This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

The Bayeux Tapestry LE

Folio Society devotees

Join LibraryThing to post.

Sep 28, 2016, 3:23pm Top

Information about this upcoming LE has just been released on the FS's Facebook page. Here is a video:


And a link where you can register your interest:


Only 480 copies, but at a price of about 1,250 GBP a pop, I doubt it will fly out of the doors... Although the presentation is most intriguing!

Sep 28, 2016, 3:53pm Top

Oh no! That looks horrible, not a book at all, more like a toy.

Sep 28, 2016, 4:01pm Top

I wonder who will buy this... It's more like a "museum thing" than a book, but at the same time doen't look that sophisticated at all. A bit of an expensive history toy. Will be a hard sell I guess, but probably made-to-order, so hopefully not too much of a money drain on FS. Weird project... very weird.

Sep 28, 2016, 4:21pm Top

Spelling 'facsimile' as 'facsimilie' on the Facebook page is awful — does FS have NO quality control over what's posted under its name?

Sep 28, 2016, 4:45pm Top

It's 46 meters long, I'm not sure how you would display it? Maybe round the edges of the grand entrance room to your stately home?

Sep 28, 2016, 5:31pm Top

I doubt the FS will sell any copies. Since they have an "interest page" set up, I doubt they will get enough interest to go through with it. They did the same thing with a proposed special edition of Audubon's Birds of America some years ago, and ended up not going through with that.

For the rest, for anyone interested in the Bayeux
Tapestry, the FS did a book on it in 1973, the Presentation Volume for the year. It's quite nice, with a long introduction, and nice plates of the tapestry, with descriptions of the action below each plate. There are 99 copies available on ABE, some for as low as $1 US, plus shipping, of course.

Sep 28, 2016, 5:56pm Top

Brings back fond memories of the mutoscope and What The Butler Saw.

Sep 28, 2016, 6:46pm Top

I think I'd soon get tired of turning that handle. For £1250 I think it should be motorised and have a frame made from driftwood from one of William's ships. I shall therefore stick with my 1985 Thames and Hudson edition. The size of reproduction, at 54%, is slightly smaller but you can still see every thread in pin-sharp detail.


Sep 28, 2016, 6:48pm Top

This is a uniquely bad idea. I hope the FS ditches this idea quickly.

Sep 28, 2016, 6:51pm Top

>4 davidjbrown10: Oh please. You've nevr typoed in a Facebokk post before?

This is seems to be an awful idea. Why, in a reproduction of a work of art distinguished by its physical length, would you restrict the viewing window to barely episodic snatches?

Is the facsimile on paper? What is the level of fidelity to the embroidery?

If anything justified an obscenely expensive Quaternio Verlag Luzern effort, the Bayeux Tapestry would be it - this looks cheap and gimmicky, yet FS are asking AU$2,500 for it.

Sep 28, 2016, 7:03pm Top

>7 Jayked: "Brings back fond memories of the mutoscope and What The Butler Saw."

Yes, but parts of the Bayeux Tapestry are far naughtier. Check out the genitalia in the marginalia.

Sep 28, 2016, 7:14pm Top

>11 boldface: Huh, guess 'episodic snatches' was more accurate than I thought.

Sep 29, 2016, 12:33am Top

Joe has been trailing it, and the box with the handles, in his blog posts since October 2015 http://www.foliosociety.com/joesblog/, so it seems like a done deal to me. Anyway, I've filled in the expression of interest form. I'm sure the brochure will be a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
>10 Rodomontade: Not on the official FB page for a publisher with high standards of literacy...

Sep 29, 2016, 12:48am Top

Forget all of you naysayers! I think deep down you're all just jealous because you can't afford it :P
I think this is awesome! I still can't afford it, but it's refreshingly unique. This is obviously made for people with a lot of money and/or museums. Nevertheless, this is most awesome and I wonder if that commentary volume will be made available later to the general FS public?

Sep 29, 2016, 1:51am Top

I think it is a gimmick not worthy of the FS. If this were a well made concertina book I would buy it in a flash, but in its present form, Joe may have made an enormous blunder, and if sales generally are reflected by the attitudes on this forum, it could send the FS broke.

Sep 29, 2016, 3:06am Top

Oh no. It's hideous in that form. Does it come with a monkey?

Sep 29, 2016, 3:16am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Sep 29, 2016, 3:51am Top

I think FS should stick to beautiful books rather than venture into gimmicky coffee tables.

Is there a page where I can register my intense disinterest?

Sep 29, 2016, 4:12am Top

>18 cronshaw:

You're on it!

