Bradbury, Evans & Co. London. - No date. Circa 1901.
FIRST EDITION. 4to. (13 x 10.2 inches). Illustrated with 116 full page plates, many larger and fold-out. Finely bound in attractive early binding of full tan morocco. Spine with five raised bands, each with gilt dots. The compartments with single blind ruled boxes plus double gilt ruled lines around a fully gilt decorated panel, each featuring a dark green leather flower onlay to the centre. Front board with elaborate floral gilt roll within double ruled lines and 48 dark green leather flower onlays round the edge. Central panel double ruled, lettered and with two floral devises, all in gilt. The rear board has the same roll design around the board, again featuring 48 green leather flower onlays, but with the floral parts in blind, all in double gilt ruled lines. Three gilt ruled lines form a panel to the middle. Board edges with single gilt ruled lines. Ruled lines to the leather turn-ins consisting of four gilt and one in blind around dark green moire silk panels and endpapers. All edges gilt. A little rubbing to the extremities but overall a beautiful and impressive early twentieth century leather binding. The binding is unsigned but certainly the work of a highly skilled book binder. Unusual to find such bindings on a book this size. The book is undated but the British Library catalogue suggests a date of 1901.