Gilder, Richard Watson. The New Day, A Poem in Songs and Sonnets. New York: Scribner, Armstrong, and Company, 1876. Illustrations engraved by Henry Marsh. Gold peacock feather on blue cloth over beveled boards. Burgundy endpapers. The binding design by Helena de Kay Gilder is believed to be the first publisher's binding to be designed by a woman in the United States (The Proper Decoration of Book Covers, Dubansky). Measures approx. 5.25" x 7". Dark stain to left side of front cover; some other minor spots and marks to covers. Light rubbing to edges. Upper spine tip professionally repaired with Japanese tissue.
In Thomson's Aesthetic Tracts—Innovation in Late-Nineteenth-Century Book Design, she notes that this singular volume "…exemplified the American Aesthetic movement’s first response in book design" and further notes that it is "an exquisite but tiny volume; reproductions cannot convey how the density of gold produces a three-dimensional image of glitter and opulence".
“A brilliant example of the engraver’s art—both in the quality of technique used to execute it and the illumination that emanates from the image" (The Art of American Book Covers, 1875-1930, Minsky).