is concerned to secure early impressions of the plates he will first take 68
the precaution of checking the dates in their captions with the known date of first publication and also with the date on the title-page; and he will make further comparison with any date which may appear in the watermark of the paper on which the plates are printed. For while the text for a colour-plate book would usually be printed off in a single operation, the plates (being the expensive part) would often be printed ­ whether or not to be then hand-coloured ­ in batches as required. The matter is complicated by the fact that colouring was, indeed remains, a continuous process. Even in the mid-19th century, connoisseurs contrasted the contemporary colouring of Fowler's Mosaic Pavements 1796­1829 unfavourably with earlier colouring done under the author's eye. Copies of Gould's many monographs on birds can still be had new, but coloured according to the author's surviving directions. Such are to be sharply distinguished from the modern colouring of earlier books with engraved plates, too often a process associated with breaking-up. COLOURS OF CLOTH AND LEATHER There has never been much precision or uniformity in describing the colours of cover materials, the words used depending on normal or trade usage, with additions from artists' colourmen's catalogues, and (more recently) from attempts at standardisation, such as the Royal Horticultural Society's colour charts or the United States Bureau of Standards' ISCC-NBS Method of Designating Colors (NBS Circular 553) and its Centroid Color Charts (Standard Sample no. 2106). For the theory of description and the application of these standards, see G. T. Tanselle in Studies in Bibliography XX (1967). As well as the necessary preliminaries of tanning or tawing, leather was dyed. Tawed leather does not dye easily, and the only pigment that it readily accepts is made from a non-permeable infusion of redwood bark or sawdust, which turns it dark pink. Tanned leather, particularly goatskin, was traditionally dyed in bright colours, red, blue and yellow (which fades to olive-brown, perversely still called `citron' in the trade). Green came in during the 16th century, and in various shades, emerald, sea, dark, distinguished the work of the best English and French binders. A natural brick-red was associated with the trade name niger in the first half of the 20th century. Dyeing (and graining) calf to look like morocco came in during the later 18th century and was common in the 19th. The introduction of mineral and artificial pigments in the third quarter of the 19th century made it possible to dye leather any colour, many of them hideous. 69
C O L O U R S O F C L O T H A N D L E AT H E R (continued) The cloth used in publisher's bindings can also be surface- or through-dyed, and ideally colour as well as texture should be identified by reference to manufacturers' catalogues. But the opinions of those who have clear (if conflicting) views of what colours are will no doubt persist. The resulting mild confusion (e.g. between maroon, plum, claret) is really troublesome only when binding variants are indistinguishable except by colour, and the cloth cannot be otherwise identified. In these cases the bibliographer (and the prudent bookseller) will define what he sees by reference to the standards cited above or other widely available and equally serious ones. COMMISSION The term on commission is used in two different contexts within our field. Reference may be made, most often in support of an asseveration of rarity, to the fact that a book was published on commission. This means that the author paid for it, and the implication is that, if the publisher thought it too bad a risk to take, not many were printed at the author's risk. This will usually be true, though there have been notable exceptions (e.g. Lewis Carroll, John Ruskin, Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes). The other use applies to bidding at auction: when a bookseller is bidding as agent, he is said to be bidding `on commission', as distinct from bidding for his own stock (see auctions (2) Bidding). COMPLETE The object of collation is to establish, primarily for the binder and only secondarily for the bibliographer or collector, that a book contains all the leaves that passed through the press when it was printed (but see cancels). Works published serially, in parts or as periodicals, are deemed complete only if every issue is present (see all published). COMPOSITOR He who sets the type, transferring it from case to stick, justifying each line so that it fills the measure. The individual quirks and prejudices of compositors in spelling and punctuation can enable the acute bibliographer to identify their individual work, and from it deduce the order in which the book thus set passed through the press, or even (more problematically) the author's text that they adapted, despite the injunction to follow copy. 70
CONDITION `In the purchase of old books', said Dr Johnson, `let me recommend to you to examine with great caution whether they are perfect. In the first editions the loss of a leaf is not easily observed'. After the interest or importance or beauty of the book, which will always be paramount, the two most urgent considerations in the mind of the book-collector are probably (a) the rarity of the edition, (b) the condition of the copy. And by condition is meant a good deal more than the volume's superficial, physical appearance; for the term covers the completeness and integrity of the contents, a proper degree of margin, etc., as well as the beauty or appropriateness or originality, and the state of preservation, of the covering. Sixty years ago Michael Sadleir said: `The condition of a book must be seen to be realised, and condition more than anything else nowadays dictates value and will continue to dictate it'. On the other hand, Percy Muir said: `I would take an ex-library copy rather than none at all'. Somewhere between these two points of view lies the middle way for the average collector. Every collector will adopt an individual attitude to this crucial but highly subjective factor, and for the sensible it will be elastic rather than rigid. But if common sense says that you cannot expect to find (or to afford) a fine copy of every book you aspire to possess, so that decision in an individual case will depend on a combination of taste and judgment, you must nevertheless take some account of bookcollecting conventions, as well as bibliographical facts, before you can even determine what `fine condition' means in a particular context. `In its absolute sense ', Carter laid down,1 `the term "fine", applied to any book of any period, could be said to mean no more (if no less) than that all its leaves were present, clean, whole and amply margined; that it was sound and undisturbed in its binding; and that that binding, whatever its material, was fresh and unblemished'. This may perhaps serve as a low common denominator. The fastidious collector will apply his own taste and judgment to a number of additional niceties, such as the degree of appropriateness in a binding, and the importance of original leather, cloth, boards or wrappers as compared with merely contemporary covers or with a handsome binding of later date. Yet all but the most determined individualists will pay some attention to the usages ruling among other collectors. The novice of today would soon learn, for instance, that to accept a three-volume novel of post-Regency date in any but its original covers, unless it had 1 In Taste and Technique in Book-Collecting, chapter XII, `Condition', alleging it an imperfection in a book that should be on everyone's shelves. 71
C O N D I T I O N (continued) some special feature of association to recommend it, would be a breach of a very rigid convention. He may think the convention altogether too rigid; but he must accept its existence. Anyone but a purist, however, will have to recognise that for very early books, very rare books or simply books he very badly wants, some modifications may have to be made if he is not to resign himself to never possessing a copy at all. Even if he balks at Muir's ex-library copy, there are occasions when a copy rejointed, re-backed, recased or otherwise restored, or, worse, cropped, washed or even made-up, may be welcomed to the shelf. The collector should learn enough about the restoration of books to be able to recognise such shortcomings from fine original condition when he sees them; for the exceptions must be very carefully calculated, and nothing is so mortifying as to discover an imperfection in a book which has been on one's shelves for years. But how, the reader asks, is this connoisseurship of the eye to be applied to a book which is not in the hand but briefly described in the catalogue of a bookseller two hundred miles away? Unless you know from well-tested experience what the bookseller's standards of condition are, and also how to translate into your own terms the descriptive shorthand his cataloguer writes, the answer is to order the book on approval if the description of its condition leaves any room for doubt. Descriptive terms are inevitably subjective, and collectors should be warned that the seemingly objective sequence from `mint' (good) to `good' (bad), which has crept into the lower end of the book market from philately, is as much a matter of personal opinion. Nevertheless, we may take note here of some of the terms commonly used by booksellers in describing the condition of books offered in their catalogues. The adjectives can be roughly grouped under (a) descriptive, and (b) enthusiastic; and only a few of them have been given separate entries in the present book. (a) Adjectives of Description General ­ As new, fine, good, fair, satisfactory (a trifle condescending, this), good second-hand condition (i.e. not very good), poor (often coupled with an assurance that the book is very rare in any condition), used, reading copy (fit for nothing more and below collector's standard), working copy (may even need sticking together); Alan Thomas's romantic heart found merit in a `poor scholar's copy'. 72
Of exterior. ­ Fresh, sound (probably lacks `bloom'), neat (implies sobriety rather than charm); rubbed, scuffed, chafed, tender (of joints), shaken, loose, faded (purple cloth and green leather fade easily), tired (from the French fatiguй), worn, defective (very widely interpreted), binding copy (i.e. needs it). Of interior. ­ Clean, crisp, unpressed, browned (like much later 17th-century paper), age-stained, water-stained (usually in the deprecating form, `a few light waterstains'), foxed (i.e. spotted or discoloured in patches: often `foxed as usual', implying that practically all copies are), soiled, thumbed (in the more lyrical catalogue-notes, `lovingly thumbed by an earlier scholar'), and (very rare in English or American catalogues, but commendably frank) washed. (b) Adjectives of Enthusiasm When the condition of a copy is more than merely fine, the superlatives will depend on the cataloguer's taste. A cloth-bound, a boarded or a wrappered book may be called immaculate, mint, pristine, superfine, matchless, superlative, brilliant, in `Jennings' or `Parrish' condition (after two notably fastidious collectors of the twentieth century); a bound book or set will be handsome, choice (once a favourite), elegant, superb, noble, sumptuous, magnificent or the like. At the other end of the scale, under the cheerful headline `THE WORST COPY IN THE WORLD', a New York bookseller once described a copy (a presentation copy, it must be added) of a modern first edition; `shaken, shabby, loose in binding, backstrip broken; foxed and goosed'. See also original state, publisher's cloth, trade binding. CONJUGATE LEAVES `The leaves which "belong to one another", i.e. if traced into and out of the back of the book, are found to form a single piece of paper, are said to be "conjugate" ' (mckerrow). The conjugacy of leaves derives from the form in which the printed sheet is folded. For instance, in an octavo book, the first and eighth, the second and seventh leaves (and so on) of each gathering will be conjugate. (The leaf under the reader's left hand, C4, is conjugate with C5, which comprises pages 73 and 74.) The most frequent occasions for the use of this term are in connexion with half-title or title leaves or other prelims, initial or terminal blanks, leaves of advertisements, cancels, etc.; i.e. those 73
C O N J U G AT E L E AV E S (continued) whose bibliographical relationship to other leaves in the volume may be in doubt. There is no term for a pair of conjugate leaves, except the codicologist's bifolium; non-conjugate leaves are sometimes called singletons. CONTEMPORARY The presence of this desirable attribute ­ in binding, in annotations or ownership entries, in the colouring of illustrations, etc. ­ is less often susceptible of actual proof or even reasonable certainty than one might suppose from the freedom with which it is claimed by cataloguers. In its application to bindings, however, the term is by general agreement interpreted fairly broadly: anything in the style of the decade, or even of the quarter-century if before 1700, being accepted as contemporary. For the question of contemporary colouring in engravings, etc., see colour-plate books. C O P P E R - P L AT E (1) The plates on which designs in intaglio were engraved; by extensions, prints from those plates. (2) The regular round-hand script developed from italic in Holland for commercial and other use, and standardised in England by the end of the 17th century; from the engraved writing-books by which it was taught. COPY (1) A single and therefore in some respects unique example of the complete edition of a book. (2) The document ­ manuscript, typescript or printed ­ given to the compositor to set into type for printing. COPYRIGHT EDITIONS This term has one specialised use which concerns the collector. In order to safeguard copyright by formal publication (whether of a poem printed in a magazine, or to comply with American or British law, or for some other reason), a small number of copies of a pamphlet or book may have been printed before the regular edition, and formally `published' but not distributed or sold in the ordinary way. Familiar examples are Swinburne's Siena 1868, the suppressed portion of Wilde's De Profundis 1913, and a number of pieces by Kipling. 74
COPYRIGHT LIBRARIES Under the Copyright Acts of 1911 and 1956, publishers are bound to deliver a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom to the British Museum (since 1973, the British Library); also, if called upon to do so by the Copyright Receipt Office, to the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, the University Libraries of Oxford and Cambridge, and Trinity College, Dublin. This obligation, in one form or another, dates back to the 17th century (the Royal Library, Oxford and Cambridge were provided for by the Licensing Act of 1662, and others added by the Copyright Act of 1709), but it is only in comparatively recent years, since its performance was systematised, that the delivery of these copyright, or statutory, copies on, or very near to, publication day became the rule rather than the exception. Where ­ but only where ­ this presumption is sustained by the recorded date of reception, the statutory copies provide useful, and nowadays often cited, evidence of an early issue or a primary binding in doubtful cases. (See also register, registration (2).) The procedure in U.S.A. is different and more consistently useful to bibliographers, registration and deposit with the Library of Congress being generally prerequisite to the legal recognition of copyright. CORNERS, CORNER-PIECES (1) A binder's tool, either lozenge-shaped, to fit at the outer corners of a panel, or triangular, to fit inside its corners. (2) Protective metal pieces fitted over the corners of the boards of a binding, often supplemented by bosses. COTTAGE STYLE (of binding) A style of decoration in which the top and bottom of the rectangular panel, which itself will be filled with smaller ornaments in a variety of rich designs, slope away from a broken centre, thus producing a sort of gabled effect ­ what architects call a broken pediment. The cottage style was popular with English binders of the last forty years of the 17th century (some of the finest examples being credited to Samuel mearne's workshop) and it was still being used on pocket almanacs and prayer-books as late as the 1770s. COURTESY BOOKS This class of books has been defined as follows by one of its chief proponents: `Manuals setting forth rules and standards for the education, 75
C O U RT E S Y B O O K S (continued) and instruction in polite and correct behaviour, of a Gentleman, based originally on the teaching in the Italian princely academies, and gaining an increasingly wide acceptance and popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries (Prototype: Castiglione's Il Cortegiano, 1528).' By extension, any guide to manners or etiquette. COVER, COVERS (1) The upper cover is the front, the lower the back side of the book as bound: upper and lower being preferable terms, as avoiding possible confusion with back when used in the sense of spine. (2) The printed sheet of board that encloses the modern paperback. In the plural, the term is used euphemistically of cased books in such phrases as `covers fresh, interior slightly spotted', `loose in covers but a clean copy'; or occasionally `covers detached', which means that the sides are off but present. `Covers in' or `covers preserved', in conjunction with the description of a leather or half-leather binding, means that the original cloth, stripped from its boards, has been bound in, usually at the end. This was a not uncommon practice during the period (c. 1890­1920) when respect for original condition was becoming established as an article of faith, but had not yet overcome the Victorian and gentlemanly view that any book worth keeping deserved binding. Resort to it often implies that the cloth was in mediocre condition, and it is at best an unsatisfactory compromise. French binders, since the late 19th century, have almost invariably bound in the printed wrappers of any book of bibliophile interest. There is thus a better chance that the blurbs written by Albert Camus for NRF will survive than those of T. S. Eliot (see dust-jacket). CRISP Of the leaves of a book ­ brisk in texture, unpressed; of paper boards ­ unthumbed, not dulled with handling, having something of the original nap still upon them; of publisher's cloth ­ fresh of fabric (even if faded in colour), with the gilding bright, the blocking unsubdued, the edges and corners of the covers sharp. CROPPED Of margins, cut down by the binder's knife, usually seriously: nowadays a slightly old-fashioned, but still pointed and vigorous, alternative to cut down, cut into, short; e.g. `a cropped copy', `sidenote on p. 61 cropped as usual' or `a few headlines cropped'. These terms mean that the binder's incursion into the actual printed matter 76
has gone further than mere shaving: he has cut off whole letters if not words. Thus, in `a short copy' one expects very little margin at head or tail, but one assumes that if headlines, folios or catchwords were cut into, the cataloguer would say so. Of `a cropped copy' one would have little right to complain even if the text itself proved to be cut into. CRUSHED MOROCCO morocco leather which has been so thoroughly ironed, pressed or rolled that the grain of the original skin has been almost obliterated. This is done in the piece, not when it is on the boards. The characteristic high polish is given after the volume is bound. CUIR-CISELЙ `Decoration of the book-cover by cutting the design in the leather instead of the more normal tooling or stamping.' (J. P. Harthan.) CURIOSA, CURIOUS This familiar subject-heading may cover anything from the risquй or gallant, which might equally well be classed as facetiж, to the indecent, which would be more properly listed under Erotica. It will sometimes include medical or pathological works, but these are nowadays mostly catalogued frankly under `Sex' or more genteelly under `Sexology'. CUTS (1) A good, old-fashioned, omnibus word, meaning illustrations printed with the text (as distinct from plates), whether from wood or metal, and whether cut or engraved. (2) The crude wood-cut illustrations found in juveniles and chapbooks of the 19th century. DATES An interest in dates is a vital and all-pervasive part of the bibliographical world. Whether blazoned on the title-page, buried in a colophon, or simply not there, the date is the key to establishing priority. Dates can be difficult to read: the Latin system of roman numerals is essential knowledge, but more arcane systems, such as chronograms, lie in wait. They may have to be inferred, from the date of a privilege or subscribed at the end of the author's dedicatory letter, or from a more remote source, entry in the Stationers' Company register or the author's correspondence. They may be mendacious: 77
D AT E S (continued) the innocent type-facsimile of the 1528 Giunta Decameron printed two hundred years later for Joseph Smith, the British consul in Venice, is a famous example. There is the added complication of `new style' (Gregorian calendar: year begins January 1) and `old style' (Julian calendar: year begins 25 March), not to mention the 11 days `stolen' to adjust the difference in 1752. The serious book-collector must be prepared to meet and master all these contingencies. In the hand-press period it is common to find what appear to be separate editions of the same book printed a year apart. Put them together, and you find that they are identical, save in the last digit of the date: no question of a separate edition, hardly a separate state, and only doubtfully a different issue. What has happened is that the bookseller, always anxious to be up to date with the latest books on offer, has instructed the printer to run off half the title-pages with this year's date, and the other half with next year's, guessing that half the stock will remain unsold by then. Copies are even found with the later title but an inscription dated the previous year. To find a date on a binding, sometimes on a separate letteringpiece, is evidence that the binding is later than the book, or, if not, has been thus adapted to meet a bibliophile taste unlikely to be earlier than 1750. DE-ACCESSIONING The process by which libraries dispose of books that they believe to be surplus to present requirements; frequently a euphemism for sale. See ex-library. DE-ACIDIFICATION Machine-made paper, especially that made from wood-pulp from about 1870 onwards, is liable to decay, partly through acid inbuilt by the manufacturing process, partly adsorbed from noxious substances in the atmosphere (the result of other industrial processes, from coal fires to the internal combustion engine). Acid can be removed from such paper by a variety of different processes, applied with varying degrees of ease and permanency. De-acidification does not remove the other inbuilt cause of impermanence in wood-pulp paper, namely the presence of lignin, which has a short life; its break-down makes paper brittle and unusable. Earlier paper made from rags or esparto grass contains pure uncompounded cellulose, and, short of physical assault, has a very long life. 78
DECKLE EDGES The rough, untrimmed edges of a sheet of hand-made paper (the deckle being the frame or band which confines it in manufacture.) Much prized by collectors, especially in books before the age of edition-binding in cloth, as tangible evidence that the leaves are uncut; for the deckle edge normally would be ­ and indeed was meant to be ­ trimmed off by the binder. In modern books deckle edges are an affectation, mainly (but not, alas, entirely) confined to press books, limited editions, etc. They have, certainly, a sort of antiquarian charm, even though they can nowadays be artificially produced in machine-made papers: but they collect dust and, being technically obsolete for a century and a half, hardly avoid a self-conscious air. In books of reference they are intolerable. DECKLE-FETISHISM The over-zealous, undiscriminating (and often very expensive) passion for uncut edges in books which were intended to have their edges cut. See uncut, trade binding, edition-binding. DECORATED PAPER AND T YPE The earliest form of decorated paper used in bookbinding was the specially printed paper covers, usually with an arabesque pattern or pious image, which are now very rare. marbled paper, first for pastedowns, later for complete endpapers or covers, came in at the end of the 16th century. From then on other methods were used: pastemarbling, in which a pattern worked with a stylus or brush in dyed paste is transferred to paper; sponge-marbling, where a similar mixture is applied direct to the paper with a sponge; gilt or bronze paper, usually with a design embossed in relief, for which Augsburg was famous; and above all woodblock-printed paper, for which the Remondini family at Bassano was famous (similar papers were created from wall-paper or textile printing blocks, hence the German Gatunpapier). See also lye. Decorated type, though not unknown before 1700, became more general in the 18th century, the taste for shaded, in-line and floriated letters pioneered by P.S. Fournier le jeune. In the 19th century, a riot of new designs, sans serif, Egyptian, rusticated, even pictorial and in three-dimensional trompe-l'oeil, burst forth from the typefounders of Europe and the New World to meet the market, expanding with evergreater rapidity, for ephemera. 79
DEDICATION COPY It is customary for an author to present an early copy of his book to the person (if any) to whom it is dedicated. This is known as the dedication copy; and it will rank very high, in the estimation of most collectors, among presentation or association copies of the book. Such copies are usually handsomely bound, by general assumption at the author's order. The number of dedicatory letters apologising for sending the book unbound requires some caution in this respect. See author's binding. The term cannot properly be applied, as it sometimes is, to a copy which merely bears the signature or bookplate of the dedicatee, since he (or she) may well have bought an extra copy or copies of the book, being customarily and of necessity a subscriber to it. DEFECTIVE Used by cataloguers to cover almost every degree of defectiveness, more often of the exterior than of the interior of a book. Thus, a copy described as having `backstrip defective' may prove to have either just a small chip out of the top or practically no back left at all. DEGRESSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY The degressive principle was formulated by Falconer Madan in a memorandum subjoined to Pollard and Greg's classic paper, `Some Points in Bibliographical Descriptions' (Bibliographical Society, 1909, reprinted 1950). It is `the principle of varying a description according to the difference of the period treated or of the importance of the work to be described'. Newtonian in its simplicity, Einsteinian in its weight, it has yet to penetrate the consciousness of our more pachydermatous bibliographers. DENTELLE A binder's term (from the Frenchlace) meaning a border with a lacy pattern on the inner edge, usually gilt. DentElle Decoration was used, especially in France and in the 18th century, on the outside of the covers; since then, apart from the elegant late 19th-century pastiches of the style, it has been more often used, in a somewhat emasculated form, on the inside ­ usually described as inside dentelles. DEVICE From the earliest days (Fust and Schoeffer, 1457) many printers used a device, or `printer's mark', to accompany ­ or occasionally to serve as ­ their imprint in a book. These will be found along with the 80
colophon at the end of books printed before 1500­10, and thereafter more usually on the title-page. Familiar examples are the aldine Anchor and Dolphin, the Tree of Knowledge of the Estiennes, the Globe of the Elzevirs, Day's Sun and, later, the Clarendon Press's engraving of the Sheldonian Theatre and the Cambridge University Press's figure of Charity. Although the practice declined towards the end of the 17th century, it has never died out. And as it was adopted by publishers as well as printers when the two trades began to be distinct, the publisher's device or mark is today the commoner of the two. Few printers, other than private presses, now use a device, and publishers' devices are rarer now. The elegant fox, engraved by Reynolds Stone for Rupert Hart-Davis, the original publisher of this work, preserves this ancient custom (see p. [235]). DIAPER A term used in descriptions of bindings. As applied to decoration in gold or blind on leather bindings, it is essentially a lattice pattern of small diamonds or lozenges. When used of publisher's cloth bindings it refers to the grain of the fabric itself: a cross-hatched effect of lozenges, diamonds or occasionally triangles. Diaper cloths were popular in the late 1830s and the 1840s, and remained standard fabrics, in one form or another, for over a century. DIBDIN The Reverend Thomas Frognall Dibdin (1776­1847) may have been, in the words of William A. Jackson (who admired and devoted his last book to him) `the worst bibliographer in the world', but he deserves a place in every book-collector's library and heart as the enthusiastic laureate of the heroic age of British bibliophily which saw the foundation of the roxburghe club. His Introduction to the Knowledge of Rare and Valuable Editions of the Greek and Latin Classics (1802, 4th ed., 1827) still has its uses, The Bibliomania (1809) is not without wit, his `tours' of the bibliothecal treasures of France, Germany and the northern counties of England and his double celebration of the library of his patron, the 2nd Earl Spencer (1758­1834), all have some historic merit, but infinitely the most enjoyable as well as absurd of his writings is The Bibliographical Decameron (1817), in which he reviews the acquisitions and libraries of his heroes, more in the style of Malory than Boccaccio. In fact, he was a better scholar than his later detractors, embarrassed by his overblown style, allow.
DICED A binder's term, meaning ruled or stamped into a diaper pattern. russia is often diced, morocco hardly ever. Diced calf was common in the first quarter of the 19th century, but has been uncommon since. Diced fabrics for publisher's cloth (a bolder form of diaper) were popular between 1835 and 1845. DISBOUND Obsolete since the 17th century, this term has now been usefully revived (first by John Hayward in the Rothschild Catalogue, 1954) to describe those books or pamphlets which have been torn out of composite volumes. (The common term unbound is imprecise, for it can be applied to a book that has never been bound.) This practice was convenient for the bookseller who hoped to sell one rare pamphlet out of a volume, but would jettison the rest; and sometimes also to the collector who had no wish to encumber his shelves with matter extraneous to his interest. But no collector and no reputable bookseller will condone the practice, since it destroys a bibliophilic, if not a bibliographical, entity; erases evidence of an earlier owner's taste and even his identity; and sacrifices an old (if not always a contemporary) binding and appearance in favour of a new and often less congenial one. See breaking-up, sammelband, tract volume. DISPLAY TYPE Large sizes of type, larger than would be used for setting the text of an ordinary book (known as `body type '), useful for headings and on title-pages, are known as display types. Although as a trade term it is no older than the age of machine-composition, it tends to be used for earlier examples of large or decorated type, such as was used for ephemera. DISTRIBUTION The process by which type was returned after printing to the case from which it had been taken. DIVINITY CALF An unpleasant kind of smooth calf, usually of a colour between slate and cocoa, much favoured by mid-19th century binders for theological or devotional books, especially when rebinding a volume of earlier date. Other common features of the divinity style are bevelled boards, red edges and a design of what are known as 82
`Oxford' rules (a panel in which the four component lines are extended beyond their intersection) in blind or black: whence sometimes known as `Oxford style'. DIVISIONAL TITLE A separate title-page for a section or division of a book: see also general title. DOCTORED Restored, repaired, rebuilt: a blunter and less elastic term than sophisticated, but like it always used in a pejorative sense, and so seldom appearing in a bookseller's catalogue except in the negative, e.g. `Binding shabby and lacks the leaf of advertisements, but an entirely undoctored copy of this rare book'. DOS-А-DOS BINDING `A term not used by the French [cf. demi-tasse] who speak of une reliure jumelle. The twin volumes are usually two small service books or works of piety. They are bound together, not one after the other, but in such a way that they share a common lower board, with the volumes upside down to each other and their fore-edges facing in opposite directions. Their upper boards, usually covered with gold-tooled leather or embroidered work, form the outer covers. Thus, whichever way the twin binding is picked up it opens at one or other title-page'. (H. M. Nixon.) DOUBLURE, DOUBLЙ A binder's term, meaning that the paste-down (or inside lining of the covers) is not of paper but of leather, usually decorated. Since doublures have always been much commoner in French bindings than in English, there is no English word for them. DRAWER-HANDLE TOOL (or DECORATION) The `drawer-handle' tool, commonly used in groups or sequences, was popular with binders of the Restoration period (foreign as well as English). Its name was presumably supposed to be self-explanatory: actually, it looks more like the standard decorative unit of an Ionic capital than the handle of a drawer. DROPPED HEAD A printer's term, restricted for our purposes almost exclusively to the phrase `drop title' or `dropped-head title', which means that there is 83
D R O P P E D H E A D (continued) no title-page, the title being placed at the head of the first page of text; chiefly applicable to pamphlets, leaflets, etc. In America this is sometimes called a caption title. DROPPED LETTERS AND NUMERALS Among the minor accidents to which type on the printing press is prone, none is commoner than that the inking apparatus pulls out or askew a loose letter (or numeral). The result, on the printed page, is called a dropped letter. Sometimes the fault is not noticed, so that the first copies printed off are perfect and later ones faulty. Sometimes the fault is noticed during the run, the machine stopped, the type replaced: making three states of the sheet, the first and third being probably indistinguishable. In other cases the loose type falls out before printing actually starts. This means that the first copies run off will show a dropped letter, while later ones, if the fault is noticed and rectified, will be perfect. (Here are two dr pped letters.) It follows that anyone ­ bibliographer, bookseller's cataloguer or collector ­ who thinks to determine priority between two states solely on the evidence of dropped letters is (to put it charitably) an optimist. And when the collector sees, in a catalogue, some modern first edition described as `first issue, with the dropped letter on page 163', it is not a merit but a signal for demanding chapter and verse not only for this but for any other bibliographical dicta in the vicinity. DUFF Edward Gordon Duff (1863­1924) was the author of the still valuable (until BMC catches up) Fifteenth Century English Books (1917), and a collector whose taste encourages those who come across his books, now dispersed, to examine them with extra care, for no one had a sharper eye for significant details. D U O D E C I M O ( 1 2 mo, 1 2 ° ) A duodecimo, commonly called a twelvemo, is a small size of book, between octavo and sixteenmo, about the size of the standard paperback or slightly smaller. For details see format. DUST-JACKET or DUST-WRAPPER The paper jacket, more or less adorned, which is wrapped round most modern books to protect the cloth covers in transit between the 84
publisher and the reader. Dust-jacket is a preferable term to dustwrapper, since it avoids the chance of confusion with wrappers. The earliest recorded dust-jacket dates from 1832 (many decades earlier than most people would guess). But its history till the end of the century is only beginning to be explored, and surviving examples earlier than the mid-eighties are very uncommon indeed. This is natural enough, since dust-jackets were ­ and functionally still are ­ ephemera in the most extreme sense: wrappings intended to be thrown away before the objects they were designed to accompany were put to use. Until some eighty years ago, therefore, it would probably be true to say that any dust-jacket that had survived had done so by accident ­ by the omission to discard, not by any conscious intention to preserve. Exceptions would have been provided by those mildly eccentric people who keep everything wrapped up; but not (in England at any rate) by any statutory preservation, since not being prints or pictures they were no concern of museums, and not being part of the book they were, and are, normally jettisoned by librarians. With the great resurgence of collecting modern firsts in the 1920s, however, dust-jackets of all kinds came into their own with a vengeance. For whereas no one knows whether Eric or Little by Little (1858) or The Prisoner of Zenda (1894) was issued in one, any book published since the turn of the century was plausibly assumed to have been. And as the insistence on a high standard of condition became increasingly widespread, it seemed logical to demand, of a recent book described as `mint' or `as new', that it should still be in its original jacket, whether this was of any intrinsic interest or not. The presence of the jacket, on copies of books much in demand, has recently produced price-levels unheard of since the roaring 20s. That this insistence has become rather hysterical is true. Yet dustjackets may be of artistic interest; they may have an illustration not in the book itself. They may contain a `blurb' written by the author (admittedly not usually easy to identify), or preliminary comments by critics of distinction. They nowadays normally contain biographical information about the author and often a photograph; sometimes bibliographical details of his other books. How many jackets for Messrs Faber and Faber's volumes of poetry (and prose) had `blurbs' written by T. S. Eliot, for many years one of the firm's directors? Professors Tanselle and Gallup, among others, have of late years spoken up for the recognition of the jacket as, in bibliographical terms, an integral component of the modern book: the former's paper to the Bibliographical Society (The Library, June 1971) entitled `Book-jackets, 85
D U S T- J A C K E T or D U S T- W R A P P E R (continued) Blurbs and Bibliographers' is, indeed, the most comprehensive as well as the most persuasive study of the book-jacket published to date. In consequence it is probable that today most serious collectors in this field are willing to pay the premium that booksellers normally charge for its presence. They need to remember, however, that since the marriage of book and dust-jacket was never meant to be permanent, divorces can all too easily be followed by re-marriages; and it may take a shrewd eye to tell, without external evidence, whether the jacket on a modern first edition has always been on it or came from another copy. Often this may be no great matter. But did it perhaps come from a later edition ? Anyway, one should never be so dazzled by a clean dust-jacket as to omit scrutiny of the cloth beneath it; for once in a while the alien character of the former will be exposed by the fact that the latter is quite shabby. EARLY PRINTED Fifty years ago this would have meant, to most collectors, incunabula: that is, books printed in the 15th century. Sixty-odd years ago it would have included post-incunabula. Today, if a man says he collects early printed books he generally means that his interest is bounded by the year 1600 or thereabouts. For English books ­ though the term is mostly applied to books collected as printing rather than for their contents, and is therefore more often used of Continental books ­ the category may extend to 1640. This was the last year before the abolition of the Star Chamber, which had gagged English printing, and a date which has become a bibliographical landmark (rather like 1500), as the end of the span covered by the short-title catalogue. Some booksellers, however, interpret the term a good deal more liberally when listing a group of books under this heading in a catalogue. This will in one case be due to the cataloguer genuinely considering that 1695, say, is `early'; and since time is a relative thing, who shall contradict him? In another, it may possibly be that he cannot see any interest of author or subject in the book, but hopes that the label `early printed' will help to sell it. EBAY The one international auction website that has swallowed all competitors, including `'. It operates on the ancient principle of `sale by candle': that is, bids have to be placed by a certain time, 86
fixed in advance. The successful bid is the highest placed before time runs out; there is, for any well-contested item, quite a flurry of bids as the eleventh hour draws to a close. Bidders operate under a nom-devente, confided en clair to the vendor, if successful. The whole system, description (with illustration), competition, settlement (by credit card), despatch, is determined with admirable efficiency by the eBay software. But the very ease of the system makes caveat emptor the more necessary (see auctions (2)). It is far easier to get swept away by the chase than in the conventional saleroom, to forget that descriptions and estimates are the work of amateurs, that digital photographs can be improved by `image-enhancement'. But used with all due caution, it is an easy and painless way to buy and sell books, especially those reasonably familiar. EDGES Unless specifically qualified (e.g. gilt tops), this refers to the three outer edges of the leaves (top, fore-edge and tail), which may be uncut (or cut), trimmed, gilt, gauffred, sprinkled, stained (usually red or yellow: in Irish books of the second half of the 18th century sometimes green or blue), marbled or (rarely ­ a French style) gilt on the rough. It may also be properly applied to the edges of the boards, when these are decorated with a fillet or roll, commonly from the 16th to the 19th century, even when (as in the 18th) the boards themselves are undecorated. EDITIO PRINCEPS Latin for first edition. Purists restrict the use of the term to the first printed edition of a work which was in circulation in manuscript before printing was invented. It is common usage for any first edition of a classical author. There is old and respectable precedent for its use in a wider sense, simply as a synonym for first edition; but this is apt to sound a trifle affected today. EDITION AND IMPRESSION Strictly speaking, an edition comprises all copies of a book printed at any time or times from one setting-up of type without substantial change (including copies printed from stereotype, electrotype or similar plates made from that setting of type); while an impression or printing comprises the whole number of copies of that edition printed at one time, i.e. without the type or plates being removed from the press. 87
E D I T I O N A N D I M P R E S S I O N (continued) In most books before 1750 the two terms in effect mean the same thing, for the printer normally distributed his type as soon as possible after it had been printed from; and if more copies were wanted he reset it, thus creating a new edition. For in the printing houses of those days labour was cheap, type metal expensive and printing presses few. Moreover, from 1586 the legal limit of the number of impressions to be taken from one setting of type required the text to be set twice contemporaneously, a phenomenon insufficiently noticed. In the third quarter of the 18th century, however, London printers began to reprint best-sellers from standing type, usually several impressions in quick succession; and indeed at all periods new impressions have often been described in imprints and advertisements as new editions. With the increase of mechanisation in the nineteenth century practice moved steadily towards the modern system, whereby type or plates are kept `standing' (as the phrase is) in case reprints are called for; and the edition, in its strict sense, might therefore be subdivided into a number of different impressions, which might or might not be adequately differentiated. Thus a `tenth impression' printed from the same type-setting five years after the first, would still be part of the first edition ­ and so, for the matter of that, as Professor Bowers and other pundits have warned us, would a photolithographic or xerographic off-set impression printed five hundred years after the first. This presents the first edition collector with a prospect of the most frightful anomalies ­ in theory. And sometimes, it is true, the difficulties are real ones both to him and still more to the bibliographer. But the majority of these are solved in advance, for all but pedants, by the sensible convention that first edition, unless qualified in some way, shall be deemed to mean first impression of the first edition. This has been taken for granted for so many years that it hardly needs saying. And the term impression, in the sense here discussed (see impression for others), seldom needs to be used at all by the ordinary cataloguer. See also issues and states. EDITION-BINDING Wholesale quantity binding (actually almost always casing) to the order and at the expense of the publisher or distributor, as opposed to individual binding executed for the retail bookseller or the purchaser. 88
ЙDITION DE LUXE Any book produced to be admired for its appearance rather than read qualifies for the description йdition de luxe, and a good many others have had it applied to them for the not necessarily relevant reason that they were issued in a limited edition. It is appropriate that we use a French phrase, because the French have been, since the 17th century, past masters in the production of such books, which have always held the place of honour in French collecting taste. The йdition de luxe is as old as printing. In the 15th century a certain number of copies of any imposing book would sometimes be printed on vellum; aldus might print a few copies on blue paper; `fine paper' copies, at a higher price, were common enough among 17th and 18th century books (see thick paper) and large paper copies have been established luxuries for the past four centuries. Of illustrated books, some copies will often have been printed with the plates in proof state or on a special paper. And from the 1890s onwards many йditions de luxe have been signed by their authors or illustrators. When W. Carew Hazlitt said, in 1904, that the йdition de luxe was `dilettantism in extremis', he was reacting rather crustily to a then recent craze for limited de luxe editions of books by contemporary writers, which he regarded as merely a method of fleecing credulous collectors. While it is not true that all such productions are bait for suckers, it is true that the phrase has been used to dignify a large number of shoddily pretentious books published at fancy prices. And since these prices are by no means always maintained in the realistic arena of the secondhand market, the novice collector will do well to cock a sceptical eye at any book which seems to have nothing but `E.D.L.' to recommend it. E DWA R D S O F H A L I FA X The Edwards family (William and five sons, of whom James was the ablest) were booksellers and publishers as well as binders, but it is in this last capacity that they qualify for a separate entry in this book because they had three specialities popular with collectors, examples of which, therefore, are likely to be attributed to `Edwards of Halifax' even when (as almost invariably) unsigned. These specialities were fore-edge painting, a technique revived and popularised by William and continued particularly by Thomas; the etruscan style of decorating calf, if not evolved by William, at least very early and successfully adopted by him; and a process, patented by James in 1785, for rendering vellum transparent and painting or drawing designs on the under-side, so that when used for decorating the covers of a volume they were protected from wear and tear. 89
E DWA R D S O F H A L I FA X (continued) All three specialities seem to have been carried on both in the Edwardses' home town of Halifax, where Thomas was in business until 1826, and in London, where James and John opened a bookshop in Pall Mall in 1784 and Richard another in Bond Street in 1792. But regardless of its place of origin, any binding of the period which approximates in style to any one of the three specialities (not to mention many a vellum binding with blue lettering-pieces and keypattern gilt tooling in the prevailing neo-classical style) is apt to be attributed to Edwards of Halifax. ELECTROTYPE The process whereby a thin copper shell is deposited on a block or page of type by galvanic action is called electrolysis. An electrotype is the shell filled with type-metal, which provides a printing surface more accurate than stereotype and more durable than type-metal. Invented in the 1830s, electrotypes were used for good quality and long-run work for over a century. ELSE FINE A favourite phrase with the never-say-die type of cataloguer: used in such contexts as `somewhat wormed and age-stained, piece torn from title, headlines cut into, joints repaired, new lettering-piece, else fine '. `Second impression, else fine', noted by Carter, is an extreme case. EMBLEM BOOKS A specialised type of illustrated book made popular in the 16th and 17th centuries by the best-selling emblematic texts of Andrea Alciati and Cesare Ripa, which had many imitators. The emblem was a wood-cut or engraving giving pictorial expression to a moral fable or allegory and interpreted by a motto, epigram, or brief sentence. One of the first to be published in England was A Choice of Emblemes by Geoffrey Whitney, 1586; the most famous, Benlowes' Theophila 1652. The vogue for emblem books was undoubtedly due to the illustrations, often the work of leading artists. This led to its extension to similar texts, from the ancient fables of Aesop to the Fables of La Fontaine (whose success was so great as to extinguish its exemplar). EMBLEMATICAL Used to describe appropriate ornaments or symbols on leather bindings; e.g. hunting horns for Surtees, eagles for Napoleonica, harps for 90
Ireland. The binder Thomas Gosden adorned copies of The Compleat Angler with piscatory emblems. EMBROIDERED BINDINGS Bindings embroidered with elaborate designs were certainly put on MS. service books in medieval times, though hardly any English examples have survived. There are plenty of 16th century specimens, some of them with a royal provenance; but the heyday of the art, when designs embodying flowers and foliage, sacred emblems or royal portraits were worked on silk, was the first half of the 17th century. Some of these are plainly amateur work, but many were undoubtedly executed by professional embroiderers. Larger books thus decorated sometimes have the design in relief, executed in stumpwork. Specimens from this period are generically called needlework bindings. E N C A P S U L AT I O N A process by which a single sheet can be vacuum-sealed within an envelope of inert plastic; if previously subjected to deacidification, the content is proof against decay and even quite vigorous handling. ENDPAPERS, ENDLEAVES With rare exceptions, endpapers are not part of the book as printed. They are the double leaves added at front and back by the binder, the outer leaf of each being pasted to the inner surface of the cover (known as the paste-down), the inner leaves (or free endpapers) forming the first and last of the volume when bound or cased. Occasionally (in very cheap books since about 1880, in some war-time `economy' publications, and in certain modern private press books) blank leaves of the first or last section have been used as endpapers. The technical term for this is own or self ends. Leather-bound and vellum-bound books from the middle ages to the 17th century, particularly those with wooden boards, sometimes had only a paste-down, a narrow strip covering the bands (also known as a guard), or rarely no endpapers at all. For leather and half leather bindings, marbled endpapers have been used since the 17th century. In edition-bound books from the middle of the 19th century endpapers were often of slightly shiny paper burnished with flint, and hence known as, `flint paper'; usually tinted (though white on the underside, i.e. the inner-facing pages of the free endpapers); sometimes patterned; occasionally printed with publisher's advertisements. 91
E N D PA P E R S , E N D L E AV E S (continued) In modern books they may carry maps, genealogical trees, illustrations, etc. In more elaborate leather bindings they may be of silk or some other special material, when they are called linings or liners. In really sumptuous bindings the paste-down may be replaced by a doublure of leather. See linings. ENGRAVED TITLE Instead of, or in addition to, the letterpress title-page printed with the text, an engraved title, printed from a copper plate and often with a complex emblematic design reflecting the subject or purpose of the book, was inserted. Such titles would also serve independently as advertisements; they are often found in conjunction with an engraved frontispiece. The practice was common from the mid-16th to the early 19th century. E N G R AV I N G S Illustrations or decorations printed from a metal plate (intaglio), or (in relief ) from the end-grain of a wood-block, whose surface has been incised with a graver or burin. The metal was usually copper from the late 15th century until about 1820, when steel began to be used. See also illustration processes, wood-cut. EPHEMERA Any printed material not in book form. The standard definition is so wide as to include anything from a twelve-sheet poster to a cigarette card. Nor is it wholly accurate: any piece of printed matter before 1500, anything printed in Britain or in English before 1800, falls into the bibliographer's maw. But it is after 1800 and with the invention of lithography that ephemera, in the sense in which they are collected, take off. Trade cards, kalendars, tickets, labels, all printed earlier, become more florid. Posters sprouted new display types, rivalled by even more elaborate decorated letters; printing in colours, gilt, embossing, cut-out shapes, enlivened usage that stretched from state funerals to the Great Exhibition, from newspaper supplements to picture postcards, besides the needs of hundreds of different trades and industries where the new arts of packaging and salesmanship depended on the new techniques of a now mechanised printing industry. Ephemera now enliven book-fairs; even the most serious bookcollector can hardly refuse a publisher's prospectus for a book or books in which he or she is interested. 92
ERASURES The commonest occasions for erasure are names or other inscriptions on half-title or title (usually legible under ultra-violet light): often clumsily effected by a previous owner (perhaps ashamed of parting with the book), but sometimes with more care by, or for, a collector or bookseller willing to sacrifice evidence of provenance for a clean page. If the erasure is circular or oval, about an inch across, the odds are that its object was a library or personal stamp. Erasures (usually made with very great care) near the centre of the title-page, or in modern books in the upper part of its reverse side, invite suspicion. There is always the possibility that the words removed were not written but printed, and that they may have been Second (or nth) Edition (or Impression).
