Sunday, September 6, 2009

More Variants

Continuing yesterday's topic, here is an example of a series of books issued by L. C. Page with the related design format for each title available in red, white or blue cloth.  It appears that all three colors were available simultaneously for each title. One interesting aspect is the use of a white cloth panel glued onto the red and blue books instead of white stamping.  White stamping was notorious for flaking, and several publishers used the white cloth onlay alternative. Another reason the white cloth was used may have been so all the covers could be stamped at the same time simply with blue and gold, without adding a white stamping die and setup to the cost.

Clement, Clara Erskine. Angels in Art. Ilustrated. Boston: L.C. Page and Company, 1898. Dark blue and gold stamping on white cloth. A second copy with the same design on red cloth stamped in dark blue and gold on a white cloth onlay panel. Also issued on blue cloth. 19.2 x 13 cm [signed AMS, Amy M. Sacker]


Potter, Mary Knight. Love in Art. Boston: L. C. Page & Company, 1898. Dark blue and gold stamping on blue cloth with cream-white rectangular onlay panel. Also issued on red and on white cloth. 19.6 x 13.6 cm [signed AMS, Amy M. Sacker]. Variant with blind-stamped line border and no author name on cover, n.d., 7th impression, 1906.

The panel on the 1906 variant is unusual. The white has a blue-ish cast, and blue is showing through the white where it is rubbed; white is showing through the blue where that is rubbed, and white is showing through the gold where rubbed. It appears as though a white cloth onlay was applied to the cover, which was then stamped with blue, then white, and finally with gold. The details below show that the cloth for the panel was applied before the stamping, since the blue and gold both overlap the onlay on both variants. 

Why would the stamping be done in white if the cloth were white?  One possible answer is that by 1906 opaque white inks were available for the stamping that were not prone to flaking and produced a brighter white than the cloth color. That fails to explain why blue would be stamped under the white. Click on the detail images to see them larger.

Clement, Clara Erskine. Saints in Art. Ilustrated. Boston: L.C. Page and Company, 1899. Dark blue and gold stamping on red cloth over white cloth onlay panel.. Also issued on white and on blue cloth. 19.1 x 13 cm [unsigned, Amy M. Sacker?]

French, Joseph Lewis. Christ in Art. Boston: L.C. Page & Company, n.d., ©1899, seventh impression, June, 1907. Red cloth with dark blue and gold stamping on white cloth panel. First issued in 1900, also in white and blue cloth. 19.5 x 13.5 cm [signed AB, Alfred Brennan]

A feature of this design is the engraving of the gold disk behind the cross. It is not stamped flat, as are the other gold elements in the design, but is composed of extremely fine radiant lines that cause the disk to shimmer. The enlarged detail below shows this. Click it for a bigger image.


  1. It turns out that there is another variant in this group-- "Saints in Art" WITHOUT the author's name on the cover!!

    1. I had not seen that one, but it is the same variation as the blue "Love in Art" above. The eBay listing doesn't identify which impression that copy is. All the books in the series seem to have been issued in red, white, and blue cloth.

    2. Besides the author's name deleted, both have the outer line border blind stamped.