While I’m away… here’s a pretty binding.

Nineteenth-century binding with interesting leaf pattern

Short post again this time, I’m afraid! While I take a little holiday, I’ll leave you with a nice early nineteenth-century binding from Calke Abbey. The contents of the book are certainly not as interesting as the outside…

The binding is of a smooth calf leather to which, rather unusually, the binder has added some leaves during the mottling process to produce these delicate outlines.

Can anyone help me identify what plants these leaves may have come from?


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2 Responses to While I’m away… here’s a pretty binding.

  1. Peter Freshwater says:

    They all appear to be different species or varieties of fern fronds. Would this binding date from the late C19 when pteridomania was at its height?

    • dwesterhof says:

      Thank you for your comment, Peter. Ferns had crossed my mind and it’s an interesting point that it may be related to fern mania. The content of the book is early 19th C. and is completely unrelated to botany, but by the late 19th C the Harper Crewes at Calke were very interested in the natural world. It is of course possible that the leaves and mottling were added later to the existing binding…