(London: Printed for the Company of Stationers, 1637). 95 x 63 mm. (3 3/4 x 2 1/2"). 26 p.l., 221,  leaves (occasional misnumbering of leaves, but complete).
UTTERLY CHARMING CONTEMPORARY WHITE SATIN EMBROIDERED IN COLORS AND SILVER THREAD, covers with curving branches of silver bearing flowers and leaves in multiple colors, each with a large bird perched on the limb, and a small bunny nibbling at vegetation at its base, flat spine embroidered with flowers and a pomegranate on a slender silver vine, blue watered silk pastedowns, hinges reinforced with (slightly later) paper, all edges gilt and delicately gauffered with a guilloche roll. STC 2672. Silver thread a bit tarnished and that along the edges somewhat frayed in spots, satin lifting along rear joint, with one tiny hole in the fabric and a touch of fraying at head and tail, quarter-inch wormtrail to front flyleaf and title page, affecting xylographic border on title, margins trimmed a bit close, occasionally grazing headline or catchword, a couple of tiny rust spots, otherwise A LOVELY SPECIMEN, the text clean and fresh, and the binding remarkably free of stains, its colors bright, and the whole very well preserved.
This diminutive devotional is exquisitely bound in a style popular in 17th century England, its fanciful design incorporating brightly striped flowers of varying types, large and boldly colored birds, and tiny, timid bunnies, all executed in feather stitch. The rather whimsical, free-hand quality of the design, coupled with the fact that the fabric has been put on the book upside down, may indicate the work of a talented amateur rather than a professional craftsman. The silver metallic thread used to create the twining stems of the flowers serves a practical purpose as well as an aesthetic one. According to Davenport, the raised silver embellishments so prevalent on embroidered bindings of this period help to protect the delicate silken needlework: "if it had not been for the efficient protection of those little metal walls," the fragile embroidered cloth would not have survived centuries in excellent shape, as the present specimen has. (ST15100)
Add to Cart Price: $6,500.00
PJP Catalog: CA19BF.013