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ebay item #6636747261

Halma's Tooneel

If I was not obsessed with Dutch 18c bindings after acquiring an authentic First Stadholder binding, I was soon to become so after discovering yet two more huge folio examples on ebay.


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Two huge folio volumes by Francois Halma "Tooneel der vereenigde Nederlanden" a 1725 Dutch publication.

From my intense research on First Stadholder bindings and tools I was able to quickly identify these bindings as being part of the First Stadholder collection. A close inspection of the tools shows them to exactly match the Stadholder tools. Fortunately there are a number of maps missing from this particular copy and I was able to buy the two volumes for much less than the usual bookseller price which runs over $2000 for books in fair to good condition.

These bindings, although badly in need of restoration are still important historical treasures... consider these facts:
"There were twenty or more different workshops producing de lux and semi-de lux bindings in the Hague in the eighteenth century. The most important in the first half of the century was without doubt the First Stadholder's Bindery Eerste Stadhouderlijke Binderij, from which one hundred and eighty semi-de lux and de lux bindings have been traced" *

It is stated that there are only one hundred and eighty semi-de lux and de lux bindings known, however this count appears to include examples from the second and third periods i.e. 1749 to 1793... Dr. Storm's Catalogue lists only 64 as being from 1749 or earlier (and thus probably the work of Johannes Stofvoet 1687 - 1749) a quick count of the folio pre 1750 catalogued examples shows that nearly half of all books bound are of folio size but only 4 are as big or bigger than these Tooneel volumes.


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I set to work straight away, attempting to recreate 'virtually' the damaged spine panels and lables

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A work which eventually led me to the discovery of Digital Alchemy

virtual bookbinding



see Stadholder Tools go to First Stadholder's Bindery

l.a.miller@mail.pf