Century Series

Lovell, Coryell & Co. (New York, US)
Series dates: 1892-1897
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

American Publisher’s Corporation (New York, US)
Series dates: 1898

Lovell, Coryell & Co. was a British publishing company, based in New York, founded in 1892 by John Wurtele Lovell and Vincent M. Coryell. A subsidiary of United States Book Company. Having moved in may 1893 to the offices of the United States Book Company at 5-7 East Sixteenth Street, Lovell, Coryell, and Company were forced to move again in February 1894 upon the bankruptcy of the parent company. In 1897 Lovell, Coryell and Company were renamed Coryell and Company and taken over by the American Publisher’s Corp..” (source).

“In 1896, the United States Book Company was reorganized as the American Publisher’s Corporation, dropping all imprints but Lovell, Coryell & Co. (which was dropped in 1897) and moving to 310-318 Sixth Avenue. In 1898, the company folded entirely, succeeded by a plate renting business for a few months. Two young employees of the company, Alexander Grosset, and George T. Dunlap fell heir to many of the printing plates, using them to found the great American reprint house that bears their name.” (source)

Imprint addresses & dates:

1891-May 1893: 43, 45, 47 East 10th Street
May 1893-1896: 5-7 East Sixteenth Street
1897: 310-318 Sixth Avenue
1897-1898: series issued by the American Publisher’s Corp.. (source).

“Comprising one hundred volumes of classic works, embracing fiction, essays, poetry, history, science, art, and philosophy — selected from the best literature, written by authors of world-wide reputation. Printed from large type, on good paper, and bound in handsome cloth binding. 12mo, cloth, gilt. Retail price, 75 cents per volume. Also Century Series, Half Morocco. (Selected 50 volumes). Uniformly bound in half morocco, gilt top. Each volume put up in a neat slipcase box. Retail price, $1.50 per Volume. (source)

The jacket below covers an undated copy of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers. However, the address for the publisher dates the book to 1897, the last year for the publisher Lovell, Coryell & Co. (as it was absorbed fully into the American Publishers Corporation, which soon after went bankrupt).

Jackets are common to the series with a fussy design on the spine which mimics the fussy design on the book’s binding (see below). The jacket cover includes the series name, title, and author along with a few lines that mimic patterns on the front of the book itself.

The back of the jacket lists the 100 titles in the series. The series was announced with 100 titles (in 1891/1892) and did not seem to expand beyond that number of titles. The publisher’s address (310-318 Sixth Avenue, New York) dates the book to 1897.

the blue cloth binding includes gold decorations mimicked by designs on the jacket. Wavy patterns and lines (also on the jacket) are debossed on the front of the book. The series name is not indicated on the book itself.

There is no half-title page on this copy of the book. The publisher is indicated, but no date. The series name is not included on the title page (nor anywhere in the book itself). Thus the jacket is the only place the series name is evident.

The copyright page is blank.