Biblia Latina



31 July 1481


Shoults Itc 1481 B


Venice: Johannes Herbort for J. de Colonia, N. Jenson


This volume of Nicolas de Lyra’s commentary on the Bible was bound by the Rood and Hunt binder of Oxford in 1482, and is the earliest English binding in New Zealand; one of only 26 examples extant world-wide. It is dated about 1482 and came to Special Collections via Selwyn College through the widow of Canon William Shoults (1839-1887). Once clothed in good quality brown calf over wooden boards, the book has suffered from use and repair. Using heated metal tools depicting dragons, birds, roses, and laced foliage, the binder has applied pressure, blind-stamping (no colouring, leaf metal or foil) each image on to the calf to build up a central block design. He has also used a roll, an instrument for making unbroken fillets, along the edges of the cover. This book has double significance in that the sewing guards (thin strips of paper or vellum sewn into centre folds of paper sections (synonymous with gatherings or quires) to protect the pages from tearing) within are fragments of indulgences printed by William Caxton in Westminster, c1480.


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