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Re: [BKARTS] what's this measurement?



Dear Don,

The term octavo means that the sheet that made up the section was 
folded three times.

Traditionally, the book's size was given by naming the parent sheet for 
the section and how many times it was folded (this is the simplest case 
- it can get much more complicated).

Common paper sizes went by the names:

Crown 15" x 20"
Royal 20" x 25"
Imperial 22" x 30"
Elephant 23" x 28"
etc.

The number of folds were:
1 - Folio
2 - Quarto (4to)
3 - Octavo (8vo or 8mo)
etc.

So, for example, Audubon's "Birds of America" is describe as Elephant 
Folio: sheet size 23"x28" (Elephant), folded once (Folio), resulting in 
a book size of 23"x14", or thereabouts.

This worked well until machine made paper came in, which came in a wide 
range of new sizes. Now a days, the terms octavo, folio.... are used 
generically to describe the books final size. They may or may not have 
any relationship to how the sections are made up. What the bookseller 
is telling you is that he considers octavo to mean any regularly shaped 
book that is between 7 1/2" to 8 1/2".

You might want to check Oak Knoll's web site. They should have a good 
book on bibliography that can help you decipher catalogue descriptions 
- my numbers above may be wrong since I'm doing it from memory.

Hope this helps,
Frank Lehmann
Lehmann Bindery



On Mon, 9 Aug 2004 09:49:24 -0700, Don Drake wrote:
> Looking up books on abebooks. I'm routinely finding books that seem 
> to be an exact match for the volume in my hand except for the stated 
> size. For example, with a 1954 first edition "A View From Pompey's 
> Head" by Hamilton Basso in my hand, the finished case measures 
> 8.5x5.75".  Abe book listings, when the show a size for the book say 
> "8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall". What's the story behind this? An 
> untrimmed measurement?
> 
> Perplexed,
> Don Drake
> Dreaming Mind
> 
> ddrake@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> IM: stitchbyhand
> http://www.dreamingmind.com
> http://www.hughstump.com
> (510) 537-9711
> 
>             ***********************************************
>                                                          
> Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
>         Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
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>                   ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004
>                                         Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive 
> at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
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             ***********************************************
                                    
                       Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
         Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
            Full information at <http://www.philobiblon.com>
                   ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004
                                    
      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
             ***********************************************


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