The Flip it Over (and Sometimes Over-and-Over) Book(s)

“The bookbindings above are as odd as they are rare. In fact, I encountered my first only a few days ago while browsing Folger Library’s image database of bookbindings. The binding is called “dos-à-dos” (back to back), a type almost exclusively produced in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are like Siamese twins in that they present two different entities joint at their backs: each part has one board for itself, while a third is shared between the two. Their contents show why this was done: you will often find two complementary devotional works in them, such as a prayerbook and a Psalter, or the Bible’s Old and New Testament. Reading the one text you can flip the “book” to consult the other…”

Photo and text from the ever-interesting Erik Kwakkel, where there are additional photos of similar bindings, including one that incorporates seven texts back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. (TYWKIWDBI)

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Filed under Art & Design, History of Books & Libraries

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