Images from “In Retrospect: Designer Bookbindings by Michael Wilcox”

 

wilcox st john

Saint John the Divine. The Apocalypse. Woodcuts by Jim Dine. San Francisco: Arion Press, 1982.
Lent by Jeremy M. Norman.
Full black goatskin, with coloured leather onlays and gold and blind tooling.
382 x 282mm. Bound in 1988.
In Retrospect: Designer Bookbindings by Michael Wilcox
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, 1998.

Fun fact: The two black goatskins on this binding were tanned using aluminum triformate. At the time, this chemical was used to improve the durability of leather. Unfortunately, when Wilcox purchased it he did not realize (nor did many others) that gold does not adhere to it well. Hence, his gold tooling is restricted to the onlays, while the black is tooled in blind.

wilcox wizard

L. Frank Baum. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Illustrated by Barry Moser, with an appreciation by Justin G. Schiller. West Hatfield, MA: Pennyroyal Press, 1985.
Lent by Justin G. Schiller
Full green goatskin, with colored leather onlays and gold tooling.
343 x 332mm. Bound in 1989.
In Retrospect: Designer Bookbindings by Michael Wilcox
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, 1998.

Fun fact: Almost all of the buildings depicted in the skyline are based on structures in New York City. The gateway to the Emerald City is Manhattan Bridge; the ornamentation above the gate is from the roof of City Hall. Also visible are the New York City Service Tower, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building. The Wizard’s Palace is based on the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

 

wilcox coat

Irving Arbella. A Coat of Many Colours: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada.
Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys Limited, 1990.
Lent by Andrea M. Bronfman.
Full black goatskin, with coloured leather onlays and gold tooling.
257 x 228mm. Bound in 1990.
In Retrospect: Designer Bookbindings by Michael Wilcox
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, 1998.

Fun fact: This is one of six copies commissioned by Andrea Bronfman, the others to be given as gifts. The color schemes are different on each. The design is an abstraction of the menorah and the maple leaf. The clusters of rectangular tooling are bunches of grapes.

 

wilcox gill song

The Song of Songs. Illustrated by Eric Gill.
Waltham St. Lawrence, Berkshire: Printed and published at the Golden Cockerel Press, 1925.
Lent by Shelagh and Franklyn Smith.
Full scarf-joined red and navy goatskins, with leather onlays and gold tooling.
262 x 194mm. Bound in 1992.
In Retrospect: Designer Bookbindings by Michael Wilcox
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, 1998.

Fun fact: The bee, the flower and leaves of the pomegranate, the “eye” of the peacock feathers, and the small triangle used to make the peacock’s crest, were made with tools created specifically for this binding.

 

wilcox dracula

Bram Stoker. Dracula. Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1897.
Lent by Eric Robertson.
Full maroon goatskin, with red and black leather and white tawed skin onlays and gold tooling.
196 x 128mm. Bound in 1995.
In Retrospect: Designer Bookbindings by Michael Wilcox
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, 1998.

Fun fact: The binding depicts how Dracula can discern at a great distance the existence of a potential victim, “…his strange power can infect the particles of dust in the moonbeams and can inhabit wild animals…”

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3 Comments on “Images from “In Retrospect: Designer Bookbindings by Michael Wilcox””

  1. gretabach says:

    Reblogged this on Greta A Bach and commented:
    incredible work.

    Like

  2. Rens Top says:

    Reader,

    Just an addition:
    Here, in the Royal Libray, The Hague (Holland), we have another title in our reference collection concerning the work of Michael Wilcox.
    Twelve bindings: Michael Wilcox. Austin, W. Thomas Taylor, 1985. (225 copies, The Royal Library, no 91)

    Best regards,

    Rens Top
    Keeper Bookbinding Collection

    Like


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