India, finely bound in elaborately decorated full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London. Winston S. Churchill.
India, finely bound in elaborately decorated full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
India, finely bound in elaborately decorated full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
India, finely bound in elaborately decorated full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
India, finely bound in elaborately decorated full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
India, finely bound in elaborately decorated full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
India, finely bound in elaborately decorated full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London

India, finely bound in elaborately decorated full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London

London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd., 1931. First edition, first printing. Full leather. This is the first edition, first printing, finely bound in elaborately decorated full dark red morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London. The elegant binding features a hubbed and gilt printed spine with gilt ruled and decorated compartments, and gilt tooled spine bands. The covers likewise feature extensive gilt rules and tooling, the cover edges are gilt-ruled, the page edges are gilt and striking marbled endpapers are framed by double gilt-ruled turn-ins. Even the gold, red, and white head and foot bands are executed with noteworthy skill and aesthetic effect. This strikingly lovely example of the binder’s craft is a reminder to collectors that not all fine bindings are created equal. “BOUND BY ZAEHNSDORF FOR ASPREY & CO” is gilt-stamped on the lower front pastedown. The luxury goods firm Asprey of London was established in 1781. Asprey began offering finely bound reference books in the early 1900s, which after the Second World War developed to include a range of both antiquarian and new books finely bound by Asprey. The renowned Zaehnsdorf Bindery was founded in London in 1842 by Austria-Hungary-born Joseph Zaehnsdorf (1816-1886) and run by him, his son, and his grandson for over one hundred years. Asprey acquired Zaehnsdorf in 1983. Condition is fine. The binding remains beautifully bright, clean, tight, and square with no appreciable wear or fading to report apart from two tiny and unobtrusive blemishes near the center of the rear cover. The contents are notably clean for the edition, with no previous ownership marks. The sole interior blemish noted is minor wear and soiling to the fore edge of the title page. A single instance of spotting is confined to the fore edge of the final two leaves. India is a collection of 10 speeches made by Churchill, which constituted an important part of his campaign against the India Bill over which he broke with his party’s leadership. Though his cause was lost, these speeches are considered to contain some of the finest examples of Churchill's rhetorical brilliance. Churchill spent formative time as a young 19th century cavalry officer fighting on the northwest Indian frontier, about which he would write his first published book. He did not adopt an early progressive attitude toward relinquishing control over the crown jewel of Britain's colonial empire. Nonetheless, it is instructive to remember that many of Churchill's dire warnings about Indian independence proved prophetic. Churchill had warned that too swift a British withdrawal from India would lead to bloody civil war and sectarian strife between Hindus and Muslims, Hindu domination, and destabilizing political balkanization of the subcontinent. All these predictions came to pass and, to a considerable extent, persist today. The first edition was bound in either bright orange wraps or, far more scarce, a bright orange cloth. Both proved highly susceptible to wear, soiling, and fading, the contents quite often spotted, toned, and soiled. We seldom encounter finely bound first editions, which make a durable and attractive alternative to the original binding. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A92.1, Woods/ICS A38(a.1), Langworth p.150. Item #005725

Price: $2,250.00