HARDY, HENRI Papers, 1746-1946, bulk 1855-1946
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Guide to the Henri Hardy Papers, 1746-1946, bulk 1855-1946

Title: Henri Hardy Papers

OCLC/RLIN No. (Unique ID): 821931430

Dates: 1746-1946

Bulk Dates: 1855-1946

Extent: 5 boxes (5 linear ft.)       

Abstract: This is the personal collection of papers of fine bookbinder, Henri Hardy.

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research use. Copyright restrictions may apply; please contact repository for requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce the materials.

Preferred Citation: [Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Henri Hardy Papers, 1746-1946, bulk 1855-1946, The Grolier Club of New York.

About the Finding Aid: This finding aid was prepared by Grolier Club Archivist, Rachel E. Greer in Microsoft Word at the Grolier Club, December 2012 and updated by Kendra Meyer in December 2018.

Provenance: This collection was donated to the Grolier Club by Henri Plant, Henri Hardy’s grandson, in September 2012.  The contents of box 5 were donated to the Grolier Club by Suzette Tanis-Plant, Henri Hardy’s granddaughter, in November 2018.

                                            

Access Points:

Names:

Hardy, Henri, 1854-1945

Corporations:

The Booklover’s Shop

The Club Bindery

Doubleday Doran & Company

French Binders (Firm: Garden City, N.Y.)

The Rowfant Club

Subjects:

Bookbinding—19th century

Bookbinding—20th century

Genres:
Clippings
Oil paintings (visual works)

Photographs

Scrapbooks

Watercolors (painting)

Language Note:

Material is in French and English.

Biographical/Historical Note:

Henri Hardy was born in Paris in 1854. Though he originally studied to be a priest, he left seminary and returned to Paris, apprenticing in his father’s bookbinding shop from 1869-1876.[1] He also later worked with bookbinding masters, Trautz-Bauzonnet and Cuzin-Mercier. He married and lived in Montmartre, studying painting for a time. Hardy produced a number of watercolors and illustrations, some of which are included in this collection. During the Paris Commune of 1870-71, he hid in a nearby chateau until the slaughter of Parisians by the French army ended.  Eventually Hardy fell in love with one of his artists’ models, Louise Pilon, and moved with her to New York City in 1896 to begin working for The Club Bindery, a bookbindery founded by Grolier Club members. With the dissolution of The Club Bindery in 1909, members of the group, including Leon Maillard and Hardy, reassembled in Cleveland as The Rowfant Bindery.  In 1914, Hardy and his brother-in-law Gaston Pilon went into business in another incarnation of the Club Bindery, namely, The Booklover’s Shop in Chicago.  When that venture ended, Frank Doubleday, of Doubleday-Doran, hired Hardy and Pilon to start a bindery in Garden City, NJ in 1918. Called The French Binders, this group produced bindings for Doubleday-Doran as well as private clients.[2]  As Hardy’s career progressed, his notoriety grew, and he and Pilon eventually won the Ordre des Palmes Académiques. He retired in 1933. His books are included in such notable collections as Princeton University Library, the Pierpont Morgan Library, and the Library of Congress. He died in 1945.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of material generated throughout the course of Henri Hardy’s life and career and includes books, ephemera, clippings, images, photographs, illustrations, paintings and drawings created by Hardy, and a few samples of his binding and leatherwork.  The collection also includes Hardy’s personal scrapbook, containing images, ephemera, and original artwork and spanning most of his adult life, clearly documenting the sources of Hardy’s aesthetic and intellectual inspiration.  Three volumes of work illustrated by Dore are included. Droll Stories contains a handwritten note by Hardy.

Arrangement Note:

This collection arrived without a detectable original order and has been arranged alphabetically by the archivist. Folder titles in brackets were devised by the archivist. The scrapbook, leather covered box, and large piece of carved leather are housed separately, as is noted in the Container List below.  Three volumes illustrated by Gustave Doré were added in 2018 and are housed in box 5.

Container List:

Box #

Folder #

Title

Date

1

1

[Bookbinding Photographs]

Undated

1

2

Cover for The Old Wives’ Tale, Arnold Bennett

1908

1

3

Double Life, November 1946

1946

1

4

Effendi by Christopher Morley [Personal Copy, Published on the Death of Frank Nelson Doubleday]

1934

1

5

[Ephemera]

1859-1923

1

6

[Expense Sheets]

1880s

1

7

Flying for France, James R. McConnell

1917

1

8

The French Binders

Undated

1

9

The History of Virginia, William Stith [Marked “Dog Skin” Inside Front Cover]

1747

1

10

[Illustration: Grolier Visite L’imprimerie d’Alde Manuce a Venise]

Undated

1

11

[Illustrations and Engravings]

Undated

1

12

[Illustrations for Stories or Bookbinding Inlays, Drawn by Henri Hardy]

Undated

1

13

[Illustrations of Bookbindings]

Undated

1

14

[Images of Bookbinders]

Undated

1

15

[Leather Cuttings and Stencil]

Undated

1

16

Nature in Ornament, Lewis F. Day

1892

1

17

Pages from Paul et Virginie suivi de la Chamiere Indienne

Undated

1

18

Self-Portrait, pencil and oil paint

Undated

1

19

Slipcase, A Note Without Dates, Autograph Ms., Stephen Crane

1919

1

20

The Song of Hiawatha, Longfellow

1855

1

21

“Strange Burglary” The American Weekly

[1904]

1

22

[Telephone Reparatory Made by Henri Hardy]

Undated

1

23

[Tooled Leather Disc With Crown and Two Lions]

Undated

1

24

The World, [May] 12, 1910

1910

1

25

[Ye Olde Bindery Bookplate]

Undated

Container

Title

Date

Box 2

Leather-Covered Box

Undated

Box 3

Leather Piece, Carved by Henri Hardy

Undated

Box 4

Henri Hardy’s Scrapbook

[1896-1945]

Box 5

Contes drolatiques = Droll stories, Balzac, illustrated by Doré 

 [1874?] 

Box 5 

 The Doré Bible Gallery, illustrated by Doré 

 1879 

Box 5 

 Milton’s Paradise Lost, illustrated by Doré 

 [1866] 



[1] From Excerpt of Henri Plant’s Life Story.

[2] Boss, Thomas G. Bound to be the Best: The Club Bindery. Catalogue of an Exhibition. Boston: Thomas G. Boss Fine Books, 2004, p. 51

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