Wednesday, September 27, 2017

322. Numbers and Letters for Gordon Bottomley

Charles Ricketts designed several bindings for plays by Gordon Bottomley (1874-1948). In November 1921, Constable & Company Limited published a volume containing two of Bottomley's plays, Gruach and Britain's Daughter.

The cover design by Ricketts looked like a stage design with a building, towers, a stable with a horse, steps, a door and the silhouette of a draped person. Ricketts's intention had been to have the design in gold on white buckram, but due to the cost of gold after the Great War, most copies were bound in red buckram having the design in yellow. Only sixty copies were bound in white cloth with the design in gold. 

Charles Ricketts, design for Gordon Bottomley,
Gruach and Britain's Daughter (1921) (detail)
As customary with deluxe editions, the limitation statement only appeared in the deluxe copies. The ordinary copies in red buckram mentioned the binding design and the copyright statement.

Gordon Bottomley, Gruach and Britain's Daughter (1921)
For the deluxe edition of sixty numbered copies four text lines were added stating:

Of this edition have been issued fifty numbered copies for sale, and ten (lettered A-J) not for sale. No. 

Gordon Bottomley, Gruach and Britain's Daughter (1921)
Bottomley numbered and signed the copies in brown ink, and he (or his publisher) added a line of dots on which Bottomley (or the publisher) placed the written number (the dots were not printed).

The ten lettered copies were individually lettered on the press.

Gordon Bottomley, Gruach and Britain's Daughter (1921)