MSU Libraries Special Collections
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Special Collections is fortunate to hold an extensive collection of books that are distinguished more by their covers than their content. Recently two books were acquired specifically for their bindings. The first is a fine Cosway style binding by the famous English binder Bayntun (Riviere). Characteristic of the Cosway style there is a miniature oval portrait on ivory under glass of Shelley on the front cover of volume one, and on the front cover of volume two has the gilt signature of Shelley surrounded by a floral arrangement.
The second title is a late seventeenth century Book of Common Prayer , which is an example of a Restoration binding in the style of the Queen’s Binders. It is bound in a contemporary full red goatskin, elaborate all over gilt design within a gilt floral border. Both covers, interestingly enough, show the original scoring by the binder, in quarters, used to position the various tools.
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