Find below the blog posts related to rare books:
Unlocking St. Anthony’s locked manuscript
"Tony, Tony, come around, something’s lost and can’t be found!" Some manuscripts require more than just manual skills to succeed in their conservation, and so we prayed to Saint Anthony to help us unlocking the bookbinding, whose key had been lost forever. Certainly not many renaissance bookbindings have an iron safety lock in their covers and thus this extra holly help was deemed quite necessary. The prayer didn't provide any key, but at least a satisfactory conservation solution was achieved!
Endbands, headbands and ties
The headband to a book is like the tie to a suit: they both give their owner the chance to stand out. It is like the icing on the cake of the binding, and gathers the bookbinder's proficiency and taste. We'll discuss their aspect like in a Vanity Fair, and go beyond: What are they meant for? and why stuck-on headbands are less cared by conservators than sewn ones? Should we replace them or conserve them? The untrained eyes will look at them with more interest now, because -just like ties- there are headbands for all tastes!
Mysterious iron rods in a 16th limp vellum binding
No one would say that [...]
Conservation of ‘The Disasters of War’, by Goya
There are all sorts of projects, and when Mr. Goya knocks at the door, the red carpet is ready to receive him at the studio: Please, come in! The Disasters of War by Francisco Goya arrived at the studio in a fairly intact condition, with its 80 etchings, corresponding to the very first edition (in later editions two more etchings were added, making a total of 82). This first one was edited in 1863, more than forty years after
The bookbinder’s secret library
Cambras, one of the most popular bookbinders from Barcelona, always welcomes me with a wide smile and a sarcastic look. Smiles turn to laughter when we get down to our issues: -But... you are not pasting the spine of my book with PVA glue, are you?! I ask him while my eye seeks for his secret library...
“Smart books” and bibliographic terrorism
Terrorists do not always carry explosives or mallets, nor they come from overseas, it may even be people in charge of collections. We ought to deal with them to safeguard "smart books": books intelligently made, such that no material interfere with each other, on the contrary, they create formidable synergies. Each one has its peculiarities, its beauty and its function. They represent a compendium of technology, art, society and culture at the time and place in which they were created.
Bibliopaths: The case of the lacquer binding
Are we supposed to fear bibliopaths? Or maybe we should give them an award? Who are they? Atention! Because they can be among us, or we might even be one of them?! I invite you to read the Case of the Lacquer Binding to know more about them
Choirbooks, and much more, at the Spanish National Library
Led by Luis Crespo and Arsenio Sanchez, restorerss in the National Library, we visit the fascinating world of book illuminated miniatures, choir books, manuscripts ... Latest technological resources, ancient tradition, and above all their experience and knowledge, allow the recovery of these bibliographic jewels exhibited now at the National Library of Spain.
Books washing-machine and new conservation methods for leather bindings
From the books washing machine to new methodologies for leather bindings restoration, a visit to Domènec's restoration studio is always a great pleasure!
Gone with the wind
I don’t like much having war books, but I must admit that this one is particularly beautiful. The velvet binding seemed to me a challenging issue on the restoration, which did not have major complications besides this. I show the restoration of this book because of the headaches it has given me when solving the lost areas, the wooden work. The considerable losses on a laborious woodcarving work, and the lack of originals of many of the missing pieces fairly complicated the subject (the shields on the corners were different).
The value of things
Inpainting is the main controversial in a restoration as it demands to set criteria in not at all trivial matters: Meaning, function and unique nature of artefacts.
archive or library
printed stamp (see TECHNIQUE)
plans, maps, architectural or technical drawings
acidity / oxidation
bibliopath - graphopath
pests & paper eaters
pressure sensitive tapes
coated paper (art paper)
onion skin paper
wood pulp paper
polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)
polyethylene glycol (PEG)
THEORY on cons. & rest.
flattening under tension
four flaps envelopes
neutral colour in-paint
climate (HR, temp.)
reinforcement - consolidation
backing with fabric