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Hat Hill Gallery

The Art of Music, C Hubert H Parry, rare second 1894 ed, Zaehnsdorf binding


Author:  C Hubert H Parry

Title:  The Art of Music

Published:  1894 (2nd edition) - the original being printed in 1893.  A later, enlarged version called “the Evolution of the Art of Music” was published in 1896 and has been erroneously called the second edition by some.

Publisher:   Keegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co, Ltd

Hard Cover: 394 pages

Book Condition:  Very good (see photos).

Bound in green leather with faded marbled endpapers.  Signed and dedicated by the author.

Collectors should note the very interesting provenance of this copy:

Our copy may have been one of a special printing in view of the quality of the binding and the scarcity of this edition. There is an inscription stamped on the front turn-in, ‘bound by zaehnsdorf’, which indicates this was bound by the company run by Joseph, son of the founder, Zaehnsdorf, one of the most exclusive book-binders in London at the time. The image on the small gold disc stamped at the bottom-centre of the fixed back endpaper is from the Zaehnsdorf bookplate.  The book is bound in green leather with a red leather insert on the spine with the title. There is gold embossing on the spine and the inside and outside of the boards. The spine has been repaired professionally. The condition of the pages is excellent.
There are some annotations in the book's front pages which which make the provenance very interesting:  firstly, “A. Asquith” written on the free front-end paper, followed by a dedication to “Margot, from Maude and Hubert” on one of the front flypapers.  It seems highly likely that “A. Asquith” was Anthony Asquith whose mother, Margot, was Lady Asquith, wife of the British Prime Minister at the time. Elizabeth Maude was the wife of the author Hubert Parry.  Anthony became a famous British film director in the first half of the twentieth century. The book itself was from the estate of the late Professor Roger Covell, an Australian literary and music critic for many years, whose book and music collection we purchased in 2019. In the early 1950’s Covell worked for the BBC in the UK and it is quite conceivable the provenance trail was completed by Anthony Asquith actually giving him the book:  that is, the book was passed from Sir Hubert to Lady Asquith to her son Anthony to Roger Covell.

A further point of interest is that inserted above the title in the book in pencil are the words: “the evolution of”, the third edition of the book subsequently being called “the Evolution of the Art of Music”.  It looks likely that was written in Sir Hubert’s hand comparing the handwriting with his other annotation.

Thus, this is a very rare, possibly special edition, bound by exclusive book-binders. A credible provenance has been established which greatly adds to the desirability of the book.

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