THE STC COPY

BIBLE. The psalter or Psalmes of Dauid, after the translation of the great Bible, pointed as it shall be said or sung in churches: with the morning & euening praier

London, imprinted for the Company of Stationers, 1606.

BIBLE. The whole booke of Psalmes. collected into English meeter by Thomas Sternhold, Joh. Hopkins and others.

London, imprinted for the Company of Stationers, 1609.

32mo. 1) 200 unnumbered ll. A-Y⁸, 2A-2C⁸. Two parts in one. Black and Roman letter, some Italic. First word of both titles xylographic, calendar, in table form, at the beginning of the work, followed by “the table for the order of Psalms to be said at morning and evening praier”, second title followed by “briefe table declaring the true vse of euerie Psalme, made by Master Theod. Beza.” small floriated initials, typographical ornaments. 2) ff 171 (ie. 174) (xviii). A-Z8, aa8. Roman letter some Italic. Title within single rule and typographical border, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, very rare marginal spot or mark. Fine copies, crisp and clean in fine, remarkably well preserved, contemporary embroidered white silk over canvas, silver and coloured thread and silver stump work dos a dos binding, covers with a woven silver thread border, with an overall design of embroidered flowers, with leaves to the sides, stump work leaves at centers, alternate red and blue flowers embroidered on spines, within four sewn compartments, all edges gilt and richly gaufferd, edges fractionally worn, colours very slightly faded, a few threads loose in places. In folding cloth box

Beautifully printed and exceptionally rare near miniature psalters, one of which is the only recorded copy, (the STC copy) in a very charming dos a dos binding, very well preserved with unusually bright and fresh colouring of the embroidery. The binding is a charming example of a contemporary English embroidered silk binding, bound dos a dos, in a very good state of preservation, with little of the fading of the colours usually found on such silk embroidery. Dos-à-dos bindings are formed so that the two books share a common lower board with their fore-edges facing in opposite directions. Their upper boards then form the outer covers. Thus whichever way the books are picked up they open at one or other title-page. The embroidery was made on a background of white silk with a charming all over design of flowers very skilfully sewn with fine gradations of coloured silk. It is technically and artistically work of the highest quality. The blue and red flowers on the spines, are sewn in compartments in imitation of conventional binding. The quality of the embroidered work and the silver thread work is impressive, a luxury object made for a lady of rank. Its state of preservation is very good indeed. 

In the sixteenth century embroidered work was very popular with the Tudor princesses, gold and silver thread and pearls being largely used, often with very decorative effect. The simplest of these covers are also the best—but great elaboration was often employed …..Under the Stuarts the lighter feather-stitch was preferred, and there seems to have been a regular trade in embroidered Bibles and Prayer-books of small size, sometimes with floral patterns, sometimes with portraits of the King, or Scriptural scenes.” English Embroidered Bookbindings, Cyril Davenport. Davenport also notes that ladies often made embroidered gloves to match the binding “in hands thus gloved these little bindings, always pretty, often really artistic, must have looked exactly right, while their vivid colours must have been admirably in harmony with the gay Cavalier dresses.” Embroidery or needlework had been employed on ms. service books in medieval times but almost no English examples survive. The majority of surviving examples, and the only ones appearing on the market, date from the first half of the C17 when they again became fashionable on small service books or works of piety, particularly among ladies of rank. Few have endured in anything like their original condition. Fragile at best, many have become dilapidated through usage and later neglect, some were defaced or completely destroyed by disapproving Puritans during the Civil War, whilst the richest were invariably looted for their gold and silver threads. Where as here, they have survived virtually intact, few artifacts are more redolent of the feminine culture and society of Stuart England. An exceptional and most lovely example, from the heyday of English embroidered bindings.

The second work is recorded in STC as being untraced, having been recorded in a Quaritch catalogue from 1930, bound with STC 2406. Here it is. 

1) ESTC S124383 STC 2406 2) Not in ESTC. STC 2532 This copy. “Quaritch catalogue 436 (1930) item 1442 (bound with 2406, untraced). 

L2754

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