Conservation

Every decision we make on techniques, materials and design of our bindings, puts the survival and durability of the binding as our first consideration. As many of the books we work on are hundreds of years old, we do everything to increase their life expectancy.

Our attitude towards conservation is based on over 80 years of combined experience of handling and restoring books; our belief is that sound and sympathetic traditional structures and materials are more likely to stand the test of time than modern materials and chemical treatments.

Our customers include auction houses, book dealers, collectors, universities and libraries as well as private individuals.

Images used by kind permission of Special Collections, University of Birmingham

 Tyndall before  Tyndall after

Tyndall works, 1573

Description – 18th century half sprinkled calf binding with marbled paper sides, stuck on endbands.

Condition – Both boards were detached; the spine leather was split at head and tail; lettering label present – possibly contemporary with original binding; board edges and corners were bumped.

Treatment:

Spine leather lifted (Leather very rotten below surface so decision taken to replace); lettering label lifted; all leather stripped; corners and board edges consolidated and repaired; boards re-attached with concealed unbleached cotton joints;  new endbands sewn; new calf spine and corners added; leather dyed and sprinkled to match original; new morocco label added to spine; spine tooled and lettered in gold leaf as close to original as possible; book pasted down; original bookplates replaced on inside of front board; original lettering label mounted on inside of rear board; endleaves, endbands and gold toned down; repairs to board edges toned.

 Pugin before  Pugin after

 

Photographs by Ayling of Sketches by A.N.W. Pugin, 1865. Four volumes

Description – Blue half Morocco bindings with marbled paper sides

Condition – All boards detached; no endbands; loose leaves to front of volume I; loss of leather to spines and corners; leather and marbled paper heavily scuffed; board edges and corners bumped.

Treatment  Remaining spine and corner leather lifted;  loose sections repaired and re-sewn on; board edges and corners consolidated and repaired; boards reattached with concealed unbleached cotton joints; new endbands sewn; spines re-lined with hollows as original; new blue morocco spines and corners added; new leather tooled as original; inner joints repaired; all repairs toned.

 

How do I get a quote for conservation work?