Detail View: LUNA: Folger Bindings Image Collection: Fore-edge, 214243.2.

Image Caption: 
Fore-edge, 214243.2.
General Description: 
Mid 17th century English embroidered binding.
Country / Style: 
England
Period: 
17th century (mid)
Call Number: 
214243.2
Provenance: 
Anna Sarah Dickinson, 1832.
Title: 
Bible. O.T. Psalmes. The whole book of Psalmes: Collected into English meeter by Thomas Sterhold, John Hipkins and others…
Created / Published: 
Amsterdam: Printed for C.P. 1644.
Dimensions: 
124 x 68 x 42 mm
Covering Material: 
Polychrome silk and metal thread worked on an even weave linen.
Sewing: 
Sewn on four recessed alum tawed supports.
Edge Treatment: 
Gilt and gauffered, and colored in green and red.
End Papers: 
Two blank flyleaves and a new flyleaf and pastedown in nonpareil combed marble paper (covering an early marble paper pastedown).
Decorative Description: 
The covers depict framed pastoral figures. The front cover figure is a classical (possibly biblical) figure holding a sheath or bouquet. The figure is stitched in polychrome tent stitch with flat silk thread; the stitching of the figure is mostly done in tent stitch slanted left to right, and the robes are mostly in slanted right to left tent stitch. The facial features are overstitched to give detail. There is a small, reddish patch of stitching in between the figure's back and the robe. The figure is sitting on a grassy hill, also stitched in tent stitch in left to right slants in yellow and in two values of green flat silk. The background depicts trees on the hills; the trees are stitched with bullion stitch and appear to be silk and metal thread. The hills on the left of the figure are stitched in left to right slants, and the right of the figure is stitched in right to left tent stitches in three values of blue. The top of the scene depicts a walled city or castle with a tower, worked in values of brown silk tent stitch slanted left to right. The frame immediately surrounding the figure is couched silver gilt thread, possibly over a relief (raised) cord for dimension, ending in curls at front, bottom, left, and right of twisted chain stitched curls. Couched silver thread joining each quarter of the frame is worked over a padded base. The corners are worked in polychrome tent stitched polychrome silks as the central figure, possibly depicting flowers and leaves. Bullion silver guilt details highlight the flowers, and silver gilt thread worked in basket weave fill in the background. The back cover is a classical (possibly biblical) figure holding a branch. The figure is stitched in polychrome tent stitch with flat silk thread. The stitching of the figure is mostly done in tent stitch slanted left to right, but right to left atitches are also found throughout and indiscriminately. The face and hand are overstitched in a single thread for detailing. The robes may have been stitched in red or pink hues, now faded; the robes are stitched in two values of blue and white. The figure is seated on a grassy hill stitched in similar style to the front cover, with a building in the background. The door of the building is stitched in the same reddish value thread found on the front cover robe. There is a sun figure (with a face) in the upper left corner, stitched with couched metal thread. The frame and corners are worked the same as the front cover. The spine is a coiling stem with flowers and leaves. The flowers and leaves are worked in polychrome flat silk in tent stitch. The stem is worked in silver gilt bullion and laid work. The edges of the entire binding are laid rows of twisted silver gilt thread couched in silk thread. A unique feature of this piece is the erratic tent stitching, which switches back and forth from left and right stitches at odd junctions. Although good quality materials were used, the stitches employed were not of a high difficulty for the period. It is assumed that this piece may have been professionally drafted, but worked domestically by either a young woman or by more than one person. The original needleworker may have been employed by or lived in a home of wealth, as the materials are of better quality and expense. -Erin Harvey Moody, August 4, 2013.
Other Details: 
Overall good condition, silk work has some fading, deterioration, dirt staining, and wear. Metal threads show rubbing, fraying, and deterioration exposing the (silk) central core in some areas, typically found in wear areas (corners, edging, protrusions, and handling areas). The silk on the front cover has retained more of its original cover; the back cover silk seems to have suffered more staining and collected more dirt than the front. However, the back cover metal thread is in better condition than that in the front cover. The patch of reddish thread (at the back of the front figure and on the door of the back cover) that is not in a similar color value as the rest of the piece may be a later attempt at restoration. -Erin Harvey Moody, August 4, 2013.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Cloth bindings -- England -- 17th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Decorated edges -- England -- 17th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Embroidered bindings -- England -- 17th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Gauffered edges -- England -- 17th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Gilt edges -- England -- 17th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Painted edges -- England -- 17th century.