Book cover

English (London)
about 1640–55
Marked by Unmarked

Object Place: Europe, London, England


H. 15.6 cm (6 1/8 in.); W. 9.2 cm (3 5/8 in.); D. 2.9 cm (1 1/8 in.);

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silver; red velvet; paper (?) and ink

Not On View





The bookbinding is covered with red velvet; each cover is mounted with a pierced silver rectangular plaque. At the center is an oval medallion with a beaded border enclosing a profile bust-on the front Charles I and on the back Henrietta Maria. The surrounding foliate cartouche is enclosed in a lozenge with a guilloche outlines At each corner is an oval medallion with a beaded border containing engraved figures of the Virtues. On the front cover, clockwise from the upper left, are represented Fortitude, Fidelity, justice, and Prudence; on the back cover are Charity, Temperence, Hope, and Patience. The openwork interstices are filled with grotesques and scrolling foliage, with standing winged female figures, each holding a wreath at the top and bottom. The entire rectangle is framed with a guilloche border. The two hinged silver clasps are decorated with the profile bust of Henrietta Maria. Each book cover is constructed from a single flat sheet that is pierced and engraved. The medallions at the corners are applied and engraved. The bust at the center and the cartouche surrounding it is a separate piece; the cast ovals are let into the pierced cartouches. The clasps are cast and hinged to the back cover. The silver mounts are nailed to the book cover. The lower section of the front cover has been broken in several places, and the velvet is extensively worn.

There is still a book in the bindings.


Mrs. Scott Murray, Hampshire; Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 1962–63; purchased from How (of Edinburgh), London, by the MFA for £880. (Accession date: September 18, 1963)

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour