This article is about a leather book repair on a small music score.
Not all of the books that I work on are rare or of high monetary value. Many of the books I restore are relatively common volumes that have a sentimental connection for their owners. This is often enough reason to make them worth bringing back into good order. This was the second of my three most satisfying projects this year.
Damage to a treasured leather book
The owner of this treasured 1940’s edition of the score of Handel’s Messiah had knocked it from a high shelf by accident and because of the book’s flimsy style of binding and worn leather covering, the spine had torn and both covers detached from the text block. The owner was almost as distressed as the book when they brought it to me! These are the photos that they sent me before they brought the book over:
Fortunately, with all of the parts still present and the tears being quite ‘clean’ it was relatively straightforward to repair the book. The spine was repaired with new leather and the original spine was mounted onto the new one. In the process, I reinforced the binding internally in such a way that should the owner inadvertently drop the book from a great height again, the covers are unlikely to fall off so easily! Back in one piece, the book was returned looking a little happier than when it arrived….as was the owner. An example of a simple leather book repair that puts a damaged volume back into good order:
If you have a cherished book that has become damaged, it’s well worth sending me some photographs for a repair quotation. I have repaired many books that have sentimental value for their owners, preserving them for future generations to enjoy.