The Holy Bible with embroidered binding, 1629
SR 98.83313443. The Holy Bible 1629 with embroidered binding.
The Holy Bible, containing the Old Testament, and the Nevv: newly translated out of the originall tongues: and with the former translations diligently compared and reuised, by his Maiestie speciall commandement. Bonham Norton and John Bill, 1629, wood engraved title page border, leaf preceding title with Initial ‘A within ornament present, printed in double column, imprint leaf at end, un-paginated.
With THE WHOLE BOOK OF PSALMES: collected into English Meeter by Thomas Steernold, John Hopkins, and others, Printed for the Companie of Sytationers, 1629
Bound together in a contemporary, embroidered white satin binding over paste-board, embroidered with green, white, blue, yellow, pink and red silks forming a "Garden of Eden" scene with a variety of leaves, birds, insects, flowers, fruit and seed-heads. Numerous white spangles, white silk backgrounds worn and fragile over joints; two small areas of mustard, green, and blue crewel work (threads pulled), white metal braid strips representing stems, yellow and white metal braid on cover edges (piece lacking from rear cover), pink silk lining inside covers, silk ties.
Queen Elizabeth I's preference for fabric or embroidered Bindings above those in leather set a fashion which outlasted her reign. The present embroidered binding is typical of the early C17th, with its stylised flowers and birds in bright silks on white satin. The raised sections are crewel-work, or embroidery executed in coloured worsted yarns: sometimes, when such embroidery is done over pads of some soft material in order to achieve even higher relief, it is known as ‘stump-work'. It is most unusual for such bindings to survive with the colours as bright, fresh and clean as it is in this example. Designed as a book in 1/4 leather with marbled boards and gilded spine decoration.
Binding: Lower Cover.
Dimensions: Binding -157mm (H) x 90mm (W) x 45mm (Spine)
Leaves - 150mm (H) x 81mm (W)
© The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust