19th Century Bookbinding

Any research done in relation to the period of Les Misérables, whether for fanfiction or fanart purposes or otherwise.
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Aurelia Combeferre
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19th Century Bookbinding

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue May 21, 2013 6:40 am

Bonjour mes amis!

As promised I'll be posting notes here regarding the bookbinding process in the 19th century. My primary source is "The Art of Bookbinding: The Classic Victorian Handbook" by Joseph Zaehnsdorf. The second edition of this book was published in 1890, but many of the same principles are applicable in the bookbinding processes of 1830.

Zaehnsdorf's book is primarily concerned with the creation of fine folios and library editions; the creation of say, a revolutionary pamphlet, would perhaps be a little simpler.

The process could entail these steps:

1. Folding and refolding (refolding if one wanted to bind huge serial volumes that had been previously bound)

2. Beating/rolling the book

3. Collating and interleaving the pages

4. Marking up/sawing in the margins for the sewing and binding

5. Sewing (there are two types o sewing)

6. "Forwarding": formatting the end papers of a desired color to the specifications of the book

7. Pasting up the first and last pages

8. Attaching the end papers

9. Trimming the book

10. Gluing the various sections of the book together

11.Making the backing: rounding, creating the backboard

12. Cutting

Then the book's edges could be finished with gilt prior to covering the book with leather, vellum. parchment or other materials. Only then could one make an elaborated, embossed cover with varying motifs.

There's also a section on cleaning books and removing stains

Still reading this manual, will comment regarding relevant tidbits as I go along!
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deHavilland
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Re: 19th Century Bookbinding

Postby deHavilland » Thu May 23, 2013 4:18 am

Very cool, Relly! Thanks for sharing!

Then the book's edges could be finished with gilt prior to covering the book with leather, vellum. parchment or other materials. Only then could one make an elaborated, embossed cover with varying motifs.


Is this just for the covering of the book or does that include the pages themselves? I'm always interested in what kind of paper's used.
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: 19th Century Bookbinding

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu May 23, 2013 4:35 am

The edges of the paper apparently could be finished with gilt. I did see it in a modern book at a hobby shop.

To gild the paper itself: gold leaf has to be cut to size on a special cushion. A glaire/glaze is used to stick the leaf to the edges, which are dried for at least 2 hours before burnishing. The gilt can be done in conjunction with other techniques such as coloring the edges red or marbling them.

As for the actual paper used, that wasn't taken up in the book (which is concerned with binding and not actual printing). However this is a surprising find: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcont ... charleston

Rag paper anyone?
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 19th Century Bookbinding

Postby deHavilland » Thu May 23, 2013 4:44 am

Ah, now there is a particularly interesting link. *squirrels that away for reference in visits-to-the-printing-press-for-illicit-pamphlet-making usage*
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

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Re: 19th Century Bookbinding

Postby MmeBahorel » Fri May 24, 2013 12:03 am

Half of Lost Illusions is about the difficulties of moving beyond rag paper and the necessity of finding a way of doing it. The modern equivalent to David Séchard would be some kid working on battery improvements in his garage. Major and necessary technological shift with powerful enemies seeking to preserve their profits in the unsustainable status quo.

Balzac is actually useful as a reference, not just for examining the social front of the period.

ETA: Meant to finish with "I am totally saving that article for future reference. Thanks!"
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard


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