Monday, April 13, 2015


The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves, by Thomas Willis, has a leather binding about it, which is a shade of red, more specifically, burgundy. Leather binding is a type of case binding, which as the name implies, binding a book in a case. In order to case bind, one needs binding boards, which will be used as the covers of the book. These binding boards can be covered in cloth, leather, and other materials, so a case binding with leather covered binding boards is what is known as leather binding. So we will go into a little more detail about how this book was bound.

This book is printed for the Classics of Medicine Library Gryphon Editions. This company takes rare, original works, usually first editions, and makes exact copies of those first works, binding them luxuriously in leather. These top quality authentic leather bound books are decorated with an original gold stamp design. This stamped design is known as gilding. The gilding process is quite meticulous (which can be seen at time 1:48 in the video), and bookbinder Daphne Lera even says that the technique for gilding is the most challenging, making it the most recognized craft of a skillful bookbinder. This gilding is done to both the covers as well as the spine of the book, which contains five raised bands, added by the company to make it appear more classic since that was a distinctive quality amongst classic books. The spine of the book is rounded and has headbands incorporated at both ends of the spine to add strength to the book. Within the covers are specially marbleized paper. Now, in one of my earlier blogs I included a simple, non-expensive way of making marbled paper, but a more complicated way of producing marbled paper, which gives better results, is what is done for these marbled papers.

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