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


Somewhat tongue in cheek; all bindings post date the printing. Somewhat more
serious; books were once published in sheets or in boards and the binding was
left for the for the purchaser to have done by the bookbinder of his choice.
Several years could pas between the time of the printing and the time it was
bound. either by the procrastination of the owner or the sloth of the bookbinder
to accomplish his work.

Beyond that, you will have to do detective work to figure out if the binding
was the original. A bookbinder, particularly one who has done much rebinding
can often tell by looking. Other than that, one needs to be knowledgeable in
period style and technique.

A customer once brought me a book that he was proud to have added to his
library. One corner of the front corner had been damaged in a recent fall.
He believed it to be the original binding. The date on the title page was
from the 17th century, but the binding looked to good to be that old. Surely, a
book could not have been around for nearly four hundred years and not sustain
some damage. The binding was all done with an eye to maintaining its original
appearance, and done well. When I examined the end papers, I shined a
flashlight through them and saw a watermark from the early twentieth century, proving
that at least the end papers were "new."  That being the case, I presumed that
the pristine binding was of the same date as the end-papers. The binding was
still in remarkable condition for Ninety + old, so who knows. The binding may
have post dated the end-papers too.




                       Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
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                   ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004

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