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Embroidered Binding image

English embroidered binding, 1640s
On: The Bible. London: Deputies of Christopher Barker, 1599
[but actually Amsterdam: J. F. Stam, 1639]
English stump work polychrome embroidery on white silk, over boards
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910
PML 17197
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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.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.