Title: Romola [finely bound copy by the "King of Gold Leaf".
Publisher: Smith, Elder, & Co., London.
Publication Date: 1886
Book Condition: Near Fine
535 pages. With 20 original, uncaptioned, hand mounted, albumen photographs of Florentine subjects as illustrations. Brocade gilt endpapers. All edges red. Original red silk book sewn-in bookmark. Bookbinder's (Giulio Giannini) original gilt engraved ticket pasted onto verso of front free endpaper. Contemporary ink inscription on following blank leaf: "Mary T. Galpin, from A.M.H. Florence, Feb. 4. 1888". Sporadic light foxing, very slight wrinkling and minor handling flaws. 13 x 18 cm. Original elaborate vellum binding with gilt and red floral design in near fine condition. Preserved in original red oilskin dust-jacket and slightly worn, original, matching, red slipcase. Romola, a historical novel first published in 1863, explores life in 15th-century Florence from artistic, intellectual, religious & social points of view. Giulio Giannini e Figlio is an art workshop founded in 1856 that specialized in producing quality handicrafts. In 1856 Pietro Giannini opened a stationery shop in Piazza Pitti in Florence, creating bindings for books. He was succeeded by Julius Senior who transformed the paternal job working on leather binding and arriving at the binder's quintessential Italian Florentine style. In 1890 his son Guido joined his father Giulio Senior creating the company Giulio Giannini & son. Giulio Sr. turned to experimenting in different styles of bindings & for this commissioned the best engravers of the era to create many bookbinder's punches in bronze in over 1,000 designs. 1856 - PIETRO GIANNINI Giulio Giannini e Figlio was established by Pietro Giannini (1811 1882), in piazza Pitti in 1856, still the premises of the firm today. Although the store specialized in stationary, Pietro Giannini would receive commissions from customers to craft high quality bookbinding. Guido Sr. (1853 1931) radically transformed the business by concentrating exclusively on artistic bookbinding and the production of leather objects. 1878 - THE "BOTTEGA" During this period of the Victorian era, Florence was home to a large English community characterized by wealth and a love for the fine arts and craftsmanship. Giulio Giannini's workshop and shop attracted a large and faithful clientele, above all thanks to two of the firm's signature products the photo album and the guest book. 1888 - THE FLORENTINE STYLE IN THE BOOKBINDING Parchment bookbinding exquisitely decorated with gold leaf stenciling, colorful leather insets and hand-painted tempera set a new standard in bookbinding, known as the Florentine style, marking a new epoch. For his abilities, Guido Sr. was known in artisan community as the king of gold leaf. 1890 - GUIDO GIANNINI Giulio's son Guido Giannini Sr. (1877 1956), incorporated today's firm Giulio Giannini e Figlio. Continuing his father's master craftsmanship, Guido Sr. conducted in-depth research of the art of antique bookbinding. He succeeded in reconstructing 14th and 15th styles still visible in period paintings and drawings (since many of the original volumes had been lost). Guido Sr. was also the author of numerous articles on bookbinding and the art of printing, which appeared in important magazines and encyclopedias as well as the publisher of specialized limited editions. 1890 - BRONZE BOOKBINDER'S TOOLS COLLECTION Because he dedicated his time to reproductions of bookbinding in diverse styles, Guido Sr. commissioned bronze tools in various designs. Today, this collection comprises more than 1000 designs, presenting a spectrum of a variety of styles from different periods to work with. Seller Inventory # 5144