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The Scarborough Album [printed on satin]

The Scarborough Album [printed on satin] by COLE, John  (1825)

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Author: COLE, John
Title: The Scarborough Album or History and Poetry [printed on satin]
Year: 1825
Publisher: John Cole
Place: Scarborough
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £1500
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Added under Rare books

[frontispiece] viii, pp 148 [2] adverts. One of four copies printed on satin silk by the Scarborough antiquary and publisher, John Cole. A rare example of a book printed in its entirety on silk with an ink limitation statement presumably in Cole's hand on the first blank: 'Only 2 Copies of this work printed on white Satin, & 2 on pink satin.' Bound in boards with printed silk overlay to both covers and spine, rubbed with some loss to backstrip, some soiling; sewn with yellow silk thread, an engraved nineteenth century Scarborough business card laid in. Endpapers are indeed paper with the front pastedown bearing the armorial bookplate of John Rhodes'and opposite the ownership signatures of 'Alfred A Haley' and 'H Sugden'. Both text and illustrations are beautifully realised on silk with a slight translucency and shimmer to every page. There is no sign of the book ever having been read. A little browning to page edges, slight loosening of the frontispiece close to the gutter, otherwise near fine internally. Printing on silk has always been unusual because of the peculiar technical challenges involved but it had a brief vogue during the first quarter of the nineteenth century though entire books on satin-silk are only rarely encountered. The book's publisher and author, John Cole, has been described as a 'self-trained and industrious antiquary... utterly unsuited for the cares of a business life' and it may well have been quixotic projects such as this that contributed to his decision to abandon his business in Scarborough around 1830 before being declared bankrupt in 1835. His publications are of the greatest interest precisely because of the diligence and originality that he brought to these tiny editions: this particular example was accompanied by a conventional paper-printed edition.
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