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Subject: Identification and dating of 19th century publishers' bindings

Identification and dating of 19th century publishers' bindings

From: Charlotte Brown <ecz5cbb>
Date: Thursday, January 5, 1995
American Library Association
Association for College & Research Libraries
Rare Books & Manuscripts Section
Curator-Conservator Discussion Group

Guidelines: The Identification and Dating of 19th Century Publishers'

The draft guidelines are based upon the 26 June 1994 presentation by
Randy  Silverman, Preservation Librarian/University of Utah, to the the
Curator-Conservator Discussion Group of the ALA/Rare Books and
Manuscripts Section.  The purpose of the guidelines is to assist
librarians and curators in the identification of original 19th century
publisher's bindings which might be located in the general stack
collections of their libraries or repositories.  In many instances, such
titles might have value based solely upon the characteristics and
condition of their 19th c. bindings.  Furthermore, the discussion group
suggests that the retention and/or restoration of such bindings should
become a consideration in the overall preservation decision-making
process, as implemented and systematized by the library or repository.

Though it has not been finalized, there is also the possibility that the
American Institute for Conservation (AIC) will formulate guidelines on
the recommended conservation treatments for 19th c. publishers'

**  It is important to note that the guidelines are based solely upon
the Silverman presentation.  The published work of others relating to
the identification and dating of 19th c. publishers' bindings is not yet
reflected in this listing. * *

The guidelines will be discussed at the upcoming ALA midwinter
Philadelphia meeting of the Curator-Conservator Discussion Group,
Sunday/February 5th, 8:30 am to 11 am.  Subsequent revisions of the
guidelines will be posted on the EXLIBRIS, ARCHIVES, and Cons DistList
electronic bulletin boards.

Comments, corrections, and citations to publications are welcomed.
Please contact (Note: new zip code):

    Charlotte B. Brown,  Discussion Group Chair
    Dept. of Special Collections-URL
    405 Hilgard Ave.
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles,  CA  90095
    ecz5cbb [at] mvs__oac__ucla__edu
    (please put "RBMS guidelines" in subject line)

    The draft guidelines are being posted on the EXLIBRIS, ARCHIVES, and
    Cons Distlist electronic bulletin boards.

                              *   *   *   *

    Date                    Name/Description of Binding
    ----                    ---------------------------

    ca. 1826-28             Pickering is first publisher to use
                            cloth covers

    1830                    paper wrappers fist appear;  used to
                            protect text block

    ca. 1830                first appearance of gilding (gold
                            stamping) of cloth by a blocking press
                            or engraving press.

        (Note:  many examples of gilding are "off center" and/or
        incomplete due to the uneven heat of the stamp.)

    early 1830's            first appearance of case bindings (vs.
                            in board);  case binding quickly becomes
                            standard; allows mechanized stamping on
                            spine and covers.

    1833                    first instance of "decorated" cloth:
                            simulated moire silk using a water

        (Note:  in general, U.S. publishers used cloths manufactured
        in England until ca. 1870 when several U.S. manufacturers
        began making cloths for publishing.  Exceptions:  Harpers
        manufactured own cloth ca. 1840's;  Lea &
        Blanchard/Philadelphia, T. B. Peterson/Philadelphia, and
        Ticknor/Boston were early users of cloth.)

    1833                    embossed cloth first appears:  simulated
                            leather (morocco grain), diaper grain,
                            checkerboard pattern, simulated ribbons,
                            grape cluster, scallop & tile (very

    ca. 1834                stamping images become consistent.

    ca. 1834                first appearance of publisher stamping
                            spine with name.

    ca. 1835                first appearance of highly decorated
                            gift books.

    ca. 1835                first appearance of blind embossing.

    ca. 1835                first appearance of binder stamping name
                            in book.

    ca. 1835                first appearance of "caoutchouc" binding
                            (an adhesive binding using vulcanized
                            rubber--very rare.)

    1844 (?)                first appearance of onlays using paper
                            or chromolithograph.

    1844                    first appearance of mosaic bindings
                            employing multiple paper dye cuts with

        (Note:   primarily used by French binders;  mosaic bindings
        lose popularity by 1858.)

    ca. 1845                paper text block trimmer invented.

        (Note:  mechanically trimmed books printed prior to ca. 1865
        were rare since it usually takes twenty years for new
        machinery to be acquired by a majority of

    1847                    first appearance of U. S. onlay
                            employing colored dyes applied to

    1847                    first appearance of colored ink on cloth

    ca. 1848                first appearance of calico cloth

        (Note:  very common at the time, but few examples are extant

    1850's                  first appearance of silver embossing
                            (very rare--silver tarnishes).

    1850's - 1860's         covers designed by John Leighton.

        (Note:  Leighton made ca. 1,000 designs of which ca. 500
        have been described.)

    185__                   first appearance of papier-mache
                            bindings (employ metal wire supports;

    1853                    first appearance of "yellow back" covers
                            by Edmund Evans, Publisher/England.

        (Note:  yellow back covers were cheaper to manufacture: the
        paper was made of wood pulp and usually colored yellow;
        often the boards were made of straw;  color woodblocks were
        used on the covers.)

    1856                    introduction of coal tar ink dyes (more

    ca. 1859                black ink on cloth becomes prevalent.

        (Note:  prior uses of black ink resulted in smearing)

    ca. 1860                first appearance of beveled corners

    1880                    Sarah Wyman Whitman/Boston, MA begins to
                            design books.

    ca. 1880's              first appearance of "split fountain;"
                            use of colored inks blending from one
                            color to another in the same design.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:51
                 Distributed: Thursday, January 5, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-51-008
Received on Thursday, 5 January, 1995

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