Latest book acquisitions in the Chantry Library

Three new acquisitions…..

– Fine Bookbinding: A Technical Guide by Jen Lindsay, Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, Delaware & The British Library, London, 2009, 216pp. ISBN: 978-1584562689
The purpose of this book is to guide the reader through the sequence of operations involved in creating a book bound in leather, or a “fine binding.” The author defines a fine binding as a book fully covered in leather, with leather-jointed endpapers, gilt edges, and leather doublures. Although a basic knowledge of bookbinding terms and techniques is assumed, this book is meant for both novice and experienced bookmakers.

The book is intended to be used as an active guide during the process of fine binding. It is arranged into sixteen sections, listing the sequence of operations, beginning with preliminary work and ending with preparing and putting in leather doublures. Each section includes appropriately numbered instructions allowing the user to find his or her place in the sequence of operations with a reference for what step is next. There are also numbered explanatory sections that include a rationale (why you do it) and technique (how you do it). The work includes close to 300 black and white illustrations, four appendices, and a bibliography. Further information, including a table of contents, and excerpt:

– Mediaeval Painters’ Materials and Techniques: The Montpellier Liber diversarum arcium by Mark Clarke, Archetype Publications, London, 2011, 352pp. ISBN: 978-1-904982-64-7
The anonymous Montpellier Liber diversarum arcium (‘Book of Various Arts’) contains the most complete set of instructions in the craft of medieval painting to have survived to the present day. Its comprehensive summary of the state of the art of painting in the workshops of the fourteenth century will be of great interest to art historians, conservators and historians of artists’ technology.

This long-overlooked manuscript provides a complete practical painting course: drawing, water-based tempera, oil and fresco. It includes painting on manuscripts, panels, sculptures and walls, but also painting on glass and ceramics. Instructions are given for the preparation of materials such as pigments and media, and also for their application and modelling, as well as for gilding and other useful techniques.

The range of knowledge displayed is remarkable with nearly six hundred recipes, two-thirds of which are unique to this manuscript. Furthermore it demonstrates that when the van Eycks and their contemporaries transformed painting in the fifteenth century, they did so using materials and techniques of oil painting that already existed.

This volume contains the first ever published translation of the Liber diversarum arcium together with an extensive technical and historical commentary.  Full details, including contents, at : 

– The Medieval Book: Glosses from Friends & Colleagues of Christopher De Hamel edited by James H. Marrow, Richard A. Linenthal & William Noel, Hes & De Graaf Publishers, Netherlands, 2010, 467pp. ISBN: 987 90 8194 3709
This book was presented on the occasion of Christopher de Hamel’s sixtieth birthday, and celebrates his many accomplishments during his years at Sotheby’s and more recently as the Gaylord Donnelley Fellow Librarian of the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Christopher de Hamel has described more medieval manuscripts than any other living scholar, and the sale catalogues that have come from his hands set new standards of quality and stimulated new generations of collectors, both institutional and private. This book is a tribute to his learning, his industry, imagination, spirit and good fellowship and his capacity to inspire others. Among the contributors are collectors, colleagues, librarians, curators, students of book history and scholars. The contributions are divided under the rubrics Books, The Book Trade and Collectors and Collecting, composing a varied collection of 40 highly interesting articles, including an introduction on Christopher de Hamel and a bibliography of his writings.  Contents:


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