All my miniature books are hand made and sewn using traditional bookbinding methods. Only the finest materials are used - acid free papers, the thinnest leather and marbled end papers. All books are available with tooling on the covers if requested.
In the photo above you can see some examples of my Open Books. These were developed by me as a result of a customer request and they were so effective I went on to make many more.
Some pictures are linked to a larger, more detailed image. Click on those pictures for a close up view.
What is an Open Book?
A book is a mechanical object. It has to work. It has to open easily and lie flat when open. Much of the bookbinder's art goes into mechanical considerations. So to make a perfect book with pages that turn beautifully and then to glue it so that it is permanently open is painful to a bookbinder. (A bit like making a piece of moving machinery and then seizing it so that it freezes solid.) But this is what I do to make my Open Books. Although the pages do not turn, and therefore you cannot read the books in the accepted sense of the word, you have to believe me that they once did turn. The books are fully sewn and bound with traditional bookbinding methods, giving a rounded spine. Papers are acid free and the text blocks are all marbled or gilt edged. End papers are all marbled although you can only catch a glimpse of them. Leather colours may vary.
Pentateuch. (Above) 20 US Dollars. Text is in Hebrew.
The Pentateuch is part of the Torah, one of the three main sections of the Hebrew Bible and also the most sacred. The original of this book was illuminated by a scribe known as Hayyim in Southern Germany. The illumination is the beginning of the Book of Numbers, which describes the arrangement of the twelve tribes of Israel into four camps. The opening illuminated word is "Va-yedaber" - "and he spoke", a reference to the Lord speaking to Moses
This photo shows the way in which the pages are made to lie 'heavily", giving an effective imitation of reality. This is "The Nativity." Details further down the page.
The Nativity. (Above) 20 US dollars.
This miniature book is an illuminated manuscript showing two scenes from the story of the Nativity.
The paper used is acid free and the end papers are original Italian marbled papers, reduced. The text block consists of 4 signatures sewn and it is gilt edged. The cover is leather with gold detail.
Accounts book. (Above) 20 US dollars
This miniature book is a copy of an actual accounts book with its entries. The entries are in Pounds, Shillings and Pence. The original belonged to my grandfather who had a cotton manufacturing business in Blackburn, England. (He was a Stuff Manufacturer, so his birth certificate tells me!) It is suitable for a shop or it would look good on the Housekeeper's desk or in the study.
The paper used in the making of this book is acid free and the end papers are original Italian marbled papers, reduced. The text block consists of four signatures sewn and the edge of the text block is hand marbled using traditional methods. The cover is genuine leather, usually maroon.
Benedictional. (Above) 20 US dollars
This miniature book is an illuminated manuscript known as the Benedictional of St Aethelwold.
St Aethelwold was the Bishop of Winchester and the Benedictional contains special prayers for use by the Bishop when pronouncing a blessing over his congregation at Mass. It was written by a monk called Godeman who was his chaplain.
The paper used is acid free and the end papers are original Italian marbled papers, reduced. The text block consists of 4 signatures sewn and it is gilt edged. The cover is finely skived burgundy Moroccan leather or soft dark brown leather, depending upon availability, but both look good.
Mrs Beeton's Cookbook. (Above) 20 US dollars
Mrs Beeton's cookbook is a copy of the original classic Victorian cookbook. Mrs Beeton was the recognised expert on all things household from cookery to invalid care. No household was complete without this famous tome. It would look good on any kitchen table from early Victorian time onwards. This is the smallest of the open books and also the plainest because it is a copy of the original. The end papers are plain and there is no marbling but the illustration of ornate salads, typically Victorian, is in full colour as was the original. Paper used is all acid free; it is fully sewn and the cover is leather.
The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (above)
20 US Dollars
This book dates to the Arts and Crafts movement, as it was published by the Kelmscott Press in 1896. The Kelmscott Press was founded by the artist William Morris and it was dedicated to the revival of high-quality craftsmanship.
This miniature edition is an Open Book, bound in black leather, with plain endpapers. Because of the degree of reduction, the print is not readable, but the illusion is never-the-less complete.
Gutenberg Bible (above) - 20 US Dollars
The most famous book in History. The first book to be printed using moveable type. The Bible is open at the first page of Genesis, but the type is not legible due to the degree of reduction. Never-the-less, the illusion is complete. Marbled end papers and leather cover.
Botanical. (above) - 20 US Dollars
This copy of a Victorian Botanical is hand painted in water colours. It has marbled end papers and the cover is a dusky pink leather with gold detail. The right hand page shows a selection of orchids and the left page, a day lily.
Magician's Spell Book (above) - 20 US Dollars
This has a gilt edged text block, and is thicker than the other books. It has some interesting spells that are legible with magnification or a child's eye sight. (Spell results are not guaranteed.) The text is in a Gothic font with an illuminated initial letter. The right hand page has magic symbols, which can only be understood by a qualified magician
Marbled end papers and leather cover complete the illusion of an ancient and valuable manuscript.
Stamp Album (above) - 25 US Dollars
This stamp album is also available as a book with pages that turn, if you specifically request it. The stamps are reductions of actual stamps and include a Penny Red. The paper of this book is particularly fine Japanese hand made paper, as befitting a fine quality stamp album, therefore allowing for many more pages without increasing the bulk. The cover is hand made Italian marbled paper, reduced, and the album is quarter bound, ie. the corners and spine are very fine leather. End papers are plain.
The first stamps were issued on 6 May 1840, but realistically collections would have started much later than that.
The 2 right hand albums show the marbled covers and the quarter binding.
Loose stamps and extra sheets. 5 US Dollars You can also purchase a selection of loose stamps and 3 pages of stamps that have not been cut out. This is an extra $5 and you must specify if you wish to purchase them as well.
Half open books. All my books are also available opened to 135 degrees instead of 180 degrees in case you would like the book to be held by a doll in a reading position. Here is a picture of such a book, but more photos will follow once I have received pictures from the doll maker with her dolls holding my books. Please specify "Book open to 135 degrees."
Anatomy Text Book (above) - 20 US Dollars
Suitable for your Doctor's study or any other medical setting. It is open at a page showing the muscles of the hand. Black leather cover and plain end papers.
Naturalist's notebook (above) - 20 US Dollars
Detailed drawings of insects on the left hand page and handwritten notes on the right hand page. Leather cover and marbled end papers.
Book of Birds(above) - 20 US Dollars
Opened at a page showing pheasants and peacocks in exquisite colours. Leather cover and marbled end papers.
Nativity - kneeling with baby Jesus
20 US dollars
Nativity - on a donkey to Bethlehem
20 US Dollars
Nativity - The three wise men
20 US Dollars
Leonardo da Vinci notebook. (Available once more)
A study of various pulleys as well as notes on the flight of birds and the movement of waves. Leather cover and marbled end papers. Can be aged if requested. Blind tooling on the cover.
Book of ancient maps. 20 US Dollars
Perfect for your lighthouse, or study or pirate scene! Leather cover with blind tooling and marbled end papers.