Developed in England around 1903 by Cedric Chivers, vellucent vellum is designed not only for the protection of leather bindings, but also to protect covers bearing coloured designs painted on paper attached to the boards, and then covered with vellum. The design may be further embellished by means of mother-of-pearl, iridescent shell, and the like, all of which may be covered and permanently protected by the vellum. The surface of the vellum itself can be tooled in gold, thus further enhancing the entire effect.
Both volumes in this set of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy tales are bound in transparent vellum over pale green paper, with a panel design in art nouveau style. Each volume has a heart-shaped centrepiece featuring characters from the fairy tales, with the theme repeated on the lower covers. The spines are decorated in similar art nouveau style and are lettered in blue.
Upper and lower covers and spine of Hans Christian Andersen, ‘Fairy tales’, (London: William Heinemann, MCM ). Volume 1. qREng ANDE Fairy 1900.