Communion Of Dreams


There comes a point …
December 28, 2012, 5:56 pm
Filed under: Art, Book Conservation, tech | Tags: , , ,

I love what I do professionally. Seriously, if I hit the (figurative, since I don’t actually play) lottery tomorrow and never had to work again, I would still spend part of my time doing book conservation work, probably as just donation for various under-funded state & local organization who need such work done.

Nonetheless, there comes a point in any project where you’re just glad to be done with it. A couple hours ago I delivered work to a client, including the 1470 legal text I have written about previously. I thought I’d show the end result.

When we last checked in, I said that the book was ready for a cover – one made with fake “cords”. Well, here’s the process of making such a cover:

Prepping the high-density bookboard - using a wood rasp to bevel the edges, which was typical for books of this era.

Prepping the high-density bookboard – using a wood rasp to bevel the edges, which was typical for books of this era.

Goatskin leather. Heavy grain, wonderfully strong and lovely, processed using archival dies and tanning salts. This skin cost about $200.

Goatskin leather. Heavy grain, wonderfully strong and lovely, processed using archival dyes and tanning salts. This skin cost about $200.

Leather cut to size.

Leather cut to size.

I thought I took some pics of the process of mounting the boards and fake cords to the leather, and then the cover to the text block. Guess not. But it is not fundamentally different from the images to be found here.

Here’s the cover, finished and mounted to the text block:

Photo0976

And here it is with the new spine label (calfskin, gold foil) mounted:

Photo0980

Remember, this is how it came to me:

As it came to me. Note the 1960s-era spine added to a 1880-era cover.

As it came to me. Note the 1960s-era spine added to a 1880-era cover.

Big difference, eh?

Jim Downey

Oh, PS: Forgot to mention it yesterday, but I chatted with the librarian at the institution about this book. To the best of his knowledge, there are only about 100 known copies of this book still in existence. One in good condition is probably worth between $50,000 and $100,000.

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[…] after wrapping up the big conservation job last week, I promised myself I’d take some time this week after the holiday and do the rest […]

Pingback by Looking backwards. « Communion Of Dreams




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