- Museum number
Pigot, Richard. The Life of Man, symbolised by the months of the year in a series of illustrations by John Leighton, F.S.A. and pourtrayed [sic] in their Seasons and Phases with passages selected from ancient and modern authors. London: Longman, green, Reader, and Dyer, Paternoster Row, 1866. London: Bradbury , Evans and Co., printers extraordinary to the Queen. xii, 240p. 48 plates. Robin de Beaumont’s notes regarding the price of this copy are on the front endpaper verso.
Each page of text has a motto printed on each side, on the head and on the tail, between two border fillets. The half title page verso has a reproduction of Leighton's, originally printed as the wood engraving heading the List of Plates in "Suggestions in design", published in 1852-1853. The print represents the artist (inventor), engraver (art-workman), printer (producer) and virtuoso (consumer), amid ivy foliage. Beneath the Caxton quotation is printed a shield with a lion rampant, with the words: "Light on s" [i.e. Leighton's] printed in the pennant underneath the shield. All the titled plates - 'infant', 'schoolboy', etc, are signed "JL". Many of the illustrations are signed "L" with a full stop above, or a plain "L". On p. viii: "My best thanks are due ... to my Brother Mr. H. Leighton [i.e. Henry Leighton] for the ingenious way many of them [the plates] are executed." On p. vii: "The smaller designs and devices in the volume are engraved by Leighton, Williamson, Green , Dalziel, Cooper, Woods, Pearson, Jewitt and Servain. The frontispiece plate, and the plates for April and December are signed "H. Leighton Sc. [i.e. Henry Leighton]".
Binding: The design is after John Leighton. Text sewn on two tapes. Bevelled boards. Gilt edges on head and tail. On the fore edge, the gilt is overlaid alternately with red ink to index each month. Red endpapers and pastedowns. Binder's ticket on lower pastedown: "/ Bound by/ Edmonds & Remnants,/ London/". [Ball no. 31A.] Both covers are blocked identically in gold and black. On the borders are blocked: 1. "dog-tooth" pattern in gold 2. a black fillet, with repeating stars blocked in relief within it - all between two gold fillets. These black and gold fillets form numerous panels on the inner borders and on the corners. There are patterns of plant and hatch leaves blocked in gold in the panels. Medallions, formed by two gold fillets, are blocked on the centre head, centre tail, and on the sides. Each medallion has horizontal gold hatch and the head of a figure blocked in relief within; these are: 1. an infant 2. a schoolboy 3. a Father 4. an old man. A shield on each corner is formed by two gold fillets, with small hatch leaf and stem decoration blocked between these fillets. Horizontal gold hatch is blocked within each shield, plus trees representing the four seasons. The central mandorla is an onlay of red sand-grain cloth. Around its edge are nine borders. These are: 1. a single gold fillet 2. a thick gold fillet 3.-5. borders of gold diamonds, flowers and dots, blocked in gold and in black between two thin gold fillets 6. a fillet blocked in black, with flower heads blocked in relief within 7. & 8. two thin gold fillets 9. repeating gold dots. The mandorla features Eve offering Adam the apple, blocked in gold. A gold lettering-piece shaped as a pennant around their feet states ' "As/ one/ of/ us/ to/ know/ good/ &/ evil/", blocked in relief; " Genesis III. Ch. XXII.V." is blocked in gold. The title words are blocked in a shield. The words: : "/ The Life/ of/" are blocked in relief within the shield, or; the word "/ Man/" is blocked in gold with the edges of each letter blocked in relief, sable. A cross is blocked in relief below this. Above this shield, Eve's outstretched left arm, offering the apple to Adam, supports armour of shoulders and a helm. The helm contains a skull. Above this is blocked a serpent, crowned, which is curled around an apple tree. There are eleven circles around the apple tree, blocked in gold and the zodiac signs in the circles are blocked in relief. Signed "JL" in gold as a monogram at the base of pennant. The "J" and the "L" are joined dipthong fashion. The spine is fully blocked in gold and black. A single gold fillet is blocked on the perimeter. From the head downwards, the decoration is: dog-tooth decoration in gold; a black fillet within a rectangle formed by a single gold fillet; strap work - consisting of a black fillet blocked between two gold fillets; small stem and hatch flower decoration is blocked within the strap work; a rectangular panel formed by a single fillet; the title: "/ The/ Life of/ Man/ symbolised/ by the/ months/ of the/ year/" is blocked in gold within the panel; a single flower head is blocked in gold on each corner of the panel; strap and small gold decoration; a mandorla is formed by the strap work; within the mandorla are blocked: 1. a five point star 2. an hour-glass with wings 3. a shield, or, is formed by two thin gold fillets; the word: "/ Illustrated/ by/ Iohn/ Leighton/ FSA/" are blocked in relief in gothic letters within the shield; strap work and small gold decoration; the words: "/ London:/ Longmans & Co./" are blocked in gold in gothic letters within a rectangle formed by a single fillet; a black fillet is blocked within a rectangle formed by a single gold fillet; gold dog-tooth decoration is blocked across the spine at the tail.
Height: 288 millimetres
Thickness: 40 millimetres
Width: 230 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Ball, Douglas. A catalogue of the Appleton Collection of Victorian colour printing and signed bindings. [College of Librarianship, Aberystwyth, Wales.] 1979, no. 66f - Design on green sand-grain cloth.
Ball, Douglas. Victorian publishers’ bindings. London, Library Association, 1985, pp.54, 55, 61(ref.17)
King, Edmund M.B. The Book Cover Designs of John Leighton, F.S.A. In: The British Library Journal, vol.24, no.2.Autumn 1998, p.242. http://www.bl.uk/eblj/1998articles/pdf/article15.pdf
McLean, Ruari. Victorian publishers’ book-bindings in cloth and leather. London, Gordon Fraser, 1974,p.90.
Morris, Ellen K. & Levin, Edward S. The Art of Publishers’ Bookbindings 1815-1915. An Exhition held at the Grolier Club, New York, 17 May – 19 July 2000. Los Angeles: William Daley Rare Books Ltd, 2000, p.36, no.50. Design on green sand-grain cloth.
Pantazzi, Sybille. John Leighton, 1822-1912. A versatile Victorian designer: his designs for book covers. In The Connoisseur, Vol. 152, April 1963, pp.266, 269 (illustration).
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: The Life of Man, symbolised by the months of the year in a series of illustrations.
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- Prints and Drawings
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