After two and a half years' work, with more than a thousand gems, 5,000 leather inlays and 100 sq feet of gold leaf, it was catalogued in 1911, at £1,000. There was, however, no buyer, and eventually it was knocked down at Sotheby's for £405, to be shipped to America. Unfortunately, the ship was the Titanic, and Sangorski's fortunes seemed to sink from then on.Just to rub it in, "a replica was made by Stanley Bray, George Sutcliffe's nephew, but bombed in 1941. The heroic Bray then bound yet another, which was not finished until 1989 and is on permanent loan to the British Library". Hmm. If I were in charge of the BL, I'd look with extreme prejudice on that loan, and have it returned ASAP. As Napoleon said, "I know he's a good bookbinder, but is he lucky?"
Talking of lucky, I'm off to Florence this week, and will also have a blog break for the whole of August. At least, I will if I can fight off the compulsion to write and share photographs, which is harder than you might think. And talking of that, you might like to cast an eye over my recent contribution to the online landscape magazine On Landscape. No facetious or irrelevant comments, please (I mean over there, not here, of course). I decided I needed an outlet that reached more than the handful of readers of this blog, and have some more landscape-related articles for them in the pipeline. I'm not really a pure landscapist at heart, as you know, but they seem like nice folk, and willing to give my ramblings a platform.
A small end-of-blog-year prize, payable in self-esteem (at the current kudos exchange rate), to those who can (a) identify the source of this post's title, and (b) the source of the source, and (c) the source of the source of the source.
* Review by Jim McCue of "Cinderella of the Arts" by Rob Shepherd, TLS no. 5913, July 29 2016.