[Collection of 130 works in 262 volumes]

  • [Talwin Morris Bindings]
  • [various]: Blackie and Son. 1893


SKU: 4896 Category: Tag:


Mostly 8vo, various paginations, mostly original decorated cloth, a handful of printed card wrappers. Most in good or very good condition.


A large and representative collection covering the whole book-designing career of influential artist Talwyn Morris, who became synonymous with the 'Glasgow Style' of the turn of the 20th century. The 262 volumes include complete runs of his celebrated and beautiful bindings for sets such as William S. Murphy's The Textile Industries and James Weir French's Modern Power Generators reminiscent of and an influence of the burgeoning Private Press movement; it also includes more than a hundred of his simpler series bindings.
Talwin Morris (1865-1911), artist and book designer who became, was born in England but moved to Glasgow in 1893 to take up the post of Art Manager for publisher Blackie and Son. He was to arrive in a city where other artist-craftsmen and women - chief among them future collaborator Charles Rennie Mackintosh - were poised to make their mark on 20th century art. Prior to his work for Blackie he produced headpieces and mastheads for magazines published by Cassels and during his Glasgow tenure, like many of his contemporaries he did not confine himself to one medium, having a mirror exhibited in Turin and designing an ink stand for Liberty and Co. As Art Manager, he had a greater influence on the form of Blackie's books than a simple illustrator would have had.
Morris's role allowed him to develop his style in both series bindings and individual works, both of which are well-represented in this collection. His series designs span from the inexpensive paperback 'Plain Text Shakespeare' series for which he designed the elegant front wrapper design printed in black, through the Red Letter Shakespeare series in hardback for Blackie's Gresham subsiduary, for which he designed the two-colour front board decoration and title-page, through the Selections from Poets, for which he designed front board and spine, end-papers and title pages. All are well-represented in this collection, alongside less strictly-defined series work on juvenile and adult fiction, one design seeing service for a number of similar works, as well as the larger, custom designs for Gresham sets that are characteristic of his later work. This distinction is in some ways an artificial one, as the same motifs - often botanical, frequently asymmetric - recur throughout all his work. In presenting a large cross-section of Morris's work these similarities become more apparent; the cheaper bindings are more economical in execution and materials but not in scope, an elegant economy of line common to all his work.

Location & Opening Times

3a & 4a Haddington Place, Edinburgh, EH7 4AE

Opening Hours

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On Thursdays late night opening until 8pm