Treasure's description

Fit for a king

Fit for a king

From the golden age of English bookbinding, in the late seventeenth century, we have chosen to display an example which we attribute, on stylistic grounds, to Robert Steel, one of the foremost practitioners of the art. The binding encases William Salmon’s translation and edition of George Bate’s ‘Pharmacopoeia Bateana’ (1694). Crowned monograms of William and Mary may be noted and, as the editor’s dedication is to King William, there is a considerable probability that this is the presentation copy. Moreover, Howard Nixon in his 'English Restoration bookbindings' draws attention to the fact that there is preserved in Cambridge University Library a copy of Salmon's 'Seplasium', which is dedicated to Queen Mary, and in a binding which he attributes to Steel, and which is said to come from Hampton Court. For a lengthier discussion and consideration of Salmon’s purpose in these presentations, the reader is referred to the essay of the same title in the forthcoming festschrift for Dr. Peter King: ‘Bristol bound’, edited by Pamela King and David Hook (2009).