These publishers' bindings are representative of the decorative cloth bindings on 19th century publications held by the Washington Library, Mount Vernon, Virginia. Usually decorative, often pictorial, the front covers and spines (the latter not generally shown here) of these bindings sometimes advertise the contents. In other cases they seem more intended to please the eye. Still others are quite plain and utilitarian. In all cases they are evidence of a period in book production before the near ubiquity of dust jacket on hardcover books with their illustrations, blurbs, and advertisements.
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