See curiosa.
E R R ATA Mistakes and misprints discovered after the book has been printed; also called corrigenda, and in some early books by the homely name of `faults escaped'. It is by no means uncommon, especially in the 16th and 17th century, to find these corrected by hand or even in the text as printed. In some books, moreover, though the errors and misprints were corrected during printing, errata slips or leaves were, nevertheless, provided for the whole edition, for the benefit of any copies which might contain even partially uncorrected text. Of such books (e.g. Fielding's Tom Jones 1749) it is customary to prefer those copies which have both the errata and a completely uncorrected text. If the errors are noticed before the prelims have been completed (these being customarily printed last), there is sometimes a spare page or part of a page to accommodate them. If not, they may be printed on a slip, or on an extra leaf, to be pasted in any blank space or tipped in when the book is bound. The same method is used for dealing with addenda (things to be added). When a book was published in several volumes appearing at intervals, later volumes sometimes contained lists of errata or addenda for the earlier. It sometimes happens that the errors are not detected until after the book has been published, so that early copies will already have been issued when the decision to print an errata slip or leaf is taken. But it is only rarely that documentary evidence exists to prove this one way or the other; and since errata slips, by their nature, are liable to accidental omission or detachment, they pose a frequent problem to
E R R ATA (continued) collectors. For, of a book in which an errata slip is sometimes found, are they to consider that a copy without it is incomplete? Or is it justifiable to conclude, if there is no sign that it ever contained one, that this copy was issued before the slip was printed? In default of external evidence, judgement can only be empirical. Where the large majority of recorded copies contain an errata slip or leaf (e.g. Gibbon's Decline and Fall 1776, Bulwer Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii 1834) its absence will be considered an imperfection. Where one is seldom found, or where it is absent from presentation copies or copies with early inscriptions, the presumption is that it was printed after publication ­ e.g. Copernicus' De Revolutionibus Orbium Cжlestium 1543. A further complication is introduced when additional errors are noticed after an errata slip has been printed, necessitating an enlarged list ­ e.g. Keats' Endymion 1820, which sometimes has a slip with a one-line erratum, sometimes five lines of errata, and sometimes both; but, being hardly ever found without any at all, is usually thought to require one. Of Sir Thomas Browne's Urne Buriall and the Garden of Cyrus 1658 on the other hand, three issues are tentatively distinguished; (1) the commonest, without errata, (2) much less common, with an errata slip of 18 lines, and (3) very rare indeed on present evidence, with a slip containing 24 lines of errata. Booksellers are naturally disposed to make the best of their offerings; and unless they have been given a ruling by the bibliographers, the catalogue note may read either `complete with the errata slip', or `early issue, without the errata'. ESTC The Eighteenth Century Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in Britain or in English Overseas follows STC and wing as `the record of the National Printed Archive', to be followed by nstc for the 19th century. Unlike its predecessors, it was planned from the outset (under the general editorship of Robin Alston in London and Henry Snyder in America) to be computer-based. `short-title' only in name, it provides extensive details, following marc rules, including locations of all copies so far recorded. The abbreviation ESTC has now been re-invented, piling Pelion on Ossa of confusion, for the English ShortTitle Catalogue, an on-line catalogue that includes all books covered by STC, wing and ESTC in its previous manifestation. 94
ESTEEMED This term, applied to an author or an edition, was once a great favourite with booksellers, and it may still be found in catalogues of traditional style. It means, in effect, `collected', and suggests that whatever the author's standing may be among readers or literary critics, he has been canonised by book-collectors. When used, as often, of an author who was once fashionable but is so no longer, its intention (however unconscious) is something between an incantation and a threat: designed to persuade humble or credulous collectors that if soand-so has been collected by others, it is their duty to follow suit. ESTIMATE Lists of estimates of the probable saleroom prices of lots in auctions were once written out by the book department and kept in the auctioneer's clerk's desk, for the porters' use to answer lay enquiries during viewing. Pressure from those who did not view (and felt excluded from a useful source of information) forced the inclusion of printed estimates in catalogues. This encouraged the usually justified assumption that the low estimate was the same as the reserve. So far from giving away a valuable secret, this benefits both vendor and auction house, who can more easily impose their own expectations on the market. ET INFRA This phrase, which is Latin for and below, is used in describing a collection or set of books not all of the same size. For instance, `74 vols., 8vo et infra' means that the largest volumes are of octavo size, while others are 12mo and/or smaller. ETRUSCAN STYLE (of binding) Defined by Oldham as `the decoration of calf bindings by means of acid staining, with classical ornament, e.g. Greek vases, palmettes, Greek key-pattern, etc. usually as a border round a plain tree-calf panel [though a central ornament, such as a figure, is not uncommon]; some simple gold tooling was sometimes combined with the staining, which was usually in terra-cotta and black'. The style was a speciality of edwards of halifax and seems to have been invented either by them or their contemporary John Whitaker. It was popular during the period of the `classical revival' in the other decorative arts ­ say 1785 to 1820. 95
E VA N S American Bibliography, A Chronological Dictionary of all Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications printed in the United States from 1639 to 1820, by Charles Evans, 13 volumes, 1903­55 (vol. 13 by C. K. Shipton), Index 1959 and Supplement 1970 by R. P. Bristol. Frequently quoted simply by number (cf. sabin, blanck). Now in the course of revision in the American Antiquarian Society's computer-based Catalogue of North American Imprints, incorporated in estc. EVEN WORKING When the extent of a book makes up a number of full sheets, it is said to constitute an even working. EXCESSIVELY An adverb of enthusiasm, frequently and irritatingly mis-used with the adjective rare. Rarity may be extreme, notorious, ultimate, even legendary; but it cannot be excessive. EX-LIBRARY This term was once only applied to books which had at one time been in a commercial lending library. Even in pre-cloth days these libraries sometimes identified their property by a printed label pasted on the inside or outside of the front cover; and in books of this date which are otherwise in good order such labels are regarded with tolerance by collectors and by bibliographers with relish. It was in the second half of the 19th century that the practice of sticking large labels on the outside front cover became really common; and novels, being intended mainly for borrowers not buyers, are particularly liable to have been thus disfigured. W. H. Smith and some other English libraries pasted their labels inside; and these, though they will normally be mentioned by the cataloguer, are viewed more leniently, if the copy is otherwise clean and sound, which ex-library copies seldom are. But for cloth books, whether outside labels have been left in place or whether, as often with books of any consequence, they have been removed, their presence or traces are regarded with lively disfavour by most experienced collectors and with contempt by the fastidious. Ex-library copies will be admitted only when experience has proved that no better copy can reasonably be expected ­ or, of course, afforded. When an expert job has been made of the removal of library labels, which often means re-casing the book, it is not always easy to detect 96
their traces. But even if the tell-tale signs of recasing are absent, the discoloured oblong patch at the top of the front board left by the labels of Mr Mudie, or the smaller shield-shaped scars inherited by more modern books from Messrs Boots, will often have had to be touched up to match the rest of the front cover. And even if this is not betrayed by a generally over-varnished air or an imperfect adjustment of colour, the marks are almost always visible when the book is held at an angle in a good light. Books released, or de-accessioned, by public or even reference libraries, are more easily recognisable by shelf- or classification-marks stamped or written in white ink on the spine, pockets pasted to the front paste-down, a superfluity of labels or stamps, rebinding in a library binding, and other signs of heavier use.
See book-plate.
EXTENDED (1) When used of individual leaves, this means that the inner margin has been renewed (cf. re-margined): an operation more often necessary with title-leaves, frontispieces, plates, maps and final leaves than elsewhere in the book, since these will be the leaves most likely to have come loose and consequently got frayed or otherwise damaged at the inner edge. Occasionally, however, if a book has to be made-up from a narrower copy, the alien leaves may be extended at the inner margin so that their outer edges range with those of their neighbours. (2) As applied to a whole volume or volumes ­ see extra illustrated.
EXTENT The length of a book, expressed by the number of pages in the printer's pagination, including the prelims, if separately paginated, thus: `x, 390'.
EXTRA (of binding) A binder's term, possibly invented by Roger payne, whose invoices show a taste for superlatives, for a copy which has been bound and `finished' (i.e. lettered and decorated) in the most elegant style (saving, of course, super-extra), with all edges gilt and usually a good deal of gilt decoration. While applicable to any kind of leather, it is used chiefly of morocco bindings.
EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED In 1769 James Granger published a Biographical History of England with blank leaves for the addition of portraits, etc., to the taste of the purchaser. Hence grangerising, for the practice which he formalised and promoted. Grangerised or extra-illustrated books, as they are now more commonly called, are copies which have had added to them, either by a private owner or professionally, engraved portraits, topographical or topical prints, etc., independently acquired or (reprehensibly) cut out of other books; the process is sometimes extended also to include autograph letters, documents or drawings. Frequently plates have to be inlaid in larger paper to match the size of the volume. Occasionally a whole book, originally of smallish format, has its text inlaid throughout, in order that plates of larger format can be inserted without folding. Sometimes two or three volumes will be `extended' to many more. There is no hard-and-fast border-line between a modestly extraillustrated book and a book which could equally well be described as having `a number of interesting portraits inserted'. But one might say that, for a copy to qualify, the additional matter would have to be sufficiently ample to necessitate rebinding, with extra leaves. EXTRACT As a noun, this is used of papers, articles, stories, etc., taken out of periodicals, transactions of learned societies or the like and listed individually. Sometimes called excerpts. See also disbound, offprint, preprint. FACETIЖ A subject-heading in booksellers' catalogues whose connotation varies widely. In addition to jest-books and oddities, it may include works which another would list under curiosa or even Erotica. But it is used for the milder of this kind of fare, and it retains a nuance of lightness or gaiety: Balzac's Droll Stories certainly, Boccaccio permissibly, The History of the Rod inappropriately, and certainly not KrafftEbing. FACSIMILES AND FAKES A facsimile is a copy of some object, a leaf or a whole book, so accurate as only to be distinguishable from its original by careful observation. It figures frequently in the nightmares of collectors, causes booksellers more trouble than almost any other factor in their business, and has been known to upset the studious equanimity of 98
librarians. For an exact copy is a menacing thing to those who pursue originals. It is important to distinguish the `facsimile reprint', better called a `reproduction', whose object is only to give an approximate visual likeness, from the true facsimile which is intended, honestly or dishonestly, to deceive the eye. Thus, at one time and another facsimiles have been made, with the most admirable intentions, of autograph letters, documents, broadsides, proclamations, maps, issues of newspapers, and printed books. These legitimate facsimiles may be made by photolithography or by one of the many other photographic processes. (There is also the so-called `type-facsimile': a reprint that follows the original as faithfully as it can with the type and paper available, but makes no pretence to exact imitation, except for Figgins's `Caxton Black', the type cut in imitation of Caxton's type 4 for a facsimile of The Game of Chesse in 1855.) Some of these facsimiles are good, some bad, many indifferent. Their producers sometimes have, and sometimes have not, indicated indelibly on them that they are facsimiles. When they have, it has sometimes been on the cover or on an additional leaf, which can be detached. Even clumsy facsimiles may deceive the inexperienced. The deception is usually, though not of course always, independent of assistance from a third party. A good facsimile may deceive even a moderately experienced eye at first sight, if it is of something the eye's owner did not know had ever been facsimiled and if it is found in respectable company. The invention of photography greatly increased the incidence of facsimiles (although some of the most deceptively exact facsimiles were done with pen and ink) and a prudent collector will scrutinise a document or a book with special care if its provenance starts in the second half of the 19th century. If there is, or has been, intent to deceive; if a facsimile of a pamphlet, say, has been carefully discoloured, treated with tea and heat, or otherwise given a plausible appearance of age; and if it is carefully placed among, or even bound up with, the sort of neighbours its original would have had, then its true character may be very difficult to detect. There is a story (doubtless apocryphal) that a very carefully doctored copy of a facsimile of The Compleat Angler (1653) was once passed as genuine, after the most scrupulous examination, by the authorities of the British Museum itself. The prudent bibliographer will examine any book that should arouse suspicion (an old book rebound in the 19th century, an unusually fresh but apparently early binding, or any notorious rarity, particularly if it has surfaced in an unexpected place) with special care. The surface and structure of the 99
FA C S I M I L E S A N D FA K E S (continued) paper should be observed and if possible compared with that of a copy whose provenance puts it beyond suspicion. The ink should be examined under a microscope or at least a high-magnification glass for the characteristic craquelure of age. Any discordant element, a single leaf (particularly the title) differing in any way from the rest, must alert special caution, lest any anomaly in print, paper or binding be found. But once the slightest suspicion is aroused as to the genuineness of a piece of printing, the odds against a facsimile of a whole book or pamphlet surviving rigorous scrutiny are enormous. `Easy as it appears to be', said Thomas J. Wise, `to fabricate reprints of rare books, it is in actual practice absolutely impossible to do so in such a manner that detection cannot follow the result.' Even with the reservation implicit in `cannot', this may seem a trifle sweeping to anyone who has been bitten, but it is true. For whereas autograph letters, drawings, etc., being unique, can be invented by a skilful forger (indeed, even printed books can be invented, as Wise himself demonstrated), a facsimile presupposes an original, with which it can be compared. With something very rare or unique, the comparison may be a laborious task, but it will be obligatory where there is doubt of authenticity. And, with the necessary margin for human fallibility, it may be said that no facsimile will stand comparison with its original. By far the commonest and most deceptive kind of facsimile, however, is one supplied to make good an imperfect book: whether of a leaf or two, part of a torn page, or even a few words. `Where such insertion takes the form of an honest and unconcealed facsimile from another copy of the same edition,' wrote mckerrow, `it is clear gain, for none but the most uncompromising of bibliographical purists would prefer an imperfect copy of a book to one so made-up.' Many collectors, faced with the choice in a very early or a very rare book, would agree. But the trouble is that even if such restoration ­ and it can be astonishingly convincing ­ was `honest and unconcealed' in the first place, the passage of time and changes of ownership may well have obliterated any but indelible evidence when a later collector comes to consider the copy to which it has been applied. Only when a facsimile has been made with intent to deceive (e.g. a first edition title for a second edition) is the result a fake in the proper sense; but the collector is concerned less with the motive than the fact. When the whole volume, or a whole section, has been washed, difference in the paper is the most likely warning of a facsimile leaf or leaves; for washing and the subsequent ironing will largely reduce, if 100
they do not remove, the most important difference between a page of print and the same page reproduced by any photographic or lithographic process ­ viz. that in the former the letters are impressed into the paper, while in the latter they lie upon it. This difference, in an unwashed leaf, can be seen if it is tilted against the light, and felt by any reasonably sensitive finger. Even good pen-facsimile, which at its best is better than photography, is often betrayed under a powerful glass by the fact that the edges of the letters tend to be too smooth. Yet these and all the many other tests will only avail, in the case of a skilful facsimile, once suspicion has been aroused. This is not to suggest that the collector should suspect a facsimile at the sight of any washed, ironed or repaired leaf; any leaf which differs slightly in size from its neighbours; any leaf whose stains, offset, wormholes or other peculiarities do not correspond with its neighbours'. He may have before him nothing worse than a made-up copy. But it is better to be oversceptical than over-trusting when a leaf or leaves in a book have a fishy look or feel. It remains to add that facsimiles have been made ­ never, presumably, with honest intent ­ of armorial, Grolier, `Canevari' and other prized types of leather binding. Also of publisher's cloth bindings, of which three well-known examples are Galsworthy's Villa Rubein 1897, Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh 1903 and Katherine Mansfield's Bliss 1921. FAIRS Fifty years ago, there was but one fair, organized by the ABA and held at the National Book League's premises in Albemarle Street (as it then was and they were). It was a modest affair, rather cramped for space, but a good social occasion ­ you saw everybody (not that many then) there. Now fairs are legion: the main ABA fair is now held at Olympia in June, but so are anything up to eight others in and around Bloomsbury, notably the PBFA's at the Russell Hotel. The PBFA itself (q.v.) holds many all round the year and all over the country. Finally, there are fairs in all the bibliophilic countries of the world ­ which provide an excuse for the trade to travel, sell books to each other and occasionally find (low be it spoken) a new customer. FANFARE BINDINGS `A style of bookbinding decoration developed in Paris in the 16th century having the following characteristics: a continuous interlaced ribbon, bounded by a double line on one side and a single on the other, divides the whole surface on both covers into symmetrical 101
FA N FA R E B I N D I N G S (continued) compartments of varying shapes and sizes; the central compartment is the most important and may be empty; the other compartments are generally filled with gilt tooling, the ornament often including naturalistic leafy branches.' (A. R. A. Hobson) The fanfare style was imitated, with varying degrees of fidelity, all over Europe. Its name derives from a much admired pastiche executed by Thouvenin in 1829 for Charles Nodier upon a copy of a book of his, Fanfares et Corvйes Abbadesques. FAVOURITE EDITION A term applied by antiquarian booksellers to some edition, never the first and not necessarily an early one, which has at one time been esteemed and may (or may not) be so still. While seldom wilfully misused, it is often the reflection of a slightly out-of-date taste, not to say information. F I L L E T, F I L L E T E D , F I L L E T I N G The fillet is a binder's tool: a revolving wheel with one or more raised strips on its circumference for impressing a line or parallel lines on the leather or other binding material. In the description of books the term is commonly used to mean the line or lines produced by the tool. It is seldom if ever used except of leather binding. Since about 1700 filleting has generally been gilded. A French fillet is a triple fillet, always in gold. FINE BINDING A term used exactly by the contemporary bookbinder, and more loosely by booksellers, to indicate a copy bound in a superior material and tooled more elaborately than the common binding used for the major part of an edition. FINE PAPER COPY In the 17th and early 18th centuries, when much printing paper was of rather poor quality, a small proportion of some books would be printed on a superior paper, often Dutch. Again, in the second half of the 18th and in the early 19th century part of an edition might be printed on a superior or thicker paper, at an advanced price; these were commonly advertised as on fine paper, but are sometimes described today as thick paper or special paper copies, (cf. large, royal, imperial paper). 102
FINGERPRINT A bibliographical device, depending on the comparison of several letters in adjacent lines selected on a random but uniform basis, designed to detect a book re-set from one printed from standing type. Examination of the letters standing immediately above the signatures on certain leaves serves the same purpose. FIRST EDITION Very, very roughly speaking, this means the first appearance of the work in question, independently, between its own covers. But, like many other household words, this apparently simple term is not always as simple as it appears. The question When is a first edition not a first edition? is a favourite debating exercise among bibliographers and advanced collectors; and some contributions to the confusion will be found in the present work under the entries on edition and impression, issue and state, `follow the flag', serials, secondary bindings, authorised edition, piracy, part-issues, first published edition, advance copies, copyright editions, prefirst, book form, first separate edition. FIRST ENGLISH EDITION First edition published in England of a book which had previously been published abroad: e.g. Shelley's Adonais (Pisa 1821, Cambridge 1829), Macaulay's Essays (Philadelphia 1841, London 1843). Sometimes (but better not) used for the first translation into English of a book already published in another language. See also `follow the flag'. FIRST PRINTING (1) This term is occasionally used by publishers (mostly in U.S.A.) in the statement of edition which in most modern books is placed on the back of the title-leaf; thus: `First printing', `First printing March 1920, Reprinted May 1920', `First and second printings before publication'. In the last instance, it is worth recording the practice of Victor Gollancz and other 20th-century publishers of sending a modest printing order with the copy for setting, subsequently increasing it, on more favourable reports of likely sales, once, twice or even more times. Each of these was declared the `second, third, nth printing before publication' (now you even see `first printing' or `first and second printing before publication'), and all before a single sheet had been printed. More legitimately, the phrase is used by bibliographers when stating the number of copies actually produced, and thence 103
F I R S T P R I N T I N G (continued) quoted by booksellers, when the number is low enough to suggest an enticing rarity. Thus: `The first printing was of 1,750 copies', `This first printing was limited to 525 copies'. See edition and impression. (2) In a different sense it is used to mean the first appearance of any work in print, when this was in some other than separate form. The Times of 31 October 1917, for instance, would be catalogued as containing the `first printing' of Housman's `Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries' (of which the `first edition in book form' was Valour and Vision, 1920, while it was `first collected' in Last Poems, 1922). Or again, of Mrs. Hemans's The League of the Alps, etc., Boston, 1826, the cataloguer would say `this edition contains the first printing of the author's best-known poem, Casabianca'.
FIRST PUBLISHED EDITION This implies that the edition so described was preceded by another (or even more than one) printed for private, official or similarly restricted circulation and not offered for sale to the public.
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION The first edition between its own covers of something previously published with other matter.
FLAPS Those parts of the dust-jacket turned in over the paste-downs; by transference, the blurb or other copy printed on them.
See hollow
F L E U R O N or P R I N T E R ' S F L OW E R A printer's typographical ornament, originally flower-shaped, cast as a single piece, but often designed to be used in multiple units (see also rules).
