We have a considerable stock of decorative vellum bound books which we sell mainly to interior decorators and clients looking to create interesting features in homes, offices, hotels, etc. The predominantly white tones of the books make them easy to incorporate in modern interiors as well as in those requiring a strong period look. Over the last thirty years we have worked with international interior decorators to create impressive features varying from a single table arrangement of a pile of varied books with a lamp to whole bookcases and walls of vellum. LAST UPDATED 25th April 2017. For further information on any of the books here please contact Jeffery Bates at batesandhindmarch@gmaiThe books in this picture date from 1610 to 1820 and the majority of those we stock are of 18th century origin, usually printed in Latin and generally of theological or ancient literary subjects. We are also including a few non vellum armorial bindings.

Prices for books in decent condition [we do not usually clean books as that is a matter of preference best left to the client] will range from about £30 per book for sets of small books to upwards of £150 for large folio volumes and antique armorial bindings.

If you wish to discuss the books in the photograph or similar examples held in Cheltenham please contact Jeffery Bates via the contact details on the website.

A selection of our stock can be viewed in London at the Fulham antiques shop of Andrew Bewick at 287 Lillie Road, London SW6 7LL [contacts: Andrew or Jonathan on 0207 385 9025]


Vellum books in a domestic setting 10036

A small display using vellum books of different sizes and shades together with other objects. The desk set of small reference books in their own wooden bookcase is described for sale individually in this showroom section. The lamp stands on a late 17th century legal tome published in Frankfurt am Maine in 1688. All the books in this display are for sale. The shells were collected on the beach at Portobello near Edinburgh.

A display of vellum bound folios at Andrew Bewick's shop in Fulham, September 2014 AB1

Jeffery Bates stands in front of a giant polished plaster vase framing a display of some of the books on display at Andrew Bewick's shop at 287 Lillie Road London. Enquiries about these large folio volumes, mainly 18th century and generally in Latin, are best made by telephoning Andrew or Jonathan on 0207 3859025.

A display of vellum bound books on a chimney piece. 0010035

This selection of books includes two heavy German bindings of the late 17th century on the left, balanced by German bindings of the 18th century on the right. In between are mainly 18th century bindings from Italy, Belgium, France and Switzerland. The tallest volumes, on the right, are 14 inches high. We sell our vellum bindings as they come to us. With care it is possible to clean them if one wants to achieve a more uniform white look [a traditional way is to use a little milk on a cloth] but we feel it better at this stage to leave the three hundred years of surface dirt and the decisions about removing it to our clients. These books are currently in stock and for sale and we are happy to discuss putting together groups of books to suit a client's special requirements.

A set of 14 volumes of Italian drama published in Prato in 1820 10032

Opere dell’ Abate Pietro Metastasio, Poeta Caesario. Presso Luigi Vannini [Prato] 1820. 12mo [4 x 6ins]. A set of 14 small volumes bound in full vellum gilt with contrasting red and black gilt title labels. Each volume is in good condition, one volume has a partly cleaned section of spine. Volume one has a frontispiece portrait of the author and there are occasionally decorative plates in the other volumes. Each volume has the early 20th century bookplate of R & H N Carvalho showing two black cats gazing at a rural landscape with a distant castle. The set occupies a total shelf space of approximately 10 inches.

An interesting desk set of small reference books bound in quarter vellum, circa 1911 10031

A group of ten volumes, the smaller eight approx 3 x 5ins, contained in a simple contemporary wooden stand. The books are bound in cloth boards with a generous vellum spine titled in gilt, top edges gilt. They comprise: Atlas; Dictionary of Dates, English Dictionary, French – English Dictionary; English – French Dictionary; German – English Dictionary; English – German Dictionary; Dictionary of Mythology; Gazetteer; Proverbs and Maxims. Each has a simple title page REFERENCE LIBRARY. The Atlas has come adrift from its binding and the pages are now loose; the title page of the English Dictionary is torn out; two pages of Proverbs are loose and ragged. A fascinating little set which shows how the informed reader dealt with quick reference before the days of Wikipedia and Google. This set, with quite a literary leaning, may have been on the desk of a lady’s boudoir. The more masculine sets one comes across tend to include a pocket peerage and perhaps a Bradshaw.

