Conservation of choir book, an oversized manuscript on parchment

  • OwnerAlcon-Cusí Museum (Royal Academy of Pharmacy of Catalonia).
  • Object: Choir book, an oversized manuscript on parchment. The bookbinding is full leather on wooden boards with brass edges, as well as clasps, also in brass. There was a contemporary bookmark made with green laced bands preserved with the binding.
  • Date: 1634, renaissance style.
  • Damages:  The wooden boards have woodworm damages and there were losses on the parchment folios due to iron gall ink. Oxidation of metal elements (locks, brass edge, nails…), the clasps were loose and one of them missing (back part of the lower one). Presence of synthetic adhesives applied in former treatments.
  • Conservation treatment: Removal of synthetic adhesives which were damaging the leather, rather than reparing it. Conservation of the leather, repair of broken clasps and reproduction of the missing parts. Consolidation of parchment losses.
  • Conservators: Kristiina Moosel, Clàudia Callau, Rita Udina
  • Photographs of the “after” treatment (header and right side of images): Pep Soler.

Before (left) and after (right) conservation. Back cover, a wooden panel with full leather. The edges have a brass finihing. See the absence of the lower clasp before conservation (right). It has been reproduced after conservation, replicating the upper one.
Before (left) and after (right) conservation. The parchment had some losses due to iron gall inks. These have been repaired with japanese tissue (Washi paper).
Before (left) and after (right) conservation. The book had former repairs with synthetic glue, which were damaging the leather rather than doing any beneffit to it. The green bands on top of the image correspond to a contemporary bookmark.