And we’re back!
Today’s From the Bench is the transformation of a family bible that had been unfortunately stored on a painted surface. After years of being stored this way with direct contact, the book had bonded to the surface. Fortunately, when removed, more of the paint came with the book than leather stayed on the paint! Still, after removal, it was left in a pretty bad way. As you can see from the photos. Luckily there was very little in the way of red rot or other leather damage; and aside from the over 1/16″ paint layer on the back cover there was minimal wear and damage to the gilt.
Other than the extensive cleaning and touch up, the book had very little page repair, and overall the paper was in fantastic condition. Along with very impressive illustrations this version of Family Bible had a Temperance Pledge page! Something I have known about, but never seen in person. It would have been more interesting if any of the registry pages would have been filled out, but that is always a 50/50 chance. If you want to look it up it is an interesting piece of history. The Temperance movement of the late 1800’s laid the foundation, and was almost directly responsible for the Prohibition Era of the 1920’s. You do not usually get these in such good condition. Another exciting thing is the condition of the photo pages in the back! Not only were they in amazing condition, but there were ancestral photos! That almost never happens. No images of those pages for privacy reasons, you’ll have to just take my word for it!
So. After many hours of soft touch cleaning, touch up, and structural reinforcement, here is the Whitney Family Bible.
I hope you enjoy this latest view From the Bench! Check out the rest of the series!
Welcome to From the Bench!
I am very excited to share the process of one of the coolest antique personal Bibles I have come across to date in this latest edition of “From the Bench”.
The text is in German, and the large print was not that common, and the paper! Oh my, the paper! 100% linen, and so pleasant to handle. A fine example of the quality no wood paper being fast replaced in commercial printing during the surge of the industrial revolution. Unfortunately, it is hard to pinpoint a date due to several of the beginning and ending pages being lost to time. Given the leather, style of binding, and paper, I am guessing mid to late 1800’s. Most likely immigrated pre WW1, which would explain how it survived both world wars, given that it is authentically German.
The cover as you can see is harboring plenty of my nemesis, cellophane tape! Out damned tape! The leather was also pretty brittle, with red rot, and the front cover was detached. There appeared to be a set of strap closures at one time. Replacing them was not possible due to how brittle the leather was. While the paper was of good quality and reasonable condition for its age there were still quite a few missing, damaged, and loose pages that needed to be addressed.
But I’ll let the photos take it from here!
So with this latest offering “From the Bench” here are the before and after shots of this gorgeous Industrial Revolution era German Bible. Check out the rest of the series!
Be well Friends!
In other news, From the Bench I have this amazing example of a late 1800’s family Bible.
There was quite a bit lost to time on this piece. Mainly the entire original spine and whole pieces of hardware, along with very brittle, torn, and loose pages. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done about the hardware; but with the help of some digital imaging colleagues of mine I was able to remedy the spine. It was a really fun challenge!
I hope you enjoy this latest view From the Bench! Check out the rest of the series!
This Bible is a prime example of what makes book preservationists groan and cringe. Tape. So much tape. Duct tape, packing tape, scotch tape, tape is really bad. Especially on books like Bibles that have such thin and delicate pages. So this one needed a lot of saving.
The Bible belonged to the client’s distant relative and he felt that it needed to be preserved for the future. Saving the damaged inscription pages was a bit tricky. They preferred a full re-casing to saving the original cover, so that made it a more straightforward repair, but the text block still needed a lot of love.
Please my friends, don’t put tape on your old books. It never ends well. Or rather it’s a nightmare to clean and fix later!
Without further ado, here is the saving of a severely damaged and taped Bible.
Until next time, well wishes From the Bench! Check out the rest of the series!
Every once in awhile I get the opportunity to service a book that is very meaningful. In this instance, it was fulfilling the last wish of a dying man. I know that sounds terribly dramatic, but I rather unbelievably, found myself in that situation!
The client approached me with this project stating that Laura Haviland was a distant relative, a major figure in the abolitionist movement that the family was very proud to acknowledge, and that it was her personal account of her life and times published in 1887. Apparently it was an item on his bucket list that turned into his dying request. The tricky bit was that her father was already in hospice with not much time left. Long story short, I did not have a lot of time to turn around a very brittle, very old, and very precious family heirloom. But I did, barely, hand delivering it to the client just hours before Dad passed.
I think the message the client sent me that evening completes the tale well. “My Dad woke up and his lit up when he saw the book. Quality work and a real family heirloom! Thanks for making his day!
Until next time, I wish you well From the Bench! Check out the rest of the series!
I am showcasing this bible mainly because it was the first of it’s kind for me. This style of cover is so fun, and such a departure from the more serious gothic bindings!
This one wasn’t too bad, a pretty straight forward hinge repair with a little touch up.
I hope you enjoy this cover as much as I did, until next time , greetings From the Bench! Check out the rest of the series!
Sometimes I get to rescue a book that is cherished just for being what it is. This cookbook belonged to the the client’s mother and was used all throughout his childhood. I think it’s fun because it captures that piece of history when more companies functioned as small communities. She was a phone company employee; and this was their, I’m assuming one off, cookbook of recipes provided by the employees.
This one was fun because it allowed me to recycle a vintage library book with beige vinyl, and dust off my design skills to digitally recreate the damaged cover and spine. This family treasure is now more protected in a vinyl hardcover casing with water resistant canvas print graphics. I also got to play around with some of my foil stamp colors and type for the personalization on the back. I also trimmed down the original paper cover to slide into a pocket inside the new cover.
Enjoy this latest installment of From the Bench! Check out the rest of the series!
This latest book was a real treat. I had never before seen one of these turn of the century, pre WWI, home medical remedy books. From the viewpoint of what we now know of basic modern medicine, some of the things this book instructed people to do is wild! But then it was 1919. I included a shot of what I thought was one of the more amusing sections. Hail the sunshine!
I hope you you enjoy this latest installment of From the Bench! Check out the rest of the series!
Welcome to the first From the Bench!
My first offering is a look at the first of several late 1800’s family bibles. I find that many of these books are in much the same condition when they come in, but it is fascinating how many different varieties of covers are to be found! The variety makes preserving them and sharing the results great fun!
This commission also provided me the opportunity to create archival digital images of the Bible’s genealogy pages for the client to share.
Enjoy this series of before pictures provided by the client and after from the bench! Check out the rest of the series!
Do you have an old book that’s in pretty good condition it just needs a new cover or a little love?
Get a standard book recover with our Book Rescue Program. Repairs start at $75 for basic maintenance and further pricing will be determined after assessment of your book.
Standard repairs may include complete spine, hinge, and cover repairs using archival material.
- Reattaching loose covers
- Replacing missing spines or covers
- Torn/Loose pages
- Broken book blocks
- Leather replacement/repair
- Hot stamping, foil embossing, and tooling
- Specialty and advanced repair pricing available after consultation.
Give a Daniel a call to make your consultation appointment! (614) 260-2021