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Cambridge Bookbindings : A binding with a decorative centrepiece incorporating the arms of the University, ca.1580

Grynäus, Simon 1493-1541, Guarino Veronese 1374-1460, Erasmus, Desiderius -1536

Cambridge Bookbindings

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>Many centrepiece tools of abstract design, typical of patterns which were extensively in circulation elsewhere also, were used in Cambridge during the last few decades of the sixteenth century. One group of tools which was applied in this decorative tradition, but which is more obviously linked to Cambridge, comprises three oval stamps (each ca.48 x 35 mm in size) which fitted within three cartouche frames to produce bindings like this.</p><p>The tools were in use ca.1575-90 and will be found both blind- and gilt-stamped. They may not all have belonged to the same workshop – attribution is uncertain – but they were all used in Cambridge.</p><p>Pasteboards covered with dark brown calfskin, gilt-tooled. The spine has some repair and later labelling, but retains original gilt tooling using the small flower stamp also applied on the covers. Fragments of printed waste are used to line the pasteboards; tawed skin supports; plain paper flyleaves, contained (at the rear) within a fold of plain parchment.</p><p>Dr David Pearson</p></p>

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