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Details about the binding by Nicky Oliver


The Design:

I wanted to extend the concertina of the text-block to the front and back boards as this provided me with a larger canvas to create a frieze. I extracted a few of the flowers from Neale’s beautiful photographs and combined them with a few of my own.
I researched the hidden meanings behind each of the flowers and I chose ones which reflected the emotions and themes within Shakespeare’s Winter’s ​Tale.

Dahlia (dishonesty)
Bird’s Foot (Revenge
Pansy (thoughts of lovers)
Abuliton (strength and perseverance)
Nasturtium (patriotism, love and strength)
Orange Lily (hatred, pride and wealth)
Balloon (eternal love and sincerity)
Pink Orchid (grace, fertility and elegance) and Cornflower (life and fertility).

Within the design, the dahlia and the orchid have been split in half. Depending on the arrangement of the boards, each half can be reunited, allowing a small variation of the composition.

Winter’s Tale by Neale M. Albert
Piccolo Press 2021
Bound by Nicky Oliver 2023
Binding dimensions 80 x 67 x 32mm


Hand-dyed Shoji paper strips to the front and back folds of the text-block. Concertina front and back boards bound in hand-dyed goatskin. The endpaper doublures have been hand-painted with watercolour inks, acrylic inks and leather dyes with a flourish of 23ct gold leaf. The leather panels are decorated with hand-dyed onlays: a mixture of goat, calf and kangaroo and finished with foil tooling and 23ct gold leaf.

The box:

This style of box is a take on the structure called The Neck Box. It is covered in black book-cloth and has a green Suedel lining. The two parts are secured with magnets. The hand-dyed leather label and the two small inlays have been tooled with real gold foil.

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