David Golder

  • By Irène Némirovsky
  • Cercle Lyonnais du Livre, France, 1948*
  • Book: 260mm x 327mm x 44mm
  • Box: 295mm x 355mm x 73mm
  • Bound in 2013
  • Private Collection, UK
  • *Further publication details:
  • One of 160 copies. 127 of these copies were numbered and reserved for society members, the other 33 copies were reserved for collaborators. The book was printed in Paris on the 10th March 1948 on the printing presses of Fequet et Baudier by the relief printer George Leblanc.

Full leather binding in black goatskin with miscellaneous coloured leather and gold-leafed onlays.
The leather is embroidered over the onlays with coloured silks and metallic threads using a variety of embroidery stitches.
Sections of the cover leather are washed with acrylic paint before embroidering.
There are brass wires attached through the boards between each of the hanging crystals.
Flecks of gold tooling are scattered over the whole book, done using hand-made finishing tools.
The endpapers and doublures are printed and embellished with a fine ink pen and embroidery threads.
Tulipwood box, mitred and held together with black perspex keys at each of the box corners.
The box sides are routed with channels holding decorated panels in place.
Front and back panels are constructed from frosted acrylic with soft-plate off-set printed designs behind, which are decorated with gold foil tooling.
The bottom internal box pad has a single embroidered playing card sewn on it.
Description of Design

David Golder is a self-made man, from humble beginnings he is now a cold, ruthless businessman. He realises that his wealth has not brought him happiness, he is just a provider for his uncaring family. His wife and daughter are selfish and only look to him when they need money for more jewellery, furs and cars. The design is based on the rags to riches life of Golder, the chandelier in contrast to the bare light bulb, who then dies in self-imposed poverty having learned a bitter lesson about money and happiness. The endpapers are printed with playing cards, to illustrate the time spent gambling for more money to please his family.