Embroidered binding

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Image of English embroidered binding

English embroidered binding

On: The Bible. London: Deputies of Christopher Barker, 1599
[but actually Amsterdam: J. F. Stam, 1639]

1640s
English stump work polychrome embroidery on white silk, over boards

Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910

PML 17197
Item description: 

The present example seems to have been worked by a very talented and inspired amateur, who identified herself with a rhyming couplet:
  Anne Cornwaleys Wrought me
  now shee is called Anne Leigh.

There was a considerable fashion in England for covers worked in embroidery on Bibles and small prayer books during the first half of the seventeenth century.

Anne Cornwallis Leigh (1612–1684) was the daughter of Thomas Cornwallis and his wife, Anne, the daughter of Samuel Bevercotes of Ordsall. She married Samuel Leigh of Rushall, Staffordshire ca. 1650, and the binding is attributed to this period.

It is a particularly superb example of the genre, in an excellent state of preservation—the colors still bright and fresh, the figures rendered in very high relief.