Sep 29, 2016, 4:50am Top

I actually laughed at the youtube video. Hideously awful. As someone else wrote it could be good for museums, and perhaps university libraries.

Sep 29, 2016, 5:17am Top

I feel this would look more respectable, presentation-wise, as just a loose scroll like the Facsimile Edition Dead Sea Scrolls, or including just a pair of scroll-handles without the coffee table.

Sep 29, 2016, 5:20am Top

I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st.

Sep 29, 2016, 5:33am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Sep 29, 2016, 6:01am Top

>15 wcarter: I think it is a gimmick not worthy of the FS. If this were a well made concertina book I would buy it in a flash, but in its present form, Joe may have made an enormous blunder,
>18 cronshaw: I think FS should stick to beautiful books rather than venture into gimmicky coffee tables.

I agree absolutely. It's not a book, it's a gimmick.

And it's late, just like Alice. It was supposed to be out in time to commemorate the 950th anniversary of the battle, which would be October.

2016 has not been a good year, Joe. Is this advising us that 2017 will not get any better?

Sep 29, 2016, 6:07am Top

Oh dear, FS must be desperate...

Sep 29, 2016, 6:21am Top

Whoever tabled that idea should carpeted.

Sep 29, 2016, 7:29am Top

Oh dear, the Mole's report on this thread won't occasion much joy. I'll confess that I rather like the conception and apparent execution of the viewing table or whatever we should call it, and can imagine it being a welcome and valued curiosity in the well-appointed traditional library of a country house. It would be an absurd purchase for my own modest book-crammed abode, so there's no chance of my becoming a customer. Still, it seems to me a reasonable enough extension of the expertise gathered by Joe and others in recent years in the field of commissioning and marketing reproductions of works of art, and completely to be welcomed if it turns a modest profit and brings worthwhile publicity,.

Sep 29, 2016, 11:15am Top

The consensus seems to be "this thing doesn't look like a book, therefore it's an awful book". But it's not a book and was never meant to be one! It's a very expensive curiosity. Magna Carta was not a book either. I think Folio understands that a good number of Folio ex-members are deeply interested in history, and some of that subset also have fairly deep pockets, so there is some overlap between FS ex-members and the target audience of this product (which I'm sure also includes people and organizations who are not bibliophiles/FS ex-members). If I were an owner of an old Norman castle, I'd probably buy it )

P.S. Ok, fine, I'll join you, naysayers - I'd prefer FS focusing its efforts on books, not expensive toys )

Edited: Sep 29, 2016, 11:49am Top

>28 elladan0891: You're right, this must be aimed at a very wealthy subset of the Folio dismembered. I actually hope it matters not one jot that most of us Devotees appear to dislike this LE, and that a sufficient number of the limitation find homes/castles in sufficiently short time to avoid the venture causing Folio any loss.

However, I do think a more compact, open presentation, allowing a more intimate and tactile enjoyment of the roll, would have been more attractive to many of us (more affordable too), perhaps along the lines of Taschen's Esher scroll.

Sep 29, 2016, 12:14pm Top

Does it come with a can of oil, for when the handle, after a year or two of intense winding, starts to squeak?

Sep 29, 2016, 1:24pm Top

Just perfect for the east wing gallery next to my Taschen SUMO editions.

Edited: Sep 29, 2016, 1:58pm Top

>31 kdweber:
Taschen family must have sold their souls to the devil. I see no other explanation why while the private presses publish a few hundred to a thousand copies of the books costing 3 or 4 figures and still can't sell them all a decade later, Taschen cranks out things like Helmut Newton limited to ONLY 10,000 copies, costing 20K (as in twenty thousand dollars) each, and, of course, sell out...

Sep 29, 2016, 2:15pm Top

I agree with the general sentiment that this LE is a bad idea.

I will, however, point out that most people here have made the assumption that the Tapestry is either a book or should optimally be one: it is neither, as it's a tapestry, and FS is at least faithful to that aspect in that it is indeed a facsimile, their ... superstructure notwithstanding.

For that very reason alone, FS shouldn't even be attempting this as they produce books, not tapestries(!)

Edited: Sep 29, 2016, 2:21pm Top

Just to join the herd: not just a gimmick but a cheap looking gimmick too. It doesn't matter that it's not a book, FS have done other things that are not books (Mappa Mundi), but I can't recall anything quite so horribly naff as this.

Sep 29, 2016, 3:39pm Top

Herewith some general information on 'The Bayeux Embroidery' from The Telegraph:

The tapestry is also revealed to be an embroidery, with the two require differing techniques.

A tapestry is woven on a loom whereas an embroidery has what is known as a "ground fabric" on which threads are sewn or embroidered to form a picture.

