Even though one might think that ancient bindings are by definition more precious and refined than the more recent ones, this can definitely be a misleading preconception. Indeed ancient bindings are precious and refined, but modern ones can well be as precious and refined as the ancient ones.
As an example, here is a beautiful French binding of the 1930’s. Particularly interesting are the quality of the leather joined to the refinement of the decorative pattern and the choice of the colour in relation to the brightness of the gold tooling. All these particulars make this binding both incredibly refined but also extremely simple at the same time.