The Book of the Thames
In a sumptuous John Leighton binding
First edition, hardback, bound in the original green cloth with a superb ornate John Leighton binding. All edges gilt. 23 × 16.5cm, xi + 516pp.
John Leighton (1822–1912) came from a family of binders as well as being an illustrator (under the name Luke Limner). His bindings are wonderfully high Victorian intense gilt designs. This one features Old Father Thames, with sea creatures, insignia and leaf patterning. John Leighton's initials are to be found in the shell under the titling on the front and rear boards.
The Halls' Book of the Thames is a gentle ramble through the geography and history of the Thames from its rise in a meadow by Trewsbury Mead through to the sea. The book is illustrated throughout with numerous drawings within the text.
An attractive copy but with some heavy wear. The gilt design is quite crisp with some surface loss to the gilding. The green cloth is rubed and bumped to the corners and with a small tear to the fabric at the top and bottom of both joints. The front hinge is cracked open and the binding is little pulled in places. There is a previous owner's name in pencil to the half-title but the main body of text is in good clean condition. The binding remains an impressive piece of the Victorian binder's art.