In 1982 the collector Kenneth H Oldaker (1905-1983) presented to the Library at Westminster Abbey his collection of fine bindings.
The collection included 71 exceptional examples of British bindings, ranging in date from the early 17th century until the end of the 19th. Oldaker had always followed the advice given to him by the dealer W R Fletcher that he should concentrate his collecting only on those volumes in the finest possible condition. The Abbey Librarian at the time, Howard Nixon, produced a fully illustrated catalogue of this collection, and published it through the book dealers Maggs Brothers (www.maggs.com) as British Bookbindings presented by Kenneth H Oldaker to the Chapter Library of Westminster Abbey.
Recently, while clearing a forgotten corner of the basement labyrinth in Berkeley Square, staff at Maggs came across several packets of unsold copies of this publication, and very kindly offered them back to the Abbey. We are therefore offering copies for sale at the special price of £5 to support the work of the Abbey Library. (The cheapest currently available on Abebooks is £25). The cost of postage is additional (UK £7; Europe £11; US and Canada £16; Australia and New Zealand £17).
For anyone interested in the history of bookbinding in the UK, this will make an important addition to your library. Any liveryman (or anyone else) interested in purchasing a copy should contact liveryman Matthew Payne, Keeper of the Muniments at Westminster Abbey at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the abbey website at http://www.westminster-abbey.org/library-research/library-collection. A volume has been presented to the Stationers’ Company library.