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JOEL Joel's Blog

Book Covers Pt. 2

06/30/2009 The Greatest Woodworking Book Cover Ever!

Book Covers Pt. 2 4In my last blog entry I promised the ultimate woodworking book cover of a all time. Here it is - from G. Lister Sutcliffe's eight volume "The Modern Carpenter and Joiner and Cabinet Maker." The book series itself isn't that compelling - I should do an entry about it some time in the future -but the printing is great. It's also the only woodworking book I have where the cover artist is credited, The year is 1903, the Publisher is Gresham Publishing Co. (My edition is 1905 but it is identical) The initial "M" in the corner of the cover give us a hint to the artist's name.
Look at the luscious Arts & Crafts style - One name immediately pops to mind: Charles Rennie Mackintosh the great Scottish designer. "Wow", I said to myself - what a find. Except that I was wrong. The actual designer is not Mackintosh but someone no less interesting: Talwin Morris was a book designer for Gresham and other publishers. The "M" initial on the cover is actually intertwined with a harder to see letter "T". Morris was also a patron of the Glascow art scene and introduced Mackintosh to the owner of one publisher he worked with, Walter Blackie of Blackie & Son, who in turn commissioned Mackintosh to design Hillhouse, one of the designer's great commissions. It's pretty clear from the cover that Morris was hugely influenced by Mackintosh and even though it's not a Mackintosh, the cover, back cover, and spine are spectacular and I can think of no other cover of a woodworking book that even touches this spectacular cover for elegance and style. The cover is on all eight volumes of the series.

Book Covers Pt. 2 5Book Covers Pt. 2 6
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06/30/2009 Garth Keel
I have to agree with you. The style of this cover is very interesting. Arts & Crafts / Art Deco with an Asian influence are my favorite.
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