[Monmouthshire]: [The Old Stile Press], 1997. Pitts, J. Martin. Limited Edition. Leather. No. IX of X specially bound copies, folio size,  pp., signed by J. Martin Pitts and Paul Delrue, with prospectus. Fine. Item #CNJL1063
Paul Delrue (b. 1944) bound his first book at the age of fifteen in 1959, and knew he had discovered his calling. He became an apprentice at the University College, London from 1961–64 and worked there as a binder until 1971. He set up his own bindery in 1971 and in 1981 was elected a Fellow of the Society of Bookbinders, having founded and served as chairman of the Chester and North Wales branch in 1979. Paul has earned numerous awards and honours, including the Silver medal and three other awards in 1991 in The Bookbinding Competition. He was elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in the same year; the following year he was awarded two Bronze medals in the prestigious Prix Paul Bonet.
Paul invented the lacunose style of binding which is masterfully shown in this work, although he uses other methods as well. His work is highly prized and springs from within him; as he writes on his website, "A book and its binding are inextricably linked – the one complements the other in a way which creates something more than just a book with an attractive cover. My design bindings draw on what a book says to me and how it inspires me emotionally."
The lovely Delrue binding perfectly complements the story, by The Hon. Roden Noel (1834-1894). "In this poem he mixes elements of the story of Salmacis & Hermaphroditus from Ovid's Metamorphoses with memories of moods, settings and atmospheres from his Irish childhood, combining (as John Addington Symonds wrote) full sensuous feeling for the material world with an ever-present sense of the spirit informing it and bringing all its products into vital harmony." (n.b., from the web site of The Old Stile Press)
___DESCRIPTION: Full leather, in the Lacunose style with leathers used in colours of different blues, grey, greens, brown and tan, with swirls of lighter colour reminiscent of water pooling, and white featherstrokes, fore- and bottom edges uncut, printed on brown paper throughout, French folds, double-spread title page with two-colour linocut by J. Martin Pitts in brown and white, linocuts in brown and white by Pitts throughout; folio size (13" by 10"), 27 unnumbered pages, one of 225 copies, this number 206, number IX of X specially bound copies, signed by J. Martin Pitts and Paul Delrue on the colophon. With the prospectus for the special edition, a grey sheet with a biography of Paul Delrue, folded once with another sheet, folded once to make four pages, with four tipped-in colour photographs of the binding. In a case of quarter tan cloth with pictorial cloth boards, with pocket made of grey-green cloth, with grey-green ribbon, stamped "Delrue".
___CONDITION: Fine, with clean boards, straight corners, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings. The prospectus is near fine, clean with only light wear. The case is fine also, strong and sturdy, clean and without wear.
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