New York (et al.): American Book Company, 1905. Small square 8vo (140 x 105 mm). 320 pp. Text evenly browned, paper stock weak, front endpaper torn along inside margin, front hinge starting. Original publisher's red cloth, covered with brocade fabric, board edges framed with ribbon woven with gold thread, central panel composed of large ornamental semi-circle with art-nouveau vines and three-leaf clovers, smooth spine with velvet overlay. Very good. Item #3890
A REMARKABLE PRODUCTION, BEING AN ORDINARY 1905 PUBLISHER'S CLOTH CASE BINDING HERE LUXURIOUSLY COVERED IN GOLD BROCADE AND VELVET FABRIC, EDGED WITH GOLD THREAD RIBBON. THIS MAY BE A PREVIOUSLY UNRECOGNIZED "DELUXE ISSUE" PUBLISHER'S BINDING BY THE AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY.
A very similar binding on a copy of the American Book Company's equally cheap "Webster's New Handy Dictionary" (c. 1927) was formerly with Messrs. George Bayntun. It was created in the same manner -- no doubt in the same bindery -- utiziling the same gilt brocade ribbon: the front cover had an embroidered floral panel, a dark patterned velvet overlay on the spine, and a panel of purple textile on the back. These were no amateur productions; instead, we are inclined to think that they may have been part of a conscious publishing effort by the American Book Company itself, now forgotten.