The idea that nuns across England made the Bayeux tapestry in nine sections which were then stitched together has been thrown into doubt by the new research.

Instead, the 900-year old tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England culminating in the battle of Hastings in 1066, was woven by the same group of people, likely to have worked on under one manager, the research suggests.

Alexandra Makin of the University of Manchester, a professional embroiderer who conducted the research, said: "It's clear from my analysis of the Bayeux Tapestry that the style of work is consistent throughout.

"Some people argue that the style of some figures are so different they must have been embroidered by different people.

"But my view is it's not the embroidery which is different – but the way the characters were drawn."

She told Radio 4's Today programme: "By looking at the embroidery techniques at the back of the tapestry I would suggest that it was done by what we would call professional embroiderers."

From observing the way the stitches overlap on the back of the tapestry, Mrs Makin was also able to work out in what order the different sections of the 230ft-long masterpiece were sewn.
The outlines for individual sections of the work – technically an embroidery as it was woven – were completed first, and then filled in with colours in a set order. The tapestry consists of 50 scenes with Latin captions, embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns. Vikings ships, Norman and Saxon cavalries illustrate the exploits of William and his opponent Harold, another pretender to the throne of England. Questions still remain over how many embroiderers worked on the tapestry, which is on permanent display at a museum in Normandy, who they were and where their "workshop" or "workshops" were located. It was likely commissioned by Bishop Odo, William the Conqueror's half-brother, shortly after his victory.

What is not in dispute is the amazing skill of the embroiderers.

Mrs Makin said: "The achievement of these people is quite remarkable when you consider the conditions they worked in.

"They would have almost certainly worked in daylight hours only, using basic equipment – such as shears to cut the cloth – with little formal training as we know it today, on what was a massive project even by today's standards.

"But they would have been well regarded by society: in one example from the Doomsday book, the Sheriff of Buckingham gave land to an embroiderer, as long as she taught his daughter her skills."

Sep 29, 2016, 6:33pm Top

Perhaps if things go badly, we might all have a couple of them as giveaways, where we can find a place at last, to rest our YRTTDs on.

Sep 30, 2016, 4:26pm Top

Does it come with a slipcase?

Sep 30, 2016, 5:10pm Top

>37 cpg:

No, but it plays "Invaders Must Die" as you turn the handle.

Sep 30, 2016, 5:41pm Top

Oct 1, 2016, 7:49am Top

That's a good one, Jonathan! Classic

Oct 1, 2016, 10:20am Top

I heard the smart money was on the Invaders!

Oct 3, 2016, 1:47pm Top

Does it come with a placard saying "Please be kind. Rewind" ?

Oct 3, 2016, 3:31pm Top

Plug it in and it plays ragtime.

Oct 5, 2016, 5:18am Top

Oct 5, 2016, 6:09am Top

>44 groeng: For the sake of FS, I'm pleased that there appears to be enthusiasm for this from the specialists who attended the academic colloquium held at Bayeux when Joe visited. I hope it was more than politesse and that it translates into purchases.

Oct 14, 2016, 10:50am Top

As today is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, what better way to commemorate it than by watching a Simpsons couch gag done in the style of the Tapestry?


Oct 14, 2016, 12:51pm Top

46: Ha! nicely done :)
I have to wonder, what other show could get away with having an image of someone drawn and quartered (Ned) in their opening sequence!

Oct 16, 2016, 9:39pm Top

Isnt a tapestry originally something to be read? it fits in with their other scrolls, maps, etc...

Edited: May 23, 2017, 10:10am Top

And it's now available on the FS website, limited to 480 and a snip at £1,920. There's an accompanying 4-minute video in which Joe guides us through the volume roll. It's not on my wishlist, but I admit it nevertheless appears to represent a very impressive printing and publishing achievement.

There's no mention of any limit of one per non-member.

May 23, 2017, 10:12am Top

>49 cronshaw: I'll take six.

Edited: May 23, 2017, 10:16am Top

>50 gmacaree: There are cheaper ways to come by half a dozen copies of Connecticut Yankee.

Edited: May 23, 2017, 10:28am Top

Where are the production details? No mention of the materials used for example. The whole info page looks like a very lazy work to me, this is how they want to sell a £2k obscure item?

Also, my issue with this contraption is, that by all means it could just be a high resolution LCD screen set onto a wooden table for all I care, as the feel of the material does not matter at all without without physical contact.

As the print was preceded by a high-res digital scan, the idea of a phone/tablet app with the same function just gives itself as an idea if it does not already exist.

