Timeline of Publishers' Bindings: 1860-1869

A great change occurred in the style of American book bindings during the Civil War. The rich elaboration of the 1850s gave way to a simplicity and sparseness that mirrored the somber mood of the country. Cloth colors became muted, and gold stamping was now generally restricted to the spine or a small decoration on the front.

 

 

Gala-days

Gala-Days, by Gail Hamilton (Boston, Ticknor and Fields, 1864)
M. G. Sawyer Collection of Decorative Bindings, Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, Delaware Art Museum

The wave grain pattern of the cloth and the blind-stamped borders with corner decorations make this simple binding more interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers for the parlor and garden

Flowers for the Parlor and Garden, by Edward Sprague Rand (Boston, J. E. Tilton & Co., 1864)
M. G. Sawyer Collection of Decorative Bindings, Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, Delaware Art Museum

The somber color of the cloth reflects the mood of a nation at war. The wave grain pattern is the same as that on Gala-Days (above).

Timeline of Publishers' Bindings: 1860-1869