London: R. Baldwin, 1802. Hardcover. Personal copy of Robert Hoe III, first president of the Grolier Club, sumptuously bound by William Matthews, the most prominent American bookbinder of the day, in full crushed crimson levant morocco, with many extra engraved plates.
William Matthews (1822–1896) was trained in London (Remnant and Edmonds) and worked in New York for D. Appleton & Company until 1890. His reputation as a gifted binder was established in 1842 in a folio copy of the Owen Jones' Plans of the Alhambra, which was beautifully decorated in Moorish style.
Matthews won many medals, including the silver medal for fine bookbinding at the International Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in New York City. His work was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial and at the Paris Exhibition of 1899.
In 1884 Matthews was elected a member of the Grolier Club, for whom he did all the binding until the end of his life. The Club published his lecture 'Modern Bookbinding Practically Considered' in a luxurious limited edition of 300 copies.
Robert Hoe III (1839 - 1909) was the first president of the Grolier Club. He was a successful manufacturer of printing press equipment and an avid collector of rare books and manuscripts whose collection included a Gutenberg Bible. A large portion of his collection was sold at auction in 1912 and went to the Huntington Library.
Signed by Robert Hoe, with his leather bookplate in the first volume. The extra engraved suites date from the 1700s through to the 1820s. A wonderful later printed quote from William Matthews concerning the appropriate handling necessary for fine bindings is tipped on to the front free end paper of Volume I.
Royal 8vo, 280 pp; 307 pp; 310 pp. Teg, uncut foredges. Volume I bottom of front hinge is starting to crack; the other 2 volumes slightly rubbed on corners, otherwise in very good condition. OCLC: 37172588. Item #26228