Two little block printed gems

Posted on 5th June 2019 by simonbeattie

As readers of this blog and members of We Love Endpapers know, Simon is always on the lookout for new and unusual decorated papers. Recently, he came across a fantastic example of Italian block-printed endpapers on a little Armenian book:

A copy of Preces Sancti Nierses Armeniorum patriarchae Turcice, Graece, Latine, Italice, et Gallice redditae, published in Venice, 1815, at the Armenian press at the Monastery of St. Lazarus. The vermiculated pattern is one we see quite frequently on Italian papers of this period.

As luck would have it, we would soon after came across another copy in a similar publisher’s binding, this time with sunny yellow block printed endpapers:

The bindings are nearly identical on each copy, employing paste paper-covered boards and the same gold tools (see below). Evidently, the Armenian press at the Monastery of St. Lazarus produced a number of these, and they were bound identically but with different papers for each copy. We have since tracked down a couple of other copies in institutional hands that are bound the same way.

To find out more about these items and all our other offerings, check out our fair list for Firsts. We hope to see you there!

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