I consider that a finely bound book will require most ~ or all of ~ the following features ~
~ sewn on cords
~ rounded back
~ full leather tight-back binding over the raised cords
~ gilded edges
~ silk handworked headbands
~ tooled covers ~ some definitions suggest elaborate tooling
As with several other explanation pages in this site I am not expert enough to define a Fine Binding. If there is such a ~ reliable ~ definition somewhere I have not found it and there is no point in repeating it here. I will gladly provide a link to it when I find it. My understanding of fine binding may well be markedly different from the public understanding. I am not out to educate them. So this page is just an excuse to waffle a bit, in my bloggy way, but also to show some examples of what must surely classify as Fine Bindings by any standards.
I hate being pedantic, but must point out that there is surely a difference between a finely bound book and a finely decorated book. Since I have no great personal interest in fine bindings ~ I am a bookcrafter ~ not a bookbinder. I am interested primarily in function ~ books that work through good design. I can only show samples culled from the WWW rather than from my own gallery. I acknowledge the source where it is known. Please ask me to add your credentials, or delete, anything that is rightfully yours to control ~ [mail me].
For further interest readers may care to browse the many samples on the WWW under fine bindings, and we also have illustrations of ~
~ one of the oldest surviving bound books 
~ a double tragedy of fine bindings twice lost forever