A Dutch armorial prize binding from Leiden with Latin text, dated 1709 10034

M Minucii Felicis: Octavius. Cornelium Boutenstein [Lugduni Batavorum] Leiden 1709. Octavo [8 x 5ins]. Full vellum gilt with arms of Leiden to both boards, spine ruled in five compartments, titled by hand in ink at head of spine, excellent condition. There have been tape ties to the boards but they are now lacking. Old presentation inscription to front free endpaper “To Edward Leatham with the best wishes of his sincere friend, J B Braithwaite”.

Armorial bound set of Plutarch's Lives in Greek with arms of John Kaye, Bishop of Lincoln 07850

Nine volumes of Plutarch [complete], bound in three small fat octavo volumes, 9 x 13.5cm. Each volume has the armorial on both front and rear board. The central section of the arms represents the see of Lincoln and the two outer sections John Kaye's personal arms. They were published 1845-46 in Leipzig by Tauchnitii. Nine volumes [complete] bound in three vols, Vols 1 & 3 published 1845, Vol 2 in 1846. Uniformly bound in full calf gilt with large arms of John Kaye, Bishop of Lincoln blocked in gilt to both front and rear boards, labels missing but titles readable on spines, some rubbing, a little damage at head of 3rd volume. A very decorative little set. The text is entirely in Greek. John Kaye was Bishop of Lincoln 1827-53 and previously a notable Greek scholar at Cambridge where he passed over the chance of being Regis Professor of Greek in favour of another.

Two volume set of a portable Italian-French, French-Italian Dictionary, Paris 1822 11002

Barberi: Dictionnaire Portatif Français – Italien et Italien – Francçais. J P Aillud, Quai Voltaire [Paris]. 2 volumes small 8vo [11 x 14cm]. Full vellum with gilt rules and centre decoration to spines with red title labels.Volme 2 has an Italian title page. Vol 1: 499pp & Vol 2: 683pp. Bindings a little soiled, contents very clean with contemporary ownership signature of E S Percy to each half title, one dated 1830. This type of pocket dictionary was popular with the grand tourist in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Vellum books in stock February 2015 11012

A small display of vellum bound books including 18th century Dutch prize bindings with the boards blocked in gilt with the arms of cities such as Amsterdam.

A Latin Bible in Six Large Vellum Volumes, Antwerp 1634 11045

Biblia Sacra cum Glossa Ordinaria a Strabo Fuldensi. Apud Johannem Meursium, Antweriae MDCXXXIV. Large folio [17 x 12 ins, 43 x 30cm]. Contemporary full vellum with limp covers, some tape ties, attractive lettering to the spines. An unusually large and complete set. It should be noted that the Anubis figures which we have used as bookends in this photograph are twice the size of the pair in the photograph above.

A small decorative vellum bound volume decorated with the Capitoline Wolf of Rome 11072

A particularly handsome small volume of Martial's Epigrammes in Latin. The book, 10 x 14cm, is bound in full vellum, the spine richly gilt and the front board blocked in gilt with a design of Romulus and Remus with the wolf. It is published in 1867 in Leipzig [Lipsiae] and is in excellent condition, pages edges tinted red.

Varied vellum bindings, 17th to 19th centuries, In stock February 2015 11078

A very mixed offering of vellum books which can, apart from a couple of sets, be bought singly or in groups.

A set of 23 French volumes bound in half vellum, 1798 11079

This group of books can be seen in the view 11078 above on the middle shelf where they occupy approximately 25inches of shelf space. Each volume is octavo 8 x 5 ins and is bound in half vellum over pebbled red cloth. They comprise the works of Condillac, Oeuvres de Condillac, and were published in Paris by Ch Houel in 1798 [also identified as An VI, year six in the short lived Revolutionary Calendar]. The set were disposed of some years ago by the Library of the Athenaeum and bear a small gilt blocked motif of the Athenaeum at the foot of the spine and each volume has a presentation bookplate from George Rennie FRS to the front pastedown. Thgis shows the head of Athene similar to that which can be seen on the statue outside the Club off Pall Mall today. George Rennie was a distinguished civil engineer and inventor of mechanical devices. He succeeded his father as Clerk of the Irons at the Mint [in charge of dies] and worked with his brother to complete and further projects of his father [see DNB].

