This article describes examples of leather and cloth bound family Bible repair.
Its not uncommon for a family with a long history to own an old ‘family Bible’. This may well have been passed down through multiple generations. Many of these contain important handwritten information about the family’s history. Over time, these Bibles sometimes become damaged and start to fall apart. Often, a detached cover will result in the precious family history pages becoming damaged. If left unchecked, the parts of the binding can become separated from the book and lost. Eventually, the only practical solution is to have the Bible rebound which can be very expensive.
Bible repair as a solution
Almost always, as long as the Bible still retains it’s covers and ideally it’s spine, it can be repaired. I work on quite a lot of these Bibles and sometimes have more than one ‘on the bench’ at the same time. At one point last year, I had four on the go at the same time. They were all different sizes and in different bindings. The linking factor was that each was a cherished family heirloom to the families that they came from. Having four in progress at the same time presented a great opportunity to show what can be achieved. The following photographs show a number of ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of the group. This included an 18th century leather family Bible and two 19th century examples. There was also a smaller 19th century Bible bound in cloth:
Re-using the spine in a Bible restoration
If Bible’s spine has detached, as long as you still have most of it, it can be re-used. Re-using the spine helps to make the repair look less visible once it is completed. This Bible arrived with most of its spine detached and one section still attached to the back cover. Almost none of the spine was missing. The first photograph shows the Bible as it was when it arrived. The following three show it once it was repaired:
The Bible’s spine has mostly detached. One piece is still attached to the back cover.
The repaired Bible with the spine re-used.
The spine of the repaired Bible.
The back cover of the Bible after repair.
If you are interested to see how I repair these Bibles, click this link Leather family Bible restoration – step by step . This will take you to an older post that illustrates the repair process in some detail.