Communion Of Dreams


Rebinding a 1518 copy of Ovid.
May 16, 2009, 8:21 am
Filed under: BoingBoing, Book Conservation

Last week I worked on rebinding a 1518 printing of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Since the client wanted to have it done in a limp vellum binding – which I don’t get to do that often – and the book itself is significant, I thought I would take some photos of the process and write the whole thing up. It’s now posted on my business site, but here’s a taste:

First, I removed the 19th century covers, cleaned the spine of old adhesive, and dis-assembled the book.  Then I created strips of alum-tawed pigskin of the appropriate length, and put a single slit in the middle of each through which the sewing could be done using linen thread.  As the strips were stiff and free-standing, there was no need to support them in a sewing frame as would be done with cord.

Sewing progressed using the original sewing stations (where the holes were poked in the folios) until completed.

The whole thing, with a lot more photos, is available here.

Just thought you might enjoy seeing a bit of what I do professionally.

Jim Downey

edited to add: Hey, cool – got a link off of BoingBoing!

And now even the blue got me. Very cool.


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