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Francis Bacon

The Essays of Bacon

Arthur L. Humphreys



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Ships from: New Jersey, United States

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Finely bound and illustrated copy of Bacon's essays with all 58 essays as originally published.

  • Francis Bacon (English).
  • Illustrated binding by Cedric Chivers (English).
  • London: Arthur L. Humphreys, 1900.
  • 272 pages.
  • Signed binding by Cedric Chivers.
  • Bound in brown French Levant crushed morocco with decorative endpapers, deckled edges and hand-painted watercolors on transparent vellum over gilt tooling.

Around 1903, Cedric Chivers of Bath, England developed a remarkable method of decoration for the binding of books, the transparent vellum or “Vellucent” method. The process involved an artist painting on a super-thin surface medium, and a sheet of vellum, shaved to translucent thinness, was laid over it, with the now indivisible pieces bound over boards. For the first time in the history of the bibliopegistic art, the actual work of the artist, undiluted by a translation through the hands of a binding technician, was involved in the decoration of the book. Using the “vellucent” method, it was also possible to incorporate further embellishments such as mother-of-pearl and iridescent shell, and the like, all of which may be covered and permanently protected by the vellum. As The Graphic Arts and Crafts Year Book for 1908 wrote, “It is difficult indeed not to become enthusiastic over the idea of the gorgeous aspect of a wealthy booklover’s library of “Vellucent”-bound books, which may become at the same time a cabinet of works of art, each one of his choice and rare volumes bearing an unique specimen of the book decorator’s skill, and embellished with the most varied and brilliant effects.”

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Some rubbing and wear to extremities as well as a tiny nick to the top back edge of headcap.

Very slight bow to the front board.

Clean interior except pages 24–25, where something had been stored in between the pages.


Height: 8.75 inches / 22.23 cm
Width: 7.25 inches / 18.41 cm




Fine bindings, Essays, English literature and history, Vellum, Philosophy

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