Book Cover thumbnail 1
Book Cover thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 58b

Book Cover

ca. 1615 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Tapestry woven silk and silver and silver threads
Brief Description
Book cover of tapestry woven silk and silver and silver threads, possibly made by Sheldon Tapestry Workshops, Warwickshire, ca. 1615
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 17.5cm
  • Width: 12.5cm
  • Depth: 5cm
Gallery Label
British Galleries: SMALL TAPESTRY ITEMS
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)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Sir Frederick Richmond, Bt
Object history
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.
Production
Made for an edition of The Holy Bible, 1614
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
T.45-1954

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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