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J.B. Priestley’s The Good Companions, 1929, First Edition


This is the First Edition of J.B. Priestley’s The Good Companions (1929), which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. With seamless patterns of acorns and oak leaves on paper sides to match the adventurous story of Mr. Oakroyd, this book is bound handsomely in the three-quarter style with leather and Morocco grain cloth by Sangorsky & Sutcliffe, acclaimed for its jewelled bindings, which cause some to call it the “Rolls Royce of Bookbinding.”


The company’s most famous binding was Edward FitzGerald’s Rub'iyat of Omar Kahyyam or the Great Omar: its binding was encrusted with 1050 jewels, but it sank deep in the sea along with the Titanic in 1912. Later, the firm made a second copy, but it was badly damaged in the Blitz. Stanley Bray, Sutcliffe’s nephew, created a third to his uncle’s original specifications in 1936 and this magnum opus, taken more than 4000 hours to recreate, now kept in the British Library.


Sangorsky & Sutcliffe also bound premium commercial copies, like this copy of Priestley’s The Good Companions, with patterned endpapers of acorns and oak leaves and gilt edges. This copy can also be seen an artifact of fine binding in the early twentieth century. There is a flyleaf inscription; otherwise, the book is in good, solid condition.


Publisher:  William Heinemann Ltd., London

Size:  16 x 23 cm

Pages:  640

First Published in July 1929



J. B. Priestley's The Good Companions, 1929

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