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Re: [BKARTS] hotbed skins

> Having gotten to handle two of them (one at a medical 
> library, one in a special collecitons library) they honestly 
> looked like vellum, right down to the hair pattern. The one I 
> saw in a medical library was bound around a discussion of the 
> brain formation of the skin's 'owner' who had been a lifetime 
> criminal and murderer who was disected after execution.


Are you referring to the book bound in the skin of William Burke, who (along
with William Hare) murdered somewhere in the region of 14 people to sell to
the Edinburgh medical school?  There certainly is such a book in existence,
although I have never had a chance to go see it.  And that does accurately
describe Burke's fate in 1829.  The popular view at the time was that Hare
and Dr Knox (who bought the bodies) should have joined Burke.

I have seen something else made from Burke's skin, but it was tanned before
being worked, and looks like (poorly tooled) ordinary leather.

On the waste not, want not front, I would love to find a way to use all
those pesky plastic shopping bags in bindings.  I just don't know how
archival they would be!

- the email of the species is deadlier than the mail -

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