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Eerste Stadhouderlijke Binderij ca. 1726

Now armed with my own First Stadholder's binding I decided to follow Dr. Storms advice and research the Eerste Stadhouderlijke Binderij material in his book "De achttiende-eeuwse Haagse boekband in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek en het Rijksmuseum Meermanno-Westreenianum (The Hague, 1976)" (The Hague bookbindings of the eighteenth century in the Royal Library and the Rijksmuseum Meermanno-Westreenianum).

In the above illustration I have isolated and classified the important "STAMPELS" and "ROLS" based on Dr. Storms own classification. One tool is not however shown in his collection, I have called it provisionally "STEMPEL 186". It goes without saying that IMPLEMENTOLOGY is well adapted to this research, in fact one could consider the study of these tools and their chronology as a part of a unique branch of Comparative Implementology.

One of my first objectives in this study was to try to determine the age of the binding by comparing the tools used on examples with a known chronology. In his initial reply to my email inquiry, Dr. Storm suggested that this book may have been bound not long after it was published in 1726, this would place it among the earliest known Stadholder examples. It appears as though early examples are rare, especially those of a firmly dated provenance. In Dr. Storm's Catalogue we see that only the first example has a fixed date of 1725, the second example is listed with a provisional dating of 1725 - '28, the next seven examples are found with a provisional dating of 1725 - '30, the Tenth example is listed as 1728 and all the following examples are shown being from 1730 or later, many have only provisional dating.

I was hoping therefore that by a comparative study of the tools I would be able to confirm the early status of this binding... two minor miracles greatly assisted me in this, first was the meticulous thoroughness of Dr. Storms detailed Catalogue and second the fact that the first and earliest example in his catalogue, appears to have been decorated with many of the same tools as my volume(shown above...)


Text of Cat #1 ca. 1725

I am not good with languages, especially this late in the game however we can, with aid of Dr. Storms diagram of terminology...

Diagram of terminology

....observe that the description of the book starts with the marbled leather "GEMARMERD KALFSLEER" boards and identifies the tools/ROLS used to create the decorative frameworks. Two frames are noted "twee kaders" in this, the first catalogue example, (a quarto sized volume 243 x 181 x 23 mm), these have been created with ROL XVI and ROL VII. A further examination of the catalogue examples reveals that this same combination was used in other early examples such as Cat. #6 ca. 1725 - '30) a folio sized set of 5 Volumes.
Also Cat #7 ca. 1725 - '30 and Cat. #5 are framed with ROL XVI, while Cat #8 ca. 1725 - '30 is framed with ROL XXXIX and ROL VII. In fact this combination, appears common in the early period, (1725 to 1730) and then is abandoned and other tools favored.

Turning now to the photographs also provided in this work we find 9 Eerste Stadhouderlijke Binderij examples. The first is dated as 1728 (Cat. #10) and the next ca. 1736 (Cat. #33) .... the artistic plan of these two bindings is of a very similar pattern, and suggests that this style of work must have dominated from 1728 onwards. We see increasing amounts of board decoration so as to eventually occupy almost all the free space. The technical catalogue description of these later bindings is therefore more complex and varied with a greater number of different tools used


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I think that there is a good case then for assigning a date of 1726 to the Alle de Wercken binding, historically important the binding is certainly one of the earliest examples on record. Below is a virtual replication of this binding showing these important ROLS and STEMPEL 61.

Virtual Bookbinding example

go the next page virtual bookbinding go to First Stadholder Bindings

l.a.miller@mail.pf