David and Goliath, redux

I know what you’re thinking. Gee, this looks familiar:


And it ought to. Compare it to this:


The first is a Book of Psalms from the British Library’s collection, with an embroidered binding depicting David and his slingshot on the front panel and David with Goliath’s head on the back. The second is our friend from my last posting, a Book of Psalms from the Folger, with an embroidered binding depicting David with Goliath’s head and, yes, David and his slingshot.

I’ll wait while you compare the two (clicking on each image should bring you to an enlargeable picture).

That’s right–they’re the same! Of course, they’re not exactly the same. The BL binding reveals that what I took as a cheesy grin from Goliath is actually a mustache, the Folger David holding Goliath’s head has a unibrow that the BL David does not, and the Folger binding has a much more soothing color scheme of blues. § continue reading

David and Goliath

It has been nearly a month since I last posted, for which I can only apologize. Although that might be an eternity in blog-days, in real-life days, the time has just flown by, what with the excitement of college basketball and grading and Passover and the annual Shakespeare Association of America conference. Oddly, there were very few obvious points in common among those events, but there I was, nonetheless.

I can, I think, actually find a common thread among some of them with this picture:

What is this, you ask? It’s The whole booke of Psalmes: collected into English meter by Tho. Sternhold, Jo. Hopkins, W. Whittingham, and others, conferred with the Hebrew, with apt notes to sing them withall. Newly set forth, and allowed to bee sung in all churches, of course, printed in 1639 and here with a stunningly gorgeous embroidered binding. And who is that on the binding, you wonder?

§ continue reading