Details about the binding by James Reid-Cunningham:
I have finally completed the binding of Winter’s Tale. Your binding was a delight to work on . I decided to keep the accordion format and have no spine for the binding, allowing the complete display of all of your photos when the book is opened.
I wanted something unusual for you, so I chose a papyrus binding. Although papyrus was used for manuscripts during antiquity and continuing until the eleventh century or so, I have never seen it as a covering material.
The binding features pierced decoration. Designs that involve pierced areas that reveal colored pigments on the boards is an ancient technique. It goes all the way back to the Copts in Egypt in late antiquity. At the time, piercing was done on leather bindings. Piercing on vellum bindings developed in the late 16th century in Germany. I’ve been studying pierced
vellum bindings for years now, and just published an article about the technique in the journal of the Meister der Einbandkust in Germany. My binding in your Shakespeare exhibition utilized pierced vellum. Having published and taught about pierced vellum, I like to think that I had a role in popularizing the technique among contemporary binders.
This is something completely different. I have never seen piercing used with papyrus. I covered the papyrus with palladium leaf to create a silvery appearance that hints of winter. The forms in the design are vaguely floral, without ever looking like flowers. The enclosure closes with a magnet. The faces of the boards of the enclosure are lined with papyrus, with gold titling.
So, I hope you will enjoy this binding as much as I enjoyed creating it.