The Eighteenth Century
Eighteenth-century bookbinding saw the continued proliferation of styles, especially those that incorporated Classical motifs. Whereas Bridwell Library's "Harleian" binding of c. 1720 evokes a continuing aristocratic taste for sumptuous gilding, later English bindings tended to adopt a more severe, Classical rigor. Moreover, the century brought about a marked increase in bindings whose decoration reflected the textual contents of their books in meaningful ways. Such an example is the Mexican "edition" binding of the Missa Gothica of 1770, which featured a central gilt stamp of St. Ildefonsus, the founder of that liturgical tradition.