The book of common prayer (Oxford, 1772) bound for the Maryon Wilson family (Aa.3.79(1))

Scripture and liturgy were often given decorated bindings to personalise them. This particular Book of common prayer bears a binding of painted vellum decorated by James Edwards of Halifax (1757-1816) for the Maryon Wilson family, whose arms are incorporated into the design. According to the manuscript notes contained in the volume, three members of this family attended St John's. Edwards patented his method of painting an image onto the underside of a translucent skin, a process which afforded protection to the design, in 1785. The volume also bears a fore-edge painting of St John’s College across the ends of the pages, which is only visible when they are fanned out.

Donated by S.W. Sykes.