he tale of Emperor Coustans is one of three publications by the Kelmscott Press containing translations of popular medieval tales from Old French (the others are King Florus and Amis and Amile). Like those two other books, Emperor Coustans was printed in a small format at relatively low cost (for a Kelmscott Book), intended for a larger audience than might be able to purchase a regular Kelmscott imprint.
Somewhat ironically, the Lear Center copy was rebound in a lavish binding by the Doves Bindery. The Doves binding is in red morocco with gold stamped patterns on front and back covers and turn-ins. The binding is signed on the back turn-in Doves Bindery 18 C - S 99. There is a bookplate of Henry John and Minnie Caroline Bell on the front pastedown and of James Stewart Geikie on the front free endleaf. Henry John Bell was supposedly the foremost collector of Doves Bindery bindings while its proprietor, T.J. Cobden-Sanderson, was still living. Geikie was a physician in Ayr, Scotland who owned several other Kelmscott volumes. The book was purchased for the Library with the Harrison Freeman fund.
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