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.
The Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle from the Book of St. Albans…
(Andrews, William Loring) [Berners, Dame Juliana]. New York: Scribners, 1903.
Illustrated. 8vo, full blue levant morocco; gilt tooled paneled back, sides decorated with a wide border of [Aldine] gilt tooling with small panels containing gilt-tooled fish, etc… doublures of dark blue levant morocco, fly-leaves of dark blue watered silk, gilt edges [on the rough], by the Club Bindery… One of 160 copies on hand-made paper.
Bookplate of M.C.D. Borden. Sold as Lot 43 of his auction (American Art Association, 17 February 1913).
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.
The Thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
(Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius). London: Philip Lee Warner, Publisher to the Medici Society, 1909. Illustrated by William Russell Flint.
4to. No. 475 of 500 copies on Riccardi Paper. A magnificent binding by Riviere and Son in full dark blue crushed morocco. Boards and spine with a dense gilt-pointelle ground with onlays of red, orange, green, and blue morocco in an elaborate art nouveau/arabesque strapwork and floral design. Wide morocco turn-ins similarly richly gilt; watered silk doublures and end-leaves. With original padded silk and velvet hard case, bound in dark green straight-grained morocco.