An interesting project was carried out by Stuart before Christmas 2013. Please see below for a description and photographs of the conservation treatments on the King James II copy of Newton’s Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
Condition prior to conservation
Internally – Loose blank leaf after marbled flyleaf at beginning; some loss of surface to marbled endleaves at beginning and end due to previous adhesion between paste downs and flyleaves; some splitting to inner joints; very bad tear to page 239 at head – this could result in loss of paper if carelessly handled.
Externally – Board attachment weakened at front and back; heavily bumped corners; some chipped areas of leather at caps – particularly bad at head cap; head band missing; splitting joints; slightly dull leather and gold; leather very dry and brittle; many scuffed areas.
Conservation treatment –
Internally – Loose blank at beginning hinged in; damaged marbled leaves repaired where previously adhered and coloured to match; inner joints repaired with Japanese tissue and coloured to match; tear to p239 repaired.
Externally – Board attachment reinforced by inserting vellum at caps; new headband sewn in style; corners consolidated with paste and repaired; splitting joints underlaid with Japanese tissue; all missing areas of leather consolidated with Klucel G and repaired with Japanese tissue as necessary; leather and gold cleaned and re-touched as appropriate by hand tooling with gold leaf; all new gold toned to match original.
Front board after conservation
Rear board after conservation
In addition a velvet lined quarter leather box with gold lettering to spine was made to fit.