Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Dutch Arctic Expedition and Route, 1877

Whenever I finish a job, I always ask my master if there are any rush jobs that need to be done immediately. Master's mind is normally too preoccupied with what's in front of him so that he forgets things occasionally. After I completed Mr. K's books, I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to work on, as a habit, not really expecting he had anything. Boy, how wrong I was. He gave me 14 books from Chet Ross Rare Books to work on. 14 books, yo! and I have a week or so to complete most of them. Thanks A LOT!!! Fortunately, Mr. Ross's inquiries are usually for minor restoration/repairs, so I've finished four of them already. Since the books I've so far finished involved minor repairs like mending the internal hinge, paper repair and fixing bubbles on the boards, I didn't record them for my blog. But I thought this one I just finished might be an interest to some people (after mentioning "reconstruction" previously), so I took some pictures of the process briefly. This is A Dutch Arctic Expedition and Route by Samuel Richard Van Campen, published by Trubner & Co in 1877. Mr. Ross wanted the strange black residue (?) filled in the hole of the spine removed and wanted us to "patch" it up. First of all, I'm always astonished about how "creative" people can be when it comes to "restoration of books". (haha...) You see, it seems that there was a library sticker or something on where this hole is, and somehow, someone cut it out from the spine instead of just removing it. And in order to hide the hole he/she created, this person filled it with this black (scary looking!) thing which I have no idea what is. It's not a wax nor tar or lacquer. It's like some sort of a plastic? Whatever it is, it sure reminds me of my grandma's famous gigantic mole on her back. (and she was proud of it, for some peculiar reasons..) Anyway, I took it off, and reconstructed the missing part. I could have just patched it with cloth that I custom colored to match the surrounding area, and call it good. But I wanted the missing piece and the original spine to look like one again. So, I drew the graphic on it. It's not perfect as drawing things on the book cloth is difficult, but at least it won't shout "Patched Hole Here!" at you, and I think it came out alright. 


  1. :) Great post! That black filling was really scary looking. The result of your restoration is awesome!