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Re: [BKARTS] American Decorated Publishers' Bindings 1872-1929



On Mon, 2 Aug 2004, Amy West wrote:

> This is perhaps a stupid/naive/obvious question, but how does one
> date the binding (as  opposed to the textblock)? Couldn't the binding
> postdate the printing? Be a re-binding?
>

One way that bindings can be dated is by style and techniques, just like
any other artifacts.  For this particular grouping though it should be
easier than that.

Usually re-binding can be detected by an educated eye, and anything
that's been rebound is out of the running.  I believe that most books in
the late 19th and early 20th century were bound by the publisher at
more-or-less the time they were printed, rather than being held back in
unbound sheets.  (I trust someone will tell me if I'm wrong.)  A
collector's or library's binding will often have pretty clear identifying
features -- a dark red binding with the Harvard shield on it is probably
not a publisher's binding (unless the publisher is Harvard University
Press...) and usually won't have decoration that's specific/relevant to
the particular book (beyond the title itself).  And if it's the
publisher's binding for a book of that period, there'll be more than one
example around of that book in that binding.

                                                        Rachel

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