Marpessa by Stephen Phillips
by Stephen Phillips

Leather has been a common and traditional material used in bookbinding for centuries and centuries. It's pliable, can be stretched and cut easily, absorbs dye, and adds to the beauty and aesthetic appeal of a volume. While not without its problems - susceptibility to extreme temperatures, moisture and humidity, light exposure and more - leather is still often the binder's choice for fine jobs, though synthetic equivalents are popular as well as various cloths.

The most traditional leather bindings are sheep, roan (a thinner, cheap sheep leather), calf and goat, and goat leather is called morocco. Morocco is the most common type of leather used in the books on display here, which all boast exquisite examples of leather inlays. Inlaid leather is a style of binding decoration where the binder inserts pieces of leather - of a pre-determined color, cut, shape and size - into an existing leather binding to create a pattern, often mosaic or a quilt-like effect. The different colored leathers can be anything from abstract patterns and designs to nature scenes, floral decorations or portraits of people.

Any of these would make a fantastic and eye-catching addition to a collection, or a wonderful gift - especially if you know a couple celebrating their third wedding anniversary, as leather is the traditional gift.

Please note: quantity on rare books extremely limited; copies on display may sell quickly.

25 Lovely Leather Inlays

Engraved in the Wood: a collection of wood engravings by George Mackley
Engraved in the Wood
George Mackley
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying
William Faulkner
Shaw Gives Himself Away by George Bernard Shaw
Shaw Gives Himself Away
George Bernard Shaw
Ramuntcho by Pierre Loti
Pierre Loti
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Roald Dahl
Les Villes a Pignons by Émile Verhaeren
Les Villes a Pignons
Émile Verhaeren
Ballet Panorama by Arnold L. Haskell
Ballet Panorama
Arnold L. Haskell
Vent de Sable by Joseph Kessel
Vent de Sable
Joseph Kessel
Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor
G.P. Taylor
Le Chien de Coeur by Rene Char
Le Chien de Coeur
Rene Char
Pamphlet Series One by Dudley Fitts. Key Boyle & Others
Pamphlet Series One Dudley Fitts. Key Boyle, et al.

Which of these bindings is your favorite?

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