Full vellum Amsterdam armorial binding of Roman History in Latin, 1761 11166

an attractive octavo volume [8 x 5ins, 2.5ins thick, 13 x 21 x 7cm]. Amsterdam prize page insefrted before the engraved title plate, published in Rotterdam 1746.

Full vellum Amsterdam armorial binding, Latin text published in Leiden, 1743. 11167

A good vellum octavo volume [5.5 x 8.5ins, 3ins thick, 14 x 21.5 x8cm], published 1741 in Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden], each board with the arms of Amsterdam in gilt.

Vellum books supplied to a private client and used in a modern dining room 00000839

This selection of mainly 17th and 18th century vellum books were supplied, together with the oversized plaster cast of Hercules, to a client who has used them to good effect in a modern dining room.

Dutch binding with arms of Amsterdam, 1744 11100

Dutch armorial prize binding with Latin text, Lugdunum Batavorum [Leiden] dated 1744. Lucius Annaeus Florus: Epitome rerum Romanorum. Cum intergris Salmasii, Freinshemii, Graevii .... 8vo. [5 x 8ins, 13 x 21cm]. Contemporary full vellum gilt with the arms of Amsterdam in gilt to front and rear boards, spine gilt decorated in compartments with ms title to top compartment, engraved title page , folding map of the Roman Empire. Armorial bookplet of George Chetwynd to front pastedown. An attractive binding of its type and in excellent condition.

Large German stamped vellum binding over wooden boards, Köln, 1697. 11103

Psalmorum Davidicorum Anaysis. Coloniae Agrippinae [Cologne, Koln] 1697 & 1698. Two volumes bound as one, large folio [14 x 9ins, 34.5 x 22cm; 4ins, 10cm thick] Engraved frontispiece of harpist, remains of rear part of clasps.

A pile of thick vellum bound books, all are published in Germany between 1612 and 1739 11208

These four books, the largest approximately 13.5 inches in height, are being sold separately at prices between £250 and £375 each. All are in Latin and are works of theology or law. From the top they are published in Koln 1612, Leipzig 1739, Frankfurt 1688, and Koln 1697. The top volume sold 18th September.

A selection of decorative vellum books in sock January 2016 11225

Small selection of books of various sizes, priced individually at prices ranging from £30 to £350. Most date from the 18th century and are almost all have Latin texts, usually of a theological nature.

An attractive small set of small Italian early 19th century binding 00001001

Opere dell’ Abate Pietro Metastasio Poeta Cesareo. Publixshed by Presso Luigi Vannini in Prato 1820. 14 volumes 12mo [6 x 4 ins]. The fourteen volumes are bound in fill vellum with elaborate gilding to the spines, black gilt title labels and red gilt volume labels. There is a portrait frontispiece in volume one and 30 other plates scattered through the volumes [there is no list of plates there is no guarantee that this number is correct. Each volume has a contemporary ownership inscription on the front free endpaper “John Davis, Oct 1825.

An attractive group of 17 small Italian vellum bound travel and costume books. 27 inch run 08481

Giulio Ferrario: Il Costume Antico e Moderno. 1830-37 printed in Livorno. The seven volumes covering Asia have a folding map of the world in volume and numerous coloured plates of costume and a few plans [CORRECT AS THE PLATE LISTS IN EACH VOLUME].The ten volumes covering Europe have a folding map of Europe in vol I [with a tear without loss] and some coloured plates but not complete as lists. The 17 volumes, dated between 1830 & 1837, are uniformly bound in attractive full vellum gilt with black and red title labels. Occasional foxin internally but externally a very attractive and decorative vellum set occupying a total shelf space of 27 ins [ 69 cm]. These are sold as an incomplete collection mainly for interior decoration.