Aristotle Meditations

  If you’re in the habit of reading descriptions of old books—and why wouldn’t you be?—you’ve likely come across something described as bound in period style or in a sympathetic binding. This typically means the book was rebound relatively recently, but rebound in a style consistent with the time period of the book’s original publication. …


A Book of Cyphers, or Letters Revers

A Book of Cyphers, or Letters Reverst (1683)Our somewhat damaged copy of this 17th century work on cyphers or monograms features wonderful hand-coloring throughout. Some of the colors have faded with age, but this artistic personal touch still adds a layer of beauty to this fascinating little book.     Tweet

Contremech : Notes About Machiavelli

In preparing for the purchase of another title by the Italian Renaissance philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli, I found this sixteenth century rebuttal of the principles of Machiavelli by the French jurist Gentillet. In his book, Discours sur les moyens de bien gouverner, Gentillet analyzes the character of a ruler, rights of parliament, and capacity of councilors among …


Vellum : Before and After

Vellum is a hygroscopic material, which means that it has the ability to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. Vellum will expand in humid conditions, and contract in dry conditions.  Even normal fluctuations in temperature a humidity can cause vellum bindings to warp.  Over time, this book became badly warped.  At it’s …