This is a different kind of catalogue devoted to fine and historic bindings. The arrangement of this catalogue departs from its predecessors in that items are listed chronologically, based on the approximate date of their bindings. This approach has been adopted with the hope that it might promote an understanding of the evolution of binding styles and techniques over the course of 500 years and that, consequently, the catalogue might be useful for reference.
The focus here is on manuscript materials and early printing (before 1700). There are manuscript leaves, most of them illuminated, from the Medieval, Renaissance, and modern eras, as well as complete 15th century Books of Hours and modern illuminated manuscripts. There are single printed leaves from incunables, fine early presses, and modern private presses. Books range from incunabula to STC and Wing books and specimens from fine presses including Aldine, Elzevier, and Estienne.
This catalogue focuses on historically interesting and decorative bindings, private press books, and other special limited printings. Bindings include 16th century blindstamped pigskin specimens, works distinctively bound for important collectors, superb works by masters from Roger Payne to Cobden-Sanderson, and examples from modern designer bookbinders. There are books from the major "golden age" private presses, including Ashendene, Kelmscott, and Doves, as well as from modern firms continuing that great tradition, such as the Arion Press.