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Re: Ebony-like binding
- To: Multiple recipients of list BOOK_ARTS-L <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: Ebony-like binding
- From: "Jack C. Thompson" <tcl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 17:25:03 -0800
- Message-id: <199608061216.FAA12166@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
It does seem like papier-mache. Not the stuff we may have done in junior
high school art classes, with flour paste and strips of newsprint, but pulp
and linseed oil, brought to a high temperature and put into hydraulic molds
heated with steam heat.
Body panels on carriages, and the houses for a village (in England) have
been made of this material. Not many book covers, however, so the few such
books which have survived are reasonably valuable. I have only seen one.
Bernard Middleton discusses this binding material in his book: _A History
of English Bookbinding Technique_, London, Hafner Publishing Co., 1963.
>A client brought this by recently: SENTIMENTS AND SIMILES OF WILLIAM
>SHAKESPEARE by Henry Noel Humphreys, published by Longman, Brown, Green
>and Longmans in London in 1851. The boards on first look appear to be
>intricately carved ebony, with a cameo portrait of Shakespeare in the
>center. But on closer inspection, the material is some sort of cast or
>molded, hard, plastic-like material. Some one has suggested this
>is laquered papier-mache, but it seems much too dense. Does anyone have
>any idea what the material is and/or any information about this book?
Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Laboratory
The Caber Press * Istor Productions
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR 97217
"Is a half-wit herbalist only parseley sage?"
Don Guyot, 1996