Roger Bartlett Mosaic Binding
Oxford, 1678. On: The Holy Bible
J. Bill, C. Barker, R.T. Newcomb, & H. Hills, 1678.
Purchased as the gift of Julia P. Wightman, 1969; PML 59412
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Bartlett is among the best-documented binders of the Restoration
era. He originally worked in London but migrated to Oxford
after the Great Fire of 1666. He worked at Oxford until his
retirement, ca. 1690, and died in his native Watlington in 1712.
One of Bartlett's finest works is this Bible, bound using
many of his documented tools in his characteristic cottage-roof
pattern. The interesting fore edge painting, visible when the
leaves are fanned, is a flower-wreathed portrait of a young
woman. She is very likely the book's first owner, who signed
her name on the title page as Mary Alston and as Mary Clayton,
with the date 1678. The change in name in the inscription
makes one suspect that this binding was a marriage present.
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