Dutch Decorated Bookbinding in the Eighteenth Century (4 Vols.)

Awarded with the 15th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography 2010.

This classic can be ranked among the well-known international standard works on the subject of bookbinding. The author, Dr. Jan Storm van Leeuwen, gives in this work an elaborate general historical introduction to his subject. It also contains a general introduction to each province, as they were known in the eigteenth century, and an extensive overall picture of the towns where luxury bindings were manufactured, describing the bookbinder's workshops and binderies of each town. The historical introduction is completed with a catalogue of the approximately 2000 relevant bindings in the collections of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands) and its sister institution the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum. About 1500 other bindings that the author studied over time in other collections are also described. But the most important feature of this work is that all (nearly 10.000) stamps on these bindings are represented by a picture.
Never before so many bindings (3500) have been recorded, described and discussed in such detail and with the benefit of an established model and terminology.

Vol. I: General historical introduction; Noord Holland
Vol. IIa: Zuid Holland Vol. IIb: Zeeland, Province of Utrecht, Friesland, Province of Groningen, Drente, Overijssel, Gelderland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg; Place unknown or irrelevant and Bindings in exceptional materials
Vol. III: Catalogue of bindings in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum; List of Bindings in other collections; Overview of Rubbings important for identification; Diagrams; Books refered to with abbreviated titles; Index to the text; Index to Catalogue and List

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Dr. Jan Storm van Leeuwen (1943) studied Art History at the University of Utrecht. From 1968 until his retirement in December 2005 he was employed by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal Library) in The Hague, where he worked for the larger part of his career as a rare book librarian specializing in book bindings. He also lectured at the Plantin Society in Antwerp, Belgium and the Rare Book School in Charlottesville, USA. He has published many articles on books and the art and history of bookbinding, including De achttiende-eeuwse Haagse boekband in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek en het Rijksmuseum Meermanno-Westreenianum (The Hague, 1976) (which was his dissertation subject), ‘The well-shirted book-binding, on chemise bindings and Hülleneinbände’, in: Theatrum Orbis Librorum. Liber Amicorum presented to Nico Israel… (Utrecht, 1989) and 100 trésors de la reliure Néerlandaise du XVIIIe siècle. Exposition Bibliothèque Royale (The Hague, 1997).