A few years ago I was travelling in the UK and was lucky enough to tour the library at Queens College, Oxford. Amongst the scent of old books and leather were some wonderful treasures, but one in particular stood out for both its history and beauty – a New Testament that had been owned by Queen Elizabeth I. I held it in my hands and experienced a little thrill that I was holding something held by a queen more than four centuries ago.
The book was not just special for its ownership, though. Its cover was handsomely decorated, bound in purple velvet and embellished with intricate embroidery and sturdy bosses. Time had faded its lustre a little but it was still a stunning piece of work and I thought it a little sad that we knew its owner, but not the person who had put so much painstaking work into creating it. The Queen herself, or perhaps a lady in waiting? Maybe an artisan in a workshop, stitching in the company other craftspeople?
The art of creating beautiful embroidered book covers is not lost, and in fact we have two makers here on Felt producing gorgeous examples: the very talented Teribear and Camphor Tree. Just look at their beautiful work!