Binding for “London Society”


Embossed crimson publishers' cloth with elaborate gilt blocking

9 1/16 x 5 ¾ inches

This binding by an unknown designer for the half-yearly editions of London Society is unsigned. A confection of crimson cloth and gilt embossing, it conveys the idea of wealth and luxury. Its flamboyance forms a marked contrast to the sober maroon of The Cornhill Magazine’s half-yearly binding, and the navy blue of Once a Week. Presented as a cadeau in the manner of Victorian gift books, the magazine unashamedly displays its ethos in its material form. The only concession to sobriety is the inclusion of the City of London’s coat of arms, complete with the Corporation’s legend: ‘Domine Dirige Nos’ (‘Lord Direct Us’).

Photograph and text by Simon Cooke.

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