Louis Bromfield…In a Clamshell!

Anyone who has followed my articles on Bookthink (see past articles here and here) or on this blog over the years knows that I am a great fan of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield.

I am also a collector of his novels and non-fiction works, and have gathered all of his titles, including signed first editions, several signed letters, and other interesting items relating to Louis Bromfield and Malabar Farm.

Here’s a peek at my collection:

Louis Bromfield book collection

Glossy publicity photo, signed handwritten letter

Bromfield ephemera

Some Bromfield ephemera

My wonderful husband and business partner has always been an excellent craftsman, whether working with wood, stone or just about any other material, for that matter.   Recently he has been focusing his talent on the art of bookbinding, and as a result he has been creating some really lovely leather clam-shell cases for my Louis Bromfield collection (lucky me!).

Ron at his work table

Ron at his work table

One of the books I especially cherish in this collection is a first edition of Possession, inscribed and signed by Bromfield to his friend and fellow author, Robert Nathan.   Here are photos of the progression of a custom case Ron recently finished for that book: 

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Davey board cut and glued up into boxes for case, before covering with cloth or paper
custom-made balsa wood spine, with two raised bands (davey board strips)

custom-made balsa wood spine, with two raised bands (Davey board strips)

davey board being sized to leather

Davey board being sized to leather (rear of photo)

Davey board and spine with leather applied.  Spine leather was embossed before gluing.

Davey board and spine with leather applied. Spine leather was embossed before gluing.

Inside of the case, ready for boxes (splayed out on a piece of brown leather rough side up to keep it from shifting)

Inside of the case, ready for boxes (splayed out on a piece of brown leather rough side up to keep it from shifting)

Custom boxes with artisan paper (archival quality) applied. Paper has been selected to compliment the book, dust jacket and the era in which the book was published.

Custom boxes with artisan paper (archival quality) applied. Paper has been selected to compliment the book, dust jacket and the era in which the book was published.

"Possession" resting in its case.  Dust jacket for this book is scarce; now it will be protected from fading, heat and humidity.

“Possession” resting in its case. Dust jacket for this book is scarce; now it will be protected from fading, heat and humidity.

And here is a case for a signed limited edition of Twenty-Four Hours:

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Twenty-Four Hours in custom leather case

Twenty-Four Hours in custom leather case

All the materials used in the cases are archival quality, including the decorative paper and glue.

I will no longer have to worry about these books gathering dust or becoming faded by the sun.

Ron’s interest in book binding has been quite the learning journey; with investment in various sizes and varieties of type, small presses, type heaters, type holders, quality leather and paper, special glues and tools.  We now have an entire room dedicated to this work!

Ron at his work table

Kingsley Hot Foil Press

His current project is a custom case for a first edition of Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier (Doubleday Doran, 1938) which we will soon be offering for sale.

For those interested in purchasing books by Louis Bromfield, here is a link to those currently available at Old Scrolls Book Shop.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have a collection of Louis Bromfield ,some signed with covers and some unsigned with & without covers. If interested email me at
    brumarle@cox.net.

    • Hello Bruce,
      Thanks for contacting me, and for reading my blog. Although my Bromfield collection is pretty complete, I may be interested in some of the signed Louis Bromfield books, especially if they also have dust jackets. Please send titles and some photos through our regular e-mail at info@oldscrolls.com

      Cheers,
      Cathy


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