Jay Snelling Art

Art by Jay Snelling + some other things

The Beautifully Ornate Book Covers of Days Long Gone

9 Jun 2016

I often judge a book by its cover and sometimes I’m wrong, often I’m right. But oh how I wish book covers could go back to being as deliciously detailed as they once were. Let’s take a look at some examples…

Book Cover of British Butterflies  archive.org/stream/generaspeciesofb00hump#page/n0/mode/2up

Book Cover of British Butterflies
archive.org/stream/generaspeciesofb00hump#page/n0/mode/2up

The text is so ornate that it’s hardly legible! Compare this to a modern book on the same subject.

Silver bookbinding - Augsburg (?) - 17th century

Silver bookbinding – Augsburg (?) – 17th century

This is so beautiful.

housewitch: Iran Book Binding, 18th/19th century Via: ghostsintherosegarden Source: ghostcafe

housewitch:
Iran Book Binding, 18th/19th century
Via: ghostsintherosegarden
Source: ghostcafe

I would love to know more about this book.

The ‘Codex Rotundus’ owes its name to its round shape. It is a small book of hours (9 cm diameter) made in Bruges in 1480.

The ‘Codex Rotundus’ owes its name to its round shape. It is a small book of hours (9 cm diameter) made in Bruges in 1480.

We need more round books!

The pleasures of book collecting

17TH CENTURY,FILIGREE, BINDING,Sotheby's,New York

17TH CENTURY,FILIGREE, BINDING,Sotheby’s,New York

SEGRE Benaja,ITALIAN BOOK BINDINGS,Sotheby's,New York

SEGRE Benaja,ITALIAN BOOK BINDINGS,Sotheby’s,New York

Having said all that, there are still people today making incredible books, such as this one from http://www.leslie-marsh.com/

Having said all that, there are still people today making incredible books, such as this one from http://www.leslie-marsh.com/

1860's Dutch Bible, Beautiful Gauffered Edges, Ornate Double Clasps, Simply Lovely

1860’s Dutch Bible, Beautiful Gauffered Edges, Ornate Double Clasps, Simply Lovely

Silver-gilt book-cover

Silver-gilt book-cover

Silver book-clasp

Silver book-clasp

Coronation Evangeliar cover by Hans von Reutlingen, c. 1500

Coronation Evangeliar cover by Hans von Reutlingen, c. 1500

H Noel (Henry Noel) Humphreys 1810-1879 The history of writing or, The origin and progress of the art of writing: a connected narrative of the development of the art London: Ingram, Cooke and Co., 1853 chromolithography and gilt on paper in papier maché and parchment binding Australian Library of Art, State Library of Queensland / RB 411.09 1853

H Noel (Henry Noel) Humphreys 1810-1879
The history of writing or, The origin and progress of the art of writing: a connected narrative of the development of the art
London: Ingram, Cooke and Co., 1853
chromolithography and gilt on paper in papier maché and parchment binding
Australian Library of Art, State Library of Queensland / RB 411.09 1853

Koster. Hamburgischer Taschen-Kalender auf das Schalt-Jahr 1828 Hamburg : F.H. Nestler, [1827?]. Glazed paper binding with embossed gold paper onlays and embossed cartonnage slipcase with gold paper onlays.

Koster. Hamburgischer Taschen-Kalender auf das Schalt-Jahr 1828 Hamburg : F.H. Nestler, [1827?]. Glazed paper binding with embossed gold paper onlays and embossed cartonnage slipcase with gold paper onlays.

The “Black Book of Hours” , facsimile of Codex Vindobonensis, a Burgundian Manuscript of c.1470 written and illuminated on black vellum. (Source: dndgalleries.com)

The “Black Book of Hours” , facsimile of Codex Vindobonensis, a Burgundian Manuscript of c.1470 written and illuminated on black vellum.
(Source: dndgalleries.com)

00191

7 thoughts on “The Beautifully Ornate Book Covers of Days Long Gone

  1. miduhadi says:

    How would we even read the round ones? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oddspecs says:

      Ha! I think that one is an illuminated manuscript, so I guess it has small sections of text in the centre of the pages!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They had more substance back in the day…as well as more style

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oddspecs says:

      Indeed! I guess it would be expensive to mass produce them like that though :/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Charlie says:

    These are beautiful. So are the miniature book bindings and text on exhibition at the Grolier Club in New York. Incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oddspecs says:

      That sounds great! I’m in the UK, so a bit far to travel – but maybe one day!

      Like

  4. Moty says:

    Hello to you!
    I saw amazing products on your site.
    I want to know how to get the decorations for your beautiful books.
    Thanks in advance
    Moti

    Like

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