T. J. Cobden-Sanderson

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Portrait of Cobden-Sanderson by William Rothenstein
Page from the Doves Bible by Cobden Sanderson
A book binding by Cobden-Sanderson

Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson (2 December 1840 – 7 September 1922) was an English artist and bookbinder associated with the Arts and Crafts movement.

He was born in Alnwick, Northumberland, as Thomas James Sanderson. Sanderson attended many schools including the Royal Grammar School Worcester before entering Owen's College (Manchester University) and then Trinity College, Cambridge to study law.[1] He left without taking a degree, and entered Lincoln's Inn as a barrister. In 1882 he married (Julia Sarah) Anne Cobden (1853–1926), a daughter of Richard Cobden, and they both took the surname Cobden-Sanderson.[2]

As a friend of William Morris, Cobden-Sanderson was involved with the Arts and Crafts ideology, and during a dinner party with the Morrises he was persuaded by Morris's wife Jane Burden to take up book-binding.[citation needed] In about 1884 he opened a workshop, abandoning his law practice. In 1887 Cobden-Sanderson suggested a new group be named the "Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society," and in so doing gave the movement its name. [3]By 1900 he had established the Doves Press in Hammersmith, London, naming it after an old pub next door, The Dove. Emery Walker became a partner in 1900 and oversaw the creation of the Doves Type used for all of their books. They produced a number of letterpress books, including the famous five-volume Doves Bible.

By 1909 Cobden-Sanderson and his partner Emery Walker were at the height of a protracted and bitter dispute involving the rights to the Doves Type in the dissolution of their partnership. As part of the partnership dissolution agreement, all rights to the Doves Type were to pass to Emery Walker upon the death of Cobden-Sanderson. Yet, when the press closed in 1916 Cobden-Sanderson threw the type along with its punches and matrices into the Thames. In this time, as there was no digitization, destroying the punches and matrices constituted destroying the font itself.

Until recently the Doves Typeface was thought to have been lost forever.[4] However, a digital version of the typeface was painstakingly recreated by Robert Green from 2010 to 2013.[5][6]

References[edit]

  • Marianne Tidcombe. The Doves Press. London: British Library; New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2002 [i.e. 2003].
  1. ^ "Sanderson (post Cobden-Sanderson), Thomas James (SNDR860TJ)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  3. ^ Preston, Emily (April 1902). "T.J. Cobden-Sanderson and the Doves Bindery". The Craftsman (Eastwood, N.Y.) 2 (1). Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Cable, Carole (1974), "The Printing Types of the Doves Press: Their History and Destruction", The Library Quarterly 44 (3): 219–230, JSTOR 4306410 
  5. ^ The Economist, December 21, 2013
  6. ^ http://typespec.co.uk/doves-type/

External links[edit]