Queen Elizabeth I Bible (3D)
Royal Binding Greek New Testament Paris, 1550
This sumptuous volume is a Greek New Testament which originally belonged to Queen Elizabeth I.
The New Testament is bound in costly red silk velvet with gold-stamped panels and an enamelled royal coat-of-arms. The foredge and head and tail edges are decorated with gilt and gauffred, a technique which involves impressing a pattern in the edge with a heated tool and gold leaf. This type of binding decoration is often called the English “Lyonesse” style, the characteristics of which are a large gold centre and corner ornaments.
On the final leaf of the volume there is a note in Latin dated the 12th of February 1660 by a William Cooper, which is translates as: “This book has been taken back from the hands of Harpys and returned to the most serene Royal Majesty”. February 1660 was the month General George Monck led an army into London and forced the Rump Parliament to dissolve, setting the scene for the Restoration of Charles II later in the year. It is not known how the volume came into the possession of the College.