Book Fairs | April 11, 2023

Morris-Levin Publishers’ Bindings Collection to Sale

Honey & Wax Booksellers/Johnson Rare Books & Archives

From The Morris-Levin Collection of Publishers’ Bookbindings

Honey & Wax Booksellers and Johnson Rare Books & Archives have announced the offering of the Morris-Levin collection of publishers’ bindings.

Over 50 years, Ellen Morris and Edward Levin collected more than 3,000 volumes representing the first century of commercial book design in Europe and the United States. Morris and Levin curated the historic 2000 Grolier Club exhibition The Art of Publishers’ Bookbindings, 1815-1915, and wrote the accompanying print catalogue, now a standard reference. The 254 bindings included in the Grolier exhibition were hand-picked by Morris and Levin to illustrate international developments in book production, design, and marketing, from the earliest publishers’ bindings to the dawn of the dust jacket.

At this year’s New York Antiquarian Book Fair, the 254 Morris-Levin exhibition books will be offered en bloc by Honey & Wax Booksellers (booth B33) and Johnson Rare Books and Archives (booth A10). Both booths will display a selection of publishers’ bindings from the original Grolier show, including uncommon examples that have not appeared on the market in decades.

The booksellers are committed to keeping the Grolier exhibition books together, accompanied by the descriptive catalogue prepared by Ellen Morris and Edward Levin, for use as a teaching collection. The group of 254 bindings is offered for $250,000.

The larger Morris-Levin collection, comprising thousands of publishers’ bindings issued from the end of the Napoleonic Wars through the beginning of World War I, is also available for purchase. Prospective buyers of all or part of the collection are encouraged to inquire.

The 2023 New York Antiquarian Book Fair runs April 27 through April 30 at the Park Avenue Armory.