Photo Friday: Roses are red, or in this case pink

20140214 [love poem]

As you may have noticed, today is Valentine’s Day!  To celebrate, our Photo Friday this week is a poem on the subject of Love from a book within our Special Collections; “Flowers and their Kindred Thoughts”.

The book was published in 1848, and consists of fourteen chromolithographic plates of flowers with an accompanying facing poem by M.A.Bacon.  The poem for Love is accompanied by a plate featuring roses; all plates are by Owen Jones.

Owen Jones also designed the relievo leather binding of the book, which was then bound by Remnant Edmonds & Remnants.  The binding features a rustic design of ivy leaves with the title of the book in gothic lettering. Like papier-mâché bindings, “Relievo” bindings recall both medieval bindings and wood carvings and often occur on ecclesiastical books. The English trade binders Remnant & Edmonds were responsible for many known examples of “Relievo” work, winning a prize for them at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Owen Jones is best known as an interior and pattern designer, as well as an architect. He was also superintendent of works at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and designer of the Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Alhambra Courts at Crystal Palace after its move to Sydenham in 1854. Together with Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt, Jones produced the vastly influential Grammar of Ornament in 1856 (which we also hold in our Special Collections).

Mary Ann Bacon (1841-1870) wrote verse for two later titles with designs by Owen Jones; Fruits from the Garden and Field (1850) and Winged Thoughts (1851).

Access to all material in our Special Collections is by arrangement with the LJMU Archivist

The poem is transcribed below;

As girlhood to the woman doth draw near

making unconsciously its beauty known

thus, upon Summer’s touch the virgin near

at Nature’s bidding putteth on her crown


The Rose is on her brow!  Within it rest

the flush of joy – the fragrance not to die

so is the blush on woman’s cheek, the test

at once of passion and of purity.

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