Brilliant book design does not always involve vibrant colour. White or cream bindings can catch the eye too. Many binders used white vellum, usually in combination with gilt lettering or gilt artwork, in the early decades of the 20th century. It’s possible to find stunning white or cream books with illustrations by Arthur Rackham, Hugh Thomson, Edmund Dulac or Hungarian illustrator Willy Pogany.
Vellum, according to John Carter’s invaluable ABC for Book Collectors, can be made from calf, goat, lamb or even rabbit skin. Although vellum is remarkably durable, pale bindings can show their age. This selection, which includes a few faux vellums and cream boards designed to look like vellum, is the cream of the crop.