May 23, 2017, 10:39am Top

>49 cronshaw:

No per customer limit, no pre-order system and no ticker for the copies remaining... they're clearly not expecting Lovecraft levels of interest, but I think the Herefordshire Pomona will sell out faster!

May 23, 2017, 10:47am Top

>49 cronshaw: I admit it nevertheless appears to represent a very impressive printing and publishing achievement.

Bearing in mind the size and construction I don't thnk the price is really unreasonable, also taking into account £320 of that is heading towards HM Government. The real problem is, it's not a book. And, like so many of Joe's LEs, where would you put the damn thing? Huxley's garage?

May 23, 2017, 10:49am Top

>53 MST-3000:

Don't hurt the Pomona, my girlfriend likes it :P She wants to buy that, but called the tapestry ridiculous.

May 23, 2017, 10:55am Top

>55 Raenas: I like it too and I bought it.

May 23, 2017, 11:18am Top

>55 Raenas: Don't hurt the Pomona, my girlfriend likes it :P She wants to buy that, but called the tapestry ridiculous.

Well that puts the Tapestry in its true perspective.

May 23, 2017, 12:11pm Top

Only $2560 US + $135 shipping. The one LE I have no interest in, they're selling without a huge Yankee mark up.

May 23, 2017, 12:30pm Top

It actually looks better than I expected, though I don't think I'd look at it much after the first inspection. To be honest I don't spend much time handling the LEs I own. At £1600 it should translate to $2802 Canadian dollars rather than the $3200 they're asking, and since it's not a book it would be subject to the equivalent of VAT on everything including postage.
If I was running a school I'd love to have it, but budgets for books are shrinking all the time. I wish it good luck, though.

May 23, 2017, 12:32pm Top

>54 folio_books: ". . . taking into account £320 of that is heading towards HM Government"

And another thought: The price will most probably increase after the election, also thanks to the Government. No wonder it's part of the May Collection.

May 23, 2017, 1:19pm Top

>59 Jayked: I thought they were asking £1920 per cronshaw.

May 23, 2017, 1:32pm Top

>61 kdweber: Depending upon what they wanted me for, and for how long, I'd happily multiply myself.

Jayked has quoted the price less the VAT (=GST) of 20% which is payable here because it is not a book (VAT is not applied to books in the U.K.).

May 23, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>61 kdweber:
I believe it's £1600 before VAT, 1920 after. I'm assuming we colonials will pay our own country's taxes.

May 23, 2017, 1:39pm Top

Didn't Joe look uncomfortable in that video? To be honest I spent much more time identifying the books behind him than with my eyes on The Contraption (TM).

May 23, 2017, 1:42pm Top

I see it's now on the homepage, second after The May Collection.

May 23, 2017, 2:21pm Top

>54 folio_books: Well I had to do a bit of re-jigging, but I've managed to accommodate it: http://www.librarything.com/gallery/member/HuxleyTheCat

May 23, 2017, 2:24pm Top

Honestly I think it's fantastic. Odd coming from the Folio Society but I love it. There is no place in my home for it but I would strongly consider buying one for my children's school and donating it to their library. I think in a school setting(especially a classical school as my kids attend) something like this would be a wonderful educational tool.

May 23, 2017, 3:07pm Top

>67 Sorion: I agree. I've not been a massive fan of this project, and I haven't got a clue as to who the product is aimed at, but, having just viewed the video, the photographic reproduction of the tapestry is extraordinary; quite an achievement.

May 23, 2017, 3:22pm Top

>66 HuxleyTheCat: I had to do a bit of re-jigging, but I've managed to accommodate it.

Ha! I knew it reminded me of something; now I know :)

May 23, 2017, 4:53pm Top

Ridiculous contraption!
Maybe it is time for Joe to retire.
A$3200+10%GST in Australia.

May 23, 2017, 5:03pm Top

I suppose another way to look at it is that it costs less than two copies of the 1001 Nights -- and I forked out for one of those. I wonder if it occurred to anyone at the planning stage that it would be subject to tax?

Edited: May 23, 2017, 5:16pm Top

>71 Jayked: I wonder if it occurred to anyone at the planning stage that it would be subject to tax?

I would think so - Magna Carta is similarly taxed.

edited for typo

Edited: May 23, 2017, 5:14pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

May 23, 2017, 5:27pm Top

>70 wcarter:

Yes, I too noted the importation taxation that would be levied along with customs' clearing fees.

May 23, 2017, 5:54pm Top

>61 kdweber:

How many tapestries in a cronshaw?

May 23, 2017, 6:02pm Top

What would actually be quite good is if we could purchase the scroll without the magic winding box.

May 23, 2017, 6:28pm Top

I don't think this one is for me.

