Monday, March 2, 2009

Berenger-pulling, repair work, and resewing

Further to the discussion on the list today , about what you can garauntee about a repair or binding , as promised here is the book I mentioned -"The History and Art of Horsemanship" Richard Berenger , who was infact George III`s stable master . Indeed , the dedication in the front of the first volume is a supreme example of servile snivelling of the utmost nonsense

"Sir , nothing could justify my presumption , in thus approaching your Royal Presence with so unworthy an offering as these volumes..............Animated by these motives , I dared to form the ambitious with of laying my labours at your majesty`s feet.......
most devoted..
and most faithful subject and servant...."

Good god the things some people had to do to get a book published back in the day !
The books were given to me having been rebound by the biggest brass necked blaggard this side of the atlantic .Its bad form to critisize other binder`s practices , but this was a special case , I am sorry I didn`t have the presence of mind to take a picture as evidence , ....because if there were a bookbinder and conservator tribunal(and i believe there may be a secret society) , this person would have been dis-barred , dis-robed , and dissmissed!!!!
The spines were cruelly stripped to reveal the raised cord sewing , thankfully confused , they left the text-block alone , made a case binding out of some fake leather bookcloth , and put a stamped foil label on the spine.(Please note that the spine piece was resting on the raised there was considerable daylight!!!)Well after that performance , the only way is up right , how can we lose??!
Upon opening the book falls apart , at each section , revealing the extant of the damage , - all outside folios must be repaired both sides , and some insides too , the sewing is shot , the cords crumbling.The whole thing is pulled , and all damaged sections repaired using the university of Iowa repair tissue , which is a very fortunate blending match.Paste is brushed onto a stone , the tissue dipped , and placed over the spines , inside and out . The process is lengthy , runs over a series of days , and only when dry and flat , are they folded , and pressed between boards.
The book is easily collated using the alphabetical marks the beginning of each section , and if that wasn`t enough , each previous page is printed with the next page`s first word-Genius!
Endpapers are made , using a hemp ruscombe mills paper and stained period paper .Then the book is ready for the frame.
The sewing is on five raised cords, pulled guitar-string tight , (for ease of knocking down swell), but already i can see repairing every section has greatly increased the swell .
No problem , the first few sections are sewn in the usual manner , then I start sewing 2-up....
meaning two sections at a time going in and out of two sections above and below each other , so the thread is not doubled-up all the way along the spine.This will cut the swell in half , although you do want to alternate , and not sew the whole thing that way , otherwise the kettle stiches at the head and tail do not get enough support.
The sewing complete , swell pressed out , the books are ready for more forwarding.......
but thats tomorrow......

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