Thoreau, Henry David. Here Then is that Helpful as well as Ennobling Discourse Entitled the Essay on Friendship. East Aurora, NY: The Roycrofters, 1903. Limited to 50 copies on Japan vellum, of which this is #16. Signed in Elbert Hubbard's name. Illumined by Emma Johnson, with limitation page beautifully decorated, along with two large initials and borders, as well as the colophon. One of the few bindings that can be definitively stated as being done by Louis Herman Kinder, as he selected this binding as the frontispiece for his renowned 1905 treatise, Formulas for Bookbinders. Bound in grey morocco, with a large outer border made up of interlaced gouges at each corner (done in geometric precision), surrounded by large inlaid pieces of brown morocco framing these conical designs, with several delicate curving gouges in gilt extending outwards and connecting each quadrant. An inner border is made up heavily tooled vines in gilt, growing towards the top and bottom of the covers, surrounding the title and author at the center of the front cover. Five bands to spine, with title and author to second compartment, and curving gougework accented with two small dots and stars to the remaining compartments. A compact version of the front cover design has been tooled in gilt on the large inner turn-ins. Delicate silk moiré endpapers in light brown, and blue marbled flyleaves. Measures approx. 7.75" x 11.5".
Approx. 0.5-1" of the front and rear of hinges at top and bottom have been professionally restored with Japanese tissue to match the leather. In addition, light fading to spine and red inlays nearest to spine, minor rubbing, and some fraying to edges of silk endpapers.
An utter masterpiece of technical execution.