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James Brockman

James Brockman


James served a six year apprenticeship in Gold Finishing in Oxford and attended day release classes under Ivor Robinson at Oxford Polytechnic. He was the assistant to Sydney Cockerell in Cambridge for five and a half years from 1968-73. James started and managed The Eddington Bindery for Lord and Lady Fermoy. The Eddington Bindery Ltd. was established at Eddington House and was based in the stable block.

James was an Arts Fellow at the University of Wales, Gwasg Gregynog from 1982-83 and the first visiting lecturer at The Institute of Fine Binding and Book Conservation, Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas in 1987. He has lectured in Australia, Europe and U.S. and is a Past President of both Designer Bookbinders and The Society of Bookbinders. In 2023 he was awarded the MBE for services to bookbinding.

James is currently in partnership with his son, Stuart Brockman, who is another of our Designer Bookbinders Fellows. The Brockman Bindery, founded by James in 1976 and now co-run with Stuart, has developed into a highly specialised hand craft bindery working primarily on modern Fine Bindings and the conservation and fine restoration of manuscripts and printed books.

The emphasis is always on maintaining the highest possible standards, there is no compromise on quality on any work. The bindery consists of a small team of highly skilled craftsmen, all dedicated to the sympathetic and appropriate treatment of books. The Bindery uses the very latest techniques, mostly developed in-house, for everything from the attachment of book boards to the flattening of vellum manuscript leaves.

James has his work in collections nationwide including: British Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, National Library of Wales, Sir J. Paul Getty II Library plus many other National and Private Collections.

The Halls of the Livery Companies of London by Englefield
London Jones Lang Wootton, 2001
309 x 234 x 35mm
Bound in 2013
The Cloth Workers Guild, London

Full black Morocco with stained vellum onlaid panels, leather onlays, tooled and lettered with gold leaf.

Nuremberg Haggadah
Early Manuscript on vellum
210 x 135 x 24mm
Bound in 2016
Private Collection

Concave spine binding. Bound in silver and ebony with silver sewing rings and fore-edge clasps.

Venice by John Craig
The Whittington Press, Gloucester, 2016
102 of 285 copies
325 x 240 x 30mm
Bound in 2021
Private Collection

Full figured vellum with leather onlays, tooled and lettered with gold leaf.

Poisonous Plants
Bound jointly with Stuart Brockman
Private Collection

Marbled paper (Louise Brockman) end-papers; transparent vellum over watercolour painting with black French levant centre panel; tooled in three shades of gold and palladium leaf.

The poisonous plants around the outside of the binding are based on illustrations from within the text. The central panel represents a greenhouse with a feel of perspective with the mass gold tooling giving a reflective feel in a similar fashion to glass.

The Bookbindings of T.J. Cobden Sanderson by Marianne Tidcombe
The British Library, 1984
285 x 230 x 55mm
Bound in 2015
Private Collection

Louise Brockman marbled endpapers; gilt edges; covered in full goatskin; tooled in three shades of gold and palladium leaf with vellum onlays. “Walker” individual hand letters used for lettering. These belonged previously to Douglas Cockerell, T.J Cobden-Sanderson’s apprentice.

Station Island by Seamus Heaney
Farrar, 1985
Signed First Edition
170 x 105 x 23mm
Bound in 2019
Private Collection

Full dark green Morocco with stained transparent vellum and leather onlays, tooled in two shades of gold and palladium leaf.

Marks of Genius by Stephen Hebron
Bodleian Library, Oxford 2014
290 x 250 x 48mm
Bound in 2016
The Royal Collection Windsor

Full dark blue Morocco with toned vellum onlays, tooled and lettered with gold leaf, fabric endpapers, vellum doublures. Calligraphic dedication to His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge.

Of His Lady by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Manuscript on vellum by Jessie Baynes, 1905
220 x 150 x 12mm
Bound in 2015
Private Collection


Email: jamesrbrockman@aol.com
Website: https://brockmanbookbinders.org
Facebook: @brockmanbookbinders
Accepts Commissions: Yes