Gross Henning, Magica de Spectris et Apparitionibus Spiritum, Leyde, Hackrum, 1656
The bride hath paced into the hall.
Herbert Cole, from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Boston, 1900.
Allegorical figure of Satan as the Prince of Death. Calendar, Paschal Tables, English, Glastonbury, 10th century.
Fermentation: ixir: Digestion, Decoction, Fixation.
George Ripley, Alchemical roll. Middle 15th C.
MS. Bodl. Rolls 1
From Lucas de Heere’s Description of Great Britain and Ireland, 1574.
"On useless books." Brant, Sebastian, 1458-1521. Stultifera nauis [Ship of fools] 1497.
Houghton Library, Harvard University
The bookbindings above are as odd as they are rare. In fact, I encountered my first only a few days ago while browsing Folger Library’s image database of bookbindings. The binding is called “dos-à-dos” (back to back), a type almost exclusively produced in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are like Siamese twins in that they present two different entities joint at their backs: each part has one board for itself, while a third is shared between the two. Their contents show why this was done: you will often find two complementary devotional works in them, such as a prayerbook and a Psalter, or the Bible’s Old and New Testament. Reading the one text you can flip the “book” to consult the other. The last image above is a unification of no less than seven devotional works printed by the same printer (Feichtinger, Lintz, 1736-1737), showing that the constructions could also encompass much more than just two texts. In the 20th century this type of binding enjoyed a revival with the Double Ace books, which featured two short science fiction stories.
Pics: St Andrew’s University Library, Bib BS2085.C27 (top); Washington, Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 23811.2 (two pics), STC 2907 (broidery); Chetham’s Library, shelfmark unknown (editions from 1629, 1633); Ed. J. M. Feichtinger, Lintz, 1736-1737 (from this sales catalogue). Other examples from the Folger here. A nice one auctioned off at Christie’s here.