Green's Books

Victorian bookbinders’ plough

I just bought this beautiful antique plough. Sadly I don’t have any information about it’s provenance; however, it’s almost identical to the one featured in Zaehnsdorf’s ‘The Art of Bookbinding’, it even has the same teardrop shaped brass plate under the wing-nut. The blade of the plough has an  ‘N. J. Hill London’ makers-mark engraved

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Oxford pulp board binding: a joint DB SoB workshop 17-18 Nov. 2018

Over two days at Arthur’s studio in the Malvern Hills, five students learned to make a pulp board binding based on a design common in Oxford in the early 17th century. This transitional structure marks the movement from parchment to paper leaves and from wooden to paper/pulp boards. Common features of the structure are stub

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Some thoughts on English paring knives

Over the last few years I have spent many, many hours researching bookbinding knives: I have looked at the wide variety of styles available and their historical usage; I have made my own blades which are suitable for book conservation; and I have also learnt how to sharpen them efficiently and taught others how to

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Revisiting animal glue: gluing-up with gelatine  

Introduction For some time, I have been considering my choice of adhesive for gluing-up the spines of paper text-blocks. Traditionally protein-based animal glue was used but in the last few decades it is has fallen out of favour. Animal glue can be inconsistent, and can sometimes be brittle and stain the paper. Although still used

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Moving to Malvern

The move: If moving house is supposed to be as traumatic as going through a divorce, then moving your home and a book conservation studio at the same time is certainly a challenge. In July, Emily and I decided to relocate to the Malvern Hills: after eight enjoyable years in Oxford our plan to move west

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Board corner repair

Condition prior to treatment A mid 17th century in-board binding bound in pulp boards and covered in brown calf leather. The book had been crudely repaired in the mid 20th century: it had been re-backed and the board corners were re-covered with new leather; however, no attempt was made to rebuild the missing tips of the worn

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Trindles: trimming edges in-boards.

Bookbinders were initially slow to adapt to the changes brought on by the adoption of printing in Europe; however, by the end of the 15th century parchment had given way to paper leaves and towards the middle of the 16th century English binders had made the transition from wood to paper-based boards. The introduction of the plough

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A hybrid drop-back box

This blog describes a simple variant on a drop-back box.[1] By combining techniques already in use you can take the best of two well-established styles incorporating strength, elegance and simplicity; but before that a little background…[2] The type of boxes I am referring to are constructed from mill-board with two, three-wall trays that nest inside

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In the news…

Green’s Books is one. On 20th July we celebrated our first year in business with a small gathering of friends, family, colleagues, and customers. A lovely evening was had by all and we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone for their support so far. Arthur wins Institute of Conservation

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A Welsh Pyx

Having worked on collections from several Oxford archives over recent years, I’ve been lucky enough to handle a great variety of boxes and enclosures that have been used to keep documents safe. It is not uncommon for archival boxes to reflect the items which they protect; such as grand charter boxes (or ‘banjo cases’ as

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