Robert Riviere founded his bindery in Bath in 1829, and George Bayntun followed his example in 1894. Bayntun-Riviere is now the last of the great Victorian trade binderies still in family ownership and prides itself on continuing to bind entirely by hand. We still operate an apprenticeship scheme - our latest recruit, Andrew Van Zanten, has been with us since 2001.
Derek Harris joined us in 1947, and our eleven binders have between them served 337 years. We can also claim to have the largest collection of hand tools and blocks in the world (over 15,000) - some dating back to the eighteenth century and all still usable. We insist on binding in the traditional manner, using the highest quality materials - for example, the edges of all of our bindings are gilded by hand using 23½ct gold (which we prefer to 24ct). We have a range of over 40 colours of premium quality goat and calf skins, and a vast selection of hand-marbled papers. Our designs range from historical to modern, as can be seen in our showcase of Bayntun-Riviere bindings.
Besides binding books for sale in the shop, we undertake work for individuals and institutions throughout the world. Margaret Thatcher famously chose a copy of A Tale of Two Cities, in one of our red morocco bindings, as her farewell gift to President Mitterand. We enjoy working closely with our clients and are always pleased to offer advice and provide quotations without obligation.