Miniature Book News #107: 2000 December Page: 2

Then there are many examples of
early binding such as Roger Payne,
English restoration, silver bindings,
very rare 18th century painted vellum
German bindings, woman binders,
English designer bindings, etc.
Next comes a large grouping of children's
books in various languages, and children's
games. There was an exhibit of these
games at the time of my visit.
There is an unusual collection of
equestrian manuals dating back to
the 17th century. This includes several
luxury books and books on women
There is a collection of landscape
gardening books.
Bidwell also mentioned that Wightman
collected books on astronomy, imaginary
voyages to the moon, etc.
Regarding the miniature book collection,
the Morgan has now put together a
"Finding Aid" list which incorporates
Wightman's four or five digit catalogue
number, followed by author and/or
title, a date, and an occasional note
"not in Welsh."
Bidwell showed me a 31-page list,
with about 1500 books. This list
encompassed a wide variety in various
languages, from ancient to
contemporary, from Langenscheidt
Lilliput Dictionaries to rarities. In
the Morgan's reading room I selected
some dozen of the more unusual books
to look at (the Morgan allows only
ten books to be seen by a person in
a day! More on the Morgan's rules
later). Since the Finding List was
not size-descriptive, some of the
selected items turned out to be about
4 inches, which I decided not to further
inspect at this time because of time
constraints, irrespective of their beauty
or rarity.
We jotted descriptions of seven early
and very rare or spectacularly beautiful
items in this small grouping directly
from the books themselves, since actual
cataloguing of the miniature books
(from the Finding Aid List) has yet
to begin:

1) Regla De El Gran Patriarcha S.
Benito. Madrid, (1791), 247 pages,
3x2a", with an engraved title page
showing S. Benito. In a radiant
embroidered binding of silk, with
metal sequins and cloth ties, in
mint condition. The book then is
encased in a red morocco pull-off
box made by Wightman in 1959.
2) Los Quatro Santos Evangelios.
Barcelona por Ivan Iolis... 1740.
Not pagenated, 1 3/4 X 1 1/2".
Dark embroidered binding. Front
and back covers contain a small
rectangular cutout at the center.
Each cutout has a tiny embroidered
shield covered with glass.
3) Geistliches Haus-und Reisbuclein.
Ulm, 1665. Bound together with
another work; 240 pages, plus 194
pages. 2 7/8x2". Tortoise shell
binding, including both covers and
spine, four silver embossed corners
on each cover, metal hinges, 2
silver clasps. Front and back covers
contain a small silver heart attached
with nails.
4) Geistliche Psalmen und Lieder.
D. Mart. Luth... Frankfurt 1646.
With another book; 266 + 210 pages,
2 7/8 X 1 1/2". In a contemporary
black leather binding, elaborately
gilt stamped, with scribed metal
corners, metal clasps (one lacking).
5) Heures Dediees A Monseigneur.
Le Dauphin. Paris, 1788. 192 pages,
3i X 2". Embroidered silver binding,
with sequins.
6) Officium B. Marie Virg. Venice
1609. 511 pages, printed in red
& black. 2 3/8 X 1 3/4". Hinged
silver repousse binding, silver clasps.
7) Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis.
Paris, 1673. 280 pages, 3 X 2".
Exquisitely detailed silver filigree
covers and clasp; each cover has
four corners with heartshaped
enamel portraits of biblical figures,
and 8 tiny jewels plus centerpieces
of enamel portraits!!
All of the above are early religious
examples, but readers can get an idea
of what might be in store for a beautiful


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Edison, Julian I. Miniature Book News #107: 2000 December, periodical, 2000; St. Louis, Missouri. ( accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library,; crediting UNT Libraries Rare Book and Texana Collections.