FLEXIBLE BACK That part of the cover of a book next the backs of the gatherings and pasted or glued to them; it had therefore to be flexible. For that reason, it was rarely lettered direct, although frequently decorated. When book-shelves began to exhibit books spine outwards, lettered spines became normal and lettering-pieces came in. This
led to the innovation of the hollow back in the 18th century, and the disappearance of the flexible back. It was revived with the introduction of craft-binding at the end of the 19th century. FLOATED COPY `This term refers to books which were once inlaid [2(b)], then removed from the inlay and bound again, though now of course separate leaves. They may be recognised by a slight curl at the edges where the glue has left a permanent trace.' (W. A. Jackson.) FLUSH The edges of a book in an а la grecque binding, as of a modern paperback, are cut flush with its covers, which are thus without squares. F LY- L E A F Strictly speaking, this term means a binder's blank additional to, and following, the free front endpaper or preceding the rear. It is, however, often used of the free front endpaper itself. F LY- S H E E T A single sheet printed on one or both sides, somewhat smaller in size than a broadside or broadsheet. F LY- T I T L E A second half-title is sometimes found, in 19th and 20th century books, placed between the last page of the prelims and the opening page of text. This is called a fly-title. The term is also sometimes used of divisional titles in abbreviated form. FOLDED Unsewn, unstitched; usually of leaflets and the like, if the implication is that the piece was so issued; but occasionally referring to some accidental or deliberate failure to complete the process of book production; e.g. `a remarkable copy, in the folded quires as issued to subscribers'. FOLIATED, FOLIATION Foliation is the numbering of leaves (see leaf), as opposed to pagination, which is the numbering of pages. It is rare in books printed before 1475, when the majority bore no consecutive numeration at all; or after 1600, by which time it had generally given place to pagination. 105
FOLIO (1) A leaf numbered on the recto, or front. (2) The numeral itself in a foliated book or MS., and thus by a confusing extension the printer's name for page numbers of any sort. Normally included in the headline, they might also appear at the foot, along with the catchword. (3) A book of folio format, whose quires consist of full sheets of paper folded once (see format), and double the size of the ordinary octavo in both dimensions, and thus convenient, as Dr Johnson found, for striking a bookseller. `FOLLOW COPY ' The compositor's watchword, and his defence against the illegibility, inconsequentiality, impenetrability or errors of the author's text. But often he failed to follow its dictate, the itch to correct or normalise being too great. In extreme cases, however, he could take refuge in the full text of the adage, and `Follow copy out of the window'. `FOLLOW THE FLAG' The name given to a controversy which raged during the 1930s, which still occasionally breaks out, and which must always survive among collectors of English and American first editions of the 19th and 20th centuries. The question at stake is whether the axiom that first means first is, or is not, to be modified when a book is first published (whether by arrangement, by accident or by piracy) elsewhere than in the author's own country. With a few reluctant exceptions, French bibliographers ignore the claim of such editions on the attention of the collector: avoiding the dilemma of chronological priority by the use of the term йdition originale, which means, not the first edition, but the first authorised edition published in France. English and American collectors have so far found no such convenient formula for reconciling logic with sentiment. And their problem remains a serious one; for if many of Rousseau's and Voltaire's and Balzac's books were first published outside France, a quite surprisingly large number of sought-after English and American books of the past hundred and eighty years were first published on the opposite side of the Atlantic from their authors. It is these, rather than occasional earlier examples like More's Utopia (Louvain, 1516), which cause the trouble. Thanks to the more careful author-bibliographers, and in particular to the pioneer work of I. R. Brussel,1 the facts are fairly well established for most of the 1 Anglo-American First Editions, Bibliographia Series, no. IX, 1935, and no. X, 1936. 106
authors who have been actively collected in the past. But the decision to prefer (and therefore to be ready to pay more for) the actual first or the native first rests with the individual collector. The keen authorcollector will of course want both. The general, or the eclectic, collector may either adopt one rule or the other, or he may treat each case on its merits; perhaps giving some weight to an authorised over a piratical edition, probably giving more to the length of the interval between the first and the first native. The Philadelphia edition of Lamb's Last Essays of Elia 1828, for example, preceded the London one by five years; but the New York edition of Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1886 had the advantage by no more than five days. Further complications are presented by separate copyright editions, by the relative priority of editions consisting of the same text sheets with one or more cancel titles, or separately printed from a single setting of type. Simple chronology may not be enough: Tauchnitz editions, published after the `first' English or American editions, were sometimes set from proofs representing an earlier state of the text. Special problems are presented by the work of authors who have long resided, or even become naturalised, on the other side of the Atlantic; e.g. Washington Irving, Henry James, T. S. Eliot, Aldous Huxley, W. H. Auden. With them, perhaps, chronological priority is the only alternative to chaos. See also authorised edition, piracy. FOOTNOTES A text too ancient or sacred to be altered by later hands might yet require explanation or enlargement, even in antiquity. Such glosses, as they were called (the word means `tongue ' in Greek, used here to distinguish the commentator's voice from the author's), might be interpolated within the text, or placed below or beside it. Glossing the Bible or legal texts was so widespread in the earlier Middle Ages as to require a complex interlocking layout of text and comment, simplified in the 15th century so that text was framed by the commentary, one correlated to the other by letters or other signs. The exigences of print led to further simplification. The practice of following a passage of text by the commentary or references to it was first used systematically by the French scholar Denis Lambin in the 16th century. A century later, Dutch printers further rationalised the process by placing notes at the foot of the page, with an asterisk or other sign to correlate them to the relevant part of the text.* The detestable further economy * Like this. The reader should consult A. Grafton, The Footnote (London, 1997) for more information on this subject. 107
F O O T N O T E S (continued) of placing such notes at the end of a book, or yet worse chapter, still persists although made obsolete by automated page make-up systems. See also shoulder- and side-notes. FORE-EDGE PAINTING This can refer to any painted decoration on the fore-edges of the leaves of a book, such as was not uncommon in the 15th and early 16th centuries, especially in Italy. The term is most commonly used, however, for an English technique quite widely practised in the second half of the 17th century in London and Edinburgh, and popularised in the 18th by John Brindley and (in particular) edwards of halifax, whereby the fore-edge of the book, very slightly fanned out and then held fast, is decorated with painted views or conversation pieces. The edges are then squared up and gilded in the ordinary way, so that the painting remains concealed (and protected) while the book is closed: fan out the edges and it reappears. The technique was practised by a few other English binders of the late 18th and 19th centuries, and a certain number of undoubted examples survive. But it was very briskly revived (in response to collectors' demand) in the 20th century: sometimes as an avowed modern craft, on modern books, but more often applied to suitable earlier books with intent to deceive. Some of these pastiches are remarkably skilful, so that it is often very difficult indeed to decide whether an individual fore-edge painting was executed in 1790 or 1970. Recognition of this fact, combined with the substantial output of bogus examples, has by no means blunted collecting enthusiasm. But it has made responsible booksellers, and should make all collectors, wary. By way of an authentic revival, a series of fore-edge paintings, signed and dated, were executed by Miss C. B. Currie for Sotheran's of London between the two world wars. The history of these, and earlier examples of the genre, has become the hereditary preserve of the Weber family, Carl, David and Jeff, grandfather, father and son. F O R E L or F O R R E L A term used rather loosely to denote inferior parchment, generally left in its natural colour ­ off-white or yellowish cream, used for cheap bindings. 108
FORGERY Forgery, which implies a deliberate fraudulent intention, is mainly confined, for our purpose, to autograph manuscripts, letters and documents, to inscriptions or annotations in books, and similar written, as opposed to printed, matter; and to fine early bindings. Though the word is properly applied to some printed examples of the art ­ the 1493 Columbus Letter, Forman and Wise's 19th-century pamphlets, The Oath of a Freeman in 1985, for instance ­ the openings for it are severely limited. The faking of books by the insertion of facsimile leaves is discussed above, under facsimiles and fakes. See also made-up. FORMAT This term (nowadays pronounced to rhyme with doormat) is defined by SOED as `the shape and size of a book'. In bibliographical contexts it is used to indicate the structure of a volume in terms of the number of times the original printed sheet has been folded to form its constituent leaves: modified when necessary by the subsequent make-up. Thus in a folio each sheet has been folded once, in a quarto twice, in an octavo three times; the size being thus respectively a half, a quarter and an eighth that of the original sheet. If the folded sheets have been gathered straightforwardly for sewing, then format will be indicated by a single term, e.g. quarto: if otherwise, the format of the completed volume will be expressed as, e.g. quarto in eights. (See gathering.) The methods of folding in books of the smaller sizes (especially 12mo and 24mo) have often varied and the bibliographical results are sufficiently complicated to drive most amateurs to mckerrow or gaskell, who elucidate most of them. But though the sizes of sheets vary substantially, thus producing subdivisions in the size of books, a terminology based on the method of folding has been found satisfactory for all but eccentrically shaped volumes. The principal formats, with their common abbreviations, are: Folio (Fo., of late years sometimes 2є). Quarto (Qto, 4to, 4є). Octavo (Oct., 8vo, 8є). Duodecimo (12mo, 12є, sometimes pronounced twelvemo). Sextodecimo (16mo, usually pronounced sixteenmo). Vicesimo-quarto (24mo, pronounced twentyfourmo) Tricesimo-secundo (32mo, pronounced thirtytwomo). It is the technical terms of the paper trade which provide the names ­ some, `median' or `royal', going back to the Middle Ages, others, 109
F O R M AT (continued) such as pott and elephant deriving from water-marks as ancient ­ for the sub-categories of size. Most booksellers' catalogues nowadays dispense with a terminology now unfamiliar to, and unnecessarily technical for, the majority of their readers. These know ­ or should know ­ that, from the early 17th century at least, a folio is a large upright-shaped volume and an octavo a small upright-shaped volume, while a quarto (between them in size) is essentially squarish in shape, the former generally with vertical chain lines, the latter with horizontal, although the use of double-size paper can reverse these effects. And where special precision is necessary ­ to distinguish between different issues or variants, or to establish a large paper copy ­ this is commonly effected by giving the measurements of the leaf (but see paper). Large folio, small folio, large quarto, small quarto are terms in constant use. But even the four traditional subdivisions of format ­ (downwards) royal, demy, crown, foolscap ­ are in practice almost never used for anything but 4to and 8vo. Foolscap is sometimes abbreviated to f 'cap. Demy is accented as in defy. To understand format, read mckerrow and gaskell: see also Graham Pollard's `Notes on the Size of the Sheet' (The Library, Sept.­Dec., 1941), and G. Thomas Tanselle, `The Treatment of Typesetting and Presswork in Bibliographical Description', Studies in Bibliography LIV (2001). FORME The forme (or form) is the body of type, locked up after imposition by the compositor into the chase and fixed on the bed of the press, which makes up whatever number of pages are to be printed at one operation of the press on one side of one sheet. One of the pressmen inks it with the ink-balls, while the other sets the sheet, lowers the tympan, runs in the whole under the platen, and pulls the arm of the press to effect the impression. The outer forme, which includes the first and last pages of the future quire, is generally printed first, the inner forme, with the second and last but one pages, second. By extension the word forme is used to mean the whole of the matter so printed, independent of its arrangement as subsequently folded. A compositor, to facilitate the work of the press, would often set by formes: that is, set his copy not sequentially but in the order in which the pages to be printed were required at the press, the outer and then the inner forme (see casting off). 110
F O U N T or F O N T (of type) Properly, a single casting of one size and style of type. Thus, in the strict sense a printer would order from the typefounder `a fount (i.e. complete set, with all the necessary multiples of common letters) of pica ( 12-point) Caslon'. But its commonest use, in bibliographical contexts, is in such phrases as `the first issue, with the author's name in a different fount from the title', or `the earliest state of p. 163, with the two wrong founts (i.e. alien types) in the word peppercorn'. The world-wide use of font (so spelt, more Americano) to mean a particular letter-design (nowadays computer-generated) is as illiterate as the use of `typography' to mean layout. It is better than type, but not much. FOXED, FOXING Of paper: discoloured, stained, usually with brownish-yellow spots. E.g. `edges foxed as usual', `plates foxed', `a fine copy except for some foxing'. Foxing is due to the chemical reaction of a microorganism on paper which has been badly bleached or insufficiently sized in manufacture, usually caused by damp or lack of ventilation. Some authorities derive the term (first noted in 1848) from the colour of the spots: most are silent on its origin. FOXON David Foxon's modestly titled English Verse 170150 (originally published in 1975, and reissued by the publishers of this book in 2003) is perhaps the most sophisticated of analytical bibliographies. It contains all important details, textual, physical and historical, of verse separately published in Britain or in English abroad in the halfcentury during which it became the most popular form of expression. `Not in Foxon' is as rarely found as `not in greg'. FRAME When used in descriptions of binding, whether of leather or (more often) cloth, this properly means a hollow rectangular design, usually simple, running parallel to the four edges of the cover, but with a space between it and them. If they were ever all used on the same book, the frame would be inside the border but outside the panel. FRENCH-SEWN Books sewn on bands inset in grooves sawn in the backs of the quires, obviating the need to shape the back over protruding bands, a process believed (perhaps wrongly) to have originated in France. See hollow. 111
FRISKET A thin iron frame, hinged to the tympan, securing the sheet to it and lowered with it to face the forme before the carriage is rolled under the platen. It was covered in paper with windows cut in it where, and only where, type meets paper. If the frisket slipped, the type-page failed to print cleanly; such errors were said to be caused by frisketbite. See also bearer type. FRONTISPIECE An illustration facing the title-page of a book (or, occasionally, of a division or section of a book). In collating an illustrated book which has no list of illustrations but in which, as often, the plates themselves are numbered in sequence, it should be remembered that the frontispiece is seldom included in such numeration. FULL (of binding) Full calf or full morocco simply means bound in calf or bound in morocco. The term is used, seldom necessarily and mostly just for emphasis, in contradistinction to half or quarter binding. FURNITURE Pieces of wood or metal used to make up the space in the chase round the type-pages, held in position by quoins. G A L L E Y P R O O F S or G A L L E Y S proofs, originally pulled from a forme already prepared for the press, date back to the 15th century. From the 16th, a single page held in a tray, the galley, could be proofed on the press singly or in groups. The galley had three fixed sides; the fourth, adjustable, was called the slice. Later, long continuous strips of lines as set would be kept, and proofed, in wooden or metal trays, called long or column galleys. Although recorded as early as 1773, they came into general use only in the 19th century, with the invention of the steam-press and the broadside newspaper. Inconvenient for reading, galley proofs pose an ugly problem in preservation and shelving. Yet even if they carry no marginal corrections by the author, they are prized by collectors as containing the uncorrected state of the text (and the printer's errors and misprints). 112
GASKELL Philip Gaskell's New Introduction to Bibliography was first published by the Clarendon Press in 1972. Several times reprinted, it has come to achieve the authority enjoyed by mckerrow when that book was first written. GATHERING A gathering (or quire or section) is the group of leaves formed after the printed sheet has been folded to the size of the book and before it is collated, that is, combined in proper order with its fellows for binding, a process also called gathering by binders. The sheet is the printer's unit: the gathering is the binder's. In octavos the gathering normally comprises one sheet folded three times; but in larger or smaller volumes it may consist of two or more sheets (for folio or quarto books), or of half a sheet (for duodecimos and below). For sewing folios as single units wastes labour and thickens the spine of the binding, whereas 24mo or 32mo foldings sewn in one are apt to impose a strain on the thread and to lie uneasily in the finished book. A volume of which the gatherings consist each of four leaves is said to be `in fours': it may be a folio in fours (i.e. one folio sheet sewn within another), a quarto in fours (i.e. sewn as folded), or an octavo in fours (i.e. gathered in half-sheets). In the 16th century folios were in fact commonly gathered `in sixes' (i.e. three sheets per signature); in the 15th century normally in ten. Each gathering usually has a signature in the lower margin of at least the first leaf, for the binder's guidance in assembly. (See, for instance, p. 33.) The centre of the gathering in the completed book can be identified, by the thread with which it has been sewn. (See, for instance, between pages 48 & 49 or 160 & 161.) See also collation, format, half-sheets, insert. It is nowadays common to find gatherings referred to as signatures ­ e.g. `wormholes in the last two signatures' or `complete with the blank leaf, which is part of the signature'. G AU F F R E D or G AU F F E R E D , or G O F F E R E D E D G E S Gilt (or silvered) edges decorated by the impression of heated tools, usually of the pointillй type. GENERAL TITLE If several parts of a book are sufficiently different from one another to justify divisional title-pages, the omnibus title-page at the beginning is known as a general title. Similarly, if several works
G E N E R A L T I T L E ( continued) published independently are later collected for re-issue as a composite volume, they will usually be provided with a general title. This is likely to be dated (if at all) with a later year than any of the original title-pages. GESAMTKATALOG DER WIEGENDRUCKE Leipzig, 1925, etc. Commonly abbreviated to Gesamtkatalog or GKW or GW, this exhaustive catalogue of 15th century printed books reached, with the first fascicle of its 8th volume (1940), the letter F. The continuation is still in active progress, under Dr. Holger Nickel at the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. Edited by a committee of German incunabulists, with much expert assistance from all over the world, it will presumably be, if ever completed, the definitive work in its field. The text is in German. The arrangement is alphabetical by authors. Location of all known copies of an edition is given when the recorded total is fewer than ten. G H O S T, G H O S T E D I T I O N A. W. Pollard once said that when a notice of a printed edition having no real existence had once appeared in print its ghost was never laid. Nothing has changed the validity of his observation, except that thanks to him there is now a useful term to define the phenomenon.1 GIFT BINDING This term is used (a) generally, of any leather binding done for presentation ­ school prizes, Christmas presents, etc. ­ not from the author; and (b) in a special sense, of certain types of publisher's binding designed, in wholesale quantity though often only for part of the edition, for the gift market. These are sometimes described as presentation bindings: a less convenient term, from its liability to confusion with an author's binding. G I LT E D G E S Unless specially qualified (e.g. gilt tops), this means that all three edges of the book have been cut smooth and gilded. 1 See also J. W. Carter in The Book Collector, Winter 1968, pp. 492­3. 114
G I LT O N T H E RO U G H A technique common in French but rare in English binderies, by which the edges of the leaves are gilded without being first cut smooth. It is designed to give the collector the best of both worlds ­ the elegance of gold without any sacrifice of margin; but it does not, like smooth gilt edges, keep the dust out.
G I LT TO P S o r TO P E D G E S G I LT Interchangeable terms meaning that the top edges only have been gilded, and implying that the other edges have been cut smooth or at least trimmed. If they have not, the book is described as gilt tops, other edges uncut or simply t.e.g., uncut. Some binders deplore the plural for either.
GOATSKIN Leather made from the skins of goats inhabiting the uplands of Anatolia or sub-Saharan Africa was both flexible and tough. It was already in use in Almohavid Morocco and Andalusia, and in the Levant from Cairo to Constantinople and as far east as Persia by the 13th or 14th century. First from the Levant, later from Morocco, such skins reached Europe by the 15th century. It is fashionable, and certainly safer, to use goatskin in preference to the traditional and usually erroneous geographic nomenclature. See levant, morocco, niger, oasis, turkey leather.
GOFF Incunabula in American Libraries. A Third Census, compiled and edited by Frederick R. Goff, New York, The Bibliographical Society of America, 1964, Supplement, 1972. First published in 1919, and long familiarly known as Stillwell (Miss Margaret Bingham Stillwell having edited its successor in 1940), this census now runs to 47,188 entries, fully buttressed with locations and references to bmc, hain, gkw, etc. Being alphabetically arranged by author, it is still apt to be the first reference book for incunabula consulted by booksellers, for whom `not in Goff ' has prospects that subsequent reference to istc cannot improve.
Outside specialist literature this is the accepted general term (though
see below), and on the whole the most satisfactory one, for all those
many varieties of type which look
, as distinct
G O T H I C T Y P E , G O T H I C L E T T E R (continued) from roman (the kind of type in which this book is printed) or italic (the kind of type in which this word is printed). There are three main groups of such types. The first is the textura or `pointed text' letter of the Gutenberg Bible, most early liturgical printing and the first edition (1611) of the King James Bible. This variety was called black letter in England, and collectors of the roxburghe period (and since) had a particular regard for small literary and other books thus denominated black-letter tracts. The second is rotunda, which was common in Italian printing until well into the 16th century, and longer in Spain. The third is bastarda, loosely applied to all the imitations of the vernacular scripts current in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries (Caxton's first type is an example), of which one form, the German fraktur, had the longest life of them all. Gothic types were the earliest ever designed, for the German pioneers naturally followed the manuscript bookhands prevailing north of the Alps in the middle years of the 15th century. Although in Italy these types lost ground fast to the roman letter, regional variations of Gothic were almost universal in the printing houses of France, the Low Countries and England, as well as Germany, till well after 1500. But outside the German-speaking and Scandinavian countries where Gothic types persisted into the 20th century, roman and italic gradually relegated gothic type to liturgical and legal printing and cheap vernacular books, to which, with a few exceptions (such as newspaper titling, funerary matter, and Yuletide greetings), and certain archaistic or nationalistic revivals, it has mostly been confined in recent centuries. GRAIN Leather has a natural grain which can be obliterated (see crushed morocco) or accentuated by pressing (see straight-grain morocco). The latter process was common at the time (c. 1820­30) when cloth was introduced as a book-binding material. The many different patterns of cloth grains were first identified by G. T. Tanselle, and are illustrated and classified in gaskell. GRANGERISED See extra-illustrated G R AV U R E The finest of reproductive printing processes evolved in the second half of the 19th century. It involved the creation of an intaglio ground 116
on a copper plate, either by a combination of hand-etching and engraving, or the similar treatment of an image projected on to the plate photographically ( photogravure). The process was mechanised with copper-faced cylinders instead of plates in the 20th century. To a publisher, the presence of gravure plates was a mark of distinction, to be commercially advertised. Antiquarian booksellers have been rather slow to pick this up. See illustration processes. GREG Sir Walter Greg (1875­1959), author of A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration in four volumes (1939­59), commonly cited as Greg. GROLIER LIST The Grolier Club of New York (called after Jean Grolier, a French bibliophile of the 16th century renowned for the beauty of the bindings executed for his books) has published many valuable exhibition catalogues and other bibliographical reference books. One of these is commonly cited without amplification, viz. One Hundred Books Famous in English Literature (1902); an American collector may say that he possesses 78 of `the Grolier Hundred', or a cataloguer will headline a book as `on the Grolier List'. (See high-spots) GROOVES The space between the boards and the spine must be pressed well in to make good hinges. These depressions are called grooves, French if the spine is flush with the boards, English if it protrudes from them. GUARD, GUARDED A guarded leaf or plate is one which is pasted, by its inner edge, on to the inner edge of an integral leaf or to a prepared stub, instead of being conjugate with another and thus sewn in as part of the gathering. For illustrations, which are often printed separately from the text on single leaves and need special care, guarding has been a common practice in book-production since early days; and the fact that they are so set in a book will not require mention in a catalogue description. But guarding is also a method of repair for old books which have given way in the folds, for leaves or plates which have come loose and got frayed at the inner edge, or for others which have been weakened by damp; e.g. `title and frontispiece guarded', or `last few leaves guarded'. If such leaves have actually been restored at the inner 117
G UA R D , G UA R D E D (continued) edge, they would be called extended; if at the outer edge, remargined. Sewing guards are narrow strips of vellum or more rarely paper placed outside or inside a quire to strengthen the sewing when originally bound. In rebinding a book with narrow inner margins, too narrow to open easily if conventionally bound, the text block may be sewn to meeting guards, folded stubs that support each quire and themselves constitute the bound structure of the book. See also cancels, tipped in. GUIDE LETTERS uring the early decades of printing the manuscript practice persisted, though dwindlingly, of leaving d initial letters to be put in by the hand of the illuminator or rubrisher. Since some of these craftsmen were no great scholars and therefore might not be sure what letter the word should begin with, the initial letter would sometimes be printed, very small, in the space left for painting. When the initials were put in, care would be taken to paint over these guide letters, as they are called; but when, as not infrequently happened, the book never was rubricated, the guide letter remains, rather forlornly, in the middle of an empty square. G U T TA - P E R C H A ( or C A O U TC H O U C ) B I N D I N G An invention of the versatile Thomas Hancock, this process by which a rubber solution takes the place of sewing for holding the leaves together, has been employed at intervals by bookbinders since about 1840. Lear's A Book of Nonsense 1846 was an early example, and the process was used for many of the illustrated `table books' of the 1860s. In most 19th century books so bound the rubber has perished, so that some, if not most, of the leaves have come loose. Since they are cut flush at the back, instead of being gathered in quires as for normal casing, it is difficult to make a tidy job of re-setting them. The same problem attends the preservation of paperbacks of the 1960s and 1970s, whose misnamed perfect binding, with a plastic rather than rubber solution, gave way even more rapidly than Mr Hancock's invention. GUTTER In normal bookseller's parlance, this means the margin or space between the inner edges of two facing pages, a fact so obvious as 118
hardly to justify notice, were it not for the fact that, to the printer, the gutter is the opposite, the wider space left in the forme between the fore-edges of two abutting pages. HAIN Repertorium Bibliographicum, etc., by Ludwig Hain, 2 vols., 1826­38, and recent photographic reprints. An alphabetical list, by author (and where author unknown by title), of 16,311 books printed before 1501: about 45% of the total now recorded. Hain marked with an asterisk descriptions made from copies he himself had examined. Although seriously out of date in technique, and far from comprehensive, Hain is still cited in descriptions of incunabula; and deservedly for its fullness and accuracy where (but only where) he had examined the book. A Supplement by W. A. Copinger was published in 3 vols., 1895­1902. This is usually cited as Hain-Copinger. K. Burger published Indices to Hain in 1891 and D. Reichling a series of Appendices beginning in 1905. HAIR-SHEEP The Barbary or hair-sheep (Ammotragus lervia) has only recently been identified as the source of a leather similar to, but different from, goatskin. It has a more open and prominent follicle pattern than the latter, and may have passed for what was once called levant. HALF BOUND This normally means that the spine and outer corners are of leather (or vellum) while the rest of the sides are covered with cloth or paper (often marbled). Catalogue descriptions usually specify the kind of leather, and half morocco or half calf will be seen twenty times for every use of half bound; which indeed (except in the sparsest type of descriptive formula ­ where it will probably be abbreviated to hf. bd.) is seldom used unless the leather concerned is of some low-grade type, like roan or sheep, which it would be discouraging to specify. Half calf, reputedly an English invention, goes back to the 17th century but only took firm hold in the early 18th. Half morocco is rare before 1800. If there are no leather corners, the book is said to be quarter bound; if the leather corners are very wide, it is said (rarely nowadays) to be three-quarter bound. Half bound may also be used of a volume put up (not edition-bound) in cloth back and paper sides. 119
H A L F B O U N D (continued) More recently, incunables and early printed books have been described as half bound when bound in wooden boards with the spine and part of the surface of the boards covered with leather, the junction sometimes protected with a metal strip. This may have been a measure of economy, but the leather sides are usually blind- or even gilt-tooled, which suggests otherwise. HALF CLOTH, QUARTER CLOTH Cloth spine, usually with the title printed on a paper label, and paper board sides (no corners). A common publisher's binding style from the late 1820s for about fifteen years, found regularly on three-volume novels as late as the early 1850s, and occasionally on books of any kind since about 1890. Also used at any date since 1830 by jobbing binders, and in this context sometimes (and more correctly, on the analogy of half bound v. quarter bound) known as half cloth (with corners), quarter cloth (without). HALF-SHEETS Until printing machines came in that would perfect the sheet by printing both sides simultaneously, the half-sheet (all that could be printed and seen on one side of the sheet) influenced the work of both compositor (see casting-off, formes) and printer. Printing in half-sheets was a necessity if the complete contents of the book ended half a sheet short of an even working. But printers, as well as nature, abhor a vacuum, and would do anything to fill the sheet (see advertisements, cancels and prelims); as a last resort, the text of the last half-sheet would be set twice (if not already: see edition and impression) to make a full sheet, of which half the normal run would thus be printed. During the 18th century whole books were imposed in half sheets, an economy of printing time even if it doubled the number of quires the binder had to sew. The average collector meets the term in its other sense, viz., gathered in half-sheets, quite frequently at the beginning of the collation or description of books printed before 1800. For we often find those of the smaller sizes (16mo, 24mo and 32mo) to be sewn in gatherings of half the number of leaves in the sheet, viz. 8, 12 and 16 respectively. In the 18th century 8vos were sometimes made up in the same way. This modification of the regular method of gathering is expressed by some bibliographers as 16mo in eights, by others as 16mo in half-sheets. See format, gathering. 120
HALF-TITLE The leaf in front of the title-page (and of the frontispiece, if any) which carries on its recto the title (sometimes abbreviated) of the book, possibly a volume number or indication that the book belongs to a series, rarely the author's name, and very occasionally the price. The verso is often blank, but sometimes carries the printer's imprint, or in modern books (like this one) a list of other works by the same author or from the same publisher. (N.B. Sir Walter Greg, for 17th century books, used the term halftitle to cover also fly-titles and even what are here called divisional titles. Printers sometimes use the old-fashioned term bastard title. Some American bibliographers used to call half-titles fly-titles and vice versa, which is maddening.) The use of a preliminary blank leaf, to protect the title-page from dirt and damage before binding, was not uncommon in earlier days; but the addition to this leaf of some identification of the book dates from the second half of the 17th century. The half-title, as this leaf came to be called, has since become a common, though never universal, feature of book production. Half-titles can be a great nuisance to collectors (and book-sellers). Binders of the past removed them more often than not: partly as being inessential, like blank leaves; but in earlier days also from that ulterior motive which made binders so ruthless with margins ­ an eye to their sack of waste paper, which, sold back to the mills, provided a source of subsidiary revenue. It is not always easy to tell whether a book without a half-title should have one or not, unless there is a published collation to refer to. Normally the half-title will be the first leaf of the first gathering in the book, so that if examination shows that this unit is short of a leaf at the beginning, the inference is that the copy lacks either a half-title or a preliminary blank. Even so, only comparison with other copies will show which it was. But since prelims are usually printed last, and since their make-up is by their nature often irregular, an apparently even collation of the first gathering does not always mean that the book had no half-title; for this may have been printed on a final blank or other spare leaf, to be severed for binding in its proper place. HALKETT AND LAING Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature, by Samuel Halkett and John Laing, 4 vols., 1882­88. New and enlarged edition by James Kennedy, W. A. Smith and A. F. Johnson, 7 vols., 1926; vol. 8, covering the years 1900­1950, and vol. 9, Supplementary, by Dennis Rhodes and Anna E. C. Simoni, 1956, 1962. 121
abc for book collectors
Page head
Arranged alphabetically by the first word of the title, with an index of authors. Halkett and Laing is not exhaustive and its attributions are not all equally authoritative; but it is the best thing of its kind. It is less often mentioned by cataloguers than would be expected, seeing what a large number of books were published anonymously or pseudonymously. This is because its attributions are regarded as common property and are not normally credited to their source. Consequently, it is most commonly cited in such references as `not in Halkett and Laing' or `attributed by Halkett and Laing to Bacon, but actually written by Shakespeare'.
HAND-LIST In bibliographical terms, this word is commonly applied today to something considerably fuller than a short-title list or a librarian's `finding list', but considerably less full than a descriptive bibliography (cf. check-list).
HARD-BACK A back-projection from paperback, signifying a book issued in cased form by the publisher.
HARD-GRAIN MOROCCO A kind of goatskin used for binding, which when dressed has a very close, even, pebbly texture; the grain or pattern being much tighter than in levant, the leather itself firmer and, when made up, harder than niger. It cannot be so highly polished as levant.
HARLEIAN STYLE A description (often incorrectly applied) of an 18th century style of binding. It derives from the name of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford (d. 1724), and of his son Edward; great collectors, to both of whom Humfrey Wanley was librarian, and for both of whom the majority of their important bindings were executed in the 1720s by Thomas Elliott and Christopher Chapman. The general characteristics of the authentic Harleian style are; (1) an elaborate, if sometimes rather narrow, border, made up of one or more rolls, (2) a large central orna- ment, usually in the shape of an elongated lozenge, built up from a number of small units, (3) the predominant bright red colour of the morocco leather, specially imported from that country (see also turkey leather).
Running head
H AY WA R D English Poetry, A Descriptive Catalogue; First and Early Editions of Works of the English Poets from Chaucer to the Present Day. National Book League, 1947. (Illustrated edition, with corrections, 1950). This catalogue of John Hayward's personal but authoritative exhibition, with its valuable annotation, has over the years come to be cited by booksellers and auctioneers' cataloguers simply as Hayward; partly because it describes a number of books by authors who have to date no bibliography of their own, partly because it has achieved the distinction of a sort of Parnassus. (cf. grolier list).
HEAD The top of a book, as in head-margin or head-edge; other examples follow.
HEADBAND A decorative band, usually of silk or cotton, plain or coloured, worked over leather, cord, rolled paper, or (occasionally) cane, and fastened inside the top and usually also the bottom (hence, tailband) of the back (or spine) of a book as part of the process of binding. These headbands are sewn in to the leaves and sometimes also to the boards. Since the introduction of the kettle-stitch into western binderies headbands have been technically unnecessary; but though functionless for the past 240 years they have persisted as a decorative accessory. A made-up headband is sometimes inserted in an editionbinding to give a false impression of quality.
HEADLINE `A line of type at the top of a page, above the text, is called a headline; or, if it consists of the title of the book (or of the section of the book) on every page or every opening (i.e. two pages facing one another), sometimes a "running-title" or "running-head" ' (mckerrow). Properly, the headline refers to the whole line, including the folio (2), and the running title to the text part only. The Cambridge University Press's Manual, Preparation of Manuscripts and Correction of Proofs, distinguishes usefully between page heads, for book-title, section-title or chapter-title, and running heads for those headlines, usually on the right-hand page and changing with each turn-over, which indicate the contents of the two pages under view.
