Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1880

This is The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Vol II , published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co., printed by Riverside Publishing. (1880) My Master's new and temporal intern from India, who's to leave the United States in a couple of weeks, was interested in the restoration of this volume while I was working on it. She comes in once or twice a week, so needless to say, I completed it without having her around. As the client is picking this up on Monday, I thought I might as well put this up on my blog so that she could see how it turned out. One thing that I mentioned to her about this restoration was how I'd recreate the gold gilding as close to the original as possible. Basically, the client asked to replace the leather corners and the spine completely, and do a facsimile gold gilding on the new spine. In cases like this, as we do not have the exact ornaments, we must create similar designs by combining a series of hand tool ornaments together. In case she's interested in seeing the finishing tools used for this work, I took a picture of them. I think I briefly mentioned to her about headcaps, so I took a picture of that as well. I hope the picture gives her some ideas about what it is. Oh, by the way, this isn't the job that crippled a joint of my shoulder blade that I mentioned on my last post, Family Devotional Bible. The book is La Merope Tragedia, for which the client wants a brand new leather case with really decorative gold gilding of a 16th~17th-century French/Italian binding "feel". I'll post the book on my blog when I finish it. I think I'll  simplify my original design a bit so that it won't break my back again!


  1. Do you remember what bindery bound this volume? I once bought 19 volumes of McClure's Magazine, and 9 were bound almost exactly like this one: half bound in black leather (sort-of a brown showing where it's been rubbed) and pigskin, I think; the pastedowns are a beautiful flowery design. They've got the same green tape, too. The tooling on the back is nearly identical. They look too similar to not be from the same bindery. I'm pretty well certain mine are custom made, and they have a note identifying the bindery as: T. C. Copeland Book Bindery, Wichita, Kansas. Apparently this bindery was in business in 1907. Thus, this appears to be a re-binding of The Poetical Works. Then you re-re-bound it.

    1. No, I don't remember which bindery bound this volume. I can ask the owner of this book next time he comes in, but if the design of your book perfectly matches that of this book, I'd assume that they were both bound at the same bindery probably.

      This book was the original and wasn't a rebound copy when it was handed to me, by the way. :-)