Bagot, Richard. The Italian Lakes. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1905. First edition. 4to. Top edge gilt. With 68 fine color plate illustrations from the watercolor paintings of Ella Du Cane, each with captioned tissue-guards. Bound by Birdsall of Northampton (though unsigned) in three-quarter dark blue morocco over light blue cloth boards ruled in gilt. Spine with two raised bands decoratively paneled in gilt. The first panel contains the title, author, and artist in gilt on an inlaid brown panel. The large middle panel features an inlaid Italian scene of a blue lake, light brown hills in the background along with a villa in browns and blue, with a boat in foreground in grey and terra cotta, along with a woman in red, light blue, and dark blue, standing underneath a trellis of green foliage. Light brown endpapers; top edge gilt. Measures approx. 6.75" x 9.25". Some light rubbing to edges, and light soiling to cloth. Silk page marker loosely inserted.
Birdsall produced a large array of 3/4 morocco bindings with inlaid spine panels primarily for A&C Black travel volumes, but they can also be found on Arthur Rackham-illustrated titles and other popular gift books of the period. "Birdsall's is notable for the high quality of their leathers and finishings, as well as for the inventive style of their 'inlaid pictorial bindings'" (Chevalier Collection, Christie's November 9, 1990).