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SARAH TREVERBIAN PRIDEAUX

Elena Văcărescu (1866–1947).
The Bard of the Dimbovitza: Roumanian Folk-Songs.
London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Company, 1892-1894.

By the end of the nineteenth century, women were well-represented in the commercial book binding trade. However, Sarah Treverbian Prideaux (1853–1933) was an important pioneer in that she established herself as an independent binder whose unconventional style was inspired by Art Nouveau designs. The daughter of Walter Prideaux (1806–1889), a lawyer, poet, and resident administrator of Goldsmiths’ Hall in London, Prideaux trained briefly with the fashionable London binder Joseph Zaensdorf. In 1884 she opened her own binding studio in London, where she instructed pupils until 1904, after which she continued to write well-received books on the history of binding and other books arts. In a catalogue of her bindings self-published in 1900, Prideaux expressed the desire that her designs would embody “the qualities of simplicity of proportion and dignity of line, unobscured by a burden of detail.” The exhibited gilt-leather bindings by Prideaux are signed and dated “S.T.P. 1896” inside their back covers.