Richly Coloured and Finely Wrought:
The Bindings of Sangorski & Sutcliffe

Richly Coloured and Finely Wrought - poster

Francis Sangorski (1875 – 1912) and George Sutcliffe (1878 – 1943) met in 1896 in an evening class in bookbinding methods and techniques at the London County Council Central School of Arts and Crafts. Both showed such promise that they were awarded scholarships to continue their studies, eventually becoming apprentices to Douglas Cockerell and also teaching bookbinding themselves at Camberwell College of Art. An economic downturn in 1901 led to the loss of this employment, so they formed their own firm, doing business as Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Their abilities were recognized so quickly by the wealthy establishment that they received commissions to bind service books for the 1902 coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. This recognition propelled them into the forefront of British fine binders.

Rauner Special Collections Library is fortunate to hold about 100 examples of the work of Sangorski & Sutcliffe, thanks, primarily, to the generosity and interest of Allerton C. Hickmott, Class of 1917, and his wife, Madelyn C. Hickmott.

We now offer for your visual delight a highly selective mix of Dartmouth's Sangorski & Sutcliffe bindings in the present exhibit, Richly Coloured and Finely Wrought, the bindings of Sangorski & Sutcliffe. The exhibit has been curated by Eric Esau and is on display in the Class of 1965 Galleries from September 9th through November 15th, 2019.

You may download a small, 8x10 version of the poster: RichlyColored.jpg. You may also download a handlist of the items in this exhibition: RichlyColored.pdf.

Case One: Jewelled Bindings

1. Robert Burns. Selections from Burns. London: Sangorski & Sutcliffe, ca. 1912. Bindings 243

2. Omar Khayyam. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the Astronomer-Poet of Persia. Translated into English by Edward FitzGerald. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1872. Bindings 210

Case Two: Scarlet Bindings

1. William Shakespeare. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: a Tragedy in Five Acts. Boston: printed for David West and John West, 1794. Hickmott 22

2. Allerton C. Hickmott. This Ivory Pale; the Shakespearean Collection of Allerton C. Hickmott Privately published, 1970. Hickmott 0

3. Henri Estienne. World of Wonders: or an Introduction to a Treatise Touching the Conformitie of Ancient and Moderne Wonders. London: John Norton, 1607. Hickmott 716

4. Walter Hart Blumenthal. Formats and Foibles; a Few Books Which Might Be Called Curious. Worcester, Massachusetts: Achille J. St. Onge, 1956 (printed by the Chiswick Press, London). Presses C448bl

5. Geoffrey Chaucer. Canterbury Tales (one leaf). London: William Caxton, 1478. Hickmott 201

6. Aesop. Aesop's Fables with his Life in English, French and Latin. London: H. Hills for Francis Barlow, 1687. Hickmott 87

7. Miniature blank book bearing the monogram of Madelyn Cook Hickmott on the cover. London: Sangorski & Sutcliffe, ca. 1960. Miniature 48

8. Raphael Holinshed, et al. The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. London: Henry Denham, 1587. Hickmott 108

9. Peter Harvey. Reminiscences and Anecdotes of Daniel Webster. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1877. Webster E 340 .W4 H3 1877b

Case Three: Blue, Brown and Green Bindings

1. William Wordsworth. Scorn Not the Sonnet. original manuscript, 1843. Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Codex 843379.1

2. Eaton Walter Prichard. The Bird House Man. London: Hodder and Stoughton, ca. 1900. Rare Book PZ 3.E15b

3. Heinrich Agrippa von Nettesheim. De Occulta Philosophia. Cologne: publisher not identified, 1533. Rare Book BF 1598 .A3 O4 1553

4. John Gay. The Shepherd's Week in Six Pastorals. London: Ferd. Burleigh, 1714. Hickmott 652

5. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Evangeline. London: Grolier Society of London, ca. 1900. Rare Book PS 2263 .A1 1900z

6. Thomas May. The Old Couple. London: J. Cottrel for Samuel Speed, 1658. Hickmott 570

7. George Gordon, Lord Byron. Hebrew Melodies. London: John Murray, 1815. Rare Book PR 4362 .A1 1815