Alice's Adventures in Wonderland First North American Edition 1866 Appleton. Designed and bound by Robert Wu, Toronto. It will be on display at the New York Antiquarian Bookfair opening on March 8. What an honour to have worked on this iconic precious rare tome! The design is my own take/twist on the traditional Cosway binding style where portrait cameos are incorporated on the cover. I didn't want to compete with the iconic images by Sir John Tenniel so I thought it was best to honour the original illustrations by showcasing them right on the cover. My geometric design somehow ties everything together.
The binding is in full French technique. It's covered with gorgeous red morocco goatskin. The original covers in red cloth and gilt images were falling apart. So first I removed the cloth from the boards and preserved and lined and bound them in with the bookblock. The edges have original old gilding on them so I left them the way they are. Handsewn headbands in red, blue, yellow silk threads. Various coloured leather onlays were used to decorate the covers. I managed to create and invent this "Faux Ivoire" panels to great success. It also sparkles with fairy dust to add a touch of magic! I also incorporated with eggshell panels on the cover and mother of pearl on the inside of the books. Flyleaves are covered with my own delicately refined red bouquet marbled paper for a touch of elegance. The gilding and toolings are done with 22k gold leaves and soot. The book is housed in a linen covered folding box lined with suede.
I think the end result looks very elegant and timeless. Here is a video of the binding.