THE CORONATION BIBLE 

 

Spine Handsewn silk headbands
Silk doublures Limited edition

LIMITED EDITION OF SIXTY SETS

At her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II took her oath on a Bible created especially for the ceremony. The commission fell to Sangorski & Sutcliffe, which – 60 years on – remains one of the last practitioners of fine bookbinding in the country. In collaboration with the Folio Society we are delighted to present a new edition bound in our bindery of the Diamond Jubilee Bible. Inspired by the design of the Coronation Bible, it is hand-bound and limited to 60 numbered copies.

The book is being  produced to the same exacting standards as employed sixty years ago for the Coronation Bible. There will be hand-sewn sheets, and silk head- and tailbands. The binding will be in the finest vegetable tanned goatskin, hand-tooled with gold leaf.

The Folio Society's Production Director Joe Whitlock Blundell has chosen sheets of a limited edition of the King James Bible, of which the Folio Society still hold some unbound sheets. He agreed that they would be ideal for the purpose.

 

The Coronation Bible

For more information on this unique edition of the Jubilee Bible, please contact Kim Pooley on +44  (0)20 7495 8580.

 

THE HISTORY OF THE CORONATION BIBLE

The Coronation Bible came from a limitation of 26, two of which were bound specifically for the Queen. The first was used in the coronation ceremony and is housed in Lambeth Palace; the second was presented to the Queen by the publisher, Oxford University Press. The remaining copies were given to leading dignitaries who attended the coronation. None were sold, but a very few did find their way onto the open market and have become highly prized by collectors.

Francis Sangorski and George Sutcliffe met as apprentices at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London in 1896. The two men were employed by their tutor, Douglas Cockerell, before setting up their own business in 1901. In the years that followed, Sangorski & Sutcliffe became renowned for jewelled bindings, among the more famous of which were an illuminated manuscript of Romeo and Juliet and an elaborate copy of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám that sank with the Titanic.

For the design of the Coronation Bible, Sangorski & Sutcliffe employed the distinguished artist Lynton Lamb. He too had studied under Cockerell, whose influence can be seen in Lamb’s design for the Bible. He wrote in 1953, ‘if one has taken a great deal of care over sewing the sheets to the cords, rounding the back, and making the boards true, one does not want to break down these effects by a contrary scheme of decoration’. The design he created works in perfect harmony with the spine structure, the raised bands of the spine leading to gold-tooled music staves. Using some 32 distinct skills, Sangorski & Sutcliffe hand-bound the Bible in red levant goatskin and created a cream inlay tooled in gold and black.