The Neale M Albert Collection of Miniature Designer Bindings is now on exhibition at The John Rylands Library in Manchester. If you have not yet visited this newly refurbished, iconic library, let this exhibition be your motivation - you will be enthralled. Over 250 exquisite, creative and beautiful miniature books are now on show in the Historic Reading Room until the 18th October. There is also a rather sumptuous, full colour catalogue to accompany the exhibition, see above.
All types of styles are featured from the traditional to the experimental, each one a unique work of art in its own right. Many of them are the work of Fellows and Licentiates of the Designer Bookbinders Society. Alongside the books you will see equally wonderful boxes and cases which have been especially created to contain these tiny treasures.
Rachel Ward-Sale is one of the Fellows of the Designer Bookbinders whose work is being shown. She has very kindly given her permission to feature her binding "Icarus" which measures just 55 by 70mm. When you first look at this tiny treasure it is difficult to believe that human hands have made such a delicate creation. Rachel said "The book was so small and light that I wanted to avoid using a conventional structure which would restrict it. As the title naturally suggested flight I designed folded vellum boards shaped like wings and printed with feathers, held together with silk tassels."
You can see more of Rachel's work on her website Bookbinders of Lewes, the gallery section is well worth a visit.