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Mystery Box: embroidered book bindings from the 17th century

21 June 2021

In this episode of Mystery Box, watch as Senior Librarian Anna Welch unboxes two exquisite items from our rare books collection with detailed embroidered bindings and mysterious backstories.

Some detective work from Anna reveals that the larger volume was most likely a gift to Queen Henrietta Maria from King Charles I. The smaller, pocket-sized volume featuring some 'book bling' is a copy of the Eikon Basilike or 'Image of the King'; a purported spiritual biography of King Charles I carried secretly by royalists after Charles' execution by the parliament in 1649.

Click play on the video above to get up close and personal with these fascinating items.

Learn more about the John Emmerson collection.

About Mystery Box

In the Mystery Box video series, we bring to light some of the most extraordinary items in State Library Victoria's expansive collection. Join us as we unbox unique treasures, and explore the stories they have to tell.

Find out more and view all episodes