Golden Legend 1507
The conservation treatment and rebinding of this early printed book, was very much a labour of love. We spent many hours undoing the terrible work of a previous bookbinder, to return a volume to a binding that appropriate to the period the book was printed. At some point in recent years the original binding had been removed from the book and the book had been perfect bound in a case binding, the book was splaying outwards. Thankfully this binder had the foresight to retain the original binding of the book, wooden boards with an alum tawed spine and delightful brass clasps. Inside the boards were pastedowns and spine strengtheners made from recycled printer's and manuscript waste. We would use the original binding as a model for the new.
The first part of the treatment of this book was to remove it from the modern binding. Sadly as part of the earlier binding, the spine had been cut in a guillotine and it was necessary to guard each quite before it could be resewn. The block was resewn on leather thongs with linen thread. Endbands were worked in linen thread on hemp cord. New boards of quarter-sawn oak were formed and attached to the book block, the boards were dyed. The spine leather (calf) was pared and attached to the spine, dyed and then tooled in blind. Finally vellum hinges were laid down. The new binding is much more sympathetic to the volume it protects.