Category: Historic bindings & objects

A cloth binding?

Let me present my latest find: M. Dupont, Ou La Jeune Fille Et Sa Bonne by Charles Paul De Kock (Paris, 1835). The book is an octavo, printed on paper; with tipped endleaves formed from single folds of white paper; multi-section sewn on three recessed cords; rounded and backed; with cut edges and without endbands. Importantly, it

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A green book for Green’s Books

Stationery bindings come in all shapes and sizes and from many different periods: This latest addition to our collection is a striking example in green vellum, which dates from the mid-nineteenth century. Discovered not far from us in an antiques shop in Herefordshire, this inexpensive little volume (H:187 W:123mm) has a fantastic local connection as

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Book production during WWII

Whilst browsing the shelves of a local charity shop in Worcester, we recently came across this modest copy of Arthur Ransome’s The Picts and the Martyrs [1] printed in Oxford at the Alden Pressand bound by A. W. Bain & Co. Ltd.  What drew us to the book was not its faded green cloth exterior, brightly

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Identifying Indigo

Some observations about indigo… I was recently sent a fascinating image (see below) of an endband by a colleague who noted areas of un-dyed thread which he suspected was symptomatic of the hand-dying process used for indigo. This effect is certainly something I’ve observed when dying myself: the thread is dyed in skeins and the

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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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