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Subject: Vellum sources

Vellum sources

From: Hilary A. Kaplan <LIBHK<-a>
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 1988

I am no authority on vellum, but when I was at Columbia, Gary Frost
purchased some really beautiful skins from a gentleman named Benjamin
Vorst.  He has written some articles in Fine Print on the subject of
vellum.  If nothing else, he is an interesting character.  A rabbi by
profession, he couldn't get quality skins for the production of various
religious documents, so went about learning the art of vellum production
so that he could be assured of quality skins.  Rabbi Vorst has his whole
family involved in the production of vellum, and during the talk he gave
at Columbia, showed slides of his kids (he must have about a dozen
ranging in age from 3 to 30).  He was really fascinating to listen to,
and when Gary questioned whether or not it was appropriate to introduce
a bit of water in order to score the vellum, Rabbi Vorst replied, "You
sound as if you were a man drinking scotch!"  Needless to say, he
doesn't think scoring the vellum with water is a very bright idea.  Paul
always had tea and cookies after seminar, but neglected to consider that
being an orthodox Jew, Vorst was not likely to partake--he and his
family drank water out of paper cups. (Did I ever tell you that my
brother is an orthodox Jew?  Probably why I find this so intriguing.)
Also, there is the story of the four orthodox Jewish butchers who
traveled to Australia with their cutting implements because they
understood that there was a shortage of Kosher butchers.  The
authorities had never seen the likes of the four, and began to
confiscate their implements, because they were perceived as terrorists.
The butchers had a limited command of the English language and certainly
didn't help their own cause any by pleading with authorities, "You don't
understand, we are 'killers'." Have you found any of this informative or

Benjamin Vorst's address:

    Benjon Ltd.
    Vellum and Parchment manufacturers
    551a High Road Tottenham
    London N.  17.

    **** Moderator's comments:   Robert Espinosa posted an excellently
    detailed message about purchasing vellum from William Cowley in
    England.  Unfortunately, this message has disappeared.  The gist was
    that they provide high quality goods, understood his needs as a
    binder, were very accommodating in matters of shipment and he highly
    recommended.  Since then I learned that the Bookbinder's Warehouse
    is the US distributor for Cowley. I purchase a few skins from them
    and was delighted. They also bent over backwards to understand my
    needs and provide exactly what I asked for.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

                   Conservation DistList Instance 1:1
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 17, 1988
                        Message Id: cdl-1-1-025
Received on Tuesday, 17 May, 1988

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