W H SMITH BINDERY. Niger Morocco Guest Book. W.H. Smith & Son. Bookbinding Works. Letchworth [no date c.1914]
4to. Bound by Douglas Cockerell in full reddish-brown niger morocco, stamp-signed in gilt with the W.H. Smith & Son monogram on rear turn-in, sides with gilt-ruled borders and small embellishments, gilt lettering at the head of the upper cover ("We should a guest love while he loves to stay / And when he likes not give him loving way"), smooth spine with ruled border and title ("Guest Book") in gilt, green cloth endpapers, top edges gilt; a very nice copy, contained in the original hinged wooden box with W.H. Smith & Son's printed label.
A very handsome guest book.
Douglas Cockerell (1870-1945) was a master bookbinder and an important figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. He started his own bindery in 1898 in Denmark Street in London, and after a number of moves he finally settled in Letchworth where he worked with his son Sydney until his death. He was in charge of W.H. Smith & Sons bindery from 1905 to 1914. His Bookbinding and the Care of Books is still a standard text book.