Swan Song, by John Galsworthy, First Edition, Exquisite Leather Binding, Rare


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Swan Song

by John Galsworthy

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Bindery: Sagorski & Sutcliffe, London

Publisher: William Heinemann LTD, London

Copyright: 1928

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About Swan Song:

After years living in America with his mother, Jon Forsyte is excited to be home and eager to show off his roots to his new bride. When Fleur Forsyte, now Fleur Mont-Jon's first love-hears of his arrival, she doesn't know what to feel. She is now married too, and while Jon and Fleur try to interact as friends, their strong feelings for one another are not easily contained. When their passion is rekindled, no one can halt the devastating events that follow.

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About the Author:

John Galsworthy was an English novelist and playwright. Notable works include The Forsyte Saga (1906-1921) and its sequels, A Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932.

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About Sagorski & Sutcliffe:

Sangorski & Sutcliffe is a firm of bookbinders established in London in 1901. It is considered to be one of the most important bookbinding companies of the 20th century, famous for its luxurious jeweled bindings that used real gold and precious stones in their book covers.

Sangorski & Sutcliffe was established by Francis Sangorski (1875-1912) and George Sutcliffe (1878-1943). They two met in 1896 at a bookbinding evening classes taught by Douglas Cockerell at the London County Council's Central School of Arts and Crafts. In 1898, Sangorski and Sutcliffe each won one of the ten annual craft scholarship awards, giving them £20 a year for three years to continue their training as apprentice bookbinders.

They were employed at Cockerell's own bindery, and began to teach bookbinding at Camberwell College of Art. They were laid off in 1901 after a coal strike caused an economic slump, and they decided to set up on their own in a rented attic in Bloomsbury, starting on 1 October 1901. They soon moved to Vernon Place, and then, in 1905, to Southampton Row.

Sangorski's elder brother, Alberto Sangorski, worked for the firm. He became an accomplished calligrapher and illuminator, working for Rivière from 1910.

They quickly revived the art of jeweled bookbindings, decorating their sumptuous multi-colour leather book bindings with gold inlay and precious and semi-precious jewels. They were commissioned to create a most luxurious binding of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the front cover of which was adorned with three golden peacocks with jewelled tails and surrounded by heavily tooled and gilded vines, that was sent on the ill-fated RMS Titanic in 1912. The book, known as the Great Omar, sank with the ship and has not been recovered. Shortly afterwards, Sangorski drowned.

Sutcliffe continued the firm, which became recognised as one of the leading bookbinders in London. The bindery moved to Poland Street, and managed to survive through the First World War, the Great Depression, the Second World War, and post-war austerity. In this period, it undertook work for the Ashendene Press, Golden Cockerel Press and the J. & E. Bumpus bookshop. It also created miniature books for Queen Mary's Dolls' House.

In 1936 Sutcliffe entrusted the business to his nephew, Stanley Bray (1907-1995). The company merged with HT Woods in 1939, bringing Kenneth Hobson to the firm. He introduced a more modern style of binding.

Condition: This book is in excellent condition. Hardcover. It was custom bound by the famous workshop of Sangorski & Sutcliffe, London. Half bound leather with hand marbled boards. Very light rubbing on cover edges. Spine is hand tooled in gilt with raised bands. Top edge gilt. Endpapers are hand marbled and match the cover. Hinges are strong, binding is square. Original ribbon bookmark. EXQUISITE.

347 pages

Approx. 5" x 7.5"

Will ship with insurance.

More photos available upon request.
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