photo and styling:  frieda mellema | uniquole

Rembrandt’s Hands and a Lion’s Paw

A book bracelet of 1400 numbered pages.


Thanks to the extensive size of the Rijksmuseum’s collection and the availability of high-resolution images online, we have been able to select 1400 images of hands from 303 of Rembrandt’s drawings and etchings. These hands make up Rembrandt’s Hands and a Lion’s Paw. Our starting point was to use the book binding technique, stringing pages together tightly so that it forms a bracelet to be worn around your wrist. Fascinated by Rembrandt’s drawing skills, we had already examined many of his hands at the exhibition of Jaap Mulders’ private collection. With this data, we went to work. The book bracelet is bound with a variation of a cross-stitch known in Dutch as the ‘brocheersteek.’ The gilt-edged pages are sized according to the golden ratio. On the index page, you can find the page number, title and item number for each hand. Have a closer look at these works at the Rijksmuseum’s Rijkstudio (link).

We produce a limited edition of 10 book bracelets. The Book Bracelet comes in a leather covered holder together with a small bound index. This is housed in a custom made wooden box. The 18 karat gold clasp is fashioned by a goldsmith. You can order the book bracelet for €10.000 (incl. VAT), delivery time is 6 weeks. See our webshop on this site.

photo and styling:  frieda mellema | uniquole

Bedelaar met hoge muts
(link to etching in Rijksstudio)

De fluitspeler – Uilenspiegel
(link to etching in Rijksstudio)

Christus gekruisigd tussen de twee moordenaars: ovale plaat
(link to etching in Rijksstudio)

The leather is sourced from the scottish firm Hewit and Sons. It is made from vegetable tanned young calf skins and presents a deep black colour and a sophisticated mat finish achieved by the special process of drying the skins on glass.
The box is created by assembling pieces of a very hard and dense kind of cardboard, and covering with the black calf. The lining is red suedel.
The covers of the bracelet and the index are made from the same kind of dense, hard board as the box. They are lightly chamfered and covered with the black calf leather. The corners are pleated and very slightly rounded. All the box and leather work is done by hand by Ben Elbel from Elbel Libro, workshop for special binding established in Amsterdam.

Presentation during Salone del Mobile 2017 at Masterly
Acquired by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2017. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Short URL
Accession Number 2017-70-1-a/d
Object ID 1108978343

Exhibition at Handwerkskammer Hannover
Exhibition Hannemahuis Harlingen, 8 july – 12 november 2015
photo Erik Smits