Embroidered book bindings, when I hear the words “Embroidered book bindings,” I tend to immediately think of the book embroidered by Elizabeth and given to Katherine Parr. And, of course, that is the most famous.
The British Library has a Guide to Embroidered book bindings, and images of the bindings online to view . Well worth the time to snoop around them. Very very pretty. To get the best results from the binding search page, search for “embroidered” rather than “embroidery.”
Project Gutenberg has a book on embroidered bookbindings that was printed in 1899. The illustrations were not transcribed into the online copy, but there are detailed descriptions of the objects illustrated. In addition, if you download the html version, the plates are reproduced within it.
However, embroidered book bindings were extremely popular in the 17th century. The blog Mindsigh has a post on these embroidered bindings…
Then, of course, there’s the fact that one of my best friends was/is a bookbinder. I remember well the time in college that she did an embroidered book binding for an art assignment — it didn’t go together very easily and as frustrated as she was at the time, I’m surprised our then-roommate survived when she told her –but it will be so pretty when it’s done! I, also, made the mistake of pointing out that the roommate was just trying to help. If it helps, 15 years later, it WAS beautiful when it was finished! I wonder if that book still exists?