Binding Design: Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Physical Description

Medium: Plain blue cloth boards. Design blocked in gold on upper cover and spine, blind-stamped on lower cover. Reddish-brown end papers.
Dimensions: 6 9/10 x 4 3/5

Production Description

Production Date: 1862


Current Location: Library of Jerome McGann

Scholarly Commentary


DGR designed the cover of Christina Rossetti's famous book of poems, for which he also made a pair of illustrations—a title page and a frontispiece. These illustrations appeared in the book in the engravings executed by W. J. Linton and C. J. Faulkner, respectively.

For the binding he chose a dark blue cloth cover decorated with a series of interweaving gold-stamped lines with six sets of small gold circles stamped at the intersections of the lines. (A known variant is bound in a smooth red cloth.) The endpapers are a dull mulberry color, like those of The Early Italian Poets , whose cover design set the model for this one (the lettering and spine decorations are the same on both books, and DGR has varied only slightly the design of intersecting lines). In his essay on DGR's book bindings Grieve observes that the coarse threading of the cloth covers “was perhaps inspired by the texture of the covers of Japanese books of prints” (Grieve 79).

The binding design for the second (1865) edition was changed slightly from the original. In both states the front cover design is stamped blind on the back.


  • Fredeman, “‘Woodman, Spare that Block’” (1996), 7-41.
  • Grieve, “Applied Art 2” (1973), 79-83.
  • Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial , 118.
  • DGR: Painter and Poet [Royal Academy 1973] 57 (number 226).
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: sa94.s143.rap.xml