Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bookbinder to the King

This is a photo and article cut from the Otago Daily Times - unfortunately there's no date, but it would have to be the early fifties at the latest, as Pop died in 1954.

The text is as follows, for those whose eyesight can't pick up what's on the screen (!) - though it will come up full size if you click on the picture. It may take several seconds.
Three specially-bound copies of Dr A H McLintock’s official history of Otago will accompany the Mayor, Sir Donald Cameron, when he leaves for Britain in the near future. They are presentation copies which Sir Donald will hand over as gifts from the city of Dunedin to his Majesty the King, the Lord Mayor of London, and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh respectively. The binding of the books has just been completed, and they are to be displayed in the window of a city book store before being handed over to Sir Donald.
The binding of books in the elaborate presentation form is a craftsman’s task, and there are few men in new Zealand who are still able to do the work, which calls for special skills and painstaking workmanship. The binding of the copy to be presented to the King was carried out by Mr C Hannagan, who told the Daily Times yesterday that he had enjoyed the work as a variation from more prosaic bookbinding tasks.
Handsomely finished in scarlet Morocco leather, with the heavy covers bevelled and the page edges gilt, the presentation volume is a fine example of master craftsmanship. It is contained in a lined and similarly bound presentation case, which, like the books, has the city’s coat of arms embossed in gold on the cover.
The copies which are to be presented to the chief officers of London and Edinburgh are similarly bound, although their covers are lighter and only the upper edges of the pages are gilt. These volumes were bound by Messrs R Craik and D McKay under the supervision of Mr Hannagan. As with all the de luxe edition copies of the centennial history, the frontispiece of each volume is an original etching by the versatile author.
With the completion of the presentation volumes, Mr Hannagan and his assistants will now return to the binding of the final batch of copies of the first printing of the history.