Cinderella of the Arts - Rob Shepherd


Cinderella of the Arts - Rob Shepherd
The July 2013 seminar in the book-collecting series organised jointly by the Institute of English Studies (London University) and the Rare Book Society was given by Rob Shepherd of Sangorski & Sutcliffe, founded in 1901 and one of the oldest surviving hand bookbinding companies in England.

The business, which merged with the even older Zaehnsdorf bindery in 1988, was founded by Francis Sangorski and George Sutcliffe, who met at bookbinding evening classes taught by Douglas Cockerell at the London County Council's Central School of Arts and Crafts. The seminar explored the history of the business and in particular the direct and transforming relationship between craft bookbinding, described as the 'Cinderella of the Arts' by Joseph Zaehnsdorf in 1885, and the Arts and Crafts movement of William Morris and his disciples, the subsequent vogue for fine binding, and in particular the changes in this market over the last century.       

The seminar took place on Tuesday 9 July 2013 at Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. 

The seminars are aimed at a broad audience including book-collectors, book-dealers, historians of all kinds, librarians, indeed at anyone with an interest in collecting any sort of text from the sixth-former to the retired professor. The atmosphere is informal, as are the presentations. They are held in the University of London’s Senate House and run from 6.00 to 7.30 pm on the second Tuesday of each month. The seminars are free and open to the public. All are very welcome.

Illustrations: Keats, Some Poems - binding designed by George Sutcliffe in 1914; the Zaehnsdorf bindery at Cambridge Circus, ca.1890