May 23, 2017, 9:33pm Top

I'm sure they would not have embarked on such a project without support from market research?

May 23, 2017, 9:49pm Top

> 52

Actually, a cabinet with a high-resolution LCD screen and a little computer, such as a Raspberry Pi, running a scroll program would be far less expensive! And now that I'm thinking about it, it might look better in a frame hanging on a wall than in a four-legged box.

May 24, 2017, 5:26am Top

>79 treereader: We just need to add an Oculus rift goggles as well and we can make it a much richer experience than the FS offering ;)

Edited: May 24, 2017, 6:23am Top

I hope Folio is careful in its market research with items like this which must require considerable upfront investment, and which in many settings could be rendered obsolete by digital technology. The quality of the printing of this non-book LE certainly seems impressive, and probably gives a far better visual experience than even the highest resolution screen with its unavoidable background glare; however, a digital version would carry the advantage of compactness and portability, as well providing the viewer the ability to move instantaneously to the desired section: it must take a while to manually wind your way from one end of the Bayeux Tapestry LE roll to the other.

Moreover, one reason well produced physical books remain desirable in our e-reader age is that we enjoy the tactile as well as the visual experience of quality paper and binding materials. You don't get this with a hermetically sealed roller.

May 24, 2017, 6:33am Top

>81 cronshaw: "...we enjoy the tactile as well as the visual experience of quality paper and binding materials. You don't get this with a hermetically sealed roller."

Which is really the crux of the problem with something like this 'facsimile' - the photographic reproduction of the cloth looks extraordinarily like embroidered cloth, not paper, so if we were able to touch and feel it, then it would inevitably feel 'wrong', no matter what quality of paper was used. Having the paper sealed away beneath glass maintains the illusion that what one is looking at is, indeed, cloth.

Edited: May 24, 2017, 6:50am Top

>82 HuxleyTheCat:

I also wonder about its durability. In such a solution there is quite a lot of friction and bending of the paper. I like the idea of the effort that went into this thing, but would not invest in it. I would rather have the Mappa Mundi which I sadly missed, that is less prone to wear and tear.

May 24, 2017, 6:54am Top

>82 HuxleyTheCat: Good point!

May 24, 2017, 1:42pm Top

Intrigued as I am to discover how my cats might react to a magical coffee table with moving pictures, £1920 seems a bit much to ask :)
More seriously, I'm sure it's been a labour of love for Joe and his gang and I hope they get their money back but it's a bit rich for my pockets.
Until I inherit my long-lost great-great-uncle's mystical castle ...

May 24, 2017, 4:53pm Top

>85 Cat_of_Ulthar:
Welcome to FSD. It seems you have been sucked right in to Folio addiction. Enjoy the discussions here.

May 24, 2017, 9:03pm Top

> 81

The level of resolution of a digital equivalent wouldn't affect the level of glare; treatment of the glass layer would control that, followed by only a minor influence from the reflectivity underlying LCD/OLED/etc panel. Given that the actual product from FS has a glass top, glare is still a problem. In fact, if you watch the video in the first link of this thread, you can see reflections from the room they're in on the example they're showing.

As for e-readers, I've played with a few of Amazon's most recent (2017) offerings. They are outstanding with regard to mimicking print and reduction of glare, even the one's with a backlight. I'm not dissuaded from the continual building of my library with actual books but I'd argue that the modern e-reader deserves a dedicated place in anyone's reading repertoire.

The tapestry roll, at best, seems to be a clever relic meant to teach us how stories could be recorded/told prior to the advent of printed text. I can't fathom who the intended market would be. Academics who need to would need to write grants to afford it? Is this just a big experiment?

Edited: May 24, 2017, 10:03pm Top

I do like the conception and execution of this, and could certainly see it being a valued presence in an odd corner of a substantial country house library. I'll not be a customer: I could buy it but I'd have absolutely nowhere to put it, and if I do at some time in the next few years buy a house of proportions that would justify its presence I'll be too nearly on my uppers for the rest of my days to justify the expense.

I've only found the very smallest place for an e-reader in my own life, as a way of gaining access to various out-of-print texts, sometimes because printed copies are scarce and prohibitively expensive, more often as a temporary measure to allow me to read ten or twenty pages of a work and decide whether I'm sufficiently drawn to it to locate and buy the book.

May 26, 2017, 10:40am Top

>86 wcarter:
Thank you.
I've been a Folio member/customer for years so the addiction is long-standing. But Library Thing is a recent discovery and so far very enjoyable :)

Jun 1, 2017, 4:11am Top

The magic winding box has not appeared on the LE home page yet, despite being promoted on-line, in social media and public appearances.
It can be found on the FS site by a "book title" search.
Maybe it should be listed under "Non-book items" on the FS shop page.

