Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Memoir on the Cultivation of the Vine in America, 1828

One of our regular clients, Mr. K dropped off several books about four months ago, and his name, along with a few others, has gone up to the top on our "back-log" list. Looks like my master has finished a couple of his books already, and left others for me to work on. (He's gotten preoccupied with publishing jobs recently.) This is one of them, which is A memoir on the Cultivation of the Vine in America by John Adlum. (Second Edition, 1828) Mr. K collects books on agriculture/gardening related subjects, and he's one of those hand full of rare clients who puts an absolute confidence on us regarding "the fate of his books". He comes in, gives brief information about each book, asks what we would do to them, and leaves. NOW, looking at those books master left for me to work on, I see only "a word" instruction for each book with no pricing, no material choices.. NOTHING! (thanks a lot, master.....) Anyway, as for the restoration of this Adlum book, I preserved the original endsheets with written notes by putting the internal cloth hinges, and since this book needed a new spine, I rehinged it by completely replacing the original paper spine material with a new book cloth, instead of lifting the original paper spine and insert a new material to rehinge. The thing is, Mr. K is one of those people who actually reads books he collects, so his books require integrity. So I decided to do the rehinging the way I did because a paper spine won't last long. I could have stamped a title on the new spine, but I thought it'd look better with a matching label. I custom colored the label paper to match the cover in terms of its hue and texture, and laid out the text with the same circle ornaments. Kinda cute, eh? Anyway, I've finished 4 other books for him already, and there's one more to go! Mr. K is traveling all the time around the world, so in case he's on the other side of the globe again, I'll ask master to tell him about this blog so that he can see his dear books before he's able to pick them up. I'll be taking pictures of his other books later tonight, so you might see a couple of additional posts of Mr. K books soon.


  1. Wonderful result! I love seeing the restoration of a paper binding. The soft contrast between the greyish-green of the covers and the orange of the spine is beautiful and the paper label is truly a perfect match!

    1. Thanks Teo! I initially aimed to get a bit lighter color like the original, but when I was antiquing it at the end, it became to be darker. I personally like the contrasting light green and orange colors as well, so I just hope Mr. K approves it!