Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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headcap

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The leather covering at the head and tail of the spine of a book, formed by turning the leather on the spine over the head and tail and shaping it.

Knocking the dampened leather over the headbands so as to form protective caps was a technique introduced early in the 16th century. Although turning over the leather actually began to be done around 1500, it was not squared and sharply angled, nor was it initially tied around the joints. BACK CORNERING and tying around the joints so as to make indentation at the ends, which improved the setting of the headcaps, was introduced during the latter part of the 18th century. The technique of setting the headcaps has been customary in fine binding since its introduction. (161 , 236 , 237 )




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