HEAD-PIECE A type-ornament or vignette at the head of a chapter or division of the book. HEBER Richard Heber (1773­1833) had the largest library (reputedly of 150,000 volumes) of the roxburghe era, especially rich in English and European literature. He it was who said that he needed three copies of every book, one to read, one to keep and one to lend. His sale, in 13 parts (1834­7), was a mine from which many later collections were formed. A separately printed catalogue of his English literature was issued. HIDE The complete skin of an animal, subjected as such to tanning or tawing. It is a safe description for the leather covering of a binding, especially if the cataloguer is uncertain which animal it once coated. HIGH-SPOTS `High-spot' collecting is a sort of dictated eclecticism. Somebody or other has listed or selected one particular book by an author as his best, or the commentator's favourite, or simply the one thought to be the most esteemed by collectors. And in due course people who collect on the table d'hфte rather than the а la carte system concentrate on this particular work to the exclusion of all the others, thus condemning themselves to blinkers and frustration and their booksellers to despair. Less prevalent than of yore, if only because the books are harder to come by, but still the resort of collectors with more money than sense. HINGES It would be convenient if hinge were always used to denote the inside junctions and joint the outside junctions of the sides of the binding with the spine. In practice, however, they are used almost indiscriminately, as are the terms re-hinged and re-jointed for books which have been reinforced or repaired at these vulnerable points. There is, certainly, a tendency towards the suggested distinction: `hinges weak' is more likely to refer to the inside, and `joints weak' almost certainly means the outside. But the binder's term morocco joints refers to the inside, and there is enough room for confusion in current usage to make some clear ruling desirable. See also tacket. 124
HINMAN COLLATOR A machine which employs a prism and mirrors to superimpose the image of one page on another, instantly revealing the slightest change in the text or its arrangement, invented by the late Charlton F. Hinman in the process of his work on the First Folio of Shakespeare. Other devices using similar principles have been introduced since. All are likely to be superannuated by image-digitising and the computer. HISTORIATED Of initials, capitals or borders, in manuscripts or early books: properly meaning decorated with histoires, i.e. figures of men or animals, rather than with floral or formal designs. H O L LOW, H O L LOW B AC K S `A form of binding in which the cords are recessed but the leather back [spine] is not glued or pasted on to them, so that when the book lies open the sides and the back all rest flat on the table, but the recessed cords bend upwards leaving a semi-circular space between them and the leather back' (Graham Pollard). A strip (or tube) of strong paper is pasted to the spine (or to both spine and the backs of the sheets), which is itself called the `hollow'. This technique was devised in France, in the second half of the 18th century, to make flat-back-bound books (see french-sewn) lie open. Adopted in England c. 1820, it never wholly superseded the tight-back binding, which was revived by Cobden-Sanderson at the end of the century, as part of the return to older, sounder bookstructures, pioneered by William Morris. HOLOGRAPH Adjective (not noun): meaning entirely in the handwriting of the author, and designed to distinguish documents wholly thus written from those to which the author only appended his signature or autograph. It is commonly used of substantial documents, such as the complete text of a literary or other work, as distinct from autograph letters, annotations, inscriptions, etc. `HONEST COPY' A copy whose faults (presumed by the use of the phrase) are plainly visible: it may have been washed or rebound or have otherwise departed from its original state, but no attempt has been made to conceal these facts, to suggest that it is other than it is. It has not been sophisticated, but neither is it unsophisticated (a description that 125
` H O N E S T C O P Y ' (continued) puzzles French bibliophiles, who are always extremely sophisticated in their tastes, and expect their books to be so too). H O R Ж , or B O O K S O F H O U R S Manuscript or printed collections of litanies, prayers, etc., for private devotional use at the canonical offices of the Roman Church. Variations of detail between one diocese and another are indicated by such phrases as `Horж of the Use of Rouen', or `a Book of Hours of the Sarum Use'. The output of manuscript Horж, during the 14th and 15th centuries particularly, must have been immense. The majority of printed examples derive from the years between 1490 and 1520, with Paris as the most active centre of production. HORN-BOOK `A horn-book was originally a leaf of paper containing the alphabet (often, also, the ten digits, some elements of spelling, and the Lord's Prayer) mounted on a flat piece of wood terminating in a handle and protected by a thin plate of translucent horn'. Horn-books were used from the 16th to early 18th centuries to teach children their rudiments, and A. W. Pollard once stated1 that authentic examples were rarer than First Folio Shakespeares, since they were the kind of thing nobody at the time troubled to preserve. This may have been true in 1911: it is still true to-day of authentic early horn-books. More luxurious models, made of ivory or even silver, are probably commoner. But for every genuine original there are probably a dozen modern fakes ­ some clumsy, some skilful ­ prompted by the high price of originals and the fact that no two are identical. IDEAL COPY This term, once popular among textual bibliographers, arose from the fact that books printed in the hand-press period (more rarely after) might be corrected during the course of printing, thus creating a moving target, difficult to strike at the ideal moment. Although it is possible in theory for an individual example of the book in question to conform to it, exhibiting the final intention of the author, publisher and printer at the completion of printing, in so far as this is capable of being established, the `ideal copy' is a sort of Platonic archetype, laid up where neither moth nor rust can corrupt it. In fact, there will inevitably be several `ideal copies', distinct in the circumstances of 1 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911, article `Book Collecting'. 126
their issue; it is also true that the accidents of time may have destroyed all such distinguishing features, so that the `ideal' copy or copies can only be restored by inference. But the term has now fallen out of fashion, those concerned preferring to chart the conventional signs of change than pursue a snark that may be a boojum. Both objectives are admirable and desirable, but the collector may be less interested in either than in the changes during printing or after publication that differentiate first from later editions, or the earliest state of the text ­ more often displaying errors or survivals of incomplete revision than considered intention ­ the pursuit of which has become habitual. See issues and states. ILLUMINATED, ILLUMINATION This general term means decorated by hand, whether in formal, floral or historiated style, in gold and/or silver and/or coloured paint. It is used of initial letters, single words, first lines or opening pages of (usually very early) printed books; but much more often of manuscripts, the margins of which may be extensively illuminated and which may contain full-page miniatures. ILLUSTRATION PROCESSES These are of two kinds; (1) the more or less direct product of an artist's tool (which may be a camera) and (2) photo-reprographic. The photo-reprographic reproduction processes are line-block, half-tone, photogravure, collotype, photolithography, etc. The other group, which includes most illustrations of interest to collectors of older books, may be divided into four sub-groups: (a) relief printing ­ e.g. the wood-cut or engraving on wood or (more rarely) metal; (b) intaglio ­ e.g. copper and steel engraving, drypoint, mezzotint, etching, aquatint and gravure; (c) planographic ­ e.g. lithography; and (d ) original, whether produced by an artist's tools or camera. Bamber Gascoigne's How to Identify Prints (1986, 2nd rev. ed. 2004) provides a beginner's guide to the history and recognition methods of the different processes. A more detailed and extensive survey, with an excellent bibliography, will be found in Printing 17701970 (1970, 2nd ed. 1998) by Michael Twyman. For technical details the reader is referred to Processes of Graphic Reproduction in Printing by Harold Curwen; for an historical introduction, to A. M. Hind's A History of Engraving or Singer and Strang's Etching, Engraving and the Other Methods of Printing Pictures, which also contains a full bibliography. See also block and colour-plate books. 127
IMPENSIS Latin for at the expense of: used in imprints or colophons of early books to identify the publisher or financially responsible bookseller or patron. IMPERFECT Used only of the interior of a printed book or manuscript; imperfections or damage to the binding being usually indicated by such terms as defective. An imperfect copy, anathema to fastidious collectors, is seldom so called unless it is pretty seriously incomplete; absent blanks, half-titles, errata slips, etc., being generally just noted as `lacking'. IMPOSITION The method by which pages were laid out, either by scribe or compositor, so that they appeared on the sheet, when folded, in the right sequence. See casting off, format, gathering, sheet. IMPERIAL PAPER COPY Imperial, like royal or crown (see format), is the paper-maker's name for a particular (large) sized sheet. But the term imperial paper copy was used loosely ­ and perhaps grandiosely ­ in the 18th and early 19th centuries as a synonym for large or fine paper copy. IMPRESSION (1) The act of printing a sheet on the press. (2) A single print, usually pictorial, taken from a plate, stone or block. (3) The number of copies of an edition printed at one time (see edition and impression); e.g. `the first impression was of 500 copies only', or `later impressions of the first edition bore no date on the title-page'. See thousand. (4) The term is also used of the quality of a piece of printing or (on a binding) stamping; e.g. `with fine impressions of the plates', or `only early copies such as the present one have a really sharp impression of the engraved title', or `with unusually clear impressions of the arms (see armorial) on both covers'. IMPRIMATUR Latin for let it be printed: the formula constituting the last stage, signature by an official licenser of the Press (whether secular or religious), authorising the printing of a book. Lesser officials would testify to earlier examination: nihil obstat (no objection) is the first 128
stage, followed by imprimi potest (it can be printed); authority for action then followed. Hence, by transference, an `imprimatur' constituted an official licence to print. Such licences, common in 16th and 17th century books of all countries, are usually printed at the beginning of the book; sometimes on a separate leaf, hence licence leaf. Other licensing officers, clerical or secular, employed Imprimatur as part of the permissions to print that they issued, which were often printed, sometimes on a separate leaf, in the book thus authorised. Official examiners might also read individual copies of books, whether listed in the index or not, and correct or delete passages accordingly (see bisquing). Cf. privilege. IMPRINT A notification to the reader (and to the legal authorities) of the person or persons responsible for the production of a book. Some of the earliest printed books bore no such note; but from about 1465 till late in the 16th century the printer's imprint was generally placed at the end of the book (and there properly called the colophon). It normally comprised the place of printing, the name of the printer and the date. With the development of the title-page during the 16th century the printer's imprint tended to be transferred thither (even if it was repeated at the end of the book); and from the latter half of the 16th to the end of the 18th century it was often combined with the publisher's imprint, in such forms as Printed by A.B. for P.Q. or for P.Q. and R.S. (sometimes with the further notice and are to be sold by Y.Z.). The meaning of these different formulae, which had a precise signification to the contemporary book-trade, is a matter of continuing research (notably on the light that they throw on the source of the capital that paid for the manufacture of the book, and on the distribution network, from wholesale to retail). Later, the lower half of the title-page came generally to be reserved for the publisher's imprint ­ again normally comprising place, name and date; the printer's name (and perhaps address) being relegated either to the back of the title (as in this book) or of the half-title, or to the end of the volume; in the 18th century it was frequently omitted altogether. Either kind of imprint may be accompanied by the printer's or publisher's device or mark. From 1799 the law (39 George III c. 79) required the name and abode of the printer to be given on anything he printed. This regulation is still on the statute book, but it must have been broken many thousand times by now. 129
I M P R I N T (continued) The word is also used in other contexts: for the publisher's name stamped on the spine of the binding (or printed on a paper label); or for a complete item printed by a given printer, or published by a given publisher, as in `a collection of Baskerville imprints'. INCUNABLE, INCUNABULA, INCUNABULIST The Latin description of early books as printed in cunabulis (in the swaddling clothes) of the new-born art of printing, converted into a bogus noun incunбbulum, plural incunбbula, to mean books produced in the infancy of printing, has for many years been further specialised to mean books printed before 1501. The Englishing of the word, in singular as well as plural form, as incъnable(s) is well over a century old (Dibdin's coinage fifteeners, endorsed by William Morris and Robert Proctor, has failed to catch on). For some of the most frequently cited reference books see british museum catalogue, proctor (arranged geographically by printers); gesamtkatalog der wiegendrucke, hain, goff (alphabetically by authors); and istc. Its earlier, wider meaning as `the earliest stages in the development of anything' (SOED) has been revived in such phrases as (of the May 1839 Bradshaw) `one of the incunabula of Railroadiana', or (of Einstein's early papers) `the incunabula of the theory of relativity'. INDEX The Index Librorum Prohibitorum, or list of books banned by the Church, has been issued by the Vatican at regular intervals and by other authorities in different places since 1557. To be `listed in the Index' suggests that a book was suppressed and (but it does not follow) rare and, at least doctrinally, risquй. Strangely, the successive Roman issues were not universally authoritative; the editions produced in other places have interesting local variants. INDIA PAPER (1) A confusing abbreviation for India Proof Paper, which is identical with china paper used for proofs of engravings; hence, India paper proofs or India proofs. (2) Oxford India Paper: a very thin, tough, white but opaque printing paper first successfully made in 1875 for the Oxford University Press in imitation of oriental papers. 130
INLAID (1) Of bindings: the use of coloured leather or leathers inserted into spaces cut in the main skin, the inserted pieces being called inlays. If the whole surface of the board is decorated in this way, it is said to be a mosaic binding. Cf. onlaid. (2) Of paper: (a) the insertion of a leaf or a plate or a cut in a window cut in a larger and usually stouter leaf, to enlarge its margins, and thus its whole size (often in order to range with other, larger leaves in a composite volume, when it is usually described as inlaid to size); (b) the laying down, or re-margining on all four edges, of a badly damaged leaf. INSCRIBED COPY Unless specifically qualified, this term means that the copy has been autographed or inscribed by the author. It often implies, further, that the copy has been inscribed to somebody or for somebody, or that a sentiment of some kind accompanies the signature. It is important to distinguish between a presentation copy, which is a spontaneous gift, and a copy inscribed by the author, often some while after publication, in response to an owner's request. The former naturally appeals much more strongly to the sentiment of collectors. The distinction is not, of course, always possible, since an author may genuinely present a book years after its publication date, or again may phrase an inscription written to oblige a stranger in the same terms as he would have used for a friend. And booksellers would not be human if they did not give ambiguous cases the benefit of the doubt. More often than not, however, the circumstances can be inferred from the wording of the inscription and the relation of its date (if any) to that on the title-page. INSCRIPTIONS Unlike inscribed, the term inscription carries of itself no implication that the author of the book is responsible. Inscriptions (on endpaper, fly-leaf, title-page, etc.) unconnected with the author or anyone else worth specifying will usually be mentioned in a bookseller's catalogue only if they are on the one hand prominent or extensive enough to be something of a defacement, or on the other hand seem of some intrinsic interest; though an important or expensive book will of course be more fully described in this as in other particulars. Modern books, however, are sometimes described as `with inscription on endpaper, otherwise fine' even when the original owner has merely written in his name and perhaps the date. This rather finicky 131
I N S C R I P T I O N S (continued) attitude, adopted in deference to the mint-condition fetishists, is resented by collectors who have a respect for a book's provenance, particularly at an early stage. I N S E RT, I N S E RT E D , I N S E T It is convenient to treat these terms together. An inset has been defined as `a folded section of paper placed within another, completing the sequence of pagination; an extra page or set of pages inserted in a sheet or book; an advertisement on a separate leaf inserted in a magazine, etc.' An inset or inserted leaf or leaves may be an essential part of a book's contents, but it cannot be integral to the book as printed and gathered for binding; e.g. `complete with the leaf of preface, which is an insert (or inset)', `with the inserted plan at p. 148', etc. A single leaf thus inserted is said to be disjunct. Inserted advertisements, by contrast, are normally printed independently of the books for which they are intended and are variable in their incidence in different copies. Finally, there is matter inserted in a book by one of its owners which, though usually associated in some way with it, is both structurally and by original intention entirely distinct; e.g. `portrait inserted' (this implies that the portrait does not belong in the book), `two leaves inserted from a shorter copy' (i.e. made-up), `autograph letter from the author inserted' or the like. When used in this last sense, inserted generally means bound in, sewn in or stuck in. When letters, cuttings or other such things are not physically attached to the book, they are properly described as laid in or loosely inserted. See also outset. I N TA G L I O The engraving processes in which the image is incised into the plate, as opposed to those where the surface is cut away leaving the image in relief (wood-cut, wood-engraving). INTEGRAL A leaf is said to be integral when it is physically joined to all the other leaves in a gathering: as distinct from a single disjunct leaf, inset in a gathering though printed independently of it; and even further distinct from some leaf like a binder's blank or inserted advertisement. E.g. `lacking Q8 which, although it carries only the printer's imprint, is integral to the collation', or `complete with the blank leaf R4, integral to the last signature (or gathering) but usually missing'. 132
I N T E R L E AV E D When a book is bound with blank leaves alternating with the printed leaves it is said to be interleaved. INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS Founded in 1948, ilab or lila (Ligue Internationale de la Librairie Ancienne) is a confraternity of the principal national associations, with an internationally elected president and committee, which provides certain common services to, and exacts certain common services from, its member-associations. It speaks for twenty nations and two thousand leading booksellers. Its sign stands for the integrity and professionalism of the trade worldwide, which its members are bound to support. The League sponsors book-fairs, publishes an international directory of member-booksellers and an international glossary (eight languages) of book-selling terms, and maintains a website with information about the book world and a database of books for sale (e-mail: [email protected]). INTERNET The internet has changed the face of bookselling and collecting in many ways. The website as a means of advertising stock or wants, always up to date, has obvious advantages, and only one disadvantage for the bookseller: how to ensure that customers, as well as competitors, log on? This is less of a problem than it was, as they too discover the value of search-engines for obtaining the books that they want. Their only problem is different: how to achieve a guarantee of the quality of what is on offer, even to the limited extent offered by, say, an auctioneer? Ludicrous examples ­ the same copy of the same book advertised simultaneously with very different descriptions and prices ­ may amuse the cognoscenti, but both bookseller and collector are aware that certain values, held in common, are at risk. ILAB and the various Antiquarian Booksellers' Associations recognise the risk, but attempts to negotiate with the Protean figures that control the searchengines have been less than fruitful. Perhaps more serious, in the long run, is the threat to the bookseller's catalogue, already abandoned by some. But those who deal in the printed word like to see it advertised in the same way: the pitcher is not yet broken at the well. ISSUES AND STATES When alterations, corrections, additions or excisions are effected in a book during a process of manufacture that may continue after 133
I S S U E S A N D S TAT E S (continued) `publication day' (itself a dubiously distinct event), copies exhibiting variations will go on sale indiscriminately. These variant copies are conveniently classified as belonging to different states of the parts of the book thus affected (not of the book itself ); to label them issues requires some connection with the progress of the edition. (An exception is the regular use of issue for variant title-pages, usually in respect of the publisher's imprint.) It may or may not be possible to determine priority of manufacture between them, but any priority of publication must be assumed to be accidental. When similar variations can be clearly shown to have originated in some action taken after the book was published, two (or more) issues are distinguishable. It is, of course, perfectly possible for different issues and different states to co-exist within an edition. For instance, some corrections may have been made to the text during printing (producing variant states of the leaves involved). Then one fearful howler, pilloried by a reviewer, has to be dealt with by substituting a corrected leaf (or cancel) in the copies still undistributed, which will thereafter constitute a second issue. Yet copies both of the first and second issue are likely to show an indiscriminate mixture of variations of state, none of which (it must be repeated) has any bearing on the question of priority of issue. Since differences of issue are bibliographically tidier and more straightforward than differences of state, and since the term falls much more pleasingly on the priority-conscious ear, a good many undeterminable cases have been, and no doubt will continue to be, given the benefit of the doubt. Yet in fact the onus of proof that an observed variation derives from a deliberate action taken after publication lies, or should lie, like an iron weight on the conscience of anyone who begins to write the word issue. It is a salutary, if rather too sweeping, proposition that all variants of this kind should be called states until they have been proved otherwise ­ or simply left as variants. The best definition of these distinctions is that put forward by G. Thomas Tanselle (`The Bibliographical Concepts of Issue and State ', PBSA LXIX (1975), 17­66) and now canonised in the Library of Congress manual Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books (2nd ed. 1991), which says it all: Issue: `A group of published copies of an impression which constitutes a consciously planned publishing unit. Distinguishable from other groups of published copies of that impression by one or more differences designed expressly to identify the group as a discrete unit.' 134
State: `A copy or group of copies of a printed sheet or a publisher's casing which differs from other copies (within the same impression or issue) of that sheet or casing in any respect which the publisher does not wish to call to the attention of the public as representing a discrete publishing effort.' See also edition and impression, the chronological obsession, points, point-maniacs, misprints, cancels, secondary bindings. ISSUE-MONGERS The issue-monger is one of the worst pests of the collecting world, and the more dangerous because many humble and well-intentioned collectors think him a hero to whom they should be grateful. He may be a bibliographer (usually the self-styled type), or a bookseller, or a collector, and his power for harm may be rated in that order. He is an honours graduate of what Lathrop Harper called `the fly-spot school of bibliography'. He is the man who, if he cannot construct a bogus point out of some minute variation he himself has discovered between two copies of a book, will pervert the observations of others to the same purpose. Show him a misprint or a dropped numeral, and he will whip you up an `issue-point' in no time. Show him a difference of a month between two sets of inserted publisher's catalogues and he will be good for a whole paragraph of dubious inferences. Show him a wrappered proof copy of a book which he happens not to have seen in that state before, and his cry of `trial issue' or `pre-first edition' will turn Pollard or McKerrow in the grave. His natural and unlamented prey are the point-maniacs. But unfortunately his more numerous victims are those collectors credulous enough to accept anything they see in print or hear declaimed with sufficient assurance about priority. Every difference has its significance and, properly regarded, its place in the history of a book's production, and as such is worthy of a collector's attention; but it does not have to prove a point. It is fair to say that issue-mongers are now not as numerous, as confident, or as influential as they were in 1952 when the preceding salvo was fired; which suggests that collectors and booksellers are more sensible ­ or perhaps that books once common enough to demand differentiation are now too rare to need it. ISTC A short-title catalogue (so called) of incunables, employing the same basic formula as estc, begun under the general editorship of 135
I S TC (continued) Dr Lotte Hellinga at the British Library. Its nucleus was goff, but it is now being enlarged to include records of all known copies of 15thcentury printed books. It supplements, without duplicating, the fuller entries of the gesamtkatalog. See also british museum catalogue, hain and proctor. I TA L I C The sloped version of humanistic script, given typographic form by aldus in 1500. First used indifferently from the upright roman for complete texts, then as an alternative to it. In 17th-century English practice, italic was used in texts set in roman type to signal proper names or other words for which some differential, usually rhetorical, was required; from this came its modern function of indicating emphasis. JACKET The usual term for the paper cover of a cased book, but hallowed here, by the abbreviations `d-j.' or `d-w.', under dust-jacket or dust-wrapper. JAMES Montague Rhodes James (1862­1936), Provost of King's College, Cambridge, and then Eton College, and author of a long series of catalogues of medieval manuscripts, including those of the Cambridge colleges, always cited as `James'; he also edited more books for the roxburghe club than anyone else. JANSENIST STYLE, JANSENISTE (of binding) Properly a French style of the late 17th and early 18th Centuries, in which outside covers of austere plainness were combined with an elaborate doublure or inside cover. As standardised by more recent binders, the outside is generally absolutely plain, while in England at least the doublure largely gave place to regular endpapering with deep turn-ins elaborately gilt with dentelle decoration or a correspondingly large border of multiple filleting in gilt. JAP(ANESE) VELLUM, JAPON Kinds of paper, rather stiff, with a very smooth glossy surface (not unlike vellum, hence the name), usually pale yellowish buff in colour; mostly used for йditions de luxe. Japanese vellum (in French, 136
papier de japon) is a costly paper, hand-made in Japan. Japon (anglice) is a British-made imitation. JOINTS The use of joints for the exterior, hinges for the interior, junctions of the spine of a volume with its sides is to be encouraged, as a convenient distinction. Joints seldom need to be mentioned in the description of a copy unless there is something wrong with them; and the degree of their short-coming is likely to be indicated in the order rubbed, tender, weak, cracked, loose, defective, gone. See also re-jointed, tacket. JUVENILES Children's books. A jargon word, borrowed from the publishing trade, now largely obsolete. Peter and Iona Opie preferred `children's books', which is more honest and sounds more respectable. To be distinguished from juvenilia, a writer's youthful productions. KER Neil Ripley Ker (1908­82), author of Medieval Libraries of Great Britain (1941, 1964) and the four-volume catalogue of Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries (1969­92), generally referred to as MLGB and MMBL, respectively. KEY BOOKS A key book is to a subject what a high-spot is to an author: supposedly the most important (or earliest significant) work in its field. It is a term very liable to ignorant or pretentious misuse, but has been given a new lease of life by those anxious to establish landmarks in the history of science, philosophy, law, exploration or technology, or indeed any aspect of the workings of the human mind or imagination. The grolier list, hayward and pmm have all been abused in this way. LABEL (1) Leather labels, better known as or lettering-pieces, on the spine have been used by binders since the late 17th century. Generally of a different colour from that of the main skin, and often (though always assumed to be) of morocco pared very thin (even if the book itself is bound, or half bound, in calf), they display, usually in gold, the title of the book, the volume number (if necessary), the name of the author (sporadically before the late 18th century, regularly since), and 137
L A B E L (continued) sometimes also the date. When two labels are used, sometimes of dif- ferent colours, the conventional description is `double lettering- pieces'. (2) Paper labels, printed from type or occasionally engraved, began to be used in the second half of the 18th century on the paper spines of boarded books (the earliest known examples date from the 1760s). They must have been almost universal during the first quarter of the 19th on books put up in this form; and they continued as the regular method of titling for boarded books even after this style was generally displaced by publisher's cloth. They were also used on early clothbound books, though with sharply decreasing frequency after 1832, when the process for applying titling and decoration directly on to the cloth was perfected. And they were standard on half cloth. At least since 1800 they seem usually to have been printed along with the book; often, no doubt (indeed certainly in some cases, where they have accidentally survived undisturbed), on a spare blank leaf, or on a leaf which would otherwise have been used for a half-title. The printed paper title-label has never died out. It was revived extensively in the 1890s and again in the 1920s, though with a slightly precious air. Publishers have in modern times recognised its friability and tendency to get dirty by the provision of a spare label, tipped in at the end of the volume. And if the collector notices that the paper label on a copy of, say, Max Beerbohm's Works 1896 or Strachey's Queen Victoria 1921 is surprisingly fresher than the adjacent cloth, he will probably find that the spare has been put to its intended use. (3) Author or Library labels: see book-label, ex-library. (4) See longitudinal labels. (5) See bookbinders' and booksellers' labels
LAID DOWN (1) When parts of the original leather or cloth cover are glued back in position on a book otherwise re-backed or rebound, they are described as `laid down'. (2) See mounted (2)
See wire lines.
L AID PAPER Paper made, originally in a frame or mould, on a mesh of close-set, but distinguishable, parallel wires crossed at right angles by other
wires set at a considerably wider, but variable, interval. The marks of these wires, visible in the finished paper when held up to the light, are called wire (or laid) lines and chain lines respectively. (wove paper is made on a mesh of wires woven together, and in its natural form shows no such marks.) Before about 1800 all paper, both laid and wove, was made by hand; some superior papers continued to be, and still are. Inevitably, paper-makers soon learned to impart to machinemade paper, manufactured on a continuous travelling wire web, the superficial characteristics of laid paper. In modern papers, therefore, it is not possible to distinguish hand-made from machine-made papers by the presence of chain lines or even of a watermark, since these may be present in a superior (or a pretentious) machine-made paper. L A M I N AT I O N The support of a fragile leaf by heat-sealing it with a sheet of transparent paper or inert plastic coated with adhesive on its inner side. See encapsulation, silked. L ARGE PAPER COPY One of a (usually small) number of copies printed on a larger size of paper than the main bulk of the edition; either for presentation, or for subscribers, or to be sold at a higher price. The paper will often be of superior quality; and, in the 18th century particularly, these were generally called fine or royal or imperial paper copies. (Copies of 17th and early 18th century books with unusually wide margins are sometimes optimistically described as being on large paper without any real justification.) Extravagantly large paper makes an unsightly book, unless the type is reset to accord with the increased page-size; for the result is all too often a blob of type in an expanse of margin. In default of positive evidence, it is safer to assume that large paper copies will have been printed after, rather than before, the main part of the edition, though they will very likely have been published simultaneously. L AW CALF Smooth calf of a rather disagreeable yellowish fawn colour once used for binding (or, more usually, half binding) law books. It should not be confused with rough calf, which in the more remote past was used for law books as well as ledgers and journals, and, more rarely, other kinds of books. 139
L AY O U T The design or sketch, or written instructions, by which a designer conveys the intended appearance of a piece of print to the printer. LEAD, LEADED Printer's type normally fills the body on which it is cast. If space is required between the lines, thin strips of metal, called leads, are inserted. A page thus treated may be called leaded. LEAF The basic bibliographical unit: the piece of paper comprising one page on its front side (recto, obverse) and another on its back (verso, reverse). Leaf, leaves are abbreviated to l., ll., or f., ff. (from folio). The inaccurate and slovenly misuse of page for leaf (e.g. `the verso of p. 73,' `the title-page is a cancel') appears to be on the increase and should be pilloried when found. Nor will the bibliographer neglect the essential truth that any leaf is only part of the basic structural unit, the sheet. LEAF BOOK A leaf book is (or was ­ they are out of fashion) a way of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. A seriously imperfect copy of a famous book presented the opportunity: some suitable authority on the book would be asked to write an essay on it, a distinguished printer would be asked to give it typographic form, choosing a page slightly larger than that of the book in question, and printing as many copies as there were surviving leaves. The whole would be handsomely bound, with one leaf of the original laid in. A Noble Fragment 1921, in which this treatment was bestowed on over 200 leaves (about a third of the whole) of a copy of Gutenberg's 42-line Bible, was the original leaf book. The evidential (not to say monetary) value of a single leaf of that Bible is now so great as to make this seem deplorable vandalism; at the time, no doubt, it was regarded as an honest way to bring to a larger market something in itself virtually unsaleable. Hard cases make bad law: a leaf book is always in some way a hard case. But breaking-up is not to be condoned, even in a good cause. LEAFLET A leaflet is a small-sized leaf of printed paper, more rarely a sheet folded once or twice into two or more leaves but not stitched, and generally given away for promotional purposes. Cf. broadside, fly-sheet, pamphlet. 140
LEATHER When this is used without the kind of leather (e.g. calf, morocco) being specified, it is usually of something so undistinguished as to be not worth (commercially) identifying, such as sheep or roan. Or its nature may even have baffled the cataloguer.
LEDGER BINDING Ledgers, corporate or personal, were more used and handled than books for reading, and for them special types of binding were developed, from the elaborately sewn integral bands of the Middle Ages to the metal spring-loaded hollow of the 19th century. All have become obsolete, along with the high desk, ink-well and pen.
LETTER Up to 1800, the generic English term for type, a word then reserved for individual pieces of type. The casting of a complete set of multiple types was a fount. A particular character, an `A', `e' or `&', was a sort.
LETTERED A term used to indicate the presence and location of the title (in some form) on the book as bound. Lettered direct means that the title, author's name, etc., have been stamped straight on to the binding material, whether leather, cloth or paper boards, instead of on to a label or lettering-piece, as has been the general practice since about 1700. Before that, books were frequently lettered on the edges, commonly the fore-edge, less often the head- or tail-edges. See also longitudinal labels.
LETTERING-PIECE A synonym for label when made of leather.
LETTERPRESS (1) The process of printing from metal type or any other relief surface. (2) More loosely, the words, as opposed to the pictures, in a book.
See gothic.
L E VA N T A kind of loose-grained morocco leather, considered in the last century the most elegant of the family. It was usually highly polished. As
L E VA N T (continued) its name implies, such leather came originally from the Near East. More recently the best has been produced in French North Africa and usually dressed in France. Today `levant' survives in tanners' catalogues only as applied to skins that come from South Africa and are known in the trade as `Cape levant' or `Cape goat'. See also hair-sheep. LIBRARY BINDINGS In collectors' parlance this always refers to circulating, not to public or institutional, libraries. From their earliest days, the circulating libraries used to commission their own binding, generally of half leather, often with uncut edges. This practice seems to have been maintained until publisher's cloth became the standard uniform for fiction. The results, however, are seldom positively identifiable, unless betrayed by library labels (see ex-library). In the second half of the 19th century special cloth bindings executed, in wholesale quantity, to a library's order may have been less infrequent than we know; but very few certain examples have been recorded. George Eliot's Felix Holt 1866 is one. The regular practice of the circulating libraries was to buy their books in the publisher's cloth. Library suppliers in the 20th century bought books as gathered sheets from publishers, and bound them sturdily for re-sale to public libraries. Such books are to be distinguished from those that have been re-bound from their original cloth, and their edges probably cut down in the process. No collector will touch a copy in such a library rebinding with a ten-foot pole unless he has given up hope of anything better. LIBRARY EDITION An edition, or a collective set, printed in a large-sized readable type; thought by the more imaginative bookseller to be suitable for the library of a gentleman, the one now as obsolete as the other. LIBRARY STAMP A term generally used apologetically to excuse the defacement of a title or other pages by the unsightly impression of a stamp of institutional ownership. These are more frequently found (and especially in Germany) after the substitution of rubber for metal stamps and the almost simultaneous introduction of aniline dyes about 1870. A more 142
lenient view is taken of older library stamps, still more of the stamps of collectors, such as Richard heber. The blind stamps reading Review copy or From the author are a positive advantage. LICENCE, LICENCE LEAF See imprimatur. LIMITATION NOTICE The printed (or, rarely, hand-written) certificate stating how many copies of an edition of a book, or of a particular part of an edition, have been printed; often, but not invariably, followed by the serial number of the individual copy. E.g. `Of this large paper edition (or this edition on hand-made paper, or this signed edition) x copies have been printed. This is No. y'. If there is more than one special impression, the details of each may be rehearsed; e.g. `Of this edition a copies have been printed on vellum, b copies on hand-made paper, signed by the author, and c copies on japanese vellum, of which this is No. d'. The French have, since the 18th century, carried this sort of thing much farther than we have; and the justification du tirage in a modern French book designed for the bibliophile market will often occupy half a page. See also limited edition, йdition de luxe, large paper copy, out of series. LIMITED EDITION Any edition which is limited to a stated number of copies (books described as limited editions which fail to specify how many copies they are limited to should be regarded with scepticism). But see also out of series. The motives for such limitation are several. (a) If there are illustrations, the number of satisfactory impressions to be got from the plate or block or stone may determine the size of the edition; (b) if the book is printed by hand, the pressman's enthusiasm for first-class work is apt to decrease after a certain point; (c) the publisher considers that the book will sell better if a scarcity value is created from the start; (d) the publisher estimates that the potential sale of the book is x hundred (or thousand) copies, and decides, when printing so many and no more, to make a virtue of necessity by adding a formal limitation notice. However small the number of copies of a limited edition, collectors will do well to remember that the magic of a limitation notice is sufficient to ensure that fewer of them than of an ordinary book will 143
L I M I T E D E D I T I O N (continued) have been thrown away or sent for salvage or roughly used; and that the more ignorant the owner the more potent the magic. Consequently, an edition `limited to 1,750 copies each signed by the author' is likely to be much less rare today than an ordinary edition of the same number of copies ­ or fewer ­ which was not ostentatiously limited. And while an edition limited to a small number (100 or less) has an initial claim to rarity which time cannot positively reduce, the passage of years will do less than usual to enhance it. LIMP This term is used of binding not based on board sides. Limp vellum was common in the 16th and 17th centuries, and was revived by private presses at the end of the 19th. Limp cloth was, and occasionally still is, used as a publisher's binding for slim, cheap or educational works. Limp leather was commonly used for road-books, etc., in the last quarter of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th; but in more recent times it was used by Macmillan for the pocket editions on thin paper of Kipling and Hardy, and of Jane Austen with Hugh Thomson's illustrations. It was also popular for devotional books and sentimental verse, sometimes finished with yapp edges, c. 1880­1920. LININGS or LINERS A synonym for the binder's endleaves when these are of some special material, such as vellum or watered silk. When they are of paper, they are called endpapers; when the paste-down (as opposed to the free half ) is of leather it is called a doublure. LIST PRICE The original published price of a book: sometimes printed (usually in brackets) alongside the catalogued price of a second-hand copy or a remainder as a demonstration that the prospective buyer is getting a bargain. Worldly-wise collectors are apt to react in the opposite direction, assuming, not always correctly, that if something is quoted below par, it cannot be worth buying. (Audubon's Birds of America could be had for half-price in the 1850s, and several of Shelley's first editions were remaindered.) LITHOGRAPHY The printing process, neither in relief (letterpress) nor incised (intaglio), but planographic, worked from a flat surface, first stone and now a metal plate, by the mutual repulsion of oil and water. The 144
date of its invention (by Alois Senefelder in 1798) is one of the few reliable landmarks of this sort. Originally reproductive (drawings and manuscript), it achieved new markets in music-printing, cartography, trade-cards and commercial stationery, and ephemera of all kinds. Lithography made colour-printing much easier and chromolithography opened up a new world of colour-printing, while modern offset photolithography has taken over almost all the traditional markets for printing in other media (see illustration processes). Lithography offered new opportunities for self-publication, especially to the author-artist; Lear's The Book of Nonsense 1846 is a famous example. LONGITUDINAL LABELS Title-labels, printed vertically up the leaf in large type, which are quite often found still in place (i.e. not detached for use) in certain English books between 1650 and 1700. The purpose of these printed labels, though the subject of much learned debate, has not yet been certainly determined. (Their obvious purpose, to be pasted to the paste-down and bent across the fore-edge to serve as a title-label, at a time when books were shelved with the spine inwards, is sometimes belied by the survival of copies with the printed label undetached but a manuscript label inserted in the manner described.) They are a great nuisance to collectors of the books for which they were provided, since they were customarily printed on an integral leaf (usually of the first or last gathering), and it is therefore a moot point whether a copy is or is not complete without them. The majority would say incomplete, on the analogy of half-titles or blank leaves, which were often discarded by the binder. But since, whatever their exact purpose, these longitudinal labels may have been intended to be cut out before the volume was completed by binding, their survival unused makes the printer's and publisher's intention questionable. They are truly analogous, therefore, with those leaves of the first or last gathering in three- or four-volume books of the boards-and-label period, on which were printed the set of labels to be divided and pasted on to the spines. The fact that these, unlike the longitudinal labels of the 17th century, very rarely survive unused is neither here nor there: the point is that no one would consider such books incomplete without them. LOOSE Used mostly of books in publisher's cloth and meaning that the book has been so badly shaken that its continued connexion with its
L O O S E (continued) covers is precarious. Such a copy is described as loose in covers or binding loose or simply loose. In descriptions of books bound or half bound in leather, or books in boards, front cover loose or back cover loose or even covers loose will probably mean that one or other or both will soon be or are actually detached. LOWNDES The Bibliographer's Manual of English Literature, by William Thomas Lowndes, 4 vols., 1834. Revised by Henry G. Bohn, 1858­64 (several times reprinted). Lowndes is out of date by modern standards of completeness and precision. But it is a most useful reference book, and it contains a great deal of information for the collector which is not easily found elsewhere. LYE The mixture of soft soap and soda used by printers for cleaning type after use. The resulting fluid, purplish if mixed with black ink, red if with red, was economically re-used by binders to stain the edges or calf covers of books that they bound. Flicked or dabbed on with a brush, it produced a sprinkled or mottled pattern, the two colours sometimes combined. It was also used to make a primitive kind of decorated paper, occasionally used for paper covers, more often as box-lining. ` LY O N N A I S E ' or ` LY O N E S E ' B I N D I N G S Commonly but misleadingly used of two styles developed in the later 16th century often found on small volumes printed in Lyon but not so far demonstrably bound there (rather than Paris): (a) with broad geometrical strap-work designs painted, lacquered, or enamelled; (b) with a large centre ornament (roughly lozenge-shaped) and large corner ornaments in gilt, the ground generally covered with dots or small ornaments. MACHINE COLLATION See hinman collator. MCKERROW An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students, by Ronald B. McKerrow, Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1927. Second Impression with corrections, 1928, often reprinted. 146
McKerrow is to bibliography what Erskine May is to parliamentary practice ­ the indispensable basic manual in matters of fact, the classic authority in matters of judgement. Subsequent research and discussion have produced modifications in detail (see, for instance, Fredson Bowers' Principles of Bibliographical Description 1949, and Philip Gaskell's New Introduction to Bibliography) and McKerrow's doctrines are certainly less than final for modern books. But bibliographers disagree with him at their peril on questions of principle. M A D E - U P, M A D E - U P C O P Y A made-up copy is one whose imperfections ­ the lack of a single leaf or more ­ have been made good from another copy of the same edition. The term is seldom met with in booksellers' catalogues, since making-up is often either unrecognised or unavowed. But a scrupulous cataloguer describing such a copy, especially of a book so rare or important that shortcomings may be pardoned, will specify it as having, e.g. `pages 63­66 from another and shorter (or equally clean) copy'. Making-up with leaves from a copy of a different (usually later) edition ­ i.e. faking-up ­ is a bibliographical felony and valid grounds for divorce between buyer and seller. See also advertisements. MAGAZINE PRINTING See periodical printing, serials, book form. MAJUSCULE, MINUSCULE Majuscules are what printers call upper-case and ordinary men capital letters. Minuscules are the lower-case or small letters. Even caps. means THIS. Caps. and small caps. or smalls means This. Even smalls means this. Caps. and l.c. (for lower-case) means This. MANDOLA, MANDORLA An almond-shaped, or pointed oval, panel, a shape much used by pattern-makers, from medieval illuminators to the designers of 19thcentury bookbindings. MANUSCRIPT Written by hand. With illuminated or calligraphic manuscripts the criterion is antiquity or beauty, or interest of script or decoration. With literary manuscripts, authenticity and/or interest of content. Collectors of the latter ought not to need reminding that manuscript or manuscript additions, notes or corrections will not be in the author's 147
M A N U S C R I P T (continued) handwriting unless they are also described as autograph or holograph. MARBLED Marbled paper is made by lowering a sheet of paper on to a bath of gum or size, on the surface of which colours have been drawn out with a stick or comb into a pattern. It is found in Japan as early as 1118 (called Suminagashi), but the Persians seem to have been the first to use marbled paper for books. Imported from the Levant, it was in use in Germany, France and Holland by the beginning of the 17th century, but its manufacture is not attested in western Europe till 30 years later. Its use for endpapers had spread from France to England by the 1650s, and it was the commonest material for covering the sides of half bound or quarter bound books of the 18th and 19th centuries. Marbled goatskin was used in Paris soon after the mid-16th century, and in England about a century later, along with marbled calf. Marbled edges are executed by a modification of the same technique as is used for marbling paper. Used from about 1780 till the 1830s for books bound in russia or half russia and commonly since on books in calf or half calf (morocco-bound books have always, normally, been given gilt edges). Marbled cloth had a brief vogue with publishers in the 1850s, and has been occasionally revived since. MARC An acronym for machine-readable catalogue, transferred to the rules for writing such catalogues developed at the Library of Congress, and thence to the United Kingdom, the necessary variance for joint Anglo-American or independent use signalled as AAMARC or UKMARC. MARGIN RULED (1) Between 1620 and 1670 printers in England customarily though not invariably enclosed the text-page, headlines and even the foreedge margin with rules, whether the last contained the notes it seems to anticipate or not. (2) During the same period, plain calf bindings with a single or double fillet border are as often found with a margin ruled with the same fillet an inch or more from the back. 148
`The white margins of a page are called the head, tail, outer and inner
margins, the inner being of course that nearest to the fold of the paper (or the back of the book)' ­ mckerrow. The inner margins of a page-
opening are sometimes called (but not by printers) the gutter, the
outer the fore-edge margin, and the tail is generally called the lower
This is the inner margin
This is the outer margin
See condition, deckle edges, uncut.
MEARNE Samuel Mearne rates an entry here not so much as an outstanding craftsman (by appointment to King Charles II) practising during the golden age of English binding but rather because, on the strength of Cyril Davenport's uncritical study (1906), his name once came to be given to all such bindings. How many other notable binders practised at the same time can be seen in H. M. Nixon's English Restoration Bookbindings 1974, together with a wide range of genuine Mearnes.
MEASURE The width of a line of type, determined by the setting of the composing stick.
MINIATURE (1) To miniate (from minium, meaning red lead) meant originally to colour or paint with vermilion, to rubricate or illuminate. But miniatures have come to denote the painted scenes, anecdotes, groups of figures or the like, distinct from conventional decoration and by implication more ambitious than historiated, with which the profes- sional artists of the monastic scriptoria or secular ateliers decorated medieval and renaissance manuscripts (and occasionally some special copy of an early printed book). Such pictures would often be full- page; and since the page would not necessarily be of small size, the term miniature, subject as it is to pseudo-etymological confusion, is not a very happy one.1 But John Evelyn was using it in 1645 and it is no doubt too late to change it. (2) Miniature books: the accepted term for books whose principal (usually only) interest lies in their very small size. Any volume below 2" 1Ѕ" would probably qualify.
