LUNA: Folger Bindings Image Collection
Covers, ART Vol. a71.
An early "artist book"/ "altered book" by Pinckney Marcius-Simons, 1908. Vellum over millboards, painted in watercolor and gold.
Marcius-Simons, Pinckney, 1867-1909.
ART Vol. a71
Inscribed "A Mon Ami Monsieur Arthur Meyer" by the artist (possibly to Arthur Meyer, 1844-1924, French journalist and politician, who collected books adorned with drawings); purchased by H. C. Folger in 1924 from Maggs Bros., London.
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
[Midsummer night's dream. French] Le songe d'une nuit d'été / Paul Meurice ; féerie d'après W. Shakespeare.
Created / Published:
Paris : Librairie L. Conquet, 1886.
Sewn on three linen tapes with printed textile pastedown and made endleaf designed by "Huloo" (signed on back pastedown). Rounded and backed spine. Head-edge of text block gilt. Headand tailbands worked with linen thread which has been painted. Orange and green bookmark. Vellum case with a French joint. Lap corners.
240 x 170 x 14 mm.
Vellum covers painted in watercolor with a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream showing Oberon accompanied by fairies. Title in blue watercolor descending the spine and in gold paint across the top of the upper cover. Lines from the play written in black ink at bottom corners of covers.
This is one of the earliest known "artist books." "Pinky" Marcius-Simons, born in New York in 1867, began his career painting genre and architectural paintings. Later, while living in Bayreuth, Germany, he changed his style, producing more fanciful compositions. He died in Bayreuth in 1909, not long after having painted this binding on a readily available French edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The printed text is partially obscured by the gouache and watercolor paintings covering each page from edge to edge. All 90 pages, as well as the binding, depict colorful scenes from the play.
Folger 15:10 (Folger Shakespeare Library, Fine and historic bookbindings from the Folger Shakespeare Library, New York, 1992).
Binding Terms (RBMS):
Painted bindings -- Germany -- 20th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS):
Vellum bindings -- Germany -- 20th century.