Two single leaves of white paper, some what thicker than the paper used for making the ends, are to be cut, one for each side of the book. The end papers are to be laid down on a board, or on a piece of paper on the press to keep them clean, with the pasted or made side uppermost, the single leaves on the top. They should then be fanned out evenly to a proper width, about a quarter of an inch for an 8vo., a piece of waste paper put on the top, and their edges pasted.
Coloured Paste Paper
This kind the binder can easily make for himself. Some colour should be mixed with past and a little soap, until it is a little thicker than cream. It should then be spread upon two sheets of paper with a past brush. The sheets must then be laid together with their coloured surfaces facing each other, and when separated they will have a curious wavy pattern on them. The paper should then be hung up to dry on a string stretched across the room, and when dry glazed with a hot iron. A great deal of it is used in Germany for covering books. Green, reds, and blues have a very good effect. There are many other kinds of paper that may be used, but the above five different varieties will give a very good idea and serve as points to work from. The many bookbinders’ material dealers send out pattern books, and in them some hundreds of patterns are to be found. Continue reading →
The end papers should always be made, this is, the coloured paper pasted to a white one; the style of binding must decide what kind of ends are to be made, that is, the coloured paper pasted to a white one; the style of binding must decide what kind of ends are to be used. I give a slight idea of the kinds of papers used and the method of making them. Continue reading →
There is little doubt that the first example of the style now know as “Grolier” were produced in Venice, under the eye of Grolier himself, and according to his own designs; and that workmen in France, soon rivaled and excelled the early attempts. The work of Maioli may be distinctly traced by the bold simplicity and purity of his designs; and more especially is the broader gold lines which margin the colored bands of geometric and arabesque ornamentation. All books, it must be understood, were not bound in so costly a manner, for we find pigskin, vellum and calf in use. The latter was especially preferred on account of its peculiar softness, smooth surface, and great aptitude for receiving impressions of dumb or blind tooling. It was only towards the latter part of the sixteenth century that the English binders began to employ delicate or fine tooling. During the seventeenth century the names of Du Sueil and Le Gascon were known for the delicacy and extreme minuteness of their finishing. Not disdaining the bindings of the Italian school, they took from them new ideas; for whilst the Grolier bindings were bold, the Du Sueil and Le Gascon more resembled fine lace work of intricate design, with harmonizing flowers and other objects, from which we may obtain a great variety of artistic character. During this period embroidered velvet was much in use. Then a change took place and a style was adopted which by some people would be preferred to the gorgeous bindings of the sixteenth century. The sides were finished quite plainly with only a line round the edge of the boards (and in some instances not even that) with a coat of arms or some badge in the centre. Continue reading →
Book binding carries us back to the time when leaden tablets with inscribed hieroglyphics were fastened together with rings, which formed what to us would be the binding of the volumes. We might go even still further back, when tiles of baked clay with cuneiform characters were encased one within the other, so that if the cover of one were broken or otherwise damaged there still remained another, and yet another covering ; by which care history has been handed down from generation to generation. The binding in the former would consist of the rings which bound the leaden tablets together, and in the latter, the simple covering formed the binding which preserved the contents. We must pass on from these, and make another pause, when vellum strips were attached together in one continuous length with a roller at each end. The reader unrolled the one, and rolled the other as he/she perused the work. Books, prized either for their rarity, sacred character, or costliness, would be kept in a round box or case, so that the appearance of a library in Ancient Jerusalem would seem to us as if it were a collection of canisters. The next step was the fastening of separate leaves together, thus making a back, and covering the whole as a protection in a most simple form; the only object being to keep the several leaves in connected sequence. I believe the most ancient form of books formed of separate leaves, will be found in the sacred books of Ceylon which were formed of palm leaves, written on with a metal style, and the binding was merely a silken string tied through one end so loosely as to admit of each leaf being laid down flat when turned over. When he mode of preserving MS. On animal membrane or Vellum in separate leaves came into use, the binding was at first only a simple piece of leather wrapped round the book and tied with a thong. These books were not kept on their edges, but were laid down flat on the shelves, and had small cedar tablets hanging from them upon which their titles were inscribed. The ordinary books for general use were only fastened strongly at the back, with wooden boards for the sides, and simply a piece of leather up the back. book binding stamp 2 In the sixth century, book binding had already taken its place as an “Art,” for we have the “Byzantine coatings,” as they were called. They are of metal, gold, silver or copper gilt, and sometimes they are enriched with precious stones. The monks, during this century, took advantage of the immense thickness of the wooden boards and frequently hollowed them out to secrete their relics in the cavities. Book binding was then confined entirely to the monks who were the literati of the period. Then the art was neglected for some centuries, owing to the plunder and pillage that overran Europe, and books were destroyed to get at the jewels that were supposed to be hidden in the different parts of the covering, so that few now remain to show how bookbinding was then accomplished and to what extent. Continue reading →