1 On this, and collectors' taste in general, see A. N. L. Munby's Connoisseurs and Medieval Miniatures, 17501850, 1972.
MINT CONDITION A term borrowed, via philately, from the numismatists (who now prefer `fleur de coin'), meaning as good as new, and extended to such uses as `mint copy', `dust-jacket defective, otherwise mint'. Not to be encouraged. MISBOUND When a leaf or leaves, or an entire gathering, has been wrongly folded or misplaced by the binder, it is called misbound. Provided that nothing is missing, and that the amount of matter misbound is not too great or its misplacing too glaring, collectors commonly take a more charitable view of the result than readers. MISPRINTS `There is a very important difference', says mckerrow, `between errors of wording and errors of printing (which alone are properly called "misprints").' Yet misprimped words or page-numerals are probably the most frequently cited of any of those features in a book which may, or may be alleged to, bear upon its priority of issue over another copy of the same edition. E.g. `first issue, with the misplanted numeral on p. 113'; `first issue, with all the mosprints uncorrected '. This sort of note has an exciting, a reassuring, sometimes an almost mesmeric effect upon collectors whose respect for bibliographical minutiж is insufficiently salted with scepticism; and it is, of course, irresistible to the point-maniacs. These latter will be temperamentally averse from the recognition, which cannot be too strongly impressed upon the former, that the existence of a midprint or milprints in one or several copies of a book is not, in itself, any evidence of priority of issue over another which has the same word or words correctly printed. In the days of the hand-press, indeed, corrections were commonly made in the type after some sheets had already been printed off; and misplints were often so corrected. Yet the sheets will have been gathered for folding and binding without regard for priority of printing, so that corrected and uncorrected sheets will be combined indiscriminately in the finished copies of the book as handed across the counter on publication day. (See issues and states.) Thus, even if there is clear evidence of the correction of an originally mimprinted word, the most that can normally be said of a copy that shows it uncorrected 150
is that it has the earlier state of that particular leaf; and no more. There is usually, moreover, nothing (unless the proof sheets have survived) to prove that the word was not correctly printed in the first place; the musprint being caused by some loose types falling out during the run and being incorrectly replaced. (See also dropped letters.) There are, of course, cases in which it is clear, from the provision of an errata slip or leaf, that mispronts were observed after a certain number of complete copies had been printed off. And if other copies are found to have these corrections made in the text, there is a prima facie case for classifying them as a definitely later consignment; though it is seldom possible to establish whether they merely constitute a later state, or, rather, a later issue (if, for example, they can be shown to be a response to a critical review), or even a distinct, but undifferentiated, second impression (the whole book having been put to press again). During the 19th century, when the hand-press had given way to the machine for ordinary book-work, misfrints will seldom have been corrected at the press, nor will they very often have been dealt with by the troublesome method of cancelling the offending leaf and substituting another. They are usually left alone, if they are not too obtrusive; and if they must be corrected, the quarter-sheet, the halfsheet, or even the whole sheet will be reprinted. It follows that many minor misprilts in modern books, which are from time to time joyfully hailed as proving that a copy containing them is of `the rare first issue', persisted throughout the entire first edition (if not through later ones), so that such copies are elevated at the expense of a `second issue' which never existed. As part of the evidence from which a bibliographical conclusion can be drawn, or a probability established, or a hypothesis constructed, masprints, like any variation between one copy of the same edition and another, have their usefulness. But as the sole and unsupported foundation for a claim to priority they are the merest reeds. MITRE, MITRED A binder's term with several meanings. In the workshop it is used for any lines which meet at right angles without crossing; and also for a junction of lines at an angle of 45 degrees, such as is necessary at the leather turn-in on the inside of the covers. By writers on binding, and thence by cataloguers, the term is also used to denote the connexion at the angles of an outer frame to an inner frame or panel by the diagonal use of fillets or a roll. The printer's multiple rule border is similarly mitred at the corners. 151
MODERN FIRSTS A category widely employed but (like early printed) impossible to define with any precision, since its use among antiquarian booksellers is, and probably always will be, quite unstandardised. Originating in the 1920s, it was first applied to books of the previous generation, that is, of the naughty nineties or later; Wilde and The Yellow Book were in, Meredith was out. Natural conservatism has ensured that this definition has never been abandoned, so that words like `contemporary' have to be applied to more truly modern firsts. The modern publisher's habit of letting books go rapidly out of print (thus ensuring instant collectibility) has given the term further elasticity in the opposite direction. MOROCCO A handsome, hard-wearing leather made of goatskin and apt for dyeing in strong colours. Islamic in origin, the morocco leathers were first imported into western Europe through Turkey and Venice, domesticated in Italy early in the 16th century, north of the Alps early and in England late in the 17th. As the goats were bred in Anatolia, the use of morocco as the name for the skins used by Islamic binders in the Levant and European binders using the same source in the 16th and 17th centuries is an erroneous back-projection of later practice; goatskin is better. Even more perversely, when Tangier was ceded to England with the dowry of Catherine of Braganza (1661) and the great Restoration binders got access to skins re-tanned and dyed in Morocco (though imported from south of the Sahara), they persisted in calling them Turkey, which became the normal name until well into the 18th century. So morocco has no more geographical significance than its subspecies levant and turkey, for most of it used for binding comes from other parts of the world; and the only common denominator among the numerous varieties of leather which go under the name is that they are all goatskin. Of the various types of morocco commonly specified in catalogue descriptions, levant, hard-grain and niger refer to differences of grain, pattern or texture in the actual skin when tanned and dyed; straight-grain and crushed morocco refer to its treatment before it is put on the book; and morocco extra, super-extra or elegant (an oldfashioned term) refer to the degree of elaboration and the amount of gilt which have been lavished on it by the `finisher' in the bindery. See also hair-sheep. 152
MOSAIC BINDINGS Leather bindings decorated overall with contrasting colours, whether inlaid, onlaid or, in extreme cases, painted; from the French mosaпquйe. MOTTLED (1) calf which has been given a mottled effect, whether bold or delicate, by staining the leather with blots or flecks of acid (usually copperas or lye). (2) The edges stained in a similar way are also described as mottled; see sprinkled. MOUNTED (1) Of engravings or other illustrations pasted down on to or lightly attached to a leaf, whether of ordinary text paper or some specially strong paper (e.g. cartridge). (2) Of damaged leaves which have been laid down on or backed with paper (occasionally, for manuscripts, maps, plans or plates, with gauze or linen). NAMES Preferably quoted tout court, without a title and in mass, give the cataloguer (and, he hopes, the market) a wonderful sense of the solidity of his work, a foundation built of authoritative bricks. Most of them are bibliographies, some general (brunet), others specialised (rothschild). A long string of names need not overwhelm the collector, however; not all of them may be strictly relevant. In this, as in the cataloguer's other great stand-by, unknown to, caveat emptor. NEAT This adjective, commonly used with special reference to the binding, strikes a rather submissive note. It means that the copy is decent, tidy and sound, but it suggests sobriety rather than elegance. NEEDLEWORK BINDINGS See embroidered bindings. NIGER A kind of morocco (goatskin). True niger, which comes from West Africa, is a soft skin with an unemphatic, variable grain. It is locally tanned and dyed (hence native-dyed); the favourite colours, seldom quite even, being crimson, orange to brick-red, green, or the natural 153
N I G E R (continued) buff. The slight variations of grain and colour which give niger its character are seldom successfully achieved in the imitations of it.
NO DATE (n.d.) This term, unqualified, means that research has failed (or has not attempted) to establish even an approximate date for the book described. If the book itself bears no date but can be dated by external evidence, this is expressed either by `n.d., but 1710', or `n.d. [but 1710]', or simply `[1710]'.
NO PLACE, NO PRINTER, NO PUBLISHER (indiscriminately or collectively shortened to n.p.) As for no date. In descriptions of early books these terms will sometimes be found in their Latin forms ­ sine anno, sine loco, sine nomine (s.a., s.l., s.n.).
See unknown to.
NOT SUBJECT TO RETURN When an auctioneer adds to the description of an ordinary book the words sold not subject to return, or the initials w.a.f. (with all faults), it is because he fears or suspects that it is imperfect and therefore suspends his normal guarantee that the book offered is at least all there. Certain classes of books are, by convention, sold not subject to return without any such implication. Among these are; (1) fine bindings, as being prized for their covers rather than their contents, (2) association books, whose value, again, is largely independent of their completeness, (3) atlases and books or sets of doubtful composition (including some colour-plate books), (4) magazines and periodicals, and (5) collections of pamphlets or tracts ­ such things, in fact, as it may be difficult or unreasonably laborious to collate accurately. Books issued in parts also are sometimes (and for good reason) sold `not subject to return for the absence of inserted advertisements'. For manuscript material the principal auction houses of London and New York, while offering no guarantee of completeness, nowadays accept the return within a specified period of anything which the buyer can establish to their satisfaction to be a forgery.
NUC The National Union Catalog of books in American institutional libraries up to the year 1956, as reported to the compilers, a publication of variable quality but gigantic size, completed in no less than 704 volumes, or in more compact form in microfiche. OASIS A proprietary name given to a goatskin imported from Nigeria, tanned and dyed in England, popular with contemporary binders. The skins have a rather smooth surface but are sometimes attractively grained. O C TAV O An increasingly common book format since the early 17th century, based on a sheet folded three times, and variable in size, depending on the dimensions of the sheet on which the book is printed. Unlike folio and quarto, simply so named, booksellers used to distinguish octavo sizes by the conventional names of the paper used, from the small pot to the large royal, with crown and demy in between. The actual size of an octavo book, if it calls for comment, is now indicated by (metric) measurement. For details see format and paper. OFFPRINT A separate printing (or over-run) of a section of a larger publication (generally of composite authorship) made from the same setting of type. Offprints are occasionally given their own pagination, often have a paper wrapper or some similar individual covering, and sometimes have a special title-page. They are prized by collectors of their author far above the composite publication (whether periodical or book) from which they derive, for they are spiritually, if not technically, a first separate edition; they are unencumbered with (to him) alien matter; and they often bear a presentation inscription, since the normal purpose of offprints is to provide the author with copies to give away. The interchange of offprints between scholars working in the same field has, indeed, become a regular method of correspondence. Where periodicals, sets of transactions and the like are concerned, it is important to distinguish offprints from extracts, for the one was intended to be an entity and the other has been converted into one at a later date. OFFSET The accidental transfer of ink from a printed page or illustration to an adjacent page. This may be caused either from the sheets having been 155
O F F S E T (continued) folded, or the book bound, before the ink was properly dry, or from the book being subsequently exposed to damp. Offset from engraved or other plates on to text, and from text on to plates, is commoner, and also much more disfiguring, than offset from text on to text. Text offset occasionally provides valuable bibliographical evidence, since it usually derives from the very earliest stage in the assembly of the printed sheets into a book. And some of the neatest deductions have been made from the offset, not from one page to another of an individual copy, but from the offset on a page of one book from printed sheets belonging to another which happened to be stacked with it at the printer's. (The use of the word offset applied to modern photolithography is not likely to occur in booksellers' catalogues; but the collector should be aware of it.) OLDHAM J. B. Oldham's British Blind-stamped Bindings 1952 and Blind Panels of English Binders 1958 list, categorise and reproduce a large number of tools, rolls and panels used by English binders in the 15th and 16th centuries, which are generally cited by the numbers that Oldham gave them. ON APPROVAL Most booksellers will send a volume on approval on the assumption that the decision whether to keep it or not will not be unreasonably delayed. It has to be remembered, however, by anyone ordering a book on approval from a catalogue, that, unless he is an old or specially valued customer, preference is likely to be given to any firm order over any approval order. Some booksellers indeed (and not unreasonably) make a rule that they will not send a catalogued book on approval until a certain time after the catalogue has been in circulation. ONLAID, ONLAYS Used in the description of bindings, normally of leather, in which varicoloured decoration has been effected by sticking thin pieces of other leathers on to the main skin, thus giving a sort of mosaic effect. Cf. inlaid. The pieces are called onlays. The technique was occasionally adapted to publisher's cloth between 1840 and 1860, when the onlays were sometimes of paper; coloured illustrations thus applied are found from the late 1880s to the 1920s. 156
ONLY A note of warning, usually placed in parentheses. When, for example, a book is described as having `27 plates (only)' or a set as comprising `7 vols. (only),' it means that the series is incomplete. O R I G I N A L S TAT E or O R I G I N A L C O N D I T I O N As used ­ and very widely used ­ by cataloguers and collectors, this almost always refers to the book's exterior; and it will be found applied to books in cloth, boards, wrappers, leather or indeed any other covering for which the quality of originality can be claimed. That it is claimed more often, especially of leather-bound books, than can in fact be substantiated, is an index of the steadily increasing importance attached to it since the last quarter of the 19th century; and indeed it is accepted doctrine with most collectors today that to a copy in a fine binding or an appropriate binding must always be preferred (other things being equal) a copy in original binding. But how, asks the docile beginner, am I to recognise the original binding when I see it? He may well ask. The gradation of desirability between a Continental book in its original wrappers (brochй), another copy in contemporary binding, and a third re-bound with its wrappers preserved, is a matter of nice judgement, in which the relative rarity of the book thus bound must play a part. But for English and American books it is only of those produced after the date when publishers assumed responsibility for edition binding (say 1825­35) that it is possible to say with certainty that a particular copy is or is not in the original binding as issued. publisher's cloth, notwithstanding the ugly question of secondary and remainder bindings, is to all intents and purposes a uniform, and collectors of Victorian or modern books have little difficulty in identifying it. The same is true of books (verse, pamphlets, part-issues, etc.) which were issued during the same period ­ indeed earlier ­ in an equally distinctive uniform of printed wrappers or printed boards. It is when we get back past 1800 (to skate over the controversial period of the Regency) that the trouble starts: the 350 years during which the customer bought his book either unbound, sewn or stitched, or latterly in plain wrappers or boards, for binding to his own taste, or in some usually workaday binding put on it by the bookseller. In the former instance the book was still an embryo; and its covering, if any, though original, was intended to be ephemeral. In the latter, the binding will indeed be `original binding as issued'; but since it was piece-work and not necessarily identical with its neighbours, how, after two or three hundred years, can it be distinguished 157
O R I G I N A L S TAT E or O R I G I N A L C O N D I T I O N (continued) either from a plain binding put on to a customer's order immediately on publication, or from one put on twenty or thirty years later? The answer is, not easily, and seldom with absolute certainty. The much-debated question of taste between (a) wrappered or boarded books of the 18th century with wholly uncut edges, and (b) copies in original or contemporary leather with cut edges, is touched upon under condition, deckle-fetishism, boards, and elsewhere in the present work. The question of `original leather' is discussed under trade binding. OTHER PROPERTIES In auction catalogues this used to refer to any property not thought worth naming or for which anonymity was required. It now refers almost exclusively to trade lots. See auctions (4). OUT OF PRINT This means that the publisher's stock of the book is exhausted (if temporarily only, the phrase is out of stock); and it implies that only second-hand copies are available. In antiquarian book-sellers' catalogues it is naturally used only of recent books. OUT OF SERIES Of an edition specifically limited in number, there will usually be printed some extra copies or overs: (a) as a reserve against the possibility of spoiled sheets, misbinding or other technical hazards; (b) for the author, printer and publisher; (c) for review. Such copies are understood not to invalidate the certificate of limitation; and their status is sometimes indicated by the words out of series, instead of a number. In numbered, limited editions which are also signed by the author, the out-of-series copies will not normally be signed. And unless they were the author's `complimentaries' and were inscribed by him, they are rated by most collectors as slightly inferior to the regularly numbered copies. OUTSET A useful term, proposed by Gaskell, for the imposition of the titlepage of a pamphlet in the last sheet in a position that enables it to be bent back round the width of the pamphlet to appear in its proper place at the front. 158
O V E R L AY An overlay is a sheet or slip of paper, sometimes transparent, on which are printed words or diagrammatic details intended to vary or augment those on the printed sheet beneath. The elaborate `before and after' drawings of houses and landscapes submitted by Humphrey Repton to his clients in his `Red Books' exhibit specially elaborate and beautiful overlays. OVERPRINTING If the publisher of a book changes his address, the sheets of books still in his stock require alteration. His former imprint must be obliterated (usually by bisquing), and his new place of publication or address added by overprinting. The word is used in a different sense (akin to cancellation) by philatelists. OXFORD STYLE A faux or antique style of binding prevalent in the 19th century (see divinity calf). PAGE PROOFS The second proofs, in which the galley proof text was made up into page, with its headlines and any other appurtenances, such as footnotes, shoulder- or side-notes. PA G I N AT I O N The sequence of figures with which the pages of a book are numbered. These are known individually as page-numerals, collectively as pagination. E.g. `page-numerals shaved', or `with the misprinted page-numeral on page 167'; `first issue, with the irregular pagination in vol. 2'; or `pagination in roman numerals'. See also foliation, folio (2). PAL AEOGRAPHY Originally the science of reading ancient writing, it has come to mean the analysis and description of different kinds of script, with the object of dating and localising them. See also codicology. PA L L E T A binder's term for a tool used to decorate the panels on the spine of a bound book. A specialised kind ­ properly called a name-pallet ­ can be used for lettering a whole word, name or title in one operation, as opposed to building it up by the impression of a series of single-letter 159
PA L L E T (continued) tools. (William Hall, the binder, records that in the 1780s only one of the `finishers' in John Bell's bindery was able to letter a book with single lettering, `Mr Bell having had the names of all his own publications cut in pallets ­ Shakespeare, Theatre, Poets, etc.') The term is also used, of bindings since about 1800, for the impression of the binder's name on a signed binding, when this is stamped on the turn-ins; sometimes accompanied by the name of the person or firm who commissioned the binding ­ e.g. `Bound by Bagguley, Newcastle-under-Lyme', `Doves Bindery 1902' or `Bound by Birdsall for Charles Scribner's Sons'. Thus, when instructions are given to a binder, it may be stipulated that the book shall or shall not be palleted. The practice adopted by some booksellers of suppressing the binder's name in this context and having the volume palleted Bound by (instead of for) S­ or H­ or B­ is to be deprecated, as likely to make unnecessary trouble for the Nixons and Hobsons of the future. PA M P H L E T A pamphlet is by definition a complete work, shorter than a book, bound (if at all) in wrappers, plain or printed. In older libraries, such works would be gathered, with others on the same subject or in the same format, and bound together in tract volumes. Such volumes, often in numbered sequence running into hundreds, are now uncommon, due to breaking. Those that survive provide evidence of provenance, and an unrivalled window on the intellectual interests of the past. PANEL, PANELLED A term used in the description of bindings, meaning a rectangle, formed of single, double or triple fillets (ruled lines), whether gilt or blind (plain), either on the sides or between the bands on the spine of the book. E.g. `contemporary panelled calf ' ­ and when used without qualification the word always refers to the sides; `panelled morocco, fully gilt back'; `half levant, panelled backs'; or, of a book in publisher's cloth, `in the earliest binding, with the panel on the front cover in gilt'. Cf. frame, border. PA N E L - S TA M P E D Panel-stamps are `large metal blocks, cut or engraved with a pictorial design, usually stamped on the book cover by means of a press' (J. P. Harthan). In use from the 15th to the 17th century. 160
PA P E R The main staple of any book and the largest part of the publisher's bill, paper has been sadly neglected by bibliographers. There are welcome signs of change, initiated by the late Allan Stevenson, amplified in more recent times by the work of Paul Needham and others. Anyone now attempting the bibliographical description of a book will record the sheet size by its proper name, try to identify the watermark, and describe its other characteristics. Paper sizes, standard since the middle ages with names like `royal', `chancery' and `median', grew larger at the end of the 17th century, whence date the once familiar `foolscap', `crown' and `demy', preserved after a further increase in size in the latter part of the 18th century and the mechanisation of printing and paper-making soon after 1800. Metricisation and modern technology has made new paper harder to identify ­ or preserve. gaskell's New Introduction provides an admirable introduction to these matters, with tables of the common names and approximate dimensions of different sizes of paper. But the changes in these, the product of improvements in paper-making technology, make any degree of precision hard to establish. The most comprehensive reference book is Dictionary and Encyclopaedia of Paper and Paper-Making by E. J. Labarre (second edition, 1952, Supplement, 1969). If no longer considered accurate enough to provide more than approximate identification, the great albums of watermarks provide evidence of the dated use (usually archival) of thousands of early watermarks, as well as lesser numbers of those of later centuries. See laid, wove, china, india, japon, marbled, large, royal, imperial, thick, chain lines, wire lines, watermark. PA P E R B A C K Books bound in wrappers, plain or printed, are found within the 15th century, and became increasingly common from the later 18th century. The famous tauchnitz series was primarily bound in such wrappers, while the invention of cheap wood-pulp paper led to other series of books in more or less striking printed covers, many of them qualifying as `pulp fiction'. Albert and Charles Boni had a series of paperbacks in the 1920s, and John Holroyd-Reece 's `Albatross' books were distinguished typographically from the Tauchnitz series which they eventually swallowed. But Allen Lane deserves the credit for inventing (with Andrй Maurois' Ariel 1935, the first Penguin) the modern paperback. While first generation Penguins were a monument of elegant (and within limits durable) book production, other paperbacks present considerable problems to the collector who wishes 161
PA P E R B A C K (continued) to preserve his books (see gutta-percha, paper, perfect, preservation). PAPER BOARDS Technically, paste-boards are made from layers of paper, and pulpboards (millboard, strawboard) from pulp. As commonly used in booksellers' catalogues, however, and notwithstanding that `original boards' (see boards (2)) are in fact covered with paper, the term paper boards, if used of any but quite modern books without qualification (such as original, marbled, flowered, decorated, Dutch or otherwise decorated), suggests boards of either species covered with paper of a plain colour, usually not the original binding. PA R C H M E N T The inner portion of the split skin (the `under-split') of a sheep, not tanned but specially de-greased with fuller's earth and dressed with chalk like vellum, either for writing on or for use in binding. See also vellum, forel. PARTS, PART-ISSUES The practice of publishing books in instalments dates from the last quarter of the 17th century, when such a book ­ usually a work of popular instruction or inspiration, or a reprint ­ would be advertised as `now issuing in numbers'. Publication in numbers or parts was common in the later 18th century for expensive illustrated books; and practically every one of the famous aquatint books of the early 19th was originally so issued. Encyclopaedias (e.g. the first edition of the Britannica, 1768­71), dictionaries and similar substantial works of reference continued to be published in parts until the quite recent invasion of this publishing field by the instalment system. The amount of miscellaneous publication in this form during the 19th century ­ it embraced Moxon's Poets and Newman's Apologia 1864, Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management 1859­61 and Gustave Dorй's illustrated books, down to the innumerable cheap adventure stories (`bloods' and `penny dreadfuls') ­ was enormously greater than is generally appreciated. But to most collectors parts means first and foremost the best-selling fiction published in this style from Pickwick, which started the vogue in 1836­37, to Daniel Deronda (1874­76), which was a late example. During this period most novels continued to be published in 162
three volumes and borrowed by their readers from the circulating libraries. But a number of books by popular writers were published (usually with illustrations by a popular artist) in paper-covered parts, to be bought in instalments ­ monthly, fortnightly or weekly ­ and bound up when complete, sometimes in one, sometimes in two or more volumes, either in binding-cases supplied by the publisher, or in leather or half-leather to the owner's taste. These part-issues, which varied with the length of the book from 8 or 10 to 20 or 24 (and occasionally more), were mostly of large octavo size and usually sold for a shilling. The final part, which contained the title-page and prelims, would often be a double number, when the complete set is described as `in the original 13/12 parts'. This method of publication was suited only to works which might be expected to appeal to a large public. Among the Victorian novelists many of whose books were so issued were Dickens, Thackeray, Ainsworth, Lever, Surtees and Trollope. Apart from any variations in the text or illustrations ­ and the often hurried conditions of printing for fixed publication dates produced a great many ­ part-issues present the collector with further complications all their own. The two chief ones concern (a) the wrappers, (b) the inserted advertisements. For fiction part-issues the wrappers were usually of coloured paper (Dickens in blue-green, Surtees in brick-red, Thackeray in yellow) with some pictorial or decorative design on the front, and advertising matter printed on the back, and more often than not on the inside of both front and back wrappers as well. The number of the part and sometimes its month of issue would be printed on the front wrapper. These last features naturally, and the three pages of advertisements frequently, changed with each issue; and since the replacing of damaged wrappers ­ theoretically from another copy of the same part but in practice often from another part ­ has always been a common and accepted form of making-up, the punctilious collector needs to assure himself that each part in any series has the right wrappers. It is not usually difficult to detect a changed part-numeral which would betray a wrong front-wrapper; but unless a detailed bibliographical description is available for reference, it is always difficult and sometimes impossible to tell on internal evidence whether the back-wrapper is correct or not. And as most surviving sets of parts have had their backstrips repaired, alien back-wrappers are not uncommon. Finally, the desire to achieve a completeness in terms of variants never achieved in nature has caused sets to be made up by cannibalisation, to the detriment of the true historic record. 163
PA RT S , PA RT- I S S U E S (continued) The question of inserted advertisements, both in general and with particular reference to part-issues, has been discussed under advertisements. It remains only to observe that whereas miscellaneous works, e.g. Herbert Spencer's First Principles 1862, and penny dreadfuls, e.g. Maria Marten, or The Murder in the Red Barn 1828, are today very rarely found in their original parts, the Victorian novels so issued are mostly not nearly as uncommon as might be supposed from their fragile character and intentionally impermanent coverings. But it is true that they have very seldom survived in the fine unrestored condition which many collectors prefer to the most conscientious completeness of their sometimes highly touted advertising matter. PART-ISSUED BOOKS IN VOLUME FORM These are of little or no interest to the collector of part-issues as such, but their relationship to the parts is of interest, and sometimes of importance, to others. In the matter of priority, it was customary during the Victorian period for the complete volume, in the publisher's cloth, to be issued just before the publication of the final part, so that it ranks strictly as the first published form of the book. On the other hand, this publisher's volume-issue would generally be made up from the last-printed sheets of text and plates; so that although issued before any set of parts could have been completed, it would be apt to exhibit the latest state of any particular variant. A further complication is provided by those copies of a part-issued book which, having been faithfully purchased in instalments, were sent to be bound up in the cloth case provided (at a stated price) by the publisher, or in the leather or half-leather styles which were also sometimes offered. Such a copy might well be of the earliest state as to text and plates; it would be in publisher's cloth; yet as a completed entity (even if the local binder had not, as often, trimmed ­ or even sprinkled ­ the edges of the leaves) it is at some disadvantage vis-а-vis either a set of parts or the publisher's volume-issue. It is usually possible to distinguish these cased-up sets of parts from the volume-issue (even when ­ as not always with Dickens, for example ­ the publisher's cases were uniform) by the presence in the former of the original stab-holes. But when the distinction is made, it yet remains for bibliographers and collectors to assess the difference. 164
PASTE ACTION The staining of endpapers, sometimes extending to the first or last leaves of the book itself, by the paste used for attaching the endpapers to the boards. PA S T E - B O A R D S A laminate of pasted sheets, sometimes of plain or brown paper, but occasionally of manuscript or printed waste. The use of early, sometimes very early, manuscript fragments or printer's proofs, sometimes corrected, can pose problems, especially when found, as they commonly are, in an original or at least early binding. Which is the most deserving of preservation? There is no easy answer. PA S T E - D OW N The paste-down is that half of the endpaper which lines the inside cover (its other half is often called the free endpaper). Binders generally refer to the paste-down as the board-paper. See also doublure, lining. PAYNE, ROGER Roger Payne (1738­97) was a book-binder of legendary skill and invention, who can be credited with the introduction of a distinctly neo-classical style of finishing, and a wholly original style of endpapering. He elevated the book-binder's invoice to the status of a work of art. He also enjoys, with Samuel mearne, the uncomfortable distinction of having more books wrongly attributed to him than any other binder of his time. Any collector, pondering the purchase of a BOOK REPORTed as `bound by Payne', should look to see if there is some more tangible evidence, an invoice, identifiable tools or the characteristic endpapers, or whether the attribution has rather been handed down from some hopeful catalogue description of the 19th century. PBFA The Provincial Booksellers' Fairs Association provides the organisation whereby fairs are held all over the British Isles, usually at weekends, when collectors, too busy to do much browsing in bookshops in the week, can pursue their wants and meet more booksellers in a day than they could in a month of travelling. This mobile entrepфt system, as noted earlier, has done more to change the face of bookcollecting than anything else in the last generation, except, now, the multifarious possibilities of electronic communication. 165
PERFECT (1) in the phrase `collated and perfect' (see collation); in a bibliophilic context one may refer to perfecting an imperfect copy; (2) to perfect a sheet is the technical term for printing its second side; (3) a type of thermoplastic binding often used for paperbacks (see also gutta-percha). PERIODICAL PRINTING Most book-collectors, being book-collectors, ignore magazines and newspapers which contain the first printing or a serialisation of something they want in first edition form. Thorough author-collectors take a sterner view of their responsibilities: some collect runs of periodicals for the sake of the serial, some extract the serial and have it bound. Even those who in general limit themselves to books allow a certain number of anomalous exceptions, mostly from among the border-line cases. For instance, Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet was first printed, in its entirety but amongst other contributions, in Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887; and collectors have decided (quite illogically, but exercising their unquestioned right) to consider this the desideratum, rather than the first edition in book form (i.e. its first appearance between its own covers), which was published in the following year ­ and is, incidentally, about five times rarer today. More rational exceptions are such works as Rider Haggard's Mr. Meeson's Will, which occupied an entire issue of The Illustrated London News in 1888, or Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One (in Horizon, February 1948). PERIODICALS When the ABC for Book Collectors was new, there was only one journal that catered for their needs, The Book Collector, also new and happily still with us. But the little world of bibliophily as it was then has grown, and the needs of this wider public are also met by the Antiquarian Book Review, whose articles prefix monthly reviews of sales and booksellers' catalogues, and is strong on trade news. The Bookdealer has long `books wanted and for sale' sections, as did the lamented AB Bookman's Weekly in the U.S.A. and also admirable notices of trade events and obituaries. The ABA Newsletter has been rejuvenated, and the Antiques Trade Gazette has admirably detailed reports of Book Sales. The Scottish Book Collector has both articles and news of local and more than local interest. The higher reaches of bibliography are covered by The Library, the quarterly journal of the Bibliographical Society, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America and the annual Studies in Bibliography. 166
PFORZHEIMER The Carl H. Pforzheimer Library: English Literature 14751700. New York, Privately Printed, 1940. This bibliographically exhaustive 1300-quarto-page catalogue, which owes its quite special authority to its editor, William A. Jackson, is frequently cited simply by number (cf. hayward, rothschild, sadleir). PHASE-BOX A simple container made from a sheet of acid-free board cut to a cruciform shape, whose centre matches the board-size of the book for which it is made. The four arms of the cross fold over the back and three other sides of the book like flaps, and are held in position by a velcro tab or other ties. It serves the double purpose of protecting a fragile or damaged book-structure and of warning the intending user to take extra care of its contents. Originally designed for library use as a temporary measure until the book within could be given more permanent conservation treatment, cuts in conservation budgets have condemned many phase-boxes to a longer life than anticipated. See also book-shoe. PICTORIAL (of boards, cloth or wrappers) Until the 1850s, pictorial, as distinct from formal, decoration of boarded and wrappered books was executed in one colour, usually black on a coloured ground. Gilt pictorial decoration on the spines of publisher's cloth bindings was common enough in the late 1830s and the 1840s. In 1853 an experiment in multi-coloured pictorial boards was made (Letters left at the Pastry-Cook's, by J. S. Mayhew), and this shortly ushered in the great spate of gaily boarded cheap books commonly known as yellowbacks. A similar technique was soon applied to cloth, and though glazed pictorial cloth bindings were never as common as boarded or wrappered ones, they were in occasional use till the end of the century. The need for such bindings was eclipsed by multi-coloured pictorial bindings made by blocking cloth, itself often grained, in gold, coloured foils and inks, achieving results of vivid realism. The artists of these remarkable designs are now appreciated, and their once neglected work collected. 167
PIGSKIN When tanned in the ordinary way, pigskin, as a leather for binding, is intractable and, though very tough, liable to get brittle for lack of grease. When tawed with alum, it is much more tractable and very durable. It does not lend itself easily to tooling and cannot be gilded; especially popular in the Germanic and Scandinavian countries, where binders achieved overall patterns with multiple rolls and panel-stamps, sometimes adding initials or date in black ink. PIRATED EDITION, PIRACY A term commonly applied (sometimes with, sometimes without, legal accuracy) to an edition produced and marketed without the authority of, or payment to, the author. Piracy had decreased with the development of international protection of author's copyright; but the ease with which a text can be replicated, by computer-hackers or photolithography, has led to a revival, especially in South-East Asia. Aldus's texts (and imprint) were freely copied in Lyon and elsewhere in the early 16th century. In the 17th and 18th, piracy was particularly brisk in books which for doctrinal or political reasons could not be licensed or otherwise protected or even avowed: Rochester, Swift and Defoe, Pascal, Rousseau and Voltaire provide well-known examples. In England in the 17th and 18th centuries the custom of circulating an author's work in manuscript offered plenty of opportunities to over-zealous friends or unscrupulous publishers, and in the 18th the book-sellers of Edinburgh and Dublin were frequently at odds (though occasionally colluding) with their tightly organised rivals in London. The 19th century was the heyday of transatlantic `piracy' ­ a misnomer in this instance, for neither side could claim any legal protection from the other ­ and if the publishers of New York and Philadelphia made freer with English authors than London publishers did with American, it was only because Scott, Dickens or Hardy was more saleable there than Longfellow or Emerson here. For an estimate of the current attitudes of collectors towards these various types of piracy, see authorised edition and `follow the flag'. P L AT E - M A R K The impression made in the leaf of paper by the edge of the metal plate used for printing engravings, etc. (see illustration processes). 168
P L AT E N A crucial part of the hand-press, the heavy plank (later plate) lowered by pulling the arm of the press on to the tympan, transmitting the ink from the forme to the sheet by its pressure. P L AT E - N U M B E R S (1) The numbers (with or without initials) at the foot of the pages of engraved music, which indicate the numerical position of the score in its publisher's output and provide one of the few reliable clues to its original publication date. (2) In a general sense, the numbers of a series of engraved illustrations, engraved on the plate, but easily knocked out and re-engraved, should the sequence be augmented or diminished. Such alterations provide useful distinctions of state. P L AT E S (1) Properly, plates are whole-sheet illustrations, printed separately from the text; e.g. `plates spotted', `with the rare extra plate of Leda and the Swan', `lacks two of the twenty-four plates'. Illustrations printed on the text pages are called cuts (or, by printers, figures) unless they are described in greater detail (e.g. as engravings or wood-cuts). But the distinction is not always observed. See also illustration processes. (2) stereotype, electrotype, or other such plates, used instead of type for text printing. PLOUGH The knife or primitive guillotine used by the bookbinder to trim the edges of the book. `Edges ploughed as issued' is rather difficult to interpret: it may mean that the original margins are in pristine condition, or again that the edges are rough and ragged. PMM Printing and the Mind of Man, originally the catalogue of three simultaneous exhibitions (the others being technical and aesthetic) at Earl's Court and the British Museum in 1963, is now taken to refer to that part that demonstrated, in some 500 books, `the impact of print on the mind of Western man' from the Bible to Churchill. An enlarged text, edited by Percy Muir and John Carter, appeared in 1967. It remains the canon for its subject matter (see grolier, hayward), and its initials an invaluable addition to the bookseller's battery of names and references. 169
P O C K E T- B O O K (1) An octavo book printed on a slightly smaller sheet than usual, and easily pocketable. aldus created the first such series, Baron tauchnitz's was famous in the 19th century and Allen Lane made the Penguin paperback more widely popular in the 20th century. (2) A combination of almanac, diary and wallet, manufactured from the late 17th to the 19th century. P O I N T- H O L E S Points mounted on a transverse shank were fastened to the sides of the tympan and punctured the sheet when it was laid on it. These holes served as a guide when the other side was printed, to ensure that it was accurately backed up. Their position varied according to the format; incunabulists can make deductions about the date of printing based on the position of the points. POINT SYSTEM (of type) A numerical system for the measurement and description of type sizes. The first version of this system was introduced by Fournier in Paris in 1737, and another by Didot at the end of the 18th century. A formula different from either of these was eventually adopted in England and America. A point is approximately one seventy-second of an inch. This book is set in 11-point type. See also type measurement. These antiseptic terms, ranging for book-work from 6-point to 22 or 24, have almost entirely superseded such traditional, romantically mysterious names as minion, ruby, nonpareil (pronounced nomprell), brevier (breveer), bourgeois (berjoice), long primer (rhymes with trimmer), pica (rhymes with Leica), english and canon. POINTILLЙ `Gold-tooled decoration on leather bindings producing a dotted effect, whether by the repetition of single dots or by the use of tools with dotted instead of solid outlines.' (H. M. Nixon). POINTS A point is any peculiarity in a book whose presence in or absence from a particular copy serves to distinguish it from other copies not so marked. It is most often used of those bibliographical peculiarities that provide the evidence (or alleged evidence) for priority of issue, binding variants, misprints, variant advertisements, cancels, textual changes, etc. 170
Some collectors hate, and a few despise, points. Others love them, as do most booksellers' cataloguers. For, as Richard Curle once said, `Books without points are like women without beauty ­ they pass unnoticed in a crowd. But books with points excite immediate interest . . . therefore there is an instinctive tendency to dwell on points, to exaggerate their significance [see point-maniacs], and even to discover points that are not really points at all [see issue-mongers]'. This propensity takes three main forms in catalogue notes: (a) The scholarly exposition of the full details, with references to any relevant bibliographical authorities, perhaps some argument, and a conclusion or at least an inference, (b) The dust-in-your-eye technique: a lot of details impressively, or a few brusquely, set down, without explanation or references (or if with references, without indication whose side the quoted authority is on), First Issue in large type ­ and the hope that readers will be too dazed to ask questions, (c) The surely-Idon't-have-to-tell-you line: this, which ingenuously (or disingenuously) assumes that collectors are familiar with all the reference books, consists of such airy notes as `with the point on page 16', `with all but one of the points called for by Heidsieck', or simply and slovenlily `with all the points'. Misuse, such as its application to features common to most copies of a book, does not destroy the value of the term, properly used. It is silly to refer to the usual browning of the paper of Kepler's Astronomia Nova 1609, or the missing half-title in Sheridan's The Critic 1781, or the flaked off white lettering on the spine of Bennett's The Old Wives' Tale 1908, as a `point': white paper, the half-title, or an immaculate spine are such rarae aves as to justify `as usual' after a description of the defect but neither fault nor its absence make a `point'. A point means a distinction of manufacture or issue, which may, properly understood, imply a distinction of bibliographical priority: it should not be used to describe other features, regular or irregular. P O I N T- M A N I A C S These are the collectors who do not merely love points but love them to excess. A relish for bibliographical complexities and the agreeable consciousness of expertness induced by the successful unravelling of a technical problem are among the proper pleasures of connoisseurship. Their results will often contribute to the common stock of bibliographical knowledge; nor is it anything but estimable in a collector to like a tricky book (other things being equal) better than a straightforward one. But just as extreme degrees of rarity or doctrinaire attitudes towards condition have sometimes played havoc with the 171
P O I N T- M A N I A C S (continued) collector's sense of proportion, so has the passion for points. For every experienced collector who can tell a legitimate point when he sees one, and can enjoy it for what it is worth and no more, there are ten young aspirants or humble late-comers to the pursuit who are all too ready to believe the numerous bibliographical fairy-tales which, in course of time, have become so familiar as to be repeated almost without thought. These innocents, rightly determined to master the technicalities of book-collecting, are the natural prey of issuemongers. Mesmerised by the magic words First Edition and thrilled by the realisation that there are also such things as first issues, first states, primary bindings and so forth, they fall easy victims to the chronological obsession. POLISHED CALF A contradiction in terms, since the shiny finish on the material that used to be standard for prize bindings was achieved by varnish not polish. POST-INCUNABUL A Book of incunabular character printed after 1500 ­ how long after, the experts have not yet agreed. This useful term was apparently coined by Wouter Nijhoff c. 1900, and in Holland (as perhaps elsewhere on the Continent) it means books printed 1501­1540. It was adopted twenty years later by Stephen Gaselee and is generally used in England for books printed 1501­1520. PRE-FIRST This self-contradictory term, having no proper meaning of its own, is put to various uses, many of them dubious, but all symptomatic of the chronological obsession. It alleges that the edition, issue or copy referred to precedes the commonly accepted first edition; and pre-first may be found applied to trial issues, advance copies, copyright editions, privately printed editions, pirated or unauthorised editions, extracts, offprints, and even magazine appearances. P R E L I M I N A RY L E AV E S or P R E L I M S The leaves which precede the actual text, i.e. half-title, title, list of contents, dedication, preface, etc. They are usually the last to be printed, and are from their variable composition liable to irregularities of make-up, of pagination (if any) and of signature (again, if any). Blank leaves which are integral to the first gathering count for 172
bibliographical purposes as part of the prelims; but they are not always reckoned in the pagination, which was customarily (though not in this book) in roman numerals and is thus distinct from that of the main body of the text. PREMIUM A tax levied by auction houses on the buyer, as commission is charged to the vendor. See auctions. PREPRINT An article in a learned journal may occasionally be separately printed, for the author to circulate among those whose opinion he values, before it is actually published in the journal; such preliminary issues are called preprints. PRESENTATION BINDING Used variously for gift binding or author's binding. PRESENTATION COPY When used without qualification, this may always be taken to mean that the book was the gift of the author. But only a book spontaneously presented properly qualifies for the description; one merely signed in response to an owner's request is called an inscribed copy. It is useful to consider the various ways in which such gifts have been bestowed; for any one of them would be considered by a cataloguer to justify the description presentation copy, yet they arouse widely differing degrees of enthusiasm in the discriminating collector. The pre-eminent quality in any presentation copy will always be that of its association ­ the interest or importance of the recipient, his connexion with the author or other such special recommendation. This will override most of the niceties distinguishable in the method of presentation; but, assuming the interest of association to be constant, these may be roughly graded as follows: (1) With a signed presentation inscription in the author's hand to a named recipient; dated before, on or near publication. (2) Ditto; but undated or dated considerably later than publication. (3) With the recipient's name, but having from the author or with the author's compliments instead of signature. (4) Without autograph inscription, but showing evidence of having been sent by the author or on his instructions by the publisher. In 18th or early 19th century books the latter's clerk would write or 173
P R E S E N TAT I O N C O P Y (continued) stamp in some such phrase as those italicised in (3) above; in more modern books a printed or typed slip would be loosely inserted. (5) With a note in the hand of the recipient stating that the book was the gift of the author. (6) With a later note making a similar statement at second-hand, from family tradition or the like. There are further subdivisions; and preference between (4) and (5) will be a matter of taste. P R E S E RVAT I O N A newish word in the bibliophilic vocabulary, designed to cover means for preserving a book without actually tampering with its structure. These include cases and boxes, regular but careful cleaning of books and shelves, the prevention of direct sunlight (and too much light of any sort), an ambient environment of not more than 18°C (the colder the better) and 50­60% Relative Humidity, and (perhaps most important) a regular circulation of air. All this will not stop decay, particularly the acidic browning caused by lignin in wood-pulp paperbacks, but it will delay it. Care is all. See also repairing and restoration. PRESS BOOKS A jargon term, but a useful one, covering the products of (a) private presses proper, e.g. Strawberry Hill, Lee Priory, Eragny, Gregynog; (b) concerns which, though not printing houses, call themselves `presses' because they specialise in fine book-production, e.g. Vale, Nonesuch; and sometimes (c) printers whose work is collected for its own sake, whether it was executed for a commercial publisher, e.g. Bulmer, Chiswick, Curwen, Bruce Rogers, or issued over their own imprint, e.g. Aldus, Estienne, Plantin, Baskerville. Class (b) does not include the publications of university presses, or of the fairly numerous publishing firms which choose to call themselves something which they are not. PRESS CORRECTIONS Alterations to the text made while printing is actually in progress. Their presence or absence may indicate priority of state (see issues and states). PRESS FIGURES Numerals, letters or symbols printed in the lower margins of many 18th century English books (and a few American), normally on the 174
verso of the leaf and seldom therefore liable to be confused with signatures. (They are sometimes found in late 17th century and early 19th century English books ­ the Waverley novels are a well-known case.) Each press or pressman was assigned a mark, and these were used for computing piecework earnings. It seems likely that press figures may assist in the detection not only of otherwise undifferentiated re-impressions but also of half sheet imposition and other problems of format, the size of editions, and the size and practice of particular printing shops. But until the analytical bibliographers deliver final judgment the collector will only need to bother his head with them in cases where they have been proved significant for a particular edition of some particular book.
