Conservation & Repair

Thomas Jefferson: Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies

Uncommon first edition of this posthumously published set of Jefferson's papers (Charlottesville, 1829) in publisher's cloth-backed boards. One of the four volumes needed treatment. The spine of the textblock was cleaned and relined in Japanese paper, then rebacked in muslin that was sized and toned with a mixture of wheat paste, methylcellulose and acrylics to blend with the other volumes.

Papier Mâché Binding​

Distinctive molded covers made out of plaster, filler or perhaps actual papier mâché. A remarkable binding made to capture the feel of a medieval carved wood boards. The volume has been rebacked in black leather with new marbled endpapers.

Histoire de la Virginie

An early French language edition of Robert Beverley's History of Virginia (Amsterdam, 1707) with engravings after Theodor de Bry. The book was all but in loose signatures that required guarding with wheat paste and Japanese paper and resewing. I gilded  to top edge and tied silk endbands. Bound in boarded calf over raised cords and titled in gold on the spine (not pictured).

Victorian Family Bible 

These large (approximately 12" x 14" x 5") family Bibles were fairly common at the end of the 19th century. Given the size and weight of the textblock, they were really hard on their bindings and usually found in bad condition. The leather of this one was greatly deteriorated, the front board was nearly detached and the back board quite weak. It has been rebacked with the original backstrip mounted and the leather consolidated and toned. The linen and Japanese tissue is a more affordable way to treat these bindings; rebacks can be done in leather as well.

James Joyce's Ulysses
It's an early printing of Joyce's iconic novel. Contents aside, the book is indicative of the time—Paris between the Wars. Written by Irish novelist, printed in Paris by an American bookseller. To my knowledge most if not all the Shakespeare and Company editions of this novel in the 1920s were issued in blue paper wrappers--nice paperbacks. But this copy was rebound in leather and marbled paper over boards. There is a booksellers ticket of W.H. Smith and Sons, 248 Rue de Rivoli, Paris—a British bookseller in Paris; I am certain W. H. Smith and Sons bound the book as well. Paris was the center of the artistic world in the 1920s, and this book is a great example of that.
Woman's Home Companion

This book came to me in very rough shape, as beloved cook books often do! I was able to clean the spine of the textblock and reinforce the sewing in a few vulnerable areas before relining it. I cleaned up the board edges where the cloth was fraying and there was loss, particularly at the bottom corners. The boards were reattached and a new spine made and toned to match the distinctive orange. Finally, the original backstrip was mounted.

Michael Pyron, Bookseller

P.O. Box 451

Conshohocken, PA 19428


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Victorian family Bible