Jun 1, 2017, 5:22am Top

>90 wcarter:

It's there now, but the Edward Thomas is still missing.

Jun 1, 2017, 12:44pm Top

>91 affle:

I'm seeing the Edward Thomas, a little over half way down the LE page.

The Tapestry Box does seem to be in receipt of an unusual amount of marketing effort, including a half page ad in the latest London Review of Books.

Jun 1, 2017, 12:59pm Top

>92 terebinth: including a half page ad in the latest London Review of Books.

Shouldn't that be the London Review of Windy-up Things?

Jun 1, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>92 terebinth:

A mole passed by...

Jun 1, 2017, 1:59pm Top

Interesting to note that the £1920 price tag (plus £85 delivery in the UK) does not include the "Commentary Volume" (i.e. the Hicks and Lemagnen book) which will add a further £79.95 inc p&p.

Jun 1, 2017, 2:04pm Top

>93 folio_books:

Oh, I quite expect it has a double page spread in there, and is the subject of an exultant editorial proclaiming it the most exciting development in the field of windy-up things since... since... well, if we've a subscriber among our number they'll doubtless afford us a full account.

>94 affle:

Such cooperative little gentlemen, they are, rapidly putting right so many errors and omissions.

Jun 1, 2017, 2:42pm Top

>96 terebinth: Such cooperative little gentlemen, they are, rapidly putting right so many errors and omissions.

I think it's great :) Having said that I got the fright of my life when I commented on something on here one day and the mole mentioned it to another FSD on the telephone almost in real time. George Orwell was partly right, except we're actually being watched by a little gentleman in a velvet waistcoat.

Jun 1, 2017, 2:42pm Top

>95 HuxleyTheCat:

That makes sense, since the commentary book was on sale since 2014. Assuming many people who are interested enough in the contraption already bought that volume, it would be redundant to charge them for it again.

Jun 1, 2017, 3:17pm Top

>98 Raenas: The point which struck me as being a departure from normal procedure for the FS, is that the book, which, as you point out has been around for a while, is being marketed as the Commentary Volume for the contraption. As such, if I was spending over £2k on the LE, I would certainly expect the FS to chuck in the commentary.

Also, I think your assumption may be slightly awry - I'm very interested in the tapestry and was eagerly awaiting the contraption (plus pricing). I will certainly get the book, but haven't done so yet.

Jun 1, 2017, 3:33pm Top

>99 HuxleyTheCat: I will certainly get the book, but haven't done so yet.

I can happily recommend it, Fiona. Very sturdy and thorough, classy in its understated way, including the complete walkthrough of the tapestry; sadly lacking the handle. To be honest I'm quite surprised there haven't been more comments on FSD about it. The "commentary volume" tag is undoubtedly an afterthought and most likely an attempt to trawl in a bit more cash.

Jun 1, 2017, 4:03pm Top

I distinctly remember being told in the dMR at the end of last year that the FS Hicks and Lemagnen title would be given gratis as a commentary volume to everyone who ordered the LE.

I would have thought that since Folio has a record of everyone who has ordered the book, they could include it free to purchasers of the wind-your-way coffee table who hadn't previously bought it, while offering those who had a refund/discount of the £80 already paid. The price of the book could surely be assimilated into the price of such an expensive LE.

Jun 1, 2017, 5:24pm Top

As I mentioned recently in the secondhand finds thread, at the end of April I was lucky enough to pick up an "as new" copy of the "commentary" volume in a charity shop for £15. I'm now checking out local secondhand furniture emporia for a bargain "contraption". You never know . . . .

Jun 5, 2017, 4:46am Top

And here is Joe valiantly trying to flog this LE:


The quality of the reproduction is truly amazing, but I agree that the presentation is certainly problematic for mere mortals with standard size rooms and houses...

Jun 12, 2017, 12:57am Top

It seems that I have purchased a sufficient number of FS LEs to be honoured with the receipt of the brochure for the Bayeaux Tapestry LE.
The most interesting fact ascertained from the brochure was that the scroll is 43 metres long.
I would consider this if the scroll was available in a cylindrical case without the magic winding table so that I could actually receive the tactile pleasure of touching the reproduction. I am sure I could cope with winding along on a table.
As it is, the Austraian price is an eye watering A$3200 + A$315 delivery to which would be added a customs fee of about A$60 and GST of A$320, making a total of A$3895, although the FS does offer a four installment plan.
The brochure has been uploaded to the wiki Limited Editions section at:-
Accompanying the LE brochure was a smaller leaflet promoting the Bayeaux Tapestry book by Carola Hicks, which is the commentary volume for the LE winding box. I wonder if there is somewhere around the box to store the commentary volume?
This leaflet has also been uploaded to the wiki in the Selected Folio Brochures section at:-

Jun 12, 2017, 8:30am Top

Same price in Canada. The brochure did clear up one mystery: the "commentary" volume is being priced separately out of deference to those who had already bought it.

