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Book cover

Book cover

  • Place of origin:

    Warwickshire (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1615 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sheldon Tapestry Workshops (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tapestry woven silk and silver and silver threads

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Sir Frederick Richmond, Bt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58b, case 6

Object Type
There were comparatively few books in the early 17th century so they were highly prized by their owners. Bibles, though more common than other types of books, were treated with particular reverence. This made their bindings especially important. Embroidered bookbindings were more common than those made of tapestry, but rarely survive. Tapestry was more hardwearing.

Materials & Making
The Bible is printed with the line 'The Holy Bible imprinted at London by Robert Barker, 1614 '. It shows precisely the style and workmanship of professional tapestry-weaving used on small highly-valued objects at this period. Expensive materials have been used - silk and metal thread. Tapestry cushion covers and large wallhangings were made largely of wool.

Physical description

Book cover of tapestry woven silk and silver and silver threads. 34 warp threads per in (13-14 per cm). On the front is a square cartouche with Moses and the Burning Bush with the presence of God indicated by the word DEUS in a cloud. Similar cartouche on the back with Jonah emerging from the Whale. On the spine is a golden star in a circular cloud. The page edges are gilded and punched with a floral design.

Place of Origin

Warwickshire (possibly, made)


ca. 1615 (made)


Sheldon Tapestry Workshops (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Tapestry woven silk and silver and silver threads


Height: 17.5 cm, Width: 12.5 cm, Depth: 5 cm

Object history note

The texts are : The Genealogies Recorded in the Sacred Scriptures; The Holy Bible, Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, 1614; The Whole Book of Psalmes collected into English Meter, London, printed at the Companie of Stationers, 1615.

Descriptive line

Book cover of tapestry woven silk and silver and silver threads, possibly made by Sheldon Tapestry Workshops, Warwickshire, ca. 1615

Labels and date

British Galleries:

In the early 17th century, small tapestry articles such as book covers, pin cushions, sweet bags and gloves could be bought from London shops. Such items were luxuries since the silk and gold thread was so expensive. These three pieces are decorated with popular motifs of the time, including fruit, flowers and animals. The Bible cover also has scenes of Moses on the front and Jonah and the Whale on the back. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Made for an edition of The Holy Bible, 1614


Books; Textiles; Tapestry


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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