"E.V.B." [Boyle, Eleanor Vere]. Ros Rosarum ex Horto Poetarum. Dew of the Ever-Living Rose Gathered from the Poets' Gardens of many Lands. London, Elliot Stock, 1885. Untrimmed, title-page printed in red, illustrations in text. Bound in full light brown calf by Ellen Sparks with a modeled leather wreath of dog roses and leaves on the front cover, painted in red and green, with gilt details within the flowers. The title has been hand-tooled and incised in the leather below, then painted in gold. The smooth spine includes the title at a diagonal, incised and painted in gold, with a rose at the top and an "ES" monogram inside a circle. The back cover features a branch of dog roses in the upper portion of the cover, with a petal and bloom falling from the branch in the lower portion. Gilt-rolled turn-ins with light brown and gilt marbled endpapers. Bookplate of Michael Tomkinson to front pastedown. Measures approx. 4.75" x 7.25". Some light spotting to covers. Housed in a two-part vertical pull off case, with some browning to the leather, buckram, and marbled paper used in its construction.
Though Ellen Sparks was well known for leatherwork, she is also noted as exhibiting bookbindings at an exhibition with the Society of Women Artists in 1901 (alongside Ethel Taunton and the Chiswick Art Guild), and at an exhibition at the Pharo Club in 1904. She lived with the artist and suffragette Edith Downing from 1896 until 1910.
Lot #760 (so noted on the spine sticker of the case) in the Sotheby's sale of Tomkinson's library in 1922, which included at least two other bookbindings by Sparks.