The Ornate Beauty of Silver Filigree Books

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art are some of the most elegant and beautiful books. These are a couple that inspired a line of Paperblanks Filigree Notebooks. dating all the way back to 1696.

"During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, silver bookbindings were made to cover the personal copies of small bibles, songbooks and prayerbooks belonging to the upper classes. The manufacture of this type of silver bookbinding took place almost exclusively in Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.

This binding covers one of the most popular German devotional books of the time, the "Paradijs Gartlein" of the Lutheran theologian Johann Arndt, first published in 1612. The binding was possibly engraved by Philipp Holeisen of Augsburg, and the images were probably inspired by contemporary printed engravings. Both covers of this binding have a silver panel peirced and engraved with floral scrollwork enclosing five cartouches on a ground of sheet silver, formerly gilt. The silver spine is pierced and engraved in a similar manner. There are two silver clasps on the foredge, the boards of the book are wooden, and all edges of the textblock are gilt."

Engraved silver bookbinding, late 17th century; German


"Although the silver is not hallmarked, this exquisite openwork binding may have been created in Amsterdam where the book of Psalms it contains was published. The scrolling grotesque decoration includes medallions with The Annunciation (front) and The Adoration of the Shepherds (back) while King David playing before Saul is engraved on the spine."

Engraved silver bookbinding, ca. 1610–20; Dutch, possibly Amsterdam

"This precious object eloquently illustrates the esteem in which Dutch Protestants held the hundred and fifty Psalms, their oft-invoked hymns of lament and praise."

Inspired by these intricate masterworks of silver filigree is our collection of Paperblanks blank journals in faux silver filigree:

View the full collection of Paperblanks journals here:

(via The Met)