[GRÜNER, Ludwig]. ~ The Good Shunammite. II. Kings, Cap IV, v VIII. [London: Longman, 1847].
8vo (160 × 110 mm), pp. xxi, , entirely printed in chromolithography with gold on thick paper. Some spotting throughout. Original papier mâché binding on black morocco (the spine embossed) over wooden boards, marbled endpapers. Spine ends and inner gilt dentelles slightly chipped but a very good copy, the contents all secure.
First edition. The colophon reads: ‘This book was completed for Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans the last day of October at the studio of Lewis Gruner in the year of our Lord MDCCCXLVII’. It includes illuminated borders and initials by Ludwig Grüner in the style of Owen Jones and may well have been printed at Jones’s establishment (McLean). Grüner was art advisor to Queen Victoria from 1845 and supervised the decoration of the garden pavilions of Buckingham Palace.
It is an excellent early example of the type of papier mâché later made popular by Henry Noel Humphreys. The binding designs were carved in a mould (of steel?) into which was poured a mixture of plaster on a papier-mache base. ‘They are part of the Victorian. dream of medievalism, to be placed reverently on a velvet cloth on the piano.’ (McClean) McLean, Victorian Publishers’ Book-bindings in Paper p. 52; McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd ed.) p. 92.