Important acquisitions

Holy Bible [with Psalms, 1726]

Author
Title Holy Bible [with Psalms, 1726]
Imprint Edinburgh: b. John Baskett
Date of Publication 1726
Language English
Notes This is a binding of black goatskin, gilt tooled all over in the distinctive eighteenth-century Scottish style, with border rolls, a central panel, and various 'herring-bone' designs radiating like spokes from the centre. The spine is tooled to a saltire design, the turn-ins and board edges are also tooled, and there are gilt endpapers signed 'Apolonia Maiestderin', possibly the name of the German workshop where they were manufactured. Inside the front board is a leather label indicating that the book was a wedding present on the marriage of Sarah Thomson to Robert Cross in Glasgow in 1738. Manuscript notes record the fortunes of Sarah's family. Eighteenth-century Scotland made a unique contribution to the art of book-binding through the development of the 'wheel' and 'herring-bone' bindings. This large, elegant and balanced binding in excellent condition contains design elements from both styles. In terms of the overall aesthetic quality, nothing equivalent is to be found in our existing binding collections. There are also individual tools which we have not been able to trace elsewhere, such as that used to make the 'filling' of the half-pear shapes. The sheer variety of tools used is extraordinary: stars, flowers, roundels, leaves and spear-heads. This acquisition will be central to our binding collections as an example of Scottish work at its very best. We have a copy of this edition at Bdg.m.46, which is also heavily tooled, although there are no notable tools in common. A variant of this edition recorded in Maggs 1212, no. 92, shows some of the same spine tools and the overall design is comparable. Tools found on bindings we already have: The floral tool used to make the 'bones' of the central and radiating herring-bone patterns, and the tool which makes the 'spear-point' at the head of the herring-bone pattern, are also found in Ry.II.d.31 (Historical and Genealogical Essay, Glasgow, 1723). The 'spear-point' tool and some of the spine tools are also found on Bdg.s.584 (Bible, Oxford, 1729). The roll forming the border of the central panel is found on NG.1534.c.16 (Phaedrus, London, 1745). The outer roll of the border at the edge of the covers, as well as some spine tools, is found on Bdg.s.759 (Bible, London, 1735). Tools not found elsewhere: The 'filling' of the half-pear shapes. The six floral / herring-bone patterns with curved lines. The two horizontal herring-bone patterns, at either side of the central panel. No other examples of this design or these tools have been found in Davis, Sommerlad, Nixon, or in the digital library, or in our bindings files. A generous contribution of 500.00 towards the cost was received from the Friends of the National Libraries.
Shelfmark Bdg.m.151(1-2)
Reference Sources Maggs catalogue 1075 / 1212 Henry Davis Gift Sommerlad, Scottish 'wheel' and 'herring-bone' bindings in the Bodleian Library Nixon, Five centuries of English bookbinding
Acquired on 28/08/02
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