Sunday, April 15, 2012

Suitably covered

You may remember that I came upon a 1727 bible at a local auction centre and bought it for the costly sum of $30. I would love to have the skill to restore it but until I acquire such skills I need to preserve it 'as is' and my blogger friend Carol from Barnacle Goose Paperworks advised me to create a clamshell box to protect it while I save up the money for extra training. So here it is:

The book cloth is an open weave in a soft shade of turquoise that beautifully picks up a colour in some hand-marbled paper I brought back from Venice a few years ago. The book cloth was a gift from my friend Willis, who apparently found it at a tip shop! How appropriate to have discarded book cloth for a discarded book.

You can see from the photos that I made the outer case of the clamshell box comes very close to the edge of the cover - this is intentional! The bible is heavy and I don't want the box to warp if it is ever stored upright; as it is, the book will rest against the bottom edge of the clam shell which will rest against the shelf.

I've also made a tab and a tray: I realised that as the bible currently has no back cover I didn't want to be putting my fingers against the fragile back page every time I wanted to lift it out of the box, so instead there is a loose tray that rests inside the clam shell, on top of a ribbon tab. When you open the box you can gently pull up the tab, which in turn pulls up the book on the tray and makes it easier to handle.

There's enough room in the box to fit the re-bound bible (if I ever get that far!), and to wrap it in acid-free tissue and include a sachet of dessicant, so I think I've done all I can for now apart from choosing a special place for it on my crowded shelves.


dinahmow said...

You've done a beautiful job on that clamshell, Sara.The book should be well-protected until restoration.

ronnie said...


Amanda said...

Looks beautiful! And so many little details to consider...congratulations!

Fiona Dempster said...

Oh wow - this is a stunning masterpiece; so perfectly matched the paper and the fabric; and so well-crafted for its precious content. It must give you pleasure knowing you have protected the book for now..

Abigail Thomas said...

excellent! I am hoping to learn box making in the next couple of months... really something I should have tried a long time ago!

Printed Material said...

Now THAT's what you call craftsmanship! What a beautiful piece of work to hold such precious material.

Carol said...

So beautifully done, Sara. The book will be safe, as Di says, 'until restoration', which with all your committments may be some time. I wish more people would conserve a book in a clamshell box rather than leave them to be battered on a shelf. Hmmm... now if I was only better at taking my own advice.


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