Thursday, December 19, 2013

Miniature Holy Bible w/ brass edging & a clasp, 1860

I love brass clasps and edging, especially when they are on miniature books. I posted some pictures of one of those books about a year ago, and I could see that others love them as much as I do. (based on the large number of visitors to the particular post.) So, I'm posting another one here. This is a miniature Holy Bible, published by Thomas Nelson & Sons in 1860. This humble black leather Bible turned into an eye candy of a treasure with a brass uni-clasp and ornate edging, - the design of which feels as though it were influenced a bit by William Morris or a precursor to Art Nouveau of England. It's very pretty.

As for the restoration, client asked for a simple re-backing with false-raised cords on the spine without any gold lettering. A trouble we normally encounter when dealing with a book with metal edging is the lifting or removing of the edging pieces in order to re-back or re-hinge the spine. For this Bible, because it wasn't wise (or possible) to remove the whole metal pieces, I lifted small sections up enough so that I could do my job, and they were gently hammered back to the original state. I'm so glad it's done in time.. I personally have only a couple of more Christmas orders to go, Yay! ;-)


  1. I have always been attracted by books with clasp,I think they are very cool .At first,I thought clasp-making should be the last thing I need to learn in bookbinding.Your previous post about clasp changed my opinion and inspired me a lot! I have to admit that I read the post many times,I really couldn't believe that some basic metal tools could make the beautiful clasp just like the unfinished one you showed us in the post(very beautiful and unique designed).So,I bought all the tools and read several books on jewerly making.I practised many times and finally made a clasp by myself.The fisrt ones are really roughly made and I made progress after making more clasps.Though I coudn't be able to make good-looking clasps now ,but I took a step in it:) You should definately post more about clasps.
    BTW,I llove your sketchs in the notebook:)

    1. Really nice to know that my post inspired you to explore into a new field. ;-) Although I only scratched a surface of the craft of jewelry making, I enjoyed it so, so much that I wouldn't mind getting into the trade if I weren't in the profession I'm in. Anyway, send me some pictures when you made a successful set of clasps! I love your taste in design, so I'd enjoy seeing your new creations besides bindings!

      I hope you had a wonderful Xmas!

  2. After seeing this bible I have some questions concerning the edging. Could you please contact me at: Thanks Zach.

  3. I really like this post, I ask you for permission to publish your link with 1 photo on my fb page and on my blog. Thanks for the reply and sorry I do not speak English I translated with google.

  4. Did you make this edging yourself?? This is beautiful! I wish I could take a clasp making class (have my eye on Christine Cox of Volcano Arts book hardware class) but will have to learn on my own for now. I also read your post from a year ago and your beautiful conversation with Dmitris. Thanks for posting this! Beautiful work!