“There is nothing quite so important in a book from a commercial standpoint, as the cover. People buy a book largely from the cover. If it is artistic and attractive, they are induced to look at the book, when with a dull and ugly outside they would pass it by.”
~ An anonymous New Yorker quoted in an 1895 New York Times article about book cover art and designers
During the time period bounded by the late 1880s and World War I, book bindings were prized for the impressive beauty and inventiveness of their designs. During this so-called “Golden Age” of bookbinding, modern bookbinding techniques were perfected to a fine art, particularly in the United States. At this time, book covers were considered part of the decorative arts, connected with home furnishings and some architectural designs.
Architects, landscape painters, illustrators and graphic artists alike were drawn to book design and were often associated with well-known publishers such as Harper's, Scribner's, or Houghton Mifflin and designed numerous bindings for many well known writers. Many of these designers believed that a book's physical appearance should reflect its literary content and made an effort to relate decorations to the text. This is especially evident in books with a Christmas theme, which were purposely produced for the Christmas gift market.
Please enjoy ~ from Cassandra’s collection ~ a sampling below of these beautiful works of art…
Be of good cheer!