Traditions that Bind

We have come a long way since the advent of publishing – the Ipad and Kindle have, for many of us, replaced the traditionally printed word and books and writing are certainly not the preserve of the ecclesiastical or aristocratic elite as they were in centuries past.

Some things do remain tangible and tactile about reading – it has to be encased, bound – and we strive to have beautiful cases or bags even for our electronic reading devices. Such is the tradition of bookbinding that we cherish the soft feel of a leather binding over the aluminium or plastic frame of the tablet computer, serving a practical as well as an aesthetic function.

A Bookbinder’s Workshop from Diderot & D’Alembert’s Diderot Encyclopédie, published in France between 1751 and 1766

Hand tooling and gilding on leather was one of the ways that books used to be embellished and cherished tomes preserved and fêted in centuries past although today the tradition is waning. Leather binding of hardcover books can be traced as far back as the 5th century.

1133-019 is a leather covered box for Magazine storage decorated with gold tooling on the spine and a hand hammered silver repousse panel to the cover – even the interior is leather lined

This same time honoured technique is used in our collections. From blind tooling (without gilding or silvering) to gold tooling on leather and even on wood, we enjoy conveying the tactile nature of the materials we use. The top of a leather inlaid desk or the spine of a book decorating items such the Neo-Classical inspired Library cabinet below.

Each of the book spines are wrapped in leather, hand coloured and individually gold tooled by hand by our craftsmen (6100-122)

We enjoy keeping traditions alive and re-creating masterpieces from the past. Books embody the retention of knowledge and the passing down of traditions that out furniture embodies. Our classical techniques reflect our respect for these traditions.

A Theodore Alexander artisan embosses the spine of a Faux-Book box.

Decorative elements are applied in gold leaf with skill and care using time honoured methods of tooling

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