Mixed Hardcover Softcover Binding

I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that before, so I decided to share it with you. This book has a cardboard front cover… and a soft back cover, made with the extension of the marbled paper turned over the spine.

Les incunables et éditions anciennes de la bibliothèque de l’université de Toulouse composed by René Gadave is a list of manuscripts and incunables, as it follows from the book’s title.

I cannot find any digital traces of this book on the internet, with an exception of this item on AbeBooks, which is a similar edition, that has a soft cover. I don’t know whether the new cover for my copy of the book was made right after it was published, or later. The paper used to attach the front cover to the title page has oxidized much less than the pages of the book. However, the back side of the marbled paper used to wrap the spin and as the back cover has almost a similar tint compared to all other pages.

What’s even more strange, while the front cover looks quite well made, the marbled sheet of paper on the back is cut unevenly. Looks like it was done by hand, without even using a straight edge!… Or, what’s even more like, cut by scissors.

The back cover is sort of reinforced by turning the remainder of the sheet of marbled paper inside. However, it is not flued on the full surface of the turn-in, only by a one-cm-wide area.

Update: Here are some more close-ups. Please point the mouse over the images or click on them to see the descriptions.

Anyway, this strange book binding made me stop for a moment when I was browsing through book market stalls. The marbled paper is quite beautiful!

Do you know whether this structure has a name?