The image on the right shows a
copy of J. P. MacLean's The History of the Clan MacClean
half-way through the spine restoration stage.
When the book arrived at our bindery it was in need of some care
and attention. The text block was in good, clean condition but
the leather spine, which was in two pieces, had come away from
the book and the leather was very faded and powdery-dry.
It was decided that the book should have its spine cleaned, glued
and lined before being rebacked (new leather spine inserted),
afterwhich the original leather spine was replaced, stained, consolidated
and then finally polished.
Cost to the customer - £85.00
and spine restoration
book above was looking rather sad when it arrived - its leather
corners were very worn with the surface of the leather coming away
in places - the leather to the spine was dry and faded. Natural
leather was stained to match the original leather and new corners
made to replace the damaged ones, then gilt decoration added to
match the original look. The spine was also stained, then consolidated
before the book was finally polished.
Cost to the customer - £80.00
The image on the left is a copy of Baines'
Explorations in South-West Africa rebound in half-leather
with marble sides and gilt and blind tooling.
The book arrived with its original cloth case seperated from the
book and so badly stained that it was decided to give the book a
The customer chose a brown morocco leather with marble sides, gold
tooling round the raised bands and a black title label.
Cost to the customer - £105.00
rebacking and restoration
The above books arrived with the spines hanging
off having split down the spine edges - the corners were worn through
so that the boards were exposed and the cloth had faded in places
as a result of being left exposed to direct sunlight - the text
blocks had become completely detached from the cases . . . a sorry
The obvious remedy was to reback the books
(insert new cloth spines), build and sharpen the corners, reset
the spines of the text blocks and then finally recasing.,
First the spines were completely cut away from the boards and laid
aside for later
The cloth on all boards was then lifted back an inch to expose the
board underneath - the cloth at the turn-in was also lifted back
Using cloth the same colour as the original, new spines and spine
hollows were made and inserted under the cloth that had been lifted
The corners were then build up and sharpened before new corner cloth
was inserted underneath the original cloth.
All three case were then restained using aniline dye, carefully
avoiding the gold titles and decoration - then all three cases were
given a paste-wash, left to dry before being buffed.
The text blocks had their original spine lining removed and were
then reset in the nipping press before being glued and lined with
mull and kraft paper.
The text blocks were then cased-in and the original spines accurately
laid on to the new cloth spines and left to dry - the spines were
then restained, paste-washed and then buffed up..
Finally the book were stacked and pressed in the nipping press for