Item Details

Richard Barnfield's Sonnets [Design Binding].

Llandogo, Monmouthshire, UK: The Old Stile Press, 2001 [2014]. Limited Edition. Hardcover. "I adore the book, and [Clive's] illustrations are magnificent. The cover is my design take on your artwork in Sonnet 10. It shows our young man facing his muse, or possibly himself in a mirror (the glass in Sonnet 11) and it’s done with leather inlays and gold tooling.
On the inside I tried something new. I have taken the two lines:
‘He open’d it and taking off the cover
He straight perceived himself to be my lover’
which is so marvellous and punchy, and I suspect daring for the time. Because of the nature of the secret love (and the clever trick with the mirror) I have tooled the lines in reverse, the first line on the front doublure and the other on the back.
However, because the binding has suede flyleaves, the impression of the gold tooling is set off in the soft suede, and the words become legible, albeit rather feint. It’s a case of the structure serving the design." [Riley note to Hicks-Jenkins]
"Barnfield was a 'gentleman at court,' an admirer and possible rival of Shakespeare. He was the only other male poet of his age other than Shakespeare to write love poems directed at a male muse, in this case the mysterious figure 'Ganymede.' My inspiration for the design, both the two figures on the cover and the letterforms on the inside, comes from Sonnet XI, (pictured) especially the punch delivered by the last two lines, which when I read them, knocked the breath out of me: He open'd it; and taking off the cover, He straight perceav'd himselfe to be my Lover. So the tooling on the doublures is in reverse but the words are offset on the suede where they become legible but faint, which seemed to me to be a perfect solution for expressing the metaphor of the mirror, which reveals the secret love." [artist statement]

Writing of this binding, Hicks-Jenkins has said, "I’ve always enjoyed the point at which the work of one artist, writer or composer finishes, and a second picks up the baton. Picasso riffing magnificently on Velasquez’ Las Meninas, and Philip Glass replacing the soundtrack of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film of La Belle et la Bête with an opera. I think that Dominic’s binding for The Sonnets of Richard Barnfield is a spellbinding thing. Everything about is ‘right’, and I congratulate him on the achievement. That suede flyleaf is fantastic!" Fine in Fine Drop-Spine Archival Box in Slipcase. Tight, bright, and unmarred. Limited edition number 197 of 200. Signed by artist. Mustard goatskin binding with navy and brown onlays, gold toolings, leather doublures and suede flyleaves. Teg. Navy coated cloth drop-spine box with green onlays and gold tooling. Tan buckram slipcase. Oblong 4to. np. Item #10966

Price: $6,750.00