BibleRepairs.com

The Bible presented with leather over wooden boards. Surprisingly for a Bible of this age, the actual sewing bands were still in good condition.

The front edges of the boards were fitted with locking clasps. These were found to be in good condition which required working around them during the restoration.

Here is a close-up of the clasps. The original leather strap was still flexible and the clasps were still well mounted and working.

The bottom of the title page. The Bible was printed in Basel, Switzerland in MDCLXV (1665) which was conveniently hand written in numbers by some previous owner.

On opening, we see that the end papers were marble and they were detached from the book along with several of the first few pages.

There were some pages which had been previously repaired with heavy paper. These pages were washed and the earlier repair removed and replaced with Japanese tissue.

Here the page has been washed and the previous repair with heavy paper is being removed. Once dry, the page can be repaired with new Japanese tissue.

This is what the wet repair with new tissue looks like. When the Japanese paper is wet with paste it become translucent but dries opaque.

Some additional paper repair was required. This sort of damage can usually be repaired by ironing and then supporting with Japanese tissue.

This photo shows the damage to the original front wooden board after the old leather and linings were removed. Notice the piece missing in the upper right and the many holes.

This shows the condition of the original bands as well as an indication of the size of the Bible at roughly 17”. The spine still needs cleaning.

This photo shows the cleaned interior of the back wooden board and the band insertion points. These were cleaned out and re-filled.

The missing corner was filled with plastic wood and pins in several layers until the profile matched the original shape and size of the board.

Here the spine has been cleaned with a paste poultice and the next step is the application of airplane linen hinges and new spine linings.

The application of the first spine linings in preparation for the new leather can be seen. New airplane linen hinges have been added for strength.

The leather skin is laid out with a template cut for this Bible. The extra piece on the right side is the additional amount needed for the turn-ins and will be skived in the next step.

Here the new leather piece is roughly skived to thin the edges and the head and tail caps. The yellow lines mark the edges of the spine. This is machine skived and will be refined now by hand.

The new leather is made wet and then fresh paste is applied. The wet leather is soft and pliable and is moulded over the bands. The odd color in places is where the leather has started to dry.

Once applied, the leather is wrapped in elastic bandage to hold it firmly over the bands and edges of the wooden boards until dry.

The final binding. All that remains is to add the title to the spine, which was accomplished with a red label like the original and set between the bands. Good for another 400 years.

Email us at: TheBookDoctor@bookbinderies.com       © Brian Roberts 2012