IN SITU LEATHER REPAIRS - EARLY 17TH CENT. ENGLISH CALF BINDING
In-situ repairs are carried out whilst keeping the existing book structures in position, undisturbed as is possible. In this case we needed to repair the head and tail of the book without disturbing the period sewn headband, the endpaper joints, and the surviving leather cover joints which had not split completely. The new leather was dyed to match and the edges thinned to make the whole thing unobtrusive. However the leather was kept as thick as possible so as not to compromise the strength.
These repairs are always easier when the period leather has aged well without the problems of later mid 19th century industrial scale tanning, which results in the red-rot condition. English leather of this period has survived very well as skins were usually soaked for many many months in Oak bark liquer to allow a full and effective tanning.