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leather of brilliant hues, decorated with gold and silver, had come into use. In the Middle Ages the monks exhausted their ingenuity, and frequently, it would seem, their purses, in adorning the covers of those manuscripts which they spent their lives in writing and illuminating. Single figures and groups, wrought in solid gold, solid silver, and gold gorgeous with enamel, precious stones and pearls, made the outside of the volume correspond to the splendor within. Less expensive works were often bound in oaken boards very richly carved ; scenes from the life of Christ, the Virgin, or the Apostles, furnishing the subjects. Many still exist upon which the Nativity, or the Crucifixion, is carved in high relief. In the latter part of the fifteenth century, and the beginning of the sixteenth, kings, princes, and wealthy nobles, expended much money upon the binding of their libraries, which were, in many cases, very extensive. Carved ivory covers, protected by golden corners, and secured by jewelled clasps, were common, as were also those of velvet, silk brocade, wellum, and morocco, elaborately ornamented after designs made by great artists, and protected with bosses, corners, and clasps of solid gold. The precious stones and metals upon these book-covers, cost us the loss of many a more precious volume, for they frequently formed no inconsiderable part of the plunder of a wealthy mansion in a captured city. Mr. Dibdin tells us of one library of thirty thousand volumes—that of Corvinus, King of Hungary—which was destroyed on this account by the Turkish soldiers, when Buda was taken in 1526. Quite an era in the history of bookbinding in England was formed by the publication of the Great Bible, by Grafton, in 1539. His first edition was of 200 copies, and within three years there were seven editions. A substantial binding was thus needed for nearly twenty thousand volumes, and from this time there was a noticeable advance in the art in England; chiefly, however, in the mechanical department ; for Henry VIII, had many books richly and beautifully bound. In his reign the use of gold tooling was introduced, and the designs for some of the rolls are attributed to Holbein. Queen Elizabeth herself embroidered velvet and silk book-covers, some of which were also tooled in gilt.* The art has been carried to a high degree of excellence and finish in France. Many have acquired great renown there, in this department of handicraft. They hold themselves far above their brethren of England ; and Duru once said that he should consider himself insulted if he were told that he could bind as well as Hayday. Their prices were enormous—three times as great as those of the best London binders, large as those were. The French books are remarkable for the firmness of their boards, the smoothness of their leather, and the delicacy, the richness of design, and the sharpness of outline of their gold tooling. The designs upon one of Beauzonnet's Capé's, or LOrtic's books, seem hardly to be stamped upon the leather, but rather to be inlaid in it. But for pleasure and convenience in use, the work of the French binders is inferior to that of the English. Books bound by the former are very stiff; that is, they open with great difficulty, and require constant pressure to keep them open." - - The father of the English school of binders was Roger Payne, who lived towards the close of the last century. The great modern English binders are Hayday, Clarke, Bedford, Riviere, and Wright. The Remnants have a very large establishment, and bind richly and substantially. The work of Charles Lewis was highly prized, and merited its reputation. The fitness of the binding to the character of the volume which it protects, though little regarded by many binders, and still less by those for whom they work, is of the first importance. Many a good book is mercilessly sacrificed by an incom. petent binder ; persons of fastidious taste will prefer the services of one who is possessed of artistic taste and feeling. Here, then, we finish with the binder, as he finishes his book, and here also we reluctantly conclude our chapter upon Book. craft—a theme of exhaustless interest to all who have any affinity of taste for books and the intellectual sweets they con tain—since our too lavish indulgence in such refined epicurism might challenge our mental digestion too severely. We therefore offer a change by way of dessert.
* Illustrated Record of Art.
t It may be well to say here, for the benefitof those not familiar with the book binder's vocabulary, that gilt tooling is what is commonly called gilding, the figures in gilt being produced by the impression of a hot tool, sometimes stamped, sometimes rolied, upon gold leaf. Blind tooling is produced by the use of the hot tool without gold leaf. The forwarding of a book is the sewing and putting it into the cover. Finishing is the tooling, gilding, &c.
THE question proposed by little Paul, in Dombey and Son, is suggested by the caption of our chapter—“What's money 7” The reply of many would doubtless be the same as that returned to the young querist referred to—a mere mercantile one— namely, that it is currency, specie, and bank-uotes, or gold, silver, and copper. But this did not suffice for little Paul; he repeated his inquiry—“I mean, what's money after all ?” This is the question we propose to discuss in an illustrative way. First as to its material. Gold and silver, styled the precious metals—are both pure, ductile, and malleable, and unaffected by most conditions of atmosphere. They are of intrinsic and positive worth, and were therefore adopted as the standards of value, to represent all commercial exchanges.
The Numismatic Journal states, in reference to the attempt to establish the true origin of coins, that according to the Parian Chronicle, a record of the third century before Christ, Phiedon, king of Argos, in order to facilitate commerce, stamped silver money in the island of AEgina, in the year before Christ, 895. Now as Homer existed immediately prior to this epoch, and makes no mention of coined money, whilst he does mention the system of barter, we may infer that it was unknown in his time; for it is impossible to imagine a writer, by whom no art or science has been overlooked, to have passed over so, useful an invention as stamped coin, had it existed. In the time of Lycurgus, which followed that of Homer—certainly not later than a century, though there is some difficulty in ascertaining a more positive data, it is equally certain that gold and silver coin, as money, existed in Greece, as proved by his law prohibiting their use in Sparta, and substituting iron : probably rings, similar to the iron ring money of the early Celtic nations, of which specimens have been discovered in Ireland. This brings the introduction of coins between the epochs of Homer and Lycurgus, in fact to the precise period assigned to the invention of Phiedon ; and the coins of Ægina, from the rudeness.of their devices, and imperfection of their execution, may fairly be supposed to be of the age in question. This, compared with the assertion of the Parian Chronicle, the silence of Homer, and the law of Lycurgus, seems fairly to