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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Brian D. Kornasiewicz

The primary focus of my collection is fine bindings, primarily from the mid-19th c. through the late 1920’s. I am always amazed at the sheer variety of designs and aesthetics, and definitely consider them to be works of art. Of equal importance to me is the historic framework surrounding each binding. The craftsmanship involved in book making, the bookbinders themselves, provenance, time, and place are all integral to my collecting approach.

Although my work as a practicing architect involves strictly 21st century design, architectural and art history has long held my interest. I find it fascinating that many of the most significant architectural movements were often first transmitted to the public by means of books- and not just in their textual content but through their exterior appearance. Smaller and less expensive than buildings, they were the ideal medium (along with works of art) to show a movement’s first aesthetic underpinnings to the public. Moreover, there is a definite historical intersection between fine bindings and architecture, both in the design style and through the personalities involved; both can also be seen as examples of “functional” art.

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Lyrical Poems of Shelley.

(Shelley, Percy Bysshe). London: Ballantyne Press for Hacon and Ricketts, 1898.

Catalogued as number 498, Doves Pattern 662, Book 2037 by Marianne Tidcombe in The Doves Bindery.

Bound in full dark blue crushed levant morocco, all edges gilt, gilt title and panel rules to spine. “Line and dot borders, and a large panel tooled all-over in a diaper of solid dots joined by ribbons of triple gougework lines, with half solid hearts (H5) surrounded by circles of forget-me-nots (A6) in the spaces in between…” -Tidcombe.

Brian D. Kornasiewicz