Robert Rivière was born in 1808 into an artistic family in London, England. While his siblings preferred painting and singing, Robert became apprenticed to booksellers after he graduated from academy in 1824. In 1829 he established himself in Bath as a bookseller with a side business in binding. All of that changed when he moved to London and established his business as a bookbinder.
The Rivière Bindery saw great success in London’s West End from 1840 onwards. Collectors sought him out for his high quality and attention to detail, and he was commissioned to bind books for Queen Victoria and the royal family.
In 1880, Rivière turned the business over to his son-in-law, Percival Calkin, and renamed the firm as Robert Rivière & Son.
You can date Rivière bindings by their stamp.
- 1829-1832 - Bound by R. Rivière, Bath
- 1832-1840 - Bound by R. Rivière
- 1840-1860 - Bound by Rivière
- 1880 and on - Bound by Rivière & Son
George Bayntun was born in 1873 in Bath, England. After an apprenticeship, he began his own bookbinding business in Bath in 1894, binding books by hand with great craftsmanship. Although many binders were using machines in their process, Bayntun refused to use modern techniques.
In 1920, George Baynton purchased the business of George Gregory, Bookseller. The shop was frequently visited by Queen Mary throughout his final years.
In 1939, the George Bayntun firm acquired the Rivière Bindery, and Baynton passed away the following year. The firm has continued throughout the years under different managers through the family line, and was granted the appointment of Bookseller to Her Majesty in 1950.
The Bayntun-Rivière Bindery firm has been in residence on Manvers Street in Bath since 1939. Their books are still bound by hand, and the firm is world famous for its fine bindings, restoration, and conservation work.
You can learn more from their site: http://www.georgebayntun.com/Bindery.aspx