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Re: Ebony-like binding

This is a papier-mache binding, one of 13 pictured in Ruari McLean's
_Victorian Publisher's Book-Bindings in Paper_ (London:  Gordon Fraser,
1983).  The book which appears on p. 56 is the 2nd edition (1857) but
appears to be the same book that you describe.  The citation reads "Black
paper-mache on crimson paper, terracotta portrait medallion of William
Shakespeare on upper and monogram of his initials on lower.  First edition
(1851) identical but on gold paper.  Leather spine.  Sold at 1 guinea."
The pictured copy is from Massey College, Toronto.

On Tue, 6 Aug 1996, Jack Fitterer wrote:

> A client brought this by recently: SENTIMENTS AND SIMILES OF WILLIAM
> SHAKESPEARE by Henry Noel Humphreys, published by Longman, Brown, Green
> and Longmans in London in 1851. The boards on first look appear to be
> intricately carved ebony, with a cameo portrait of Shakespeare in the
> center. But on closer inspection, the material is some sort of cast or
> molded, hard, plastic-like material. Some one has suggested this
> is laquered papier-mache, but it seems much too dense. Does anyone have
> any idea what the material is and/or any information about this book?
> Thanks.

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