Master Violin Makers (Both Subjects & Authors) — Equally Masterful Binders
Hill, William Henry; Arthur F. Hill; Alfred Ebsworth Hill. The violin-makers of the Guarneri family (1626–1762): Their life and work. London: William E. Hill & Sons, 1931. 4to (29.9 cm, 11.75"). xxxvii, , 181,  pp.; 58 plts., 2 fold. maps, illus.
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The first edition in its deluxe format, in an eye-catching Riviere binding: a carefully detailed, extensively illustrated examination of the careers and productions of all five of the master instrument-makers of the Guarneri family. The text is enhanced by58 full-page depictions of known examples of Guarneri work, often in multiple views, with many color-printed and the rest in crisply impressed photogravure, along with two oversized, folding maps and numerous in-text illustrations. And it bears a touching dedication to the memory of William Hill (1857–1929), noting that this history “embodies the knowledge and considered views of three brothers who lived and worked in a life-long intimacy.” The Hill family was itself known for fine violin-making and expert instrument repair work, and the W.E. Hill & Sons firm continues to be active today. This is hand-numbered copy 137 of only 200 produced in this special limited format, there having been apparently fewer than 700 copies produced for subscribers overall.
Binding: Signed brown morocco, covers framed and panelled in gilt double fillets with gilt corner fleurons and floral decorations enclosed by strapwork, front cover with central gilt-stamped Guarneri coat of arms, spine with gilt-ruled raised bands, gilt-stamped title and author, and gilt-stamped decorations in compartments. Turn-ins with one wide gilt roll and one narrow, joined by gilt double fillets. Page edges untrimmed. Binding dated 1931 (at spine foot) and gilt-stamped by Riviere & Son on lower front turn-in.
Provenance: From the library (sans indicia) of the great violinist Adolf Busch and by bequest to his daughter Irene Serkin and son-in-law Rudolph Serkin.
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Binding as above; back cover with one scuff, front cover with small unobtrusive area of darkening towards upper outer corner. Offsetting to edges of free endpapers from turn-ins. Pages and plates clean and fresh. A striking, elegant volume, of surpassing interest for music historians and aficionados. (39690)
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