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Category: Decorative Art & Handicrafts, United Kingdom

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The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Gloucestershire The Bodleian Library acquired at auction a further part of a unique series of Tudor tapestry maps. Woven in wool and silk, the Sheldon Tapestry Map for Gloucestershire is a fine example of cartography and decorative art from the 16th century. Depicting southern Gloucestershire and parts of Wiltshire and Monmouthshire, the map is a part of the set of four famed 'Tapestry maps' dating from the 1590s. Commissioned by Ralph Sheldon for his home at Weston, Warwickshire, the series illustrates four midland counties of England: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

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Introduction by Anne Posega With these words Hanmer voiced England's growing national pride in Shakespeare, a pride materially represented by the numerous editions which were produced in the 18th century. Different editors argued for their textual emendations in prefaces, footnotes, and advertisements, and the debate fueled layer after layer of criticism and responses. In a similar way, the illustrations in these editions were themselves transforming, starting with the first illustrated edition in 1709. Edited by Nicolas Rowe and printed for Jacob Tonson, The Works of Mr. William Shakespear, in Six Volumes was the first edition to be "Adorn'd with cuts". The illustrations in this edition were generally theatrical in nature, with many looking like illustrations of a production.

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The National Library of Scotland has the pre-eminent collection of decorative bookbindings produced in Scotland during the last five centuries. Some were transferred to the new National Library in 1925 as part of the collections of the Advocates Library, but many have been purchased since in an attempt to document the development of binding styles in Scotland. Below are displayed a representative sample of bindings from the 18th century, together with a number of decorative endpapers from these books.

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