Ornamental cloth binding


A cloth binding with gilt overlays

9¼ x 6¾ inches

This unsigned cloth binding is one of the most elaborate designs of the period. The calligraphic writing recalls Celtic models, although it also refers to the Viking art of the north-east of England. Buchanan’s glum poetry bears little relation to the splendour of the binding, which acts as a hard sell for the book’s contents. To maximize sales, the binding was issued in several colours – scarlet (as here), a dark blue, sand, and green. Other variants may exist.

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Photograph and text by Simon Cooke

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