Midi Flexis Softcover Notebook | Mystique


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SKU: 9781439744512 Categories: , , Tags: , , ,
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Original Art: Red Moroccan leather book binding
Era: First half of the 17th century
Region: La Rochelle, France

Paperblanks Mystique cover is inspired by an original binding said to be the work of a legendary but unidentified 17th-century bookbinder known only as Le Gascon. Revered among his peers and successors, including Marius-Michel and Paul Gruel, Le Gascon is credited with innovating (if not inventing) the “pointillé” and “fanfare” styles. Despite these monumental achievements securing his place in bookbinding history, the true identity of Le Gascon remains a mystery to this day.

Over the years there have been numerous theories attempting to identify the real Le Gascon. Some believe he was a gilder in the bindery of Nicolas Eve (or perhaps even Eve’s son, Clovis), while others argue he was in fact employed by Gaston, Duke of Orleans. Mysterious identity aside, Le Gascon is held up alongside Jean Grolier as one of the foremost personalities in the history of bookbinding.

Le Gascon–style bindings first appeared near the end of the reign of Charles IX and were revered for the sophistication and intricacy of their ornamentation. His bindings featured gilt decoration that spread out in repeated fanfare patterns and pointillé tooling bordered by bands. If this cover was not created by Le Gascon himself it is certainly in his style and is the work of another French master.

The original binding was made of red morocco leather embossed and gilded with rosettes, spirals and dotted lines. It also featured Le Gascon’s emblematic small compartments which were created by carving ridges into the leather. No matter who truly was the creator of the original binding, our cover pays homage to its consummate artistry and visionary design.



  • Paperblanks: Le Gascon
  • Flexis flexible cover and spine
  • Dimensions H9″ x W7″
  • 176 pages, 100 gsm
  • Lined pages only
  • Smythe-sewn binding – book opens flat
  • Acid Free sustainable forest paper
  • Memento pouch on the inside back cover
  • Ribbon marker

Additional information

Weight 0.5 lbs
Dimensions 8 × 6 × 1 in