Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Works Of Edgar Allan Poe, 1905

I was working on this three-volume-set of a first edition, The Works Of Edgar Allan Poe, published by Thomas Nelson & Sons (1905), yesterday when I realized it was Poe's 205th birthday the day before, after reading a news article about his unidentified mysterious follower, nicknamed the "Poe Toaster". Apparently, he, the "Poe Toaster" who bears a cane and wears a cloak, had been showing up at Poe's grave on his birthday at midnight since the centennial anniversary of Poe’s death of 1949. He leaves a half drunk bottle of Martell cognac and three roses arranged the exact same way each time, then would disappear into the night. To this day, no one knows who he is. But it seems that he hasn't been seen since the Poe's 200th birthday in 2009. Hummm, maybe, the original "Poe Toaster" who's said to have died in the 90's intended to continue this tradition until Poe's 200th birthday, so the person who was passes this ritual after his death stopped it as instructed? Well, it's a mystery for sure.

Anyway, the client of these volumes asked for brand new facsimile bindings as the original soft leather cases were in horrible, deteriorating shape. My work was to make simple French joint new leather bindings for these tiny books. And the floral ornament on the spine wasn't too complicated to imitate. So, I've been having rather stress free few days, while Master's been working on an extra large folio book with tons of paper mending for the last four days. hohoho. It must really suck to be him. ha! <--evil

The client also brought another three-volume-set of different titles and publisher to restore in the same way, so for the sake of it, I'm posting a picture of that as well, though they are Emerson and Kipling by T. Y. Crowell & co.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Leather clamshell box w/ rounded spine

Though I've seen curious lights in the sky, they probably were either called stars, air planes, satellites or meteorites. Though I've heard unusual sounds after dark, they most likely were an old pipe squeaking or unwelcome creatures moving around, or a neighbor couple arguing over what to have for dinner. Though I've captured ominous images on photos, they probably were due to reflections, dust particles, BBQ smoke or my freaking hand covering the camera lens by an accident. Jesus, however hasn't magically appeared on my toast yet, despite the fact I've burnt helluva lots of things in the kitchen. No images of the Lord, yet. Even if He ever actually had shown up on one of my toasts, I guess I probably thought it was just another burnt toast without realizing it was actually Him. (oops, sorry.. So, I took a picture of my lunch today to see if He was there or not. No luck. Or do you see anything on my toasts!?! haha..)
I consider myself a rationally open minded person, so I neither dismiss nor accept those who clam their unexplainable, unidentifiable, paranormal experiences because I've never seen them, heard them, undergone such incidences myself. Don't get me wrong, I sure look forward to encountering such experiences, but I don't get obsessed about pursuing the proof of the existence of those phenomena. However, I think I'd probably wish ghost phenomenon would be truly real if I lost someone who's very special to me. I'd wish him/her to show up as a ghost so that I could see and talk to them once again, even for a minute. So, I could relate to Sir Oliver Lodge who got into the field of paranormal after the death of his beloved son, and wrote a book about his son and his experiments on the subject.

Well, the book involved in the work posted here was by Sir Lodge, so I just wrote that. But anyway, the client has a Houdidni's personal copy of Raymond or Life and Death by Sir Oliver Lodge, and asked for a clamshell box for it. Since the book is the copy owned by H. Houdini himself, the client asked for a clamshell in full leather to make it more special. For any leather boxes, you can easily make them look like normal books on the shelf by making the spine slightly round, and they would look more like real books with raised cords, etc.- A little trick binders do. Well, it can be a secret box disguising as Joy of Cooking in which you hide a stash of cash behind your spouse's back! haha. - In fact, an acquaintance of mine has asked me to make a "fake-book" box titled in some innocent phrases like "My Life" in order to hide his weed in it. (hahahaHA!) .... I declined, needless to say..

But... Ahhhh! Americans! (hahaha... You can't help but love their easy-going nature!)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Now We Are Six, 1927

The chosen, first book of the year 2014 to be featured on my blog is..... Winnie the Pooh! tataa~!

This is the last of the series of A. A. Milne's Pooh Bear poem book, first American edition of Now We Are Six, illustrated by E. H. Shepard, published by E. P. Dutton & Co. (New York, 1927) It's kinda sad that it's missing the dust jacket, but the client isn't concerned about its market value or what not. It's a sentimental, priceless piece of her childhood that needs to be in her family for generations. The restoration involved was new spine re-hinging without gold lettering, internal cloth hinges, complete resewing, minor corner repairs and some paper mending.

I've put up some pictures of the illustrations here for you guys, because who doesn't like Pooh Bear?! The cutest and the most delightful little thing on the planet next to Honey Boo Boo! (arrr, Am being sarcastic. My bad, my bad.) But, I tell you what.. When I was checking out those adorable illustrations with a face full of spontaneous smiles, master mumbled something with giggles. He whispered, "Now we are sixty.." *giggle giggle grin*... Yes, you ARE indeed sixty, alright. Duh. But now, I can't stop imagining Pooh Bear with a bending back, walking awkwardly with a swinging cane, cursing at random things like an old geezer, Yo! Thanks a lot, master for feeding me the awful images!!

But if you really think about it, Pooh, after all, is 88 years old as of 2014 actually... oh boy.. Truth hurts sometimes. (haha..) Anyway.. Happy New Year, guys!