Duke of Buccleugh Library Donation
What makes this collection stand out, in regards to bindings, is that all of these items, big and small, were bound uniformly at the time of donation. Each volume has been bound in dark stained calf on boards, with a double gold fillet (usually with gold-stamped floral corners) and the Earl’s coat of arms stamped in gold, with the intials “E.F.B.” on both boards. This stamp does not vary in size, infact the stamp hardly fits on some of the smaller items, and so it is assumed that it was cut for this donation. The coat of arms featured on these bindings is the earliest Buccleuch design, before the Earldom and Duchy expanded.
These books are further decorated, when possible (i.e. when the spine was big enough), with the Earl’s coat of arms and initials stamped in gold in each spine panel of each volume. When the surface of the spine was not wide enough, only his initials were stamped. The effect of this decoration style, when walking down the stacks, is that this collection screams “Here I am! Pay attention to me, remember me!” This collection is a beautiful example of fine 17th century presentation bindings and is mostly in very robust condition. Its bindings certainly speak to the magnitude of the Earl’s lasting gift.
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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017