PRESS-MARK In libraries of any size, a mark or number, often consisting of a combination of letters and numbers, is written or stamped in or on each book, often in the form of labels on the spine, and entered against its entry in the library catalogue, specifying the room, book press (hence the name), book-case or shelf where the book is kept. In private libraries these marks (often a combination of letters and numerals) are usually written inside the front cover, whether on a label or directly on the endpaper. They are sometimes called shelfmarks, case-marks or, if of the labelled variety, case-labels. In America they are usually known as call-numbers. Seymour de Ricci, in his English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts, shows how much can be learned from the study of press-marks by anyone concerned with the provenance of books.
See reader.
PRESS-WORK The process of printing off a book or other piece of work, a term rarely used in the book-trade without a qualifying epithet, good or bad. Two pressmen were involved, one who laid the sheet on the tympan, while the second inked the forme with the balls; the first then ran in the bed and pulled the arm of the press to effect the impression.
PRIMARY BINDING A term used to distinguish the earliest of any different publisher's binding styles found on copies of the same edition from later ones
P R I M A RY B I N D I N G (continued) (secondary or remainder). It is only applicable to edition-bound books, and in practice is seldom used of anything except publisher's cloth; though it would be correctly applied to a boards-andlabel copy of a book published between 1820 and 1830 if later-issued copies were known to have been put up in gilt-lettered cloth (i.e. after 1832).
PRINTER'S ERRORS Trivial (and not so trivial) mistakes made by the compositor, as distinct from author's corrections (see issues and states). The distinction was an important one to the printer: author's corrections could be charged to him, via the publisher; the printer had to bear the cost of putting right the compositor's errors himself.
See device.
PRIVATE PRESS A private press is one whose owner or operator prints what he likes, how he likes, not what a publisher pays him to print. He may, and usually does, sell his products to the public, whether directly to subscribers or through the booksellers, or, occasionally, through a publisher's organisation. But he is out to make a fine book rather than a profit. He may employ a printer, as Horace Walpole did at Strawberry Hill, or he may conduct the press himself, like Robert Gibbings at the Golden Cockerel. But he decides what to print and how it shall be printed. In the strict sense, the term private press should be applied only to a shop where the work was hand-set and hand-printed. Many a private press today, however, is rather a purveyor of press books (b). Either way, its editions are likely to be strictly limited in size.
PRIVATELY PRINTED This term seldom means what it says, viz. that the printing was actually carried out in a privy manner. It can refer to the product of a private press; but it is generally used of something not published: that is, something produced not to the order, nor at the expense, of a publisher, but for the author, or one of his friends or patrons, or even a zealous stranger, and thereafter privately circulated, or distributed by other than the usual commercial methods. Alternatively, the description may be used by a publisher for some book which, if published in
the ordinary way, might expose him the more readily to legal penalties on the ground of libel or obscenity. This need not imply that the book was necessarily given away. Indeed, the announcement that something has been privately printed or is to be printed for private circulation only was found, at least as early as the 18th century, to attract collectors; and it still does. Books or pamphlets produced for genuinely private distribution are apt to be genuinely scarce, even if they were not, as often, printed in a very small number. If they were printed for the author to give away, the proportion, of presentation copies is likely to be much higher than with a regularly published book. PRIVILEGE, PRIVILEGE LEAF In the days before the Copyright Act of 1709 a printer or publisher would sometimes secure from the competent authority a privilege (often, but not necessarily, a monopoly) for the printing of a particular book or class of books within the area of the authority's jurisdiction; usually for a limited period, but sometimes for the duration of his office as printer by appointment to the said authority or another, or even for life. This would be signalised either by some such phrase as Cum Privilegio, printed on the title-page or above the colophon, or by a more extended pronouncement, often printed on a separate leaf, usually at the beginning of the book. There are occasional post-1700 examples. Cf. imprimatur. PRIZE BINDING Books were specially bound to be given as prizes to successful pupils by colleges, academies and schools as early as the 16th century. The decoration of such bindings incorporates the arms or emblem and sometimes the name of the institution, more rarely that of the pupil. His or her name and the date and occasion of the prize are recorded on the front endpapers in an inscription, or later a specially printed book-plate. In the 19th century the practice became standard in schools, and polished or tree calf the standard binding for such books. Other books similarly bound were described as in prize calf. PROCTOR Index to the Early Printed Books in the British Museum: with Notes of those in the Bodleian Library, by Robert Proctor, 1898, etc. Supplements, index by Konrad Burger, continuation by F. S. Isaac, 1938. Reprint, 1960.
P R O C TO R (continued) The principles of comparative anatomy and the analogies of natural history were first adapted to the historical classification of books by Henry Bradshaw (1831­86) of Cambridge. But they were applied on a large scale to early printed books by a younger bibliographer, Robert Proctor (1868­1903). The result was Proctor's order: the classification of early printed books on scientific typographical principles by country, town and printer. And, although Proctor's own work will be less often referred to as BMC nears completion, it is fitting to pay tribute to the memory of one of the greatest of incunabulists. PROOFS BEFORE LETTERS A term used to describe proofs of engravings, etc., taken (sometimes on special paper) before the addition of caption, imprint, date or other matter, while the engraved design was in its freshest state. Of the more ambitious illustrated books of the late 18th and early 19th centuries there was sometimes a Special Issue, at a considerably advanced price, with the text on large or fine paper and `proof impressions of the plates'. These would often be proofs before letters. PROOFS, PROOF COPIES First proofs of a book (see also galleys) are provided by the printer for the author's correction and the publisher's scrutiny. Revised proofs are the intermediate stage either to final proofs or, if these are dispensed with, to the finished book. The author's set (or sets) of proofs are apt to carry marginal corrections, additions, etc., in his own hand, varying from a few words to rewritten paragraphs. The printer's reader reviewed the first printed sheets. Of the revised or the final proofs (usually stitched and wrappered), the publisher used commonly to order a quite large number, for use in the office and in the promotion of the book; their place is now taken by printed and gathered sheets similarly wrappered. Whereas the bibliographical distinction between wrappered final proofs and advance copies is significant, the physical differences are often slight, or non-existent. Except for specialist author-collectors, to whom every embryonic stage of a book has some interest, and unless it is known that substantial alterations were made at the proof stage, collectors tend to distinguish sharply between proofs annotated by the author himself ­ the half-way stage between his manuscript or typescript and the first edition ­ and those others, often numerous, which bear at most the routine markings of the printer's or publisher's reader and in many 178
cases no markings at all. But even uncorrected proofs can have bibliographic importance: see `follow the flag', tauchnitz. PROSPECTUS Publishers, like other speculators, try to ensure a return on their investment by offering its produce for sale before the requisite funds are totally committed. A suitably seductive advertisement, with a specimen illustration if illustrated, and details of extent, size and sometimes binding, as well as the all-important price, would be printed and circulated to likely buyers. Prospectuses, in full form, date from the late 17th century, and have become, with the passage of time, a form of ephemera particularly dear to the book-collector. PROVENANCE The pedigree of a book's previous ownership. This may be clearly marked by the owner's name, arms, bookplate, or other evidence in the book itself; it may be less clearly indicated by press-marks; or it may have to be pieced together from such outside sources as auction records or booksellers' catalogues. Apart from such special features in a book's provenance as might put it in the category of an association copy, the evidences of its earlier history are always of interest (documentary or sentimental) and sometimes of importance. They should never be destroyed, deleted or tampered with, but on the contrary cherished ­ and added to. Nor should this respect for a book's history be denied to the notes (including code marks) of booksellers through whose hands it has passed. It is not nothing that a Renaissance text stood once on the shelves of Ludwig Rosenthal or E. Ph. Goldschmidt or Leo S. Olschki or Lathrop Harper. And the collector who has just finished collating a newly acquired Elizabethan quarto knows that he is in honourable company when he adds his mark to the pencilled note on the back end-paper; `Collated and perfect. Bernard Quaritch Ltd' (especially if the note happens to be initialled F.S.F., which stands for F. S. Ferguson, a Past President and Gold Medallist of the Bibliographical Society). Provenance is interesting in proportion to the interest of the previous owners, whether as contemporary with its publication, or as persons of importance in their own right, or because they were bookcollectors of note. It may be important, in the appraisal of an outstanding or very rare book, either as identifying it with one of x copies known, or for the guarantee of quality bestowed on it by having belonged to a respected connoisseur. 179
P R O V E N A N C E (continued) In most cases the cataloguer's reference to a book's provenance will be in straightforward form; e.g. `De Thou's copy, with his arms on the binding impaled with those of his second wife', `From Richard heber's library, with his stamp', `The Wodhull copy, with notes in his hand on the fly-leaf ', `The Renouard-Corser-Ashburnham copy'. But a handful of famous libraries are commonly known by the name not of the owner but of his or his family's residence; thus Syston Park means the Thorold family, Britwell means Christie Miller, Hamilton Palace means almost certainly William Beckford, Rowfant means Frederick Locker, White Knights means the fifth Duke of Marlborough, better known to book-collectors as the Marquess of Blandford, Ashley means Thomas J. Wise. The generally laudable attention paid to provenance (which Americans sometimes, and regrettably, over-anglicise into the bogus word provenience) is occasionally pushed to a length which, if not in itself slightly ridiculous, has of recent years begun to be indiscriminate. To salute `The Coningsby-Locksley Hall-HentzauCasamassima-D'Urberville copy' is one thing: to dress up some mediocre volume with the note that it is `The Black-White-GreenBrown-Gray copy' is another. A pedigree is not always distinguished just because it is long. The whole subject, at least as far as Britain is concerned, is now covered by a handbook, and an admirable one it is, David Pearson's Provenance Research in Book History (British Library, 1994). This covers inscriptions, book-plates, labels and stamps, armorial and other significant binding stamps, sale and other catalogues, available indexes of provenance and other useful features such as manuals of heraldry, palaeography and biography, all in greater detail than can be attempted here. PUBLICATION The classic definitions of this word offered by dictionaries identify two main meanings, the fact of `The issuing or offering to the public of a book', or its extension, a work thus published. And notwithstanding that copyright editions, books privately printed or books issued only to subscribers are reckoned by collectors as the first editions of the works concerned, the crucial factor in publication remains the offering of the book, for sale, to the public. In the eyes of the English law the fact of publication is established not by registration at Stationers' Hall, nor by the deposit of a copy of the book at the British Library (the principal copyright library), 180
but by the evidence of copies being sold, or openly offered for sale, to the public. And publication day, the day on which that offering for sale is first generally made, is the decisive moment for subsequent collectors of first editions. For the copies of a book made available on that day represent the finished product (as distinct from such prepublication, or chrysalis, stages as proofs, advance copies, trial issues, etc.), but the product in its first, pristine form before the possible incidence of such things as second issues, secondary bindings or other afterthoughts. Publication day is, bibliographically, the book's D-day. PUBLIC LIBRARIES The introduction of free public libraries in the 19th century had a great impact on the extension of literacy and the expansion of the book trade, for which, in the English-speaking world, we can never sufficiently bless the name of Andrew Carnegie. Like circulating libraries earlier (which they gradually superseded), public libraries often had their books specially bound or re-bound (see library binding). PUBLISHER'S CLOTH The use of cloth for edition-binding by the publisher dates from about 1823. It had become general in English and American publishing by 1835, except for poetry and other slender volumes, and (for special reasons) fiction. It has been almost universal for new books of any bulk since about 1850. Originally introduced as a novelty alternative to the prevailing paper-covered boards, and like them conceived of as a mere temporary covering until the book should be leather-bound, its possibilities as a permanent binding had become clear by the early 1830s; and although many purchasers of books issued in publisher's cloth continued to have them bound before putting them on their shelves, the number of these has grown steadily smaller, to the point of virtual invisibility. The introduction of strong paper grained to look like cloth instead of the real thing has made little difference. Edition-binding in cloth, once it was established, meant that the publisher assumed a part of the final cost of a book which had in previous centuries been borne by the purchaser, whether on his own binder's bill or in the extra price charged for copies bound by the retail or wholesale bookseller. For the collector, it meant the establishment of a uniform original binding functionally inseparable from the book within it and readily identifiable, if not on sight, at least by comparison with other copies of the same edition. 181
P U B L I S H E R ' S C L OT H (continued) For books of earlier date there is room for difference of opinion among collectors united in their insistence on original state, for the sound reason (discussed under that entry and under trade binding) that positive identification of an original binding is seldom possible. But once the hunter's quarry is dressed in uniform, there is no mistaking them, even though there may be significant changes in their insignia or other details (see secondary bindings). And it has become an established convention that no book issued in publisher's cloth should be admitted to the fastidious collector's library in any other dress. Exception would be made for presentation or association copies, and (by any except fanatics) for books so rare that even a re-bound copy may present the only chance of a lifetime. But the exceptions are few. QUARTER BOUND A book with leather back (spine), sides covered with cloth or paper, and no leather corners, is said to be quarter bound. See also half bound, half cloth, roxburghe style. QUARTO A quarto book comprises printed sheets folded twice before gathering. It is thus essentially squarish in shape and normally between folio and octavo in size, though varying considerably in this respect. The telephone directory would be defined in book-trade terms as a typical large quarto, yet it is twice the page-area of the average Jacobean quarto play. For details see format. QUIRE When used by binders or bibliographers, this is synonymous with a gathering or section. To a paper-maker it means one-twentieth of a ream of paper. It is also used in the trade more generally as a measure of extent, as `x quires'. QUOINS The wedges, originally wood, later cast-iron, used to hold the furniture fast in the forme, so that it could be safely lifted and carried to the bed of the press. RAISED BANDS A strictly external view of bands, the crucial part of the inner structure of a binding. Ancient philologists formed a perverse law of 182
derivation `lucus a non lucendo' ­ a grove so called because it is without light. So the term `raised bands' only entered the binder's vocabulary when the structural need for them had disappeared. Book-collectors liked them, binders did not disappoint the collectors, and booksellers took up the phrase. In older books, their presence can be taken for granted, only mentioned when some unusual feature, elaborate decoration or the Italian habit of alternating true raised bands with smaller ones for the kettle-stitch, require it. Otherwise, `raised bands' only occur in catalogue descriptions when, as in some leather-cased modern books, the `raised bands' are bogus, non-functional excrescences added to suggest genuine binding. RARITY Rarity is the salt in book-collecting. But if you take too much salt, the flavour of the dish is spoiled; and if you take it neat it will make you sick. Similarly, those book-collectors who exalt rarity above any other criterion tend to develop third-degree bibliomania, which is a painful and slightly ridiculous ailment. A. W. Pollard once defined book-collecting as `the bringing together of books which in their contents, their form or the history of the individual copy possess some element of permanent interest, and either actually or prospectively are rare, in the sense of being difficult to procure. This qualification of rarity [he continued], which figures much too largely in the popular view of book-collecting, is entirely subordinate to that of interest, for the rarity of a book devoid of interest is a matter of no concern. On the other hand, so long as a book (or anything else) is and appears likely to continue to be easily procurable at any moment, no one has any reason for collecting it. The anticipation that it will always be easily procurable is often unfounded; but so long as the anticipation exists it restrains collecting.' (Encyclopaedia Britannica.) The definition of `a rare book' is a favourite parlour game among bibliophiles. Paul Angle's `important, desirable and hard to get' has been often and deservedly quoted: Robert H. Taylor's impromptu, `a book I want badly and can't find', is here quoted for the first time. As rarity is an important factor in book-collecting, it is useful to distinguish between its various kinds and to attempt an appraisal of its different degrees. Among the former are: (1) Absolute Rarity. A property possessed by any book printed in a very small edition; of which therefore the total number of copies which could possibly survive is definitely known to be very small. For instance, of Horace Walpole's Hieroglyphic Tales 1785 seven copies 183
R A R I T Y (continued) were printed, six of Tennyson's The Lover's Tale 1833, and of Robert Frost's Twilight [1894] only two. (2) Relative Rarity. A property only indirectly connected with the number of copies printed. It is based on the number which survive, its practical index is the frequency of occurrence in the market, and its interest is the relation of this frequency to public demand. (3) Temporary Rarity. This is due either to an inadequate supply of copies in the market of a book only recently begun to be collected, or to a temporary shortage of copies of an established favourite. (4) Localised Rarity. This applies to books sought for outside the area of their original circulation or later popularity with collectors. The First Folio Shakespeare and the Gutenberg Bible are certainly `rare books' as the term is generally understood; yet scores of books which have also been actively collected for a century or so, and whose degree of rarity is therefore a matter of record, are much rarer than either. The original editions of Tottel's Miscellany 1557 and Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis 1593, for instance, survive in only one copy apiece; and of the first book printed in Italy, the Subiaco Donatus of 1464, no copy has yet been recovered. But a book which no one has ever thought of looking for ­ and therefore no one else has troubled to preserve or remember ­ is often as difficult to find, and thus as rare in practical terms, as many expensive and notorious rarities. `Tenth editions', said Charles Lamb, `are scarcer than first editions'. The study of comparative scarcities, pioneered by Michael Sadleir, is still in its infancy; and it cannot be pursued in an ABC. The reliability of estimates of rarity attached to a particular book can be checked, at least partially, against its auction record and a comprehensive file of appropriate booksellers' catalogues. The computer (see short-title catalogue) now promises to make a comprehensive list of all surviving copies of books something more than a will o' the wisp. But the collector unfortified by experience of his own in searching for the book over any considerable period will often have to depend on the experience of others ­ sometimes represented by the bookseller who offers him a copy. And he will, in this as in so many other matters, trust those whom he has found sober as well as expert, while keeping a pinch of salt handy for the enthusiastic or the flighty. The degrees of rarity attributed to books are expressed in a wide range of terms, mostly self-explanatory. These may have an appearance of precision; e.g. `no copy sold at auction since 1902' or `gkw records only seven copies', or `only one copy in U.S.A., according to goff or stc', or `unknown to Bollinger' (the bibliographer of the 184
author). They may be related to the book's condition; e.g. `very rare in boards', or `uncommonly found in fine state', or `almost all known copies are badly browned'. They may run simply from scarce to very scarce to rare to very rare to exceedingly or notoriously rare to unrecorded and apparently unique. But it must always be remembered that neither records nor bibliographers are infallible; that estimates based on experience depend on the width, length and acuteness of the experience; and finally that the delicate nuances between the terms used for expressing degrees of rarity vary between one user and another. It will be clear that rarity, like matrimony, `is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly'. But behind it, and confused with it, like `men's carnal lusts and appetites', lies something else, neatly expressed in the famous slogan of the great firm of W. H. Robinson: `The Rarest Books, the Finest Manuscripts'. It was quite clear that both adjectives meant the same: `expensive'. The folly of assuming that all rare books must be expensive and vice versa was as neatly exposed by the late and much lamented Richard Wormser's different slogan: `Uncommon Rare Books'. The further diversions from the essential meaning implicit in yet a third phenomenon, `Rare Book Libraries', range far beyond the limits of an ABC. READER, PRESS READER Printers regularly employed a reader, to prepare the copy for the compositor, anticipating any hazards, from illegibility to special sorts. The reader also read the galley proofs, correcting as many printer's errors as possible, and the subsequent page proofs, giving the first sheets off the press a final read, in case press corrections were still required. Such readers were educated men, often scholars in their own right, but their unique gift was to identify and put right errors that escaped the author. The publisher's reader was primarily employed to evaluate works submitted for publication, the publisher being too busy or distrustful of his own judgement. Some readers attained a legendary reputation for remoulding the work of the author, not always grateful for the advantage thus bestowed. READING COPY A usually apologetic but occasionally slightly defiant term meaning that the book is not in collector's condition. A reading copy will probably look worse than a second-hand copy but better than a working copy. See condition. 185
RE-BACKED This means that the binding of the book has been given a new backstrip or spine. It is mostly used of leather-bound or boarded or wrappered books, for this often necessary but usually unsightly form of repair is seldom resorted to for publisher's cloth. Unless otherwise stated (e.g. `original boards re-backed with cloth', `contemporary calf re-backed with morocco'), it may be assumed that the new back is of similar material to the old. re-backed is usually distinct from re-jointed. But when some part of the old backstrip has been salvaged and mounted on the new, a sort of hybrid between the two is created. The catalogue description will normally give particulars of this; e.g. `old calf, re-backed, portions of the original backstrip preserved', or `boards, re-backed, original label (defective) laid down'. Apart from labels (whether leather or paper), it is seldom thought worth preserving less than a substantial portion of the old back in this way, with the result that these hybrids are apt to resemble re-jointed books, which they are not, rather than re-backed ones, which (underneath it all) they are. RE-CASED A book which, being shaken or loose, has been taken out of its covers, and re-settled in them more firmly is said to be re-cased. Glue, probably some re-sewing and often new endpapers, will be involved in this operation, which is performed on twenty cloth books for every one in leather. For a leather-bound book in similar state of disrepair is more apt for re-jointing or re-backing, though if the covers are intact it may be re-set. Most re-casing is not hard to detect: the spine often looks too tight, the book opens stiffly, the covers have either a slightly scrubbed or a slightly glazed look, the endpapers (even if they are the original ones) do not lie quite flat, the top edges have sometimes been scraped, a fresh strip of paper glued down the back of the sewn gatherings may be visible if the book is opened wide. But an expert job may be very difficult to detect, even if one is suspicious, which one sometimes forgets to be. Suspicion on this point should in fact be unceasing. For there are a much larger number of re-cased books about than most collectors (or even all booksellers) realise; and whereas it is a matter of judgement whether to prefer an entirely untouched copy in slightly shaken condition to another which is sound because it has been re-cased, it has always to be remembered that once a book and its case have been 186
divorced, only the owner and the binder concerned know whether they were remarried to the same partners. Since the second edition of, for example, The Woman in White, or Great Expectations, or Trilby, was published in a binding indistinguishable from the first, a copy of the first edition which is clean inside but damaged as to its binding can be placed in the covers of a brilliant copy of the second just as easily as it can be replaced in its own. And since the difference in market value between a fine copy of the first edition and a fine copy of the second is in a proportion (for such are firstedition collectors) of perhaps twenty to one, it will be seen that the temptation to perform such switching operations may be powerful. That is an extreme case. But it is the knowledge of his own uncertainty as to what may have been done to a re-cased copy that makes the wary and the fastidious collector prefer almost any other. RECTO The front, or obverse, side of the leaf; i.e. the right-hand page of an open book or manuscript. (Oriental books open the other way, with the recto on the left.) Its complement is the verso. RED-RULING Red lines ruled with pen and ink, or later a roll (see rules), round the text page and extending into the margins, were a mark of distinction added, especially to a fine paper copy, from the 16th century onwards; it is rare after 1740 and disappears about 1800 from printed books, although it continued to be a necessity in ledgers, journals and other books ruled for writing. REFERENCES Reference to a standard or, better still, an obscure work of reference is an up-market improvement on the bare-faced blurb. It conveys an air of scholarly respectability to catalogue notes, and may be further buttressed with an array of names. REGISTER, REGISTRATION (1) In the early days of printing the printer would sometimes provide, usually on the last page just above the colophon but occasionally on a separate leaf, a list of the signature-letters and a note of the composition of the gatherings in the book, for the guidance of the binder. This list is known as the register. (2) `Registered on 16 May 1605', or the like, refers to the entering of a copyright in the Register of the stationers' company. This practice, 187
R E G I S T E R , R E G I S T R AT I O N (continued) never regular (or legally necessary, except under the Licensing Act of 1662), decreased steadily during the 18th and 19th centuries and has become obsolete since the Copyright Act of 1911. (3) Printers use the term to mean the exact fit of matter printed on the same page in more than one operation of the press (e.g. if illustrations or coloured initials are printed separately from the text). Thus an initial or a vignette may be described as `out of register'. It is also used of the correspondence of type-area on the two sides of the sheet, produced by perfecting, or, as it used to be called, `working the reiteration'.
See re-jointed.
RE-ISSUE A term even more indefinite than reprint, and better left unused. It may imply a later issue of the original book, substantially unchanged, but with a new title-page or a different binding. It may imply a new impression, with or without similar changes. Or it may imply an entirely new edition: careless phrases like `the book was later reissued in pocket size' betray the fact that a new form, not a re-issue, has been created.
RE-JOINTED When the joints of a book have deteriorated through the stages of rubbed, tender and weak, to being more than merely `slightly' defective, its owner may decide to have it re-jointed. If the damage has not gone too far and if the binder is skilful, this can be done so neatly as to be hardly perceptible on the shelf ­ and occasionally even in the hand. It will not, however, put right any underlying defect in the binding structure. Cataloguers are, on the whole, fairly conscientious in recording any except the most invisible re-jointing; but none worth his salt would omit a reassuring adjective of some kind. Thus, a workmanlike job will usually be described as skilful or almost imperceptible, while even cobbler's work is likely to be promoted to neat. Re-jointing, however well executed, is of some import to collectors who set a high value on original state (if the copy was in such state) and of much more import, for visual reasons, to sticklers for fine condition. Unless the book is very rare or the copy very badly battered, the former will think twice before sacrificing their cherished quality to mere soundness. The latter will probably not think once. See hinges, re-backed, re-sewn, tacket.
REMAINDER BINDING When a book has virtually ceased to sell, its publisher may dispose of his moribund stock at a heavily reduced price, either directly to the trade, or to a wholesaler or bookseller. This is called remaindering. If, as normally in the 19th century (and sometimes even today), the remainder consists not of bound copies but of unbound quires or even unfolded sheets, the publisher or wholesaler will have to bind them; and it stands to reason that he will do so as economically as he can. This results in a remainder binding, which may differ considerably from the original binding. Two- and three-volume works, for instance, were sometimes remainder-bound in one volume. For 19th and 20th century books, the term remainder binding is properly applicable only to edition-binding demonstrably executed to the order of, or for wholesale marketing by, someone other than the book's original publishers. Later (and sometimes cheaper) bindings of his own ought, in distinction, to be called secondary bindings. RE-MARGINED When one or more of the three outer margins of a leaf has been restored, it is said to be re-margined. If it is the inner margin only, the proper term is extended. If all four margins have had to be renewed, the leaf is described as inlaid. R E M B O О TA G E There ought to be, but is not, an English word for this. The practice may be commoner in France than in England, but not all that commoner. re-casing is the nearest term, but that does not of itself suggest that the book has been put back in any covers but its own. Remboоtage means the transferring of a book from its own binding to another more elegant, more nearly contemporary, more appropriate ­ anyway, more desirable; or, alternatively, the transferring into a superior binding of a text more interesting or valuable than the one for which it was made. This often involves a new lettering-piece (the leather label); but even so, if it has been skilfully executed, it is sometimes difficult to detect. R E PA I R I N G Some of the more drastic measures of repair and their consequences are touched upon under such entries as restoration, re-backed, rejointed, re-cased, re-sewn, made-up, re-margined, extended, inlaid, mounted, washed. But whether the collector has to decide on accepting or rejecting a copy already restored, or is considering 189
R E PA I R I N G (continued) having one of his own books repaired, there are a great many minor operations to be taken into account as well as these. The patching of torn or defective margins, the supplying of a missing endpaper or lettering-piece, the re-covering of sides whose marbled or plain paper is badly worn or torn, the filling of wormholes, the ironing out of dog-eared or creased leaves ­ all these and many similar measures may either have already been taken or may seem to be called for. The greatly increased respect for original state among collectors has tended to reduce to the minimum the amount of tampering with even battered copies that most of them will tolerate, let alone procure, in England or America today. (The French take a very different line.) And current convention excuses defects in a copy which can truthfully be described as entirely untouched much more readily than it finds merits in one which has been furbished into brightness. Possibly, indeed, this healthy reaction to the indiscriminate repairing and rebinding practised by our forefathers has gone a little too far. A repaired book is not necessarily a doctored, sophisticated or fakedup book, even though examples of the latter are still quite plentiful enough to make us wary. And the collector who keeps his eyes open when buying one, carefully distinguishes repairs structurally necessary from the merely cosmetic, and gives his own job to a reliable binder (and makes a note afterwards of what has been done, since some bibliographical evidence will have been disturbed), has no need to apologise to anyone. REPRINT A term used loosely for either a new edition or a new impression from the same setting-up of type (see edition and impression). Its emphasis is thus on the contents rather than on the production history of the book. RESERVE The price below which an auctioneer will not sell a lot. Once treated as a closely guarded secret, likely to depress competition, the change from a buyer's to a seller's market has made it common knowledge, through the estimate. RE-SET (1) When a leaf or leaves, or a whole section, has come loose from the binding and has been stuck back again, usually with paste or glue, it is said to be re-set. 190
(2) If the whole book is so shaken and loose as to be unserviceable, it may be re-set in its binding. (See also re-cased.) (3) A printer re-sets type for a new edition, or for a new leaf for insertion in an existing one ­ e.g. `first edition, but the issue with the title-page re-set'.
RE-SEWN If the binding of a book has so far deteriorated that the bands are so far broken that the quires have begun to separate, there is no help for it but to have the book re-sewn. This is the most radical form of repairing it, and one from which any collector will shrink if any part of its original state can be salvaged. But it is better thus to give it a new lease of life than to effect a botched repair by, say, having it recased. With care, it may be possible to retain the original cover.
RESTORATION (1) A term, once neutral and now pejorative, applied to the over-zealous repair of leaves or binding. (2) The name given to bindings of the golden age of English book-binding, following the Restoration of Charles II (1660), and originally associated with the work of the royal binder, Samuel mearne. Properly restricted to the reign of Charles II (d. 1685), it is loosely used for fine bindings to the end of the century.
REVERSE (of a leaf) The back side, often called the verso.
See rough calf.
REVIEW COPIES, SLIPS, STAMPS Review copies, sent out before publication, were in the 19th century sometimes marked by a written note on the endpaper or fly-leaf, sometimes by a printed slip loosely inserted and seldom surviving (the earliest example known to us dates from 1834). The latter method is almost universal today. But some early 20th-century publishers also marked copies sent for review with stamps, either inked, perforating or blind, usually placed on the title-page. Some collectors regard this as a defacement, like a library or ownership stamp. Others cheerfully accept the defacement, because it is evidence that the copy is an early one.
