This volume had substantial self-adhesive tape damage, having been kept in one piece by taping the spine back onto the boards, and taping the first section back together. Some of the tape had become brittle, stained and lifted from the paper, however the majority remained tacky and still adhered. Once the tape and tackiness had been removed, I was able to go about repairing the textblock, attaching the boards and creating a new spine. The brief from the client was to retain as much of its originality, wear and age as possible.
Substantial tape damage to endpapers, first and last sections.
Sewing is deteriorated and sections are loose at front and back.
The bulk of the sewing is still in tact.
First fly leaves and contents pages are damaged and detached.
Foxing throughout – to leave as is.
Endpapers are loose, buckram guttering is damaged at the back, front is loose, tape damaged, but still in tact.
Leather spine has become detached and re-adhered using self adhesive tape to the leather edges of boards.
Boards and corners are deteriorated at edges.
Spine lining is brittle and deteriorated.
Remove self-adhesive tape from cover, spine, endpapers, first and last sections.
Repair first pages and recreate first and second sections.
Remove spine lining.
Extend sewing supports.
Sew loose sections back onto textblock
Repair endpapers and create new buckram gutter on back end paper.
Line spine with aerocotton and manilla.
Create hollow and false raised bands.
Split boards, lift board edges and neaten.
Reattach boards to textblock.
Create new spine piece from toned goatskin.
Reattach original spine piece and consolidate.
Consolidate board edges and corners.
If you have a damaged book that you would like to discuss, please do get in touch.
Artist book of prints by four artists c. 1641, Fully bound in green parchment 343x504x53 (WHD)
BINDING The heavy parchment cover was damaged in several places, including a piece missing from the back-board and a frayed split down the spine. The cover was pasted onto the boards, and also either lined or placed on lined boards. The boards were warped and had heavy corner damage. Other than this they were fairly solid and reusable. TEXTBLOCK was packed sewn, though it was mostly broken. There was heavy paper damage with tears along the spine, the edges of the book and two loose leaves. The edges were brittle throughout the book . It was extremely dirty throughout. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION There were two heavily damaged and unusable green ties.
Mechanically cleaned throughout with a chemical sponge.
Pulled apart the sewing, keeping the back board and final section attached together as it was part of the last section.
Carried out paper repairs to the textblock and section folds using various appropriate Japanese tissue.
Consolidated corners of the boards, including recreating one using layered grey board. They were left uncovered.
Pressed the boards to flatten where possible, without humidification.
Attached new cords to the old cords by sewing and pasting them together.
Resewed the sections with packed sewing, using the back board as the primary section to sew from, as final section was still attached.
Cords were laced into the boards using the original method.
Spine backed with PaperNao K37.
Rebacked with parchment, toned with Selaset Dyes.
Created and attached a net pouch to preserve the green ties.
If you have a damaged book that you would like to discuss, please do get in touch.
Might I take this opportunity to remind everyone that tape is not for sticking books back together. That’s all.
The projects coming in have been a selection of spine removals, tape removal, rehousing, rebacking and a full fine binding for an author based locally, which is going to be a great project get going on – so good stuff all around!
These lifting tools have been made from old hacksaw blades and are extremely useful for getting under spine pieces, end papers and for tape removal.
I also finally managed to get my little pamphlet bindings folded and in the press, they’ll be ready for trimming and sewing next week – watch this space for completed ones!
Phew! Busy week – don’t mention the map, it’s my nemesis.
The Holy Bible c. 1952 Full case binding, hollow-back, plain burgundy book cloth with blind-tooled border University Press, Cambridge (Brooke Crutchley, University Printer) 140x198x39 (WHD)
I completed this volume some months back for an lady who was keen to preserve the book before it fell apart completely. As with so many books owned by individuals, the monetary value of this book was minimal, but the sentimental value was priceless. It is a classic Holy Bible, given to the owner as a child by her Grandmother, and has been loved and treasured ever since. As is often the case with books of such high sentimental value, the volume had deteriorated from such regular use. I greatly enjoy working on these types of books, despite their lack of social status in the book world, as there is little thanks in the conservation world that will match that given by someone whose treasured book has been carefully conserved and given new life for years to come.
BINDING Both boards were attached to the case and the spine was in tact. The shoulders at head and tail were worn, as was the tail at the spine edge. All the corners had minor ware, more so at the head. The case was detached from the textblock at front and at back after the end papers and map. The mull was exposed, worn down and deteriorating, though the tapes were still in tact.
TEXTBLOCK Page 543 was loose. Front end papers, first plate and title page were loose and attached by tape. The front endpaper was heavily damage both by detachment and from tape damage, corner is missing and replaced by tape. The following page also had a missing corner replaced with tape that was discoloured and stained. The title page was detached and stuck together with tape, which discoloured and stained the page. The first page of text was stained by offset tape residue from the title page. The final map and adjacent pages had tape residue damage, both discolouration and staining. They were also slightly detached from textblock, though remained attached to the boards. The tape damage, in all cases, was covering tears to the paper.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION A green paper cover had been adhered together using tape, which was discoloured and stained. The head and tail spine edges of this cover were also worn and damaged.
Boards were removed, whilst keeping sewing tapes intact.
Front and back paste-downs were removed.
Paper repairs were made to loose pages, including infills to those with missing areas and reattachment where necessary by tipping.
Self adhesive tapes were removed and staining was reduced using a calcium hypochlorite bath, followed by washing to reduce the acidity.
The spine was re-lined and reinforced using an aero-cotton transverse lining.
The volume was then rebound using the original cover and the paste-downs were replaced using a sympathetic paper.
Hinges were inserted into the inside covers where necessary and the cover, spine and corners were consolidated.
Finally the paper cover was repaired and rehoused in melinex.
I am currently repairing this giant great map of France. Interestingly it has the same picture on both sides, the recto with text, the verso without.
As you can see there is a stonking great hole at the bottom to be filled in (I have the bit) and a substantial amount of staining to try and shift… All this would be a lot more fun if the blasted thing didn’t take up the whole hut.
Yesterday was my last Monday at the V&A until May – this is due to a series of varied events including some bank holidays, a two week trip to Scotland (next week!) and a two week trip to Norfolk (in about a month) and after that I will be back at the V&A.
I had hoped to get my book on four artists to a stage where it could be sewn at least, if not finished. Unfortunately, being plagued by illness this week, it was all I could do to get there and do a few hours work. Prior to getting to work I had already forgotten my tool kit and managed to fill my tank up with petrol, then realise I had also forgotten my wallet – so the day started well!
Anyway, I did manage to guard all the central sections. The first and last sections are connected to the cover by the first two leaves being pasted down to the front cover and the last two to the back cover, so these two sections will need a little more complex guarding techniques, which I will tackle on my return in May.