Saturday, February 27, 2010

Beautiful Bookbinding

PHJM Schrijen 'The Binder by H Haas' (Sheep + goat skin parchment) 1983

'The Binder' [H Haas]
Sheep and goat skin parchment
Bound by P Schrijen, 1983

Karl Ebert 'Das unheimliche Buch' (morocco leather) 1914

'Das Unheimliche Buch'
Morocco leather
Bound by Karl Ebert, 1914

Henri Creuzevault (beige calf and black morocco leather) 'Contes by Charles Perrault' 1950

'Contes de Perrault'
Beige calf and black morocco leather
Bound by Henri Creuzevault, 1950

Michel Marius 'Book of Ruth' (morocco leather) 1880

'Book of Ruth'
Morocco leather
Bound by Michel Marius, 1880

KT Miura 'The Song of Solomon' (morocco leather and silverfoil) 1987

'The Song of Solomon'
Silverfoil and morocco leather
Bound by KT Miura, 1987

Goat skin and red maple wood (anon.) 'Cowper's Poetical Works' 1874

'Cowper's Poetical Works'
Goat skin and red maple wood
Binder unknown, 1874

Jean Gunner 'Tulips and Tulipomania' (morocco leather) 1982 - USA

'Tulips and Tulipomania'
Morocco leather
Bound by Jean Gunner, 1982 (USA)

Silver on black leather (anon.) 'New Testament' 1710

'New Testament'
Silver metal on black leather
Binder unknown, 1710

Sharkskin + silver metalware (anon.) 'Bible' 1775

'The Bible'
Sharkskin and silver metal-ware
Binder unknown, 1775

Black morocco leather + plated enamel locks (anon.) 'Book of Hours of Catherine de Medici' 1565

'Book of Hours of Catherine de Medici'
Black morocco leather and plated enamel locks
Binder unknown, 1565

Calf leather + brass (Augustine + Heinrich mss) 1440-1460

'Augustine and Heinrich manuscript'
Calf leather and brass
Binder unknown, 1440-1460

Embroidered silk (anon.) 'Notebook' 1775 France

'Notebook' [of some sort]
Embroidered silk
Binder unknown, 1775 (France)

Christian Engelmann (painted parchment) 1715 Germany

'Religious Devotional' [of some sort]
Painted parchment
Bound by Christian Engelmann, 1715 Germany

The Memory of The Netherlands site has digitised a representative sampling of one thousand book bindings from the holdings of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal National Library of The Netherlands). The collection includes luxurious hand-made binding examples from over 800 years up to the 21st century. Except where stated, all book bindings above were produced in Holland.
Previously vaguely related: bookart. [via Het Archiefforum]


miss. chief said...

I love this!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! said...

these are gorgeous. i would love to own one of these and display it in my room.

warlockcastle said...

Wow really like the art. Amazing these books are the age they are and the binders still seem to be in great shape.Guess they really do not make them like they used to.

Kim Palmer said...

Outstanding collection presented here! I'd love to take classes in some of these techniques! Regardless of what's inside these beauties their covers alone make them wonderful artworks.

Joey said...

Any more information on "Cowper's Poetical Works"? It seems like a sunprint was done on the maple wood, but how? Perhaps it's a cyanotype, but I would have assumed that the chemicals required for this process would hurt the wood.

peacay said...

That's a good question Joey.

That maple surface is decorated with what's known as Mauchline Ware (after the Scottish town where it was first popularised - developed by accident - in the 19th century) which seems to be made with transfers and application of lacquer. [I say 'seems' simply because I couldn't find, on quick look, a good definition]. My guess is that a print was first made on paper and that paper was applied to the wood or it was used as a tracing guide.

See the preview pages from 'Mauchline Ware and associated Scottish Souvenir Ware' by John Baker, 2004 on google books [Amazon]

The back cover [source] of Cowper's Poetical Works is here. [see also here & here for Mauchlineware background]

MusicTech said...

I wonder if they could bind my laptop in goatskin?

that would be so awesome!

mate said...

Really awesome!!!

Unknown said...

Meh, doesn't look all that nice to me. I hope this comment box isn't for "fans only", but I was expecting something truly beautiful. With a couple of exceptions, most of these don't like much.

Kate said...

So beautiful. That embroidered notebook is exquisite!

Lauren said...

these are so lovely. it makes my heart ache not to be able to hold these books.

Anonymous said...

Ah, they really are ravishing. Kindle reader, anyone?

SilkandBone said...

These are amazing- thanks for sharing this link and pics! I esp love 'Cowper's Poetical Works'

Jeanne said...

If you like these - you might enjoy Publishers' Bindings Online:

Find out more about the project itself:

peacay said...

Thanks Jeanne. I have to admit I can't recall whether I've seen that site or not (my bandwidth is throttled for a couple more days because of zealous youtube activity so I'm reluctant to have a good look around at the mo'). Also, it's about time I added your blog feed to my reader and the site to my links page! Cheers.

Jazz said...

Capas como obras de arte!

jorge vicente said...


nil said...


Julia said...

Stunning, I love the tulip book :)

mojadopapel said...

Pido permiso para robarlo y colocar este post en mi blog, es realmente increíble. Mi madre tiene un misal también precioso en piel y metal, bastante antiguo, enviare foto. Gracias de antemano.

peacay said...

mojadopapel: OK!

maggie said...

Wow. Really beautiful craftsmanship. Leather-bound book with metal hinges and locks? Yes!

Anonymous said...

I keep coming back to look at this post - all of these books are so beautiful! I especially love the ghostly leaves on "Cowper's Poetical." GAW-geous!

Yael said...

I never thought id say it but im inlove, with this blog, the book bindings are so random but intriguing!


Tracie Tsuneya said...

I ADORE the 'Das Unheimliche Buch' one, as well as 'New Testament' and 'The Bible.' Ironically I'm not very religious.

Rob LightBearer said...

some stunning work here

Daliana Pacuraru said...

I will follow you, your signs, your thoughts...
Thanks for sharing them....Best wishes from Romania!

K. Lyles said...

Love Love Love!

Biblioaprenent said...

Marvellous ¡

Can I use some bookbindings of you blog for my vlok Biblioaprenent ( +- Bibliolearner).

peacay said...

Thanks all.

Biblioaprenent: sure, but just note that they belong to the Royal National Library of The Netherlands.

Biblioaprenent said...

OK, I think that if I write that the bookbindings belong them it won't be problems, but I`ll write to the Royal national Library to ask permission.

Friska Titi Nova said...

So artistic and valuable
What a very rare book collection

Vymm said...

wow i love it... i want to have one :)

amybradley said...

I do believe I'm in love with this page for sure! There are members of my family who have there own little collections of treasured items books and covers they love. This page reminds me of them. Thank you, this is very beautiful.

Unknown said...

Do you own 'Das Unheimliche Buch' bound in Morocco leather?
Can you tell me if it is one of those 50 limited editions that were bound in parchment?

peacay said...

Sorry Björn, I don't own any of these books. The bindings are/were all online at the Dutch Nat Library.

Post a Comment

Comments are all moderated so don't waste your time spamming: they will never show up.

If you include ANY links that aren't pertinent to the blog post or discussion they will be deleted and a rash will break out in your underwear.

Also: please play the ball and not the person.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Creative Commons License