My Studies

So I am researching embroidered book covers. I have decided to post each book and the information I find out about it here so that I can keep track of it and share, for others interested in book bindings. I by no means know everything so if anyone has more information on any cover I post or if I post any information that may be incorrect, please let me know and give me the source as well.

Felbrigge Psalter early 14th Century (linen thread embroidery on canvas, surface couched gold ground, also called Opus Anglicanum)

size: 7 3/4" by 5 3/4"

This is the oldest surviving book from England to have an embroidered binding. It takes its name from Anne de Felbrigge who was a nun at Minoresses at Bruisyard in Suffolk. It is also believed that she was its embroiderer as it was said she had an artistic background.

Though I havent found an image of the back embroidery, this description of it by Cyril Davenport (taken from English Embroidered Book Bindings) :

On the lower side, on a groundwork of gold similar to that on the upper cover, is a design of the Crucifixion. Our Saviour wears a red garment round the loins, and round his head is a red and yellow nimbus, his feet being crossed in a manner often seen in illuminations in ancient manuscripts.

The cross is yellow with a green edge, the foot widening out into a triple arch, within which is a small angel kneeling in the attitude of prayer. On the right of the cross is a figure of the Virgin Mary, in robes of pale blue and yellow, with a white head-dress and green and yellow nimbus. On the left is another figure, probably representing St. John, dressed in robes of red and blue, and having a nimbus round his head of concentric rings of red and yellow. This figure is unfortunately in very bad condition.

It is currently in the British Library under the reference of MS Sloane 2400


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