RINGS (in the auction room) A ring is any group of two or more persons (normally, but not necessarily, dealers) who agree together before a sale to refrain from bidding against each other, in order subsequently to share between themselves the saving, in cost price under the hammer, effected by this elimination of competition. The lots purchased by one or another of the ring's representatives are then re-auctioned in private, the difference between the two totals being divided among the members of the ring. This private auction is called the settlement or knock-out, and each man's share of the total price difference is called the dividend. The anticipation of this communal credit-balance, which may often be substantial, also strengthens the hand of the ring's representatives in discouraging outside competitors in the early stages of a sale. For whereas a single bookseller would find it expensive to bid a succession of lots up to the ceiling ­ thus suggesting that the outsider had better stick to bookshops or retire to stamp-collecting ­ the cost of such action is shared by all members of the ring, who will jointly benefit from the resulting peace and quiet. It is not, contrary to belief, the ultimate winners in the settlement who gain most, but those knocked out, who receive hard cash for mere abstention. Thus, perversely, the ring operates as a sort of Friendly Society for the benefit of its weakest members It will be seen that rings work very much like any other cartel. They are routine practice in many Continental countries (the French word is la rйvision). They have never flourished in the United States. Common if not general in England during the 19th and early 20th centuries, they were made illegal by Act of Parliament in 1927, and thereafter dwindled to minimal proportions in the London salerooms. In 1956 they were formally denounced by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association and participation in a ring is now forbidden to its members. Opinions vary as to their prevalence at country sales in Great Britain today. ROAN A thin, soft kind of sheepskin used by binders as a cheap substitute for morocco from about 1790 onwards. Not at all durable, and seldom elegant even when well preserved. ROLL A binder's term, meaning originally a tool having a continuous or repeated design engraved round the edge of a wheel; and by extension 192
the impression made by this on the leather. E.g. `roll-tooled panel in gold' or `decorated with blind rolls'. ROMAN TYPE Just as gothic type was derived from the book-hands canonised in the 15th century by many years of use for texts of the bible, liturgies of every sort, and the works of the fathers of the church, philosophers, lawyers and schoolmen, so a different letter was seen as necessary for a new breed of writer, those interested in the classical past and with it the new doctrine of humanism. In their search for the earliest literary relics of the past, they embraced the script in which the handsomest of them were written, the Carolingian minuscule, now furnished with inscriptional Roman capitals. This script, which dates back to about 1400, was seen as canonical by the first printers to attempt the Latin classics and earliest Christian texts. Its first form, as used at Subiaco by Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz c. 1464­5, fine though it is, has a more Gothic appearance. A second version, cut simultaneously for Johannes de Spira and Nicolas Jenson c. 1469­70, reflected the upright humanistic script more accurately; its form, adapted by different artists to meet the tastes and needs of later centuries, is the roman type familiar today. italic, which has a similar ancestry, followed in 1500. ROMANESQUE (1) Binding. Weale first described, and G. D. Hobson subsequently christened (English Bindings before 1500, 1929), this `family' of 12th and early 13th century bindings, of which over a hundred examples have by now been recorded. Always of leather, usually dark brown, they were decorated with repeated impressions of figured metal tools. The finest examples are French or English; but the style, distinct from the earlier Ottonian and the later Gothic, was also prevalent in Germany (though not in Spain or Italy). (2) Script. Usually applied to manuscripts written from the late 11th to the end of the 12th century. ROMANTIQUE STYLE (of binding) A loose expression embracing the more elaborate block-produced bindings, especially those with polychrome decoration, executed in France between c. 1815 and c. 1840, including bindings in the cathedral style. 193
ROTHSCHILD A Catalogue of the Collection of Eighteenth-Century Printed Books and Manuscripts formed by Lord Rothschild. Privately printed, 1954. The Rothschild catalogue, prepared by Miss N. M. Shawyer under the general supervision of John Hayward (`my faithful and patient mentor', as Lord Rothschild describes him in the foreword), is nowadays frequently cited simply by number (cf. hayward, sadleir) whether for a book whose author has no bibliography of his own or for more reliable particulars provided for one who has. ROUGH OR REVERSED CALF Rough, or reversed, calf, used for reference books, music scores, working manuals and the like since the 17th century, wears the inside of the skin outside, unpolished, and with a suede finish. Reversed calf covers, usually panelled or (in the 17th century) margin ruled on other books, particularly literary works, are rare and valued accordingly. ROUNDING AND BACKING A book once sewn is placed in a press by the binder with the backs of the quires protruding. These are then hammered, so that the outer quires bend to fit over the boards, which are next attached, the whole forming a curve that fits the originally flexible back. ROXBURGHE CLUB, ROXBURGHE STYLE The Roxburghe Club was founded by a group of bibliophiles to celebrate the sale on 17 June 1812 of the library of John, 3rd Duke of Roxburghe (1740­1806), and to commemorate it annually thereafter. The original members included the 2nd Earl Spencer, the greatest collector of his time, and other patrician collectors, but also others neither noble, eminent or rich, such as Joseph Haslewood and the Rev. Thomas Dibdin, the panegyrist of these Homeric heroes. The composition of the Club has not changed since, but from the first anniversary meeting, its members and the Club itself have also undertaken publications. Originally these were reprints of `black-letter tracts'; the Club then advanced to printing limited editions of unpublished medieval and later English texts, changing again towards the end of the 19th century to the facsimiles of manuscripts for which it has become principally known. From the first, Roxburghe Club books have been bound in a uniform style, with a gilt-lettered smooth leather spine, usually brown or black, and dark-red flint paper-board sides, with no leather corners, which has come to be known as roxburghe style, 194
although latterly the Club has preferred a morocco back with buckram sides. Either way, it is, in fact, a quarter binding with a distinctive colour-scheme. ROYAL BINDINGS A book described as being in a `royal binding' may be expected to have a sovereign's arms on one or both covers; but it must not necessarily be supposed that it therefore has a royal provenance. Such bindings are not uncommon, especially on books of the 16th and 17th centuries; for since very early days English binders used the royal arms quite indiscriminately as decoration. The blind-stamped bindings of King Henry VIII's reign, for instance, which are embellished with panels of the royal arms, are all trade bindings. So are almost all the plain calf bindings bearing the arms of Queen Elizabeth or her crowned falcon badge. Large prayer-books or bibles with the royal arms may have come from one of the Royal Chapels ­ but they may equally well have come from any loyal parish church. Except, therefore, for an occasional refugee from the British Museum, to which George II presented the Old Royal Library and George IV most of his father's collection, the odds are against any book with the royal arms which is today in the market ever having actually belonged to a King or a Queen of England. The onus of proof is on the cataloguer. ROYAL PAPER COPY Cf. imperial paper copy. An 18th and early 19th century term for large or fine paper, used for special copies. RUBBED Rubbed and its polite synonym chafed are the equivalent of what the French call fatiguй. If the backstrip or the joints of a copy are described in a catalogue as rubbed, they will not necessarily be weak, but they are probably well on the way to it, and if the binding is of leather, they will be in need of resuscitation. RUBRIC, RUBRICATED, RUBRISHER A rubric is a heading to a chapter or section written or printed in red (with a specialised meaning in liturgical books). Rubricated, as used in descriptions of MSS. or early printed books, generally means that initial capitals and/or paragraph marks have been painted in red. The rubricator or rubrisher (a noun undeservedly obsolete) was the man who did the painting. Cf. illuminated, miniature. 195
RU B R I C , RU B R I C AT E D , RU B R I S H E R (continued) Rubricated is also sometimes, but wrongly, used of books correctly described as red-ruled or ruled in red (borders, underlining of words on the title-page, etc.), a common practice in the 16th and 17th centuries.
RULES A continuous line, thick or thin (or both), is printed from a strip of metal called a rule; the name is also applied to the printed result. Title pages in the 17th and early 18th centuries were often enclosed in plain rule-borders. Decorative rules, continuous or of fixed length, often resembling miniature fleurons in combination, came in later. Special copies of books before 1800 often had the margins red-ruled with a circular tool like a bookbinder's roll. The term is sometimes rather loosely extended to describe bookbindings decorated with a fillet border or panel.
RULING The process by which a skin or sheet of paper was marked, with a plain or lead point, to provide the scribe with a grid on and within which to write a manuscript text.
See headline.
RUSSIA LEATHER Cowhide tanned by a special process, giving it a rich, smooth effect; and impregnated with birch-bark oil, whence its characteristic scent. Russia leather was introduced from Muscovy before 1700 and applied to bookbinding soon after. Normally diced, it was particularly popular with English binders between 1780 and 1830. But it is apt to fail at the joints, and it is virtually unobtainable today.
SABIN Bibliotheca Americana; a Dictionary of Books relating to America from its Discovery to the Present Time. Begun by Joseph Sabin (1821­81), continued by Wilberforce Eames, and completed by R. W. G. Vail, New York, 1868­1936, 29 vols. The New Sabin, ed. Lawrence S. Thompson, was begun in 1973 and completed in 1984 in ten volumes. This is the most comprehensive reference book for americana.
SADLEIR Michael Sadleir, XIX Century Fiction, A Bibliographical Record based on his own Collection, 1952. This catalogue of Sadleir's famous and comprehensive collection (now in the library of the University of California at Los Angeles) is nowadays commonly cited simply by number, whether (for prestige purposes) in addition to that of the author-bibliography, if any, or (often) because there is no individual bibliography of the author concerned. S A LT I N G A sale is said to be salted when the property sold (perhaps that of a well-known collector) is artificially enlarged by the insertion of other books, whose price is expected to be enhanced by association with the books which truly belonged to the collection. The implicit is sometimes made explicit by the addition of a specially printed bookplate. Wise accused Buxton Forman of `salting down' remainders, a slightly different use of the term. SALESMAN'S SAMPLES A smaller simulacrum of the finished book, containing specimen pages of the text and (more especially) any illustrations, enclosed in a cover like the binding, plus the dust-jacket (if any), easily portable by a publisher's commercial traveller, who used it to encourage booksellers to order the book. See binder's dummy, from which it should be clearly distinguished. SAMMELBAND A German word for books in which two or more bibliographically distinct works are bound together within the same covers. The practice itself, common in the Middle Ages, was carried over into the incunabular period, and books still exist in which manuscript and printed works coexist thus ­ still, because the prejudice of libraries, not to mention collectors, for separating manuscripts and printed books has led to the breaking-up of even more of such books than others. The term is regularly applied to post-incunabula, but is uncomfortable if applied to later confections of the same sort: tract volume is not quite the same thing. SCORED CALF calf treated by a squeezing process which produces a crinkled effect, resembling a coarse straight-grain morocco. Popular with English 197
S C O R E D C A L F (continued) binders during the first thirty years of the 19th century, less popular since. SCREEN Photographic reproduction of illustrative material, both for letterpress and lithography, requires the interposition of a screen ruled with lines to break up the image into dots of varying size, whose impression creates light or dark tones. Screens range from coarse to fine, from 65 to 300 lines to the inch. See illustration processes. SCRIPTS In descriptions of old manuscripts, the text hand will be identified in more or less detail according to the importance of the MS. and the scholarship of the cataloguer. Among the main classes of script are uncial, semi-uncial, insular, cursive, humanistic, romanesque, Gothic, secretary; among the more specialised, Carolingian, Beneventan, textus prescissus, littera anglicana or cancellaresca (chancery), etc. Any reader who expects to find analyses of these and the many other hands in an unillustrated ABC is asking too much. He is referred, in the first instance, to Sir Edmund Maunde Thompson's Handbook of Greek and Latin Palaeography, over a century old but still unsurpassed. The various catalogues of `Dated Manuscripts' produced in most European countries over the last forty years provide more illustrations. The Comitй Internationale de Palйographie is planning a multilingual glossary of scripts and other codicological terms. SECONDARY BINDING Publishers are seldom so confident of a book's success that they bind up at once the whole number of copies printed. They order further bindings-up in accordance with sales and estimated needs; and a slowselling book may be bound in batches over a period of years. This practice was more widespread, and the periods involved were much longer, in the 19th century than today: and edition-binding has become increasingly mechanised and standardised. Consequently, binding variants ­ slight (or substantial) differences between one batch and the next ­ are commoner in 19th-century books than in 20th. Often there will be no visible difference between the 500 copies bound in, say, 1871 and the 250 bound in 1872; so that though the 198
latter form strictly a later issue, the collector will be spared any knowledge of it. If the copy, though identical in binding, is betrayed by late advertisements ­ whether printed on the endpapers or an inserted catalogue ­ as being one of a binding-up which cannot have been the first, this is still a subdivision of the primary binding, though a less desirable one. For there is no physical difference in the binding itself. When there is such a difference, the result is a secondary binding; a category which, in current usage, includes any further binding variants recorded on copies of the same edition, unless there is evidence that one of them is a remainder binding. Even if the publisher makes no intentional change ­ of colour, of decoration, of fabric, for economy, or (very occasionally) for additional attraction ­ the binder may employ a different imprint die (of several in use for this particular publisher's work), the cloth used before may be out of stock, or some other minor difference may be introduced. When such variants have been identified, those interested in the book who are concerned to be sure that they have it in its earliest form, must decide (if they can) which represents the first, or primary, and which the later binding or bindings (secondaries). The seriously interested collector will wish to have every available form. And if anyone suspects that this whole business is less simple than it has been made to sound here, he may confirm it by reference to John Carter's Binding Variants in English Publishing, 18201900 (1932) and More Binding Variants (1938), where a number of particularly poisonous examples are examined in detail. SECOND-HAND COPY Far from fine, often neither very sound nor very clean, probably better than poor or defective, and certainly better than a reading, let alone a working, copy. A good second-hand copy, in short, means that the condition is adequate but not much more. SECTION A synonym for a gathering or quire: used mostly in such phrases as `a clean copy, but two sections loose', or `one section badly opened'. SELF-PUBLICATION If no publisher will undertake the cost and risk of publishing a book, the author may undertake both, the publisher merely charging a commission for his services. Many such works fall into the category of vanity publications, but the publisher's judgement is not infallible: Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1776 and 199
S E L F - P U B L I C AT I O N (continued) Mitchell's Gone with the Wind 1936 were both originally self-published. Other authors, Sterne, Carroll, Ruskin, Shaw, Keynes, preferred this method of publication because it gave them more control over their work. lithography could make the author his own printer. SEMIS, SEMЙ A binding term, from heraldry, meaning sprinkled or dotted (literally, sown) with small ornaments. SERIALS, SERIALISATION The practice of reprinting fiction in serial form in periodicals dates from the beginning of the 18th century, Robinson Crusoe in The London Post, 1719­20, being an early example. The earliest novel first published in instalments seems to have been The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves, by Tobias Smollett, which appeared during 1760 and 1761 in The British Magazine. It was only in the second quarter of the 19th century that the latter, and to collectors far more significant, practice became widespread; but of the output of popular novelists writing since that date it is probable that something between one third and one half was first published in serial form. (In the 19th century what we call part-issues were sometimes called serials.) Mr Graham Pollard, who has given us the best short account of serial fiction publishing,1 made a telling case against its general neglect by collectors who profess to be seeking the earliest printed form of the books of their choice. Yet except among the more devoted author-collectors, it continues to be neglected; and the first appearance in book form, i.e. the `first edition' as commonly understood, remains the general collector's desideratum. It is likely that more attention will be paid to magazine texts as it is more widely realised how often and how considerably they differ from the subsequent book-text. Yet runs of magazines (containing much alien matter) are troublesome to shelve even when assembled; and bound-up extracts from the run (the alien matter discarded) still lack the continuity of a book. SEWN, SEWED After the sheets of a book have been folded and gathered, they are sewn to the bands. Many different methods of sewing were employed 1 In New Paths in Book-Collecting, 1934; later re-issued separately in Messrs Constable's Aspects of Book-Collecting series. See also R. M. Wiles's Serial Publication in England before 1750, Cambridge, 1957. 200
at different times, on whose strength or weakness depends the ultimate stability of the book. When followed by the confirmatory phrase `as issued', the terms sewn or sewed, used of pamphlets, offprints, slender volumes of verse and the like, mean that the gathering or gatherings of which they are composed have been sewn vertically in the regular way (as distinct from being stitched, stabbed or stapled), but no more; i.e. the item has not been bound, cased, boarded or even wrappered, but was issued naked. Sewn, sewed used alone is more often synonymous with unbound. SHAKEN, SHAKY Used mostly of books in publisher's cloth, and meaning that the book itself is no longer firm in its covers. A copy described as shaken will almost always have given way at the inside hinges, the endpapers perhaps cracked, but it need not be expected to be positively loose. S H AV E D When the binder has trimmed off the whole margin of a leaf and touched ink, but has not actually cut off more than the outer edge of any printed letters, the result is indicated by such terms as `headlines slightly shaved', `some side-notes shaved', or `catchwords shaved on pages 16­20'. He has grazed the text and drawn blood; and it is proper that the synonym for shaved, in this context, should be touched; but it is hardly a wound, which would justify text cut into, or cropped. SHEEP A soft leather, with little grain. Good sheepskin, well handled (as it was in Germany around 1800), can make a not despicable binding. It was a popular trade binding for 17th century verse and other small books. But it has mostly been used for the commoner and cheaper sort of work; and it is all too liable to loss of surface on the covers, a scratch tearing it off in long strips, and weakness at the joints. SHEET The sheet is essentially a printer's unit. The type for two pages (for a folio), four (for a quarto), eight (for an octavo), is set up, and then printed off on one side of the sheet. The sheet is then `perfected' by printing off an equivalent number of pages on its other side. (See also forme.) The result is folded into a quire (or section or gathering), and assembled (or collated) into sequence with its fellows for sewing and binding (or casing); but these operations are performed 201
S H E E T (continued) not by the printer but in the bindery. A full sheet, unfolded, was used for broadsides or sheet almanacs. A book described as `in sheets as issued' may be assumed to consist of folded sheets, not yet stabbed or stitched (unfolded sheets are rare enough to demand notice of the fact), without any wrappers or case that may have been subsequently added. The description above, based on hand-press procedure and valid for most books printed before the late 19th century, does not apply to the enormous sheets manufactured for modern high-speed presses, nor, a fortiori, to rotary printing from a continuous reel of paper (a bibliographical nightmare).
See press-mark.
SHORT COPY A copy whose margins have been severely cut down by the binder.
S H O RT- T I T L E Originally the abbreviated title by which an Act of Parliament is officially designated, short-title is used in the same sense for books; e.g. short-title list, short-title catalogue, which mean that only so much of the title is given as to ensure recognition.
SHORT-TITLE CATALOGUE (STC) A Short-Title Catalogue of Books printed in England Scotland and Ireland and of English books printed abroad 14751640. Compiled by A. W. Pollard and G. R. Redgrave (with the help of others). London, The Bibliographical Society, 1926. STC, a landmark in enumerative bibliography and one of the most frequently quoted of reference books, has been several times reissued. A revised edition, begun by the late W. A. Jackson, has now been completed by Katharine F. Pantzer (1976­1991). STC is also used generically to mean one containing entries shorter than a full description, not necessarily with a shortened title-page transcription. Examples include the British Museum short-title catalogues of 16th-century books, now being extended to the 17th century. wing is another STC, but its current revision is already being planned for adaptation to a computerised database, like the newer ESTC and ISTC. As there noted, the concept of a `Short-Title Catalogue', for which conciseness was necessary to confine a suffi-
cient record within the economic limits of printed volumes, has been This is a freed from such constraints by the ability of the computer to absorb shoulderand sort mechanically a much-extended range of information; its new note constraints are those of computer systems and the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR). It is perhaps too late to say so, but `STC' has become an overworked abbreviation; it needs a rest.
SHOULDER-NOTES Notes printed in the outer margin at the top of the page.
This is a
Notes printed in the outer margin alongside the text to which they side-note
refer. This position makes them vulnerable to the binder's knife; e.g.
`some side-notes cut into' or `with the side-note on page 61 intact' (the
implication being that it usually is cut into).
SIGNATURES The letters (or, in some modern books, numerals) printed in the tail margin of the first leaf (at least) of each gathering or section of a book, as a guide to the binder in assembling them correctly. (See, for instance, p. 33 or p. 177 of this book.) Signatures normally run from A to Z, omitting, by convention, J and U, which in earlier days were capitalised as I and V, and also W. If the whole alphabet has been run through, they usually proceed to AA, BB, or Aa, Bb, etc. These are commonly indicated in bibliographical descriptions as 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, etc. When, as an alternative, a single-letter alphabet is simply repeated, it is convenient to indicate the subsequent alphabets as 2A, 3A, 2B, 3B, etc. The preliminary leaves are sometimes not signed at all (in which case the text may begin with signature B); sometimes signed with a lower-case letter or letters; occasionally signed with an asterisk or similar symbol. The title-leaf is almost never signed; the half-title or preliminary blank is occasionally signed (especially in 16th and 17th-century English books); preliminary leaves following an unsigned half-title and/or title are frequently signed A3 or A2, etc. Signature is also used, by booksellers' cataloguers but not by bibliographers, to mean the gathering or section itself; e.g. `last signature stained', or `two signatures missing', or `lacks first leaf of sig. F'. For the bibliographical description of unsigned leaves and gatherings, see collation. 203
SIGNED BINDINGS The binder's name will usually be given in a catalogue description if the binding is of any quality or interest, and if its executant or designer can be identified. E.g. `in a handsome red morocco binding by Kalthoeber', or `half levant, gilt tops, by Zaehnsdorf '. Bindings can be positively attributed on several kinds of evidence: (1) In early bindings, by initials, cypher or name impressed in blind on the outside of the covers, whether by a single tool or incorporated in a roll or panel. (2) By a printed or engraved label, known as a binder's ticket: normally pasted on to the upper corner of one of the front endpapers, but very occasionally at the foot of the title-page. Introduced in the 1720s, binders' tickets were widely used from 1780 onwards both in England and France, but the practice declined sharply after the 1830s. (3) By the binder's name (rarely initials) stamped on the inside edge of the front or back cover; or, by many French and a very few English binders of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, at the foot of the spine; or, rarely, along the fore or lower edge of the front cover; or, by Henry Walther if no one else, along the inside front hinge; or, from the second quarter of the 19th century onwards, smoke-printed at the edge of one of the endpapers. These signatures are nowadays often done with a name-pallet. (4) By a manuscript note of the owner for whom it was bound. (5) Occasionally by some external evidence, such as the binder's bill or a reference in correspondence. Often, however, no such evidence is available; and then the cataloguer must fall back on an inferential attribution, based too often only on stylistic grounds. This is generally a much more hazardous exercise than he supposes, since at any date binders in any given locality have used the same materials and brazenly copied each other's designs. With an early, rare or important binding, such an attribution will often, it is true, be buttressed by references to the use of the same individual ornaments on other bindings which can be positively assigned to a particular binder. But outside this still not fully documented area, the degree of credence to be accorded to such an attribution must depend on one's confidence in the person who makes it: confidence first in his knowledge and judgement; secondly in his integrity. An expert, appraising a binding characteristic of the style and workmanship of a wellknown binder, may think he can be sure that it is, or is not, by (say) Staggemeier or Hering; yet the expert does not live who can tell some late Bedfords from early Riviиres. And certainly many more bindings have been optimistically assigned to Derome or Padeloup, Mearne, Edwards or Roger Payne, than ever came out of their shops. 204
The prudent collector, therefore, when confronted with any binding attribution in an auctioneer's or bookseller's catalogue, will look first to see whether it is positive or inferential. And if it is the latter, he will take thought whether Mr X is or is not apt to know what he is about in such matters. Signed bindings by admired craftsmen command, of course, a higher price than unsigned ones, however confidently attributed; but a confident attribution (whether well or ill founded) is usually considered by him who advances it to justify a higher price than would the more cautious description `in the style of ' or `in the manner of '. Any experienced collector who even contemplates ordering a book chiefly remarkable for its binding otherwise than on approval is wont to scrutinise very carefully the evidence for any attribution attached to it. And even when he has it before him, he remembers that, although it is difficult to imitate or tamper with a name-pallet, unscrupulous persons have been known to transfer a binder's ticket from a dull or damaged example of some master's work to a handsome or interesting book bound in his manner but unfortunately (or fortunately) unsigned. publisher's cloth bindings between 1835 and 1850 occasionally had the binder's name stamped on their sides, usually somewhere in the border. And an artist's name (e.g. Gustave Dorй, Aubrey Beardsley) or monogram (e.g. J[ohn] L[eighton]) is frequently to be seen on carefully designed books of the second half of the 19th and early 20th century. SILKED When the leaves of a book are so fragile and/or have required so much repair that they have been faced on both sides with some thin, transparent textile or plastic fabric, they are said to be silked (see encapsulation, lamination). SINGLETON A jargon word (of recent origin in this sense) meaning a single leaf inserted in an irregular position in the collation. A singleton will either be the surviving leaf where the other has been severed for insertion elsewhere, or the severed half itself in its inset position, or an extra leaf printed separately, probably at the last minute. SIXTIES BOOKS This label has become of late years a not infrequent subjectheading in booksellers' catalogues. Applying strictly to the published products of the English illustrators of the 1860s (particularly of the 205
S I X T I E S B O O K S (continued) Pre-Raphaelite group), as popularised by the pioneer studies of Gleeson White and Forrest Reid, it is apt to include such immediate chronological predecessors as Moxon's illustrated edition of Tennyson's Poems 1857 and reprints or late-comers from the succeeding decades. Many of such volumes were put out in elaborately decorated bindings with gilt-edged leaves and often bevelled edges (sometimes called table books), and they were frequently cased by the gutta-percha technique rather than sewn, so that they are hard to find in sound condition.
SIZE, SIZED, RE-SIZED Size is a thin glutinous or viscid decoction of bones or animal substances used to coat or form part of the substance of certain kinds of paper (as well as other surfaces). And the collector is only concerned with it in one context. When a leaf or leaves of a book have been washed, to remove dirt, writing, etc., the chemical detergents are apt to remove the sizing from the paper, leaving it limp and weak. A washed leaf or gathering, therefore, is likely to be also re-sized, and therefore one further degree removed from its original state.
See format.
SIZES OF TYPE See point system, type measurement.
SKELETON FORMES The constant parts of the formes used for a book, the furniture and the headlines, left in place when pages were removed after printing and others put in their place, according to a preordained imposition. With the furniture which simply fills blank spaces in the formes, the collector is not at all concerned, but the headlines, with regularly changed folios and irregularly changed running heads, are a constant source of printer's errors. Both sorts of error are so commonplace as hardly to deserve bibliographical record (though sometimes getting it). Such errors may, however, occasionally register a legitimate point.
SKIVER The humblest of all forms of leather used for book-binding. It is very thin, being split from the inner side of a sheepskin and tanned in
sumach. When rubbed, worn or scarred (as often), it is hard to tell from roan; nor is the distinction of much importance, for both are despised.
SLIP Any piece of printed paper of an area substantially less than the page of the book, etc., with which it is connected; whether physically, e.g. pasted-on cancel slips, tipped-in errata slips or advertisement slips; or by loose insertion, e.g. presentation slips, review slips.
See cases and boxes.
SOLANDER CASE Originally invented by Daniel Charles Solander (1736­82), a pupil of Linnaeus, for the preservation of botanical specimens in the British Museum, where he was an assistant librarian. Subsequently adopted for housing prints, and in due course books also. The solander is strictly a box, of the fall-down-back or fall-down-front type, rather than a case (see cases and boxes). In its full-dress form, whether of full or half leather, it has a rounded back, projecting squares like a book, and a spring catch, or catches.
SOPHISTICATED This adjective, as applied to a book, is simply a polite synonym for doctored or faked-up. It would be equally appropriate to a second edition in which a first edition title-leaf had been inserted, to another from which the words second edition had been carefully erased, to a first edition re-cased in second edition covers, to a copy whose half-title had been supplied from another copy (made-up) or another edition or was in facsimile. It is therefore naturally a term very rarely found in a catalogue description except in its negative form, unsophisticated; e.g. `a somewhat shaken but entirely unsophisticated copy of this rare book'. First noted use, 1790.
SOUND COPY This means what it says and no more, for if the copy were a fine one, the cataloguer would say so.
SPANISH CALF A method, originating in Spain, of decorating the sides of a calf binding by bold dashes, or large flecks, of red and green acid dye. An
S PA N I S H C A L F (continued) even more dramatic effect, peculiar to Spain, was the application of such dyes with tooling in the semblance of a curtain. SPINE That part of a book which is visible as it stands closed on the shelf; not uncommonly called in antiquarian parlance the backstrip, and sometimes the back. The last comes naturally in such phrases as smooth back, panelled back, gilt back and others descriptive of leather bindings, but it is to be avoided in those contexts in which it could be confused with the back (or lower) cover. SPIRAL-BOUND A method of binding a set of separate leaves (which may be a typescript or promotional proofs) with a series of all but circular metal or plastic teeth that engage in mechanically punched square holes in each set of leaves thus bound; sometimes called comb-binding. SPRINKLED Used (1) of calf bindings and (2) of the edges of leaves, and meaning coloured with small specks or spots. In sprinkled (or speckled) calf, these are normally of a darker brown than the natural leather (stained calf is very rarely sprinkled). For edges the commonest colour is a dull red. Many, perhaps most, books bound in calf or sheep before about 1850 had their edges sprinkled. In recent times the technique has been mainly restricted to reference books, technical books, library rebindings and the like. See also lye, mottled. SQUARE A technical term in binding, meaning the square space by which the boards extend beyond the head or tail and fore-edge of the text block, and bisected diagonally by the mitred turn-ins. If the squares are unnaturally large or, still worse, not square, remboоtage must be suspected. SQUARE BRACKETS These are used for enclosing an author's or publisher's name, the place or date of publication, or any other detail in the description of a book or manuscript which is supplied not from the object described but from an external source; e.g. Beckford's name as the author of the anonymous Vathek, or `[London, circa 1890]' for the edition of Mrs Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese allegedly printed at Reading in 1847. 208
STABBED, STAB-HOLES The gatherings (or sections or quires) of most books are sewn at the centre of the fold. But thin (and not so thin) books, pamphlets, magazines or part-issues would sometimes be sewn through sideways, when they are said to be stabbed, from the holes stabbed through the leaves to receive the thread. Books so treated were marketed as `stitched books'. The modern term for the process, whether thread-sewn or stapled, is side-stitched. The existence of `the original stab-holes' will sometimes be cited as evidence that a bound or cased copy of a part-issued book was bound from the parts, which were usually stabbed, and was not a copy of the subsequent volume-issue for which the quires would have been stitched in the ordinary way (see part-issued books in volume form). S TA M P, S TA M P E D (1) See book-stamp, review copies. (2) A term not used by professional binders which has nevertheless established itself in descriptions of book-bindings. It is best limited to the engraved design on a block, or the impression of a block on the covers of a book, as distinct from decoration executed by a wheel-tool or cut in the leather. Examples are: panel-stamps, armorial stamps, and those large centre and corner stamps used in the second half of the 16th century and the first half of the 17th which must have been blocked in a press. STANDING TYPE The type from which a book was printed was not always distributed immediately after use. It was sometimes kept and used for a subsequent impression, which is then said to be printed from standing type. S TA P L E D Wire staples as a substitute for stitching seem to have been introduced for publisher's binding about 1880; but, apart from their tendency to rust, they have never been satisfactory for cloth-bound books. They have, however, continued to be used to hold together pamphlets, magazines, etc., for issue either wrappered or without covers. S TAT E (1) Of illustrations, frontispieces, engraved titles, etc., which may show evidence of wear, alteration, re-engraving in whole or in part, or which may have been produced in alternative forms; e.g. of
S TAT E (continued) Gulliver's Travels 1726, `a fine copy with the portrait in the first state, without Gulliver's name round the oval'; of The Pickwick Papers 1836­37, `the plate in Part 12 is in the earliest state, before the addition of the hat on the front bench'; of Thornton's Temple of Flora 1799­1807, `an exceptional copy with the plates in two states, plain and coloured'. (2) Of the printed text: see issues and states. (3) Of the individual copy: `in fine state' (see condition) or `rarely seen in original state'. STATIONERS' COMPANY Founded in 1403 and incorporated by royal charter in 1557, the company included most of the leading members of the book trade. By its rules they were required to enter in its register the title of any book they wished to print. The company was the willing instrument of government measures to regulate the press: what was control to one was a cartel for the other. The registers are an unrivalled source of information on early English printed books: Edward Arber's Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London, 15541640 (1875­94), privately printed at the expense of a leading stationer, George Eyre, is as fascinating as a record of many (but not all) surviving books in its period as tantalising in the details it preserves of those of which no copy is known to survive. The requirement to register was one of the provisions of the copyright Act (1709), but this gradually fell into desuetude during the 19th century. STATUTORY COPIES See copyright libraries. STC See short-title catalogue. STEREOTYPE The process of making a mould of a page or forme of type and casting its identical image as a thinner metal plate took even longer to perfect than that of casting movable type. The advantage of permanently locking up the type of a book often printed must have been early recognised, but the advantage of moulding was that it released the type for other purposes, besides retaining, in the mould, the means of making a second plate, should the first wear out. 210
Probably invented in Holland in the second half of the 17th. century, a form of stereotype was used by Jacob Athias for the contraband English Bibles printed there to undercut those of the King's Printer and the University presses which held the privilege for printing them. Used again by Johann Muller of Leyden for his Syriac New Testaments (1709 and 1713), the process was effectively re-invented first by William Ged of Edinburgh in the late 1720s and again by Alexander Tilloch c. 1780. The improvements made by Earl Stanhope finally established it between 1800 and 1820, and thereafter the technique was widely used in England and (particularly) America from the second decade of the 19th century onwards. STICK The composing stick was the compositor's basic tool, the shallow tray into which he transferred the type he picked from the case. Its aperture, originally fixed, later adjustable, set the measure of the lines that he composed and justified (adjusting the space between the words so that each line filled the measure). Heavy subsequent correction might require lines to be lifted from a galley and `run through the stick'. S T I LT E D A binder's term, meaning that the squares, or projection of the covers beyond the edges of the leaves, are unusually deep. Stilting is deliberately used when a book is being bound to range on the shelf with taller neighbours. (Pepys preferred platforms for the smaller ones to stand on.) It is also sometimes a pointer to remboоtage. Amateurishly re-cased cloth books may also look a little stilted if the top edges of the leaves have been drastically rubbed clean, and partissued books were sometimes stilted when cased by a local binder over-zealous with the shears. STIPPLED Dotted: a method of building up tints in engravings, especially aquatints; by extension, in bindings, a ground made of fine gilt points. STITCHED Stitched books were commoner than present survival would suggest. A closer look at conventionally bound books from the 16th to the 18th century will often reveal stab-holes in the inner margin. Dean Anthony Higgin's library at Ripon Cathedral contains a number of early books stab-stitched into a skimpy vellum or paper wrapper. 211
S T I TC H E D (continued) Hoards of unbound, uncut pamphlets, such as the Downshire collection, are always found thus. There was a separate market for `stitched books' as such in England from the late 17th to the mid-18th century, well explored by David Foxon in The Book Collector, 24 (1975), 111­124. See sewn, stabbed. STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO morocco leather so treated (in the piece, not on the book) as to give it an artificial pattern, or graining, of roughly parallel lines. The technique, said by French historians to be an English invention, dates from the second half of the 18th century. STUB (1) A stub is the narrow ­ sometimes very narrow ­ strip of a leaf remaining after it has been severed from its counterpart (or conjugate leaf ), usually before the book was sewn. When detected ­ and in a firmly bound book even a naked stub is easily overlooked ­ it acts (or should act) as an emphatic red light. For it immediately provokes the questions, what was here and why was it cut away? Some stubs are innocent enough. A frontispiece, plates printed separately from the text, a last-minute additional leaf ­ any of these would often be provided with a deliberate small overlap, or stub, so that they could be properly stitched in with the gathering or section to which they belong. But any stub whose purpose is not thus easily explained, and, above all, any stub on to which a substitute leaf has been pasted (the hardest kind to detect), indicates a cancel, and therefore calls for the most diligent scrutiny. (2) A volume of stubs may be made up to enable pieces ­ single or folded printed sheets, letters or prints, usually of different sizes ­ to be bound together. Such volumes are sometimes known as guard books. SUBSCRIBERS, ON SUBSCRIPTION In the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries (and much less frequently since) expensive books, privately printed books, special copies (e.g. on large paper or with proof plates) or even the whole edition would sometimes be issued on subscription. Subscribers who responded to the preliminary proposal might be asked to pay part of the price in advance, perhaps against a smaller total than that ruling after publication day. And in many cases their names would be printed, in a list of subscribers; hence, such catalogue notes as `com- 212
plete with the list of subscribers', or `fine copy, but lacks the subscribers', or `a subscriber's copy, with signature of Cardinal d'Armagnac ("two copies on imperial paper")'. SUB-TITLE A subordinate, usually explanatory title, additional to the main title and normally printed immediately below it. To be distinguished from half-title and fly-title. SUPPRESSED (1) A passage may be suppressed from a book (a) between printings; e.g. `Bryce's American Commonwealth 1888, First edition, with the suppressed chapter on the Tweed Ring', meaning that this chapter appears in the first but not in the second or subsequent editions; (b) after publication, but while stock of the edition remains, by means of a cancelled leaf or leaves, so that copies issued earliest have the original version, while those issued later have the amended; e.g. `Surtees' Handley Cross 1854, First illustrated edition, first issue with Leech's name mentioned in the preface '; (c) before publication, again by cancellation, which, if copies with the suppressed passage should by chance have survived, produces, e.g. `Boswell's Life of Johnson 1791, First edition, with the first state of Qq3 in vol. II (cancelled before publication), containing the celebrated passage on conjugal infidelity'. (2) A book may be suppressed, either before publication, e.g. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 1865, or after, e.g. Helvetius' De l'Esprit 1758. If before, the number of copies which accidentally survived or were deliberately preserved may well have been small; sometimes very small indeed, if none had been distributed to friends of the author or prospective reviewers; often not so small as might be supposed, if advance copies had gone out or if the last-minute recall of copies already distributed to the book-sellers was ineffective. Of books suppressed or withdrawn from circulation at a later stage, whether for legal, political or sectarian reasons, or on the instructions of a belatedly ashamed author, the degree of subsequent rarity will depend mainly on the number distributed before suppression. And in appraising such notes as `suppressed by the author and very rare' or `the book was ordered to be burned by the public hangman', it is well to remember that of a popular or sensational book a large number of copies could have been distributed even if it was suppressed very shortly after publication (e.g. Galileo's Dialogo 1632); whereas suppression or withdrawal from sale of an unsuccessful 213
S U P P R E S S E D (continued) volume of poems ten or twenty years after publication probably made almost no difference to the number available to collectors fifty years later (e.g. Matthew Arnold's The Strayed Reveller 1849 or Robert Bridges' Poems 1873).
