H is for…

Herringbone Sewing


Herringbone sewing is rare in the Bolton Library and, so far, only found in two examples: Epistolae et responsa and Ivdicivm. The technique, where the thread forms a chevron pattern on the sewing supports, creates a strong binding, but is time-consuming to make. Its presence in the Bolton Library is testament to items produced at a crossroads in time, when the increased demand for books slowly necessitated a change from the old medieval methods to quicker, early modern techniques.


Heidelberg Catechism

Front cover of The Heidelberg Catechism (1637)


This impressive 1637 edition of the Heidelberg catechism was issued in Alba Iulia on the occasion of the confirmation of two of the sons of György Rákóczi I, Prince of Transylvania, namely György II and Zsigmond. It is a truly local endeavour, printed in the royal printing house and almost certainly using paper and leather from the area. The binding is an opulent centre- and cornerpiece goatskin offering tooled in gold, an unsurprising choice of material given the alpine dominance of the Carpathian Mountains locally, the perfect ecosystem for the raising of goats.