The Alhambra

Artist: Alice Cordelia Morse (American, Ohio 1863–1961)

Author: Washington Irving (American, New York 1783–1859 Sleepy Hollow, New York)

Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons (New York and London)

Date: 1892

Medium: Cream cloth covered boards with gold, green and blue decoration

Dimensions: 8 15/16 × 14 3/16 in. (22.7 × 36 cm)
Other: 8 15/16 x 6 in. (22.7 x 15.3 cm)
Other: 8 15/16 × 8 3/16 in. (22.7 × 20.8 cm)

Classification: Bindings

Credit Line: Transferred from the Library, 1956

Accession Number: 56.522.56


Putnam's companion gift books, The Alhambra and The Conquest of Granada, are two of Morse's most elaborate book-cover designs. Each volume is bound in white plain-weave cloth and stamped in colors and gold. Each has illustrated endleaves and ornamental page borders that may have been designed by Morse. All volumes were issued with chemises and each two-volume set was boxed in a slipcase. It is possible that Morse was inspired by a pattern in Owen Jones's The Grammar of Ornament: "Moresque Ornament from the Alhambra," no. 3, plate XLI (Lozenge Diapers). book was included in Morse's exhibit in the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1893). The Museum's book cover is a publisher's production case, inscribed "To Lea M Heath / from the designer / Alice C Morse."