Jun 12, 2017, 10:22am Top

I'm looking forward to the forthcoming Sistine Chapel LE, with the murals presented on the inside of a self-assembly tent the actual size of the Sistine Chapel.

Jun 12, 2017, 10:44am Top

>106 Firumbras: I hope JWB doesn't read your post!

Jun 12, 2017, 10:50am Top

>106 Firumbras: I'd go for it, but only if companion volume is included in the cost. The better half is planning to renovate the shed, this would be perfect replacement.

Jun 13, 2017, 7:21pm Top

Interesting to see "first delivery sold out" – http://www.foliosociety.com/book/byx. Wonder how many there were?

Jun 13, 2017, 7:23pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jun 14, 2017, 4:06am Top

>111 EclecticIndulgence: 1, likely. Prototype to the Queen? ;)

The first of all LEs goes to Lady Gavron (not quite the Queen) assuming this counts as a publication.

Jun 14, 2017, 6:35am Top

>113 folio_books: I wonder if she's been asked if she wants it?

Jun 14, 2017, 7:19am Top

>114 scratchpad:

This must be the only problem of being in charge of the Folio Society - unsolicited junk.

Jun 14, 2017, 9:19am Top

>115 folio_books:
Actually, looks like Lady Gavron (if not Her Majesty) really liked the... um.. "junk", even if unsolicited, at least judging by the raving review on Folio's page. "Mount Everest of book publishing"! Or was she referring to the companion volume? )))

Edited: Jun 22, 2017, 5:55pm Top

>110 davidjbrown10: It appears that the second delivery has now also sold out. I'm really curious as to how many have already been sold - not that I could ever afford (or have the room) for such an item.

*ETA however, if I did win the lottery or had that kind of cash I would be very tempted, it's a truly unique item.

Jun 22, 2017, 5:58pm Top

>117 SingingSands: "It appears that the second delivery has now also sold out. I'm really curious as to how many have already been sold.

I expect they're made individually to order.

Jun 23, 2017, 12:02pm Top

>118 boldface:

I'm sure there's a lot of institutional interest. Doesn't seem like a private collection item at all...

Jun 27, 2017, 10:39am Top

>119 MobyRichard:


This makes little to no sense for someone collecting fine & private press books. This is for universities and other educational institutions, e.g., museums, etc.

Aug 31, 2017, 11:17pm Top

The magical winding Bayeux scroll has completely disappeared from the FS website.

Aug 31, 2017, 11:52pm Top

>121 wcarter:

I can just imagine the MD selling that one, after the slipcase debacle.

Edited: Sep 7, 2017, 11:10am Top

>123 davidjbrown10:

All praise Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Though I have to admit. It looks kinda nice if you pretend the crank doesn't exist.

Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 12:05pm Top

A little explanation why I post in an old topic. I've been away from LT (and this forum) for quite a long time because my business almost went bankrupt and I had to live on a small salary - just enough to do my groceries and buying a paperback once in a while.
It's getting better now so I can consider to buy new LE's :-)
Then I discovered this LE. I didn't receive any mail from the FS about this unique edition so most of my information is from this thread and the FS page: http://www.foliosociety.com/book/BYX/bayeux-tapestry

Taschen did a similar thing in 2013 with the Esther Scroll. I purchased this (at € 500) on day one. But it's not a big seller because it's still available. 1,746 copies were made. https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/classics/all/06725/facts.the_esther_s...

Another example of a non-book done by FS: The Hereford World Map. It's sold out now but it took many years... This also was a day one purchase for me and I never regretted it!

I'm really surprised by the large number of negative opinions about this LE.
Is it because it's not a book? If so you have to remember that in previous ages there were many other ways to share information between people other than publishing a book. Not many people could read in the Middle Ages and it was 500 years before the fist printed books appeared, so there were paintings in churches, tapestries and scrolls to educate and share information.

I think that's fantastic! (But maybe I'm born 800 years too late :-) )

Nov 18, 2017, 3:51pm Top

>125 islandbooks:
Welcome back.
Unlike the Taschen Esther scroll, I suspect the negative comments about this scroll are mainly because it is sealed inside a table and you cannot actually touch it. If it were marketed as a scroll without the table, it would be far cheaper, and may sell to those who enjoy using more than just one sense to appreciate it.

