Miniature Books is the first lavishly illustrated, authoritative book on the delightful subject of books no taller than three inches. A dazzling array of books on subjects ranging from Shakespeare’s plays and the Holy Bible to politics and presidents, children’s books, the pleasures of life, and more are shown—with few exceptions—at their actual size.
Here is the prayer book that Anne Boleyn carried to her execution, seen open to its sole illustration, a portrait of Henry VIII. Here also are the world’s two smallest books (impossible to be sure which is tinier). There are books studded with gemstones, books that Napoleon carried with him on his campaigns, books illustrated by artists such as Picasso, Miró, and Edward Gorey. And there is a section dealing with the papers, printing, and binding of these tiny marvels. The text is lively and accessible, full of great stories and fascinating people. It will appeal to the experienced collector, but also to the one just starting out and to anyone who loves the look and feel of a good book.
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Anne C. Bromer and her husband are internationally respected rare book dealers in Boston
Julian I. Edison began his collecting career while still at Harvard College. He has been editor of Miniature Book News for more than forty years. He lives in St. Louis.
Published in conjunction with a May 16–July 28 exhibition at the Grolier Club in New York, this handsome volume traces the history of books ranging in height from three inches to less than a quarter of an inch. Included are books of many kinds, often containing beautiful illustrations—illuminated medieval and Renaissance devotional books, including the world's smallest Bible, chained to its own little lectern; Arabic and Indian scriptures; and the complete works of Shakespeare in a miniature revolving bookcase. Some of these books were intended for amusement, such as those made for Queen Mary's dolls' house; others have more practical uses, such as small traveling libraries and little Hebrew books that could be concealed in times of persecution. The smallest book ever is a New Testament printed in 24-karat gold on a silicon chip. There are elegant bindings in materials such as leather, mother-of-pearl and gold filigree. In their informative text, Bromer, a rare book dealer, and Edison, a collector, discuss the diverse contents of these tiny volumes, as well as papermaking, printing processes and publishers. Their delightful book is a feast for the eye, with more than 260 color illustrations in which most of the books are pictured in actual size. (May)
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