TA C K E T Tackets are simple connective elements which join components of a binding (or anything else). In book-structures they consist of `a length of material, usually of skin in the form of tanned leather, alum-tawed skin, or parchment, but also of thread or cord, which is used to secure and hold together two or more components in a larger structure, which may itself be only part of a still larger whole' (N. Pickwoad, in `For the Love of the Binding', ed. D. Pearson, 2000, 119). Tackets may serve any number of purposes, from holding a turn-in flat to strengthening the sewing structure, and elaborate structures of this sort are found in account-book bindings. Tacketing may be combined with other techniques in repair ­ boards can be reattached with tackets, with or without a re-back, or broken sewing `tacked' together with tackets. It is the bands that hold the bound book together, and when they break, the strength that they supply at the hinge can only be restored by mending the break. In extreme cases, this will require the book to be re-sewn. However, a skilled binder can restore the broken band by a number of different methods, whereby the frayed ends are brought together and sewn or woven until the junction is strong; the result of this process is a tacket joint. It will not look as if there has been no break, but the book will be stronger than if only re-jointed, strong enough to withstand further use, if (as it always should be) careful.
TA I L The bottom part of a book, as in tail-margin or edge, tailband, or `signed at the tail of the backstrip' (as eminent French bookbinders were wont to mark their work in the first half of the 19th century.
See headband.
TA I L - P I E C E An ornament for a blank space in the lower part of a page, usually at the end of a chapter or poem.
TALL COPY A copy whose head and tail margins have been only lightly trimmed by the binder. TA N N E D The process of converting a hide into leather by soaking it in an infusion of the bark of different trees to make it strong and supple. Tanning turns leather brown, but once tanned it can be dyed any colour. It yields easily to tooling, with or without gold leaf. A first tanning as a preservative can be succeeded by re-tanning (for which mineral tanning agents are now sometimes used) to enhance these properties. TAU C H N I T Z Baron Christian Bernhard von Tauchnitz (1816­95), whose Leipzig printing and publishing house produced a `Collection of British and American Authors' that ran to over 5,000 titles, bound in paper covers, anticipating the modern paperback, or more substantial. A conscientious respecter of authors' rights, Tauchnitz was often supplied with proofs by the original publisher. His texts therefore sometimes anticipate that of the British or American first edition. See `follow the flag'. TAW I N G Tawing is a similar process to tanning in which the hide is soaked in a solution of alum. The resultant leather is stronger than tanned hide but not so flexible. It is harder to fold and resistant to dyes (the colour not penetrating the surface) and tooling, except in blind. See also pigskin. TEXT BLOCK An ugly but useful term, the product of the increasing mechanisation of edition-binding. It means the text part of a book, sewn and trimmed, perhaps, but without endpapers, before casing-in; now used by hand-binders with the same meaning. TEXTILE BINDINGS The use of woven materials, velvet or figured silk, for de luxe, usually secular, bindings in the Middle Ages is well attested in contemporary inventories, but very few such have survived. Similar bindings on printed books (as distinct from embroidered bindings) are also found, notably on the collections of gratulatory verse produced by 215
T E X T I L E B I N D I N G S (continued) the University Presses of Oxford and Cambridge on royal and other national occasions at the end of the 17th and in the 18th century. THICK PAPER COPY See fine paper copy. THOUSAND It has been the occasional practice of some publishers during the past hundred years to indicate the sequence of reprints, new impressions, or new editions, not in the conventional manner (by saying Third Edition on the title-page or by a bibliographical notice on its reverse), but by a statement, usually on the title-page, of the number of thousands printed to date. The legend Twelfth Thousand (for instance) does not disclose whether the copy which carries it is of the second or the twelfth impression (or even edition), unless we happen to know how many copies of each were printed. What it does make clear is that, even though the date below be that of the first edition and there be no formal notice of what edition or impression this belongs to, it is not a copy of the first. See also edition and impression. THREE-DECKER A book in three volumes: scarcely ever used except of 19th century novels. THREE-QUARTER BOUND As half bound, but with wider leather back and corners. TICKET See binder's and bookseller's tickets. TIES Tapes or ribbons, usually in pairs, slotted into the sides of a binding close to the outer edge, and intended, when tied, to prevent the covers warping or gaping. They must have been common on vellum-bound, and not uncommon on leather-bound, books of the 15th, 16th and early 17th centuries, to judge by the incidence of the slots in which they had once been set; but the survival of original ties intact is naturally infrequent. Most ties were made of woven green linen; blue linen or silk was also used, and some early 17th-century books in presentation limp vellum had ties of contrasting red and yellow silk 216
ribbon. Modern substitutes for lost originals are generally fairly easy to detect. Ties seem to have died out about the middle of the 17th century, though there have been archaistic revivals, chiefly among private presses and in other self-conscious quarters. TIPPED IN Lightly attached, by gum or paste, usually at the inner edge. Plates, errata slips or a single inserted leaf will sometimes be described as being tipped in, as distinct from being sewn in. But the term is much more frequently used of something originally alien to the book, which has been put with it by an earlier owner; e.g. an autograph letter from the author, or some similar associated document. TISSUES Tissue paper tipped in or loosely inserted opposite illustrations; originally to absorb offset, later sometimes for protection (or for ostentation). Unless this tissue has, as occasionally in modern books, a caption or other printing on it, most collectors regard its presence or absence with equanimity, once its original purpose of absorbing offset or damp has been discharged. TITLE (1) Used loosely for either the title-leaf (e.g. `the title is a cancel', `title extended') or the title-page (e.g. `signature on title', `first state of the title'). (2) A book: in such contexts only as `first edition of this popular title', or `Under Two Flags is the rarest Ouida title'. TOOL, TOOLING In binder's terminology tools are the engraved metal implements (usually of brass) with wooden handles, which are used by hand to impress a design on the covers of a book, comprising rolls, fillets, pallets, gouges and single decorative units. The term is also used for the impressions of these implements. Tooling should be distinguished from blocking, which involves the use of a press. When tooling is carried out in blind, the tools are used directly on the leather and the pattern shows up merely as a darkened depression in the surface. In gold tooling the heated implement is applied through gold leaf and the pattern remains in gold. 217
See gilt tops.
See shaved.
TRACT VOLUMES Short, ephemeral or even frivolous books, originally issued stitched and with little more protection, were often preserved by being bound together. Sir Thomas Bodley may have disapproved of `riff-raff books', but the survival of such tracts now rare as well as valuable has depended on others more careful who preserved them in this way. Old libraries often had sets of tract volumes running into hundreds, a unique window on the past. Sometimes such volumes share a common theme; more often they were, for obvious practical reasons, bound as they came in, and so are in a chronological order that may itself be historically important. Narcissus Luttrell (1657­1732), a famous collector of the tracts of his time, went further and punctually recorded the date and price of what he bought on the title-page or verso. But too often, a single desirable item in one of these collective books, a Shakespeare quarto or an equally early New England tract, has been wrenched from it to be bound by Riviиre for some wealthy and singleminded collector of the 19th or 20th century. In those days, the rest was all too apt to be jettisoned, and countless items that might have figured in stc or wing have been lost in this way, some perhaps unique. The earlier sammelband has hardly escaped better, although there is a better chance that more of its contents will have been preserved, if not together. The evils of breaking-up cannot be too often repeated, but the sad fact is that the practice will continue as long as the sum of the individual parts of such volumes is greater than the price of the book intact.
TRADE BINDING During the years before edition-binding and publisher's cloth ­ the whole period, that is, between Johann Gutenberg, 1450, and William Pickering, 1823 ­ books were normally issued to the public, across the counter, in alternative dress and at alternative prices; (1) unbound, in folded quires (latterly stitched and with the intentionally temporary protection of wrappers or paper-covered boards) for binding to the purchaser's taste, at his order and expense, as on the Continent to this day, or (2) at a higher price in some usually simple binding put on by or for the bookseller.
Copies which for one reason or another never got bound survive in boards or wrappers, or unprotected by either, i.e. sewn, stabbed or simply folded. These survivals are often, though not always, bibliographically interesting; they may be significant to technical specialists; they are by their nature uncommon; and their fragility commands respect. But their claim to be in original state is the claim of the embryo, and the esteem in which they have come to be held by some collectors is excessive. For the analogy between a boarded book of 1750 and an 1850 book in publisher's cloth is a false analogy. The collector who is willing to clear his mind of cant on this point would admit that when he demands the original binding on a book (as opposed to a handsome, harmonious or associative binding), he really means original binding as issued to the public. Books that were sold unbound ­ pamphlets, single plays and other slender volumes ­ cannot by their nature qualify for this condition. The only books which can qualify are those bound before sale by the retail or wholesale bookseller: in limp vellum, parchment, sheep or calf in earlier times, in the 18th century usually in calf or half calf. These are conveniently called trade bindings, and they are the bibliographical equivalent of the publisher's cloth bindings of the early 19th century onwards. The trouble is that such bindings are always difficult and often impossible to identify with absolute certainty. Experienced collectors can do so with some confidence perhaps three times out of five; but neither they nor an equally experienced bookseller can prove it oftener than perhaps once in fifty times to someone who is either ignorant or sceptical (or both). For while trade bindings have clearly marked styles in different periods and strong family likenesses at any given period, they could never be absolutely uniform in the sense that edition-binding is uniform. Consequently, no hard-and-fast norm can be laid down for any given book; and as collectors unfortunately prefer absolute, categorical descriptions, to which a given copy manifestly does or does not conform, the obscurantist and the timid among them continue to regard the classification trade binding with some suspicion. See also contemporary, original state, edition-binding. TRANSCRIPT Whether it is in the author's or a copyist's hand, or typewritten, a transcript implies the copying of something already completed: often, indeed, of something already published. When, for example, a poet writes out a favourite poem for a friend or an admirer, the result 219
T R A N S C R I P T (continued) (although it is in his autograph) is a transcript, and not an original manuscript in the strict sense. TREE CALF A calf binding (popular in the 19th century, less common today), the sides of which have been stained by the interaction of copperas and pearl-ash to a design resembling the graining of wood (or certain types of veneer on furniture) and then highly polished. Unless the covers are thoroughly washed at once, the copperas eats into the leather, and this accounts for the bad condition in which much tree calf is now found. The style is said to have originated in the third quarter of the 18th century and to have been popularised by John Baumgarten of London. TRIAL BINDING Since the early days of publisher's cloth, it has been the practice of the binder to submit to the publisher (and, occasionally, the publisher to the author) samples of the cover proposed for a book. There may be alternatives of colour, of fabric, less often of lettering and decoration. Some of these were made up as `dummies' (i.e. mainly, if not entirely, with blank leaves). But often the printer would be instructed to send several sets of `early sheets' to the binder, who might bind and submit them to the publisher in different colours of cloth or styles of blocking. For examples have occasionally survived of books normal as to their interior, whose binding differs in plausible particulars (e.g. only in colour) from that of the published edition and which derive from a plausible source (e.g. a member of the publisher's staff ). There are even instances where it seems that a thrifty publisher used up the trial-bound copies for fulfilling his obligation to the copyright libraries or for the author's complimentary half-dozen. The word seem has been used advisedly in the preceding paragraph, because evidence of general practice is sketchy and evidence for particular books hard to come by. Thoroughly documented or even convincingly probable examples of trial binding are naturally prized by collectors: representative examples are Trollope's Marion Fay 1882, Meredith's One of Our Conquerors 1894, Katherine Mansfield's The Garden Party 1922. But (no doubt for that very reason) the term is freely misapplied: to unexplained freaks, which are commoner than might be supposed; to normal but unrecorded colourvariants; occasionally, to a superior style of binder's cloth (i.e. not publisher's binding at all); and, perhaps most commonly, to a variant 220
or secondary binding which the cataloguer happens never to have seen before. T R I A L I S S U E or E D I T I O N It is known that a few authors sometimes had their work set up in type at an early stage, and a few copies printed off for circulation amongst critical friends or even for their own convenience in revision. Tennyson was one, and the late Stanley Morison (some of whose works never passed this stage) was another. This practice produces a trial edition if the book was subsequently reset before being printed for publication; a trial issue if it was not, but if nevertheless the purpose, format and other circumstances of the preliminary printing were such as to distinguish the results indisputably from proof copies. This latter distinction is not always an easy one to establish, and it is often shirked by those who suffer from, or pander to, the chronological obsession. But it is crucial to any accurate employment of the word trial. TRIMMED According to some authorities, cut means that the edges of a book's leaves have been cut smooth; trimmed, that they have been more roughly levelled. Unfortunately this convenient distinction is regularly observed neither by printers nor by the cataloguers of antiquarian books, so that in effect trimmed and cut are for our purpose almost synonymous. The term rough-trimmed is sometimes used for edges not cut smooth. See uncut, cut. TURKEY LEATHER Leather prepared from goatskin, used very occasionally by English binders of the 16th century but not common before 1650, called Turkey from its country of origin. When in 1721 Lord Oxford (see harleian style) imported leather from Fez, his binder distinguished between Turkey and morocco in his bills. The latter was of inferior quality, with a grain rather like sheep; it may indeed have been hair-sheep. TURN-INS The amount of leather visible on the inside of the boards, uncovered by the paste-downs. In the 19th century, turn-ins were often left wide and elaborately gilt. 221
T YMPAN A double metal frame hinged to the bed of the press, the inner part locked inside the outer and both covered with parchment or cloth, against which the sheet was placed and held in position with pins (so that register was perfect). The sheet was then covered by the frisket, and both lowered on to the forme. The space between the tympan covers was packed with sheets of paper, cloth or blanket, chosen to give a soft or hard impression, depending on the surface and quality of the paper to be printed. See impression (1).
See letter.
TYPE FACSIMILE An edition of later date than its original, set in type which approximates to, without exactly imitating (nor with any intent to deceive), the typographical style of the original edition. It is sometimes difficult to tell whether the result is due to a deliberate attempt to imitate the earlier typography, or to the compositor's unusually faithful attempt to follow copy. The type facsimile was largely, but not exclusively, superseded by photo-reproduction.
TYPE MEASUREMENT The terminology of types and their sizes since the 16th century was evolved by type-founders and printers. But for early printed books in general and incunabula in particular the bibliographers had to invent their own. They express the size of the type in a particular book by the depth of an arbitrary unit, 20 lines: thus 77R means that the book is printed in a roman type, twenty lines of which (as in the present volume) measure 77 millimetres in depth. A more precise method is to use a 10 lupe with a graticule in tenths of a millimetre, and measure a single line from a common point to the equivalent point in the line below. For modern terminology see point system.
TYPE SPECIMEN A sheet, booklet or piece of demonstration printing designed to display the various characters and sizes of different founts of type, sometimes accompanied by printer's ornaments. Type specimens may be issued either by the type-founder (aimed mainly at printers, who buy type), or by the printer (aimed at publishers and others who buy printing).
TYPESCRIPT The terminology for describing typescripts of an author's work (and many have worked direct on to the typewriter) has not yet been settled. The word auto-typescript, sometimes used to distinguish the author's typing from that of a professional copyist, is philologically barbarous and must be resisted. There are at least three kinds of typescript to be distinguished, each of which may (and the first two of which almost certainly will) carry additions or corrections from the author's pen. They are (a) Author's original typescript: the equivalent of the original MS, or first autograph draft, (b) Author's fair copy typescript: the equivalent, executed by his own fingers, of an autograph MS., (c) Copyist's typescript: a fair copy executed by another pair of hands. Typescript is conveniently abbreviated to TS. TYPOGRAPHY Properly, the whole art and craft of transferring the copy into printed form, but also used by the illiterate as a synonym for layout. UNAUTHORISED EDITION See authorised edition, piracy. UNBOUND This properly means that the book or pamphlet described never had covers; whether by intention, in which case the cataloguer will probably add as issued, or by accident. But it is still sometimes used of a volume which was once in a binding but now is not, i.e. disbound. See also sewn. U N C U T, C U T (of edges) Uncut is probably the most overworked word in the cataloguer's vocabulary, and it has come to exert a mesmeric ­ and not entirely healthy ­ effect on the novice collector. He will not, of course, share the delusion which provides such ready (but blank) ammunition to outsiders hostile to bibliophily, viz. that uncut is the same thing as unopened, with the corollary that collectors prefer their books not only unread but unreadable. For unopened means that the leaves have not been severed by the paper-knife from their neighbours. The bibliographical importance of a book uncut cannot be over-emphasised: format, imposition, point-holes, sheet-size, all are easier seen and appreciated in a copy thus preserved. But unless the functional 223
U N C U T, C U T (continued) significance of uncut edges is properly understood, a rational preference for them in their place can all too easily degenerate into deckle-fetishism. Collectors have always, and rightly, cherished copies with ample margins; for it has been the habit of binders from earliest times to trim off more rather than less of the rough edges of the leaves than was intended by those who designed the printed page; and every time a book is rebound it is liable to lose more. Of books published before the age of edition-binding, therefore, a tall copy is preferable (other things being equal) to a short one. Yet the edges of all these books were intended to be cut smooth, even if they were not thereafter gilded, marbled, sprinkled, gauffred or stained with colour. Any copy of such a book, therefore, which has survived with its edges entirely uncut is an accident, a specimen of the embryo stage in book production: rare no doubt, bibliographically interesting, but not representative of the book as intended for the reader's shelf. (See also trade binding.) With the adoption (1830­40) of publisher's cloth as the original and intentionally permanent covering of the majority of books published in England and America, the collector's attitude to their edges is radically changed. For if he is in pursuit, as he usually is, of a copy in its original condition as issued to the public, he will require that its edges (whether uncut, rough-trimmed or cut smooth) shall conform to a now standardised margin. All that he needs, therefore, in this particular respect, is an assurance that the edges have not been cut down by a re-binder or repairer. And a good deal of space is saved by those booksellers who make it plain at the beginning of their catalogues that all books described as being in original cloth have their edges as issued, and so need not constantly repeat the word uncut. See also condition, deckle edges, trimmed. UNDER-BIDDER The last but one bidder on a lot in an auction is a figure doubly important, first, because it is he, not the successful bidder, who determines when the hammer falls, and, secondly, because it is to him that the auctioneer will turn if the successful bidder defaults. Prudent auctioneers therefore keep a careful note of the under-bidder as well as of him or her to whom the lot was knocked down. 224
UNIQUE A manuscript or an autograph letter or a drawing is ipso facto unique. A book with an inscription or annotations is reasonably described as unique in respect of such additions, since the author or other inscriber is hardly likely to have repeated them, identically, in another and exactly similar copy of the same edition. But very few books can in themselves be called unique. And much scrupulous documentation is required to substantiate even the tentative description apparently unique. U N K N OW N TO . . . or N O T I N . . . Few things are more agreeable, whether to collector or bookseller, than the discovery that one possesses a book which the accredited experts have overlooked or failed to recognise for what it is. But the cataloguer's cry of joy must not be allowed to deafen us to the voice of reason; and this enjoins us to ask (1) whether the authority thus negatively cited is a good one, (2) whether the scope and nature of the work of reference are strictly relevant, and (3) whether possibly the book is, in fact, listed in it, but under some less than obvious heading. It is easy enough to score off an out-of-date author-bibliography or a notoriously incompetent bibliographer. It is not fair to saddle a general survey with an unclaimed obligation to list every minor production, and then trumpet up something it does not mention. It is often difficult to be sure that, for instance, an anonymous devotional compilation is not, somewhere, in stc. And while it would be legitimate to boast of an Elizabethan play not in Greg or a first edition of Trollope unknown to Sadleir, it does not mean much that a book is not mentioned in DNB. UNLETTERED Without any title or author's name on the spine of the binding. Until about 1600 many, if not most, books which were titled outside at all were lettered in ink or paint on the fore-edges of the leaves; for they stood or lay on the shelf with their backs to the wall. And the binder's habit of omitting the title from the spine (not unconnected perhaps with the cost of gold leaf ) persisted long after the change to the modern arrangement. Even on bespoke bindings, lettering-pieces (leather labels) were rare in England before about 1660, so that unlettered bindings on books of the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries are normal. Often the owner will have titled the book in ink, whether on a paper label or directly on to the vellum or leather; but when gilt 225
U N L E T T E R E D (continued) lettering (direct or on labels) is found on such books, it will usually have been added later. Unlettered (though sometimes volume-numbered) calf and sheep may be found in the cheaper styles of binding ­ that is, bookseller's or trade bindings ­ till late in the 18th century. Unlettered (i.e. unlabelled) paper spines were the rule for boarded books till the 1780s, became steadily less common till about 1810, and must thereafter have been exceptional. Paper spines untitled but volume-numbered with an ink stamp are occasionally seen. And many, of course, have MS titling in ink, though whether in a particular example this was added by the bookseller or the purchaser is anybody's guess.
UNOPENED This means that the leaves of a book issued entirely untrimmed (and therefore having the folding of its component sections still intact at the top and fore-edges) have not been severed from their neighbours with the paper-knife. It must not be confused, as it often is by philistines, with uncut.
UNPRESSED Strictly speaking, this means that the book of which it is used has never been in the binder's press. Books were sometimes pressed only lightly by the binder, or hammered on the margins only, due to the uncertain drying time of printing ink, especially in a damp atmosphere. If pressed too soon, there was a real risk that ink might be transferred to the facing page. But the term is often applied loosely to bound books whose paper preserves its original briskness of texture: a sense already quite adequately served by the word crisp.
UNRECORDED A truly Olympian term in the hierarchy of rarity, when properly and responsibly used of a book which in the nature of things ought to have been recorded. But the less important the book, the greater the chance of its existence having passed unnoticed in later centuries and the less the significance of the omission. See also unknown to . . .
See folded.
UNSOPHISTICATED Pure, genuine, unrestored. (See sophisticated.) USED COPY Pretty bad; about level with a reading copy, but probably not so far gone as a working copy. VANITY PRESS, PUBLISHING A not wholly dismissive term for those who run printing or publishing businesses to produce handsome books for those able to pay for them, whether for sale or not. There are many other reasons besides vanity to tempt an author to place his work in such hands. For examples, see self-publication. VA R I A N T A general-purpose term used to describe a copy or copies of an edition or impression exhibiting some variation, whether of text, title-page, illustrations, paper or binding, from another copy or copies of the same edition or impression. Its use does not necessarily imply that the copy or copies in question (or certain gatherings in them) are abnormal; in fact, it is most frequently and properly used when doubts exist as to the priority, or even the precise relationship, between the two or more observed variants, and where in consequence no norm has been established. The term is also used to refer to a textual difference, abstracted from the copy or copies in which it appears. As Greg once put it: `I have treated bibliographical variants as essentially unordered '. Thus, to describe a copy as being `a variant of Shandygaff 's first issue', or `in a variant binding of blue cloth (normal copies being in red)', is much more prudent and sensible than rash talk about `earliest issue, unknown to Shandygaff ' or `trial binding, probably unique' (see issue-mongers). VA R I O U S D AT E S , Y E A R S ( v.d., v.y.) Used in the description (a) of a volume containing several works of different date, and (b) of a work consisting of several volumes of different date. VELLUM The skin of a calf, not tanned but de-greased with fuller's earth and dressed with chalk, then stretched by a system of clips and cords attached to a cane bent so as almost to form a hoop. The pressure 227
V E L LU M (continued) generated by the cane as it tries to straighten out stretches the calfskin to give an even flat surface. Vellum is used either for writing or printing on, or in binding. It is sometimes made from lambskin or goatskin (and even, it has been observed, from rabbit). Uterine vellum, a term sometimes found in the description of a manuscript, was made, in the 13th and 14th centuries, from the skin of an unborn or still-born animal. Most medieval manuscripts, whether illuminated or not, were written on vellum. And from the first book (the 42-line Bible of c. 1455) onwards ­ though rarely between 1520 and 1780 ­ it has been the occasional practice of printers and publishers of books of some typographical pretensions to print a few copies on vellum, most frequently to the special order of the dedicatee or some other patron. For binding, limp vellum or limp parchment was commonly used in the 16th and 17th centuries, sometimes panelled in gilt, but often quite plain. In later centuries vellum has more commonly been used like leather; that is, as covering (or half or quarter covering) for board sides. Green vellum was used occasionally in the 17th, more extensively in the 18th, century; though, except for what is known as `Newbery's manner' less often in English than in French binderies. Vellum can be stained any colour but seldom is. It is remarkably durable, but tends to warp or cockle in dry air. It will resume its shape given the right degree of humidity (see preservation). As to cleaning it, the old recipes of milk and/or damp breadcrumbs should be avoided like the plague: the book-conservator's cleaning pad will remove surface dirt, and any deeper stains must be endured as an integral part of the history of the book. VERSO The back, or reverse, side of the leaf; i.e. the left-hand page of an open book. Verso is the complement to recto, and these are the terms generally used in the more technical kind of bibliographical description; e.g. `A4 recto, Dedication; verso, List of illustrations', or `S8 verso, blank except for printer's device' (see collation). They are also used whenever, even in more informal descriptions, both sides of an unpaginated leaf have to be referred to. When there is need to identify only the verso of the leaf, the synonymous term reverse is often used; e.g. `the reverse of the title-leaf is blank'. See also collation. 228
VIGNETTE (1) A small ornamental or decorative design, used on a title-page or as a head- or tail-piece to a chapter or division of a book. (2) Any illustration not enclosed in a border or squared off at the edges but shading away, which process engravers inelegantly called vignetting. V O LV E L L E `A device consisting of one or more movable parchment or paper discs rotating on string pivots and surrounded by either graduated or figured circles. With its help problems concerning the calendar, tide tables, astronomy and astrology could be solved.' (H. M. Nixon) WA S H E D The French habitually wash not merely leaves but whole volumes, and cheerfully admit it: e.g. `En parfaite condition originale. Bien lavйe et encollйe' (resized). The English and the Americans do so much less freely, and so unostentatiously that you might almost think they were ashamed of it. It is all a matter of convention. Washing with chemicals (the efficient way) takes out not only the spots, stains, writing or other blemishes, but also the size from the paper, which is usually reapplied by giving the leaves a size bath. One process or the other is apt to leave a smell, and this will sometimes confirm the suspicion of a washed leaf or section if the nose is applied to the inner margins of the open book, where it is most apt to linger. WA S T E (printer's or bookseller's) Spoiled or surplus printed sheets are called waste. Binders have often used these in the back of a volume, for making up boards, or in earlier days for endpapers. Such waste might derive either from a printing house (proofs, trial sheets, over-running the desired quantity) or from a bookseller (surplus quires or spoiled copies of recent books, discarded fragments of old ones). Bookseller's waste might have come from anywhere, and few conclusions can be automatically drawn from the presence of an identified piece of it found in a binding. But printer's waste was normally disposed of near by and can often be helpful evidence for localising the binding in which it was used. WAT E R M A R K A distinguishing mark or device incorporated in the wire mesh of the tray in which the pulp settles during the process of papermaking, and 229
WAT E R M A R K (continued) visible in the finished product when held against the light. The maker's name or initials, the place or date of manufacture, if added, were more apt to be embodied in the countermark, a subsidiary and smaller unit introduced in the 17th century, generally placed in the opposite half of the sheet to the watermark proper. Dates in watermarks are found in French paper from the 17th century, but are rare in England before 1794 when they were made obligatory (34 Geo. III c. 20); they should, however, be treated with caution as evidence of date, since the law only required the presence of a date, not that it should be changed annually. The presence of a watermark is normal in laid paper, less often found in wove paper used for book printing. Watermarks provide valuable evidence of the make-up of a book; and they are often helpful pointers to the existence of a cancel or the cunning insertion of an alien leaf. C. M. Briquet and Edward Heawood pioneered the tracing and recording of watermarks on datable sheets of paper (mainly archival), and the serried volumes of Monumenta Historiae Papyraceae and Piccard are now the paper historians' standby. A photographic record is far more accurate than tracing; beta-radiography, in particular, has been used for forty years as a means of photographing watermarks without impedance from the text; other less expensive and more rapid methods, such as dye-line prints and X-radiography, are being developed. The pioneer of indexing watermarks was Briquet; but the whole technique of photographing, identifying and dating them is still in process of evolution. WHOLESALER'S BINDING (1) An occasionally justifiable synonym for trade binding on 18th century books. (2) A seldom confidently applicable term for the results of the practice prevalent in Regency and early Victorian times by which wholesale booksellers, especially those catering to the provincial and overseas trade, bought their stock of new books in quires and had them bound in bulk, but independently of the publisher. This practice was widespread before edition-binding came in (1825­30); but as it was commonest in the field of fiction, and as it continued to suit the wholesale novel-distributors, novels were the last class of books (of any bulk) to go over to the uniform of publisher's cloth. Consequently, quite as much boarded and half cloth fiction between 1820 and 1845 (at least) was put out in wholesaler's binding 230
as in the publisher's. The same printed labels were used, and since little account is, or can be, taken of variations in the colour of papercovered board sides, the two are usually almost impossible to tell apart ­ unless the wholesaler had one of his catalogues inserted in the copies boarded to his order. Collectors in general remain unaware of the difference. And it is perhaps as well that they should continue to disregard it. The quest for early Victorian three-deckers in any sort of original state is quite arduous enough as it is. WING Short-Title Catalogue of Books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and British America, and of English Books printed in other Countries 16411700. Compiled by Donald Wing of the Yale University Library. Printed for the Index Society by Columbia University Press, New York. A continuation to 1700 of Pollard and Redgrave's original short-title catalogue: still often (indeed much too often) cited by booksellers in support of an asseveration of rarity either on the alleged ground that the edition in question has been overlooked by Wing or (in the form `only five copies in U.S.A. according to Wing') because his location of copies in representative American libraries is limited to five. The first volume of a second edition was published shortly before Wing died in 1973, unfortunately re-numbered (an error put right in subsequent volumes). The whole work is currently being revised, but for most purposes it has been superseded by ESTC. WIRE LINES The close-set lines in laid paper, made by the wire mesh in the bottom of the frame and called nowadays by paper experts laid lines. They are to be distinguished from the wider-spaced and heavier lines running at right angles to them, which are called chain lines. W I T H A L L FAU LT S ( w.a.f.) See not subject to return. WO O D - C U T, WO O D - E N G R AV I N G Strictly speaking, a wood-cut is cut with a knife along the plank, while a wood-engraving is cut with a graver or burin on the cross-section or end-grain, usually of a piece of box-wood. The latter makes for harder wood and therefore permits a much greater delicacy in the 231
W O O D - C U T, W O O D - E N G R AV I N G (continued) design. In either case, the printing surface is in relief. But the terms are used indiscriminately by most cataloguers (and many other people) for any illustration printed from wood as distinct from metal. Both, indeed, are often used to describe illustrations which (as frequently since the 1860s) were printed from electrotype metal blocks taken from the original wood blocks, which could be preserved unused from any accident at the press; for it is often impossible to tell these from impressions of the original wood. WORKING COPY The humblest term in the vocabulary of condition. WORMHOLES The holes made in paper, and sometimes also in the boards and leather of bindings, by bookworms ­ maggots of various species but uniformly predatory habits, particularly addicted to incunabula and other precious early books printed on good nourishing rag paper. Apparently first noticed (and fearsomely illustrated) in Hooke's Micrographia 1665, the bookworm was treated at appropriate length in The Enemies of Books (revised edition 1888) by William Blades, who cited no less than eight Latin names given by entomologists to one or other of its varieties. We are told by the experts that the bookworm `cannot stand sunlight', but what does that profit us? Deep-freezing will, however, destroy live larvae and burst the eggs of embryo larvae. Worming, provided it is not in battalion strength, is considered by many collectors a less offensive blemish than dirt or browning. And since the worm normally ate steadily through the leaves, his track is occasionally useful in detecting made-up copies. WOVE PAPER Paper with an uneven, granulated texture, mostly made on a continuous close-meshed wire belt. Invented by James Whatman the elder about 1755, it has been the usual paper for ordinary book-printing since the early 19th century. It is distinct in its method of manufacture from laid paper and is normally distinguishable from it by the absence of chain lines and wire (or laid) lines. Some wove papers, however, are made to look like laid paper, with imitation chain lines, etc., so it is fortunate that the collector of modern books seldom has to worry his head about the difference. 232
WRAPPERS, WRAPPERED Paper covers, plain, marbled or printed. A wrappered book, in antiquarian parlance, is what would now be called a paperback, and it has nothing to do with dust-wrappers or dust-jackets. In some contexts the fact that the wrappers are original is taken for granted; e.g. `Waverley in boards [i.e. original boards] is rarer than Adonais in wrappers'. But in routine catalogue descriptions this cannot be assumed unless the cataloguer says so. Like paper boards, wrappers were used as a temporary covering for books and pamphlets during the century preceding the introduction of publisher's cloth (c. 1825); and some discussion of this intermediate stage in book-production will be found under the entries on boards, original state, trade binding. For books published after uniform edition-binding became general, original wrappers are no less and no more obligatory for the discriminating collector than original cloth. WRITING-BOOKS Manuals of calligraphy which include a series of engraved or wood-cut specimens of different kinds of writing, all designed to advertise the skill of the responsible writing-master. XYLOGRAPHY, XYLOGRAPHICA See blockbooks. Y A P P, Y A P P E D G E S Yapp, so called after the London bookseller who invented it about 1860, is a style of binding (usually in leather, often limp) with overlapping edges or flaps on all three edges. Hence, yapp edges, meaning the flaps. The yapp style (no relation to the overlapping fore-edges of limp-vellum-bound books of the 16th and 17th centuries) is mostly used for books of devotion, slim volumes of verse printed for private circulation, `tasteful' reprints of the Rubбiyбt, Poems of Passion, Sonnets from the Portuguese, etc. The American term for this style (according to The Bookman's Glossary) is divinity circuit or circuit edges. YELLOW-BACK `The nickname given to the particular type of cheap edition evolved about the middle of the 19th century for display and sale on railway bookstalls. It was usually (but not always) a cheap edition of fiction; it usually (but not always) cost two shillings; its basic colouring was usually (but not always) yellow' (Michael Sadleir). 233
ZIG-ZAG SEWING A simplified form of sewing, economic of time, whereby the thread passes from one quire to the next at every alternate station, creating a zig-zag pattern across the backs. ZINCO The common American name for photo-engraved line-blocks or cuts. 234
This eighth edition of the ABC for Book Collectors was published by Oak Knoll Press and The British Library on 1 June 2004 [colophon, including device]

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