Antique Book Covers

Until the 1820s, most books were purchased in paper covers for the owner to have bound according to his own taste and pocket. During the 19th century craftsmen became increasingly sophisticated in technique and design of book bindings especially when working with leather.
Gradually bindings design became a recognised art in itself, although painters and artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris and Charles Ricketts worked in the field too. The dominant figure within the trade was John Leighton (1822-1912), a nephew of the pioneer publishers’ binder Archibald Leighton. Other practitioners included Albert Henry Warren (1830-1911), Henry Noel Humphreys (1810-1879) and William Harry Rogers (1825-1873).