Jan 17, 2018, 12:30pm Top

With today's news I sense an opportunity to shift a few contraptions.

Jan 17, 2018, 12:38pm Top

>127 HuxleyTheCat:
Please share "today's news" that would impact this contraption's sales. I suspect we missed it on this side of the pond.

Jan 17, 2018, 2:09pm Top

>129 HuxleyTheCat:
Thank you! I definitely did not see this article and am most interested as I finally was able to see the Tapestry in person at the Bayeaux museum last April. I actually found the entire city of Bayeaux eminently charming. I may even like its Cathedral better than Chartres (I know, sacrilege!). We had great food, a lovely B&B above a cider shop, and I was able to take a very extensive walk along the river nearly the entire length of the town.

Jan 18, 2018, 8:23am Top

We only need to wait until 2022 to see it here - IF conservation allows it. So FS might be able to shift a few more contraptions in five years. That also gives them plenty of time to re-think and re-issue in a Chinese folding book format ... if the Thornton plates can be re-issued as sales flatlined prematurely, why not this, too, in a format we actually would like and buy instantly? :)

Jan 18, 2018, 8:23am Top

We only need to wait until 2022 to see it here - IF conservation allows it. So FS might be able to shift a few more contraptions in five years. That also gives them plenty of time to re-think and re-issue in a Chinese folding book format ... if the Thornton plates can be re-issued as sales flatlined prematurely, why not this, too, in a format we actually would like and buy instantly? :)

Jan 18, 2018, 3:45pm Top

>131 cwl:
I agree, the folding format would be better, although it would be a very thick folder.
I would just like a format where I can actually touch the facsimile and fully appreciate the quality of the printing.
Even a large unboxed scroll would be better.

Jan 18, 2018, 8:19pm Top


If a scroll in a box counts, why not a box of punch cards? Folio Society's First Fortran Program on Punch Cards, LE. Slipcased output folio sold separately.


Jan 20, 2018, 3:13am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

May 28, 2018, 9:27am Top

The Bayeux tapestry LE appears to have vanished from the website again (>121 wcarter:), the link not working anymore. Has this contraption already sold out or has it erroneously been removed again?

May 28, 2018, 5:16pm Top

>136 Fierylunar:
Maybe after selling the first dozen, they gave up.

Edited: May 29, 2018, 5:47am Top

>137 wcarter:

What a horribly misguided idea, a thorough waste of time, talent and money for the FS. Little wonder Joe Whitlock Blundell went into retirement after this brainchild. Perhaps Joe can swap one with Andrew Hoyem for the Arion Press’ equally unreadable scroll edition of Hart Crane’s ‘The Bridge’.

May 29, 2018, 5:54am Top

It is neither fair nor very wise to criticise named Folio Society staff.

We do not know all the facts and circumstances, nor can their staff answer back.

As a general rule if you are making critical comments about a UK resident, you should first learn about the UK's ferocious laws of libel.

May 29, 2018, 7:02am Top

I took the last few comments to be critical about the Bayeux tapestry LE, not any persons. Did I miss something?

Sep 6, 2018, 2:47pm Top

Damn. I fear there might be a good chance that in a couple of years, this Bayeux Tapestry LE might be one of the most sought after and most expensive LE of Folio Society on the market.
As long as I saw it on their site, I found it ridiculous. But now that it's gone and remains gone, I sometimes regret it for not having bought one.

The entire Bayeux Tapestry facsimile edition, with the description of the scenes

Sep 6, 2018, 9:03pm Top

I thought this was an amazing item if impractical for most FS customers. I agree it would be more for institutions and certain private organizations such as The Loyal Order of Water Buffalos.

Its construction seems top notch - namely the mica/high-res image. It's hard to tell how well the box and crank will hold up over time, but making it manual would make repairs easier.

The comment about it being a bad idea to house the embroidery in a box is confusing to me. To have it in a "vehicle" for proper viewing seems a good idea the thought of trying to unroll a 120 ft. scroll sitting on my Lazyboy seems like a nightmare. And the box/glass provides protection from light, etc.

I doubt very much they would have made many of these without securing sales up front so perhaps it wasn't a business failure - who knows? At that price they couldn't have expected quick sales.

It took guts to attempt a project like this and I doubt anyone would argue the Bayeux Tapestry isn't a marvel. As far as it being outside FS's wheelhouse they have done things like vinyl LPs in the past so I don't think this is so odd.

Group: Folio Society devotees

1,709 members

126,223 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.


No touchstones

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 133,322,637 books! | Top bar: Always visible