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Subject: Copper leaf on paper

Copper leaf on paper

From: Susan Lunas <bookbinder>
Date: Friday, June 14, 2002
Several months ago I posted a note regarding copper-covered
endsheets (Conservation DistList Instance: 15:54 Tuesday, February
5, 2002) . I'm providing some additional information, hoping that
someone will have some words of wisdom.

The book is a small volume 5x7".  "The Greatest Thing in the World"
by Henry Drummond.  Published by New York: Dodge Publishing company,
33d St. Eighth Avenue 34th St.  No date.  Appears to be late
19th/early 20th century.  The cover is simply a piece of over-size
leather adhered to the spine and pastedowns.  There is no stiffening
of any kind. The odd feature about this book is that the endsheets
appear to have a coating of elemental copper on one side.  The
pastedown has a dark green/turquoisy look, while the flyleaf is
still coppery colored. I have photos up at
<URL:> One of the
photos is magnified.

The problem is this:  The remaining pastedown and flyleaf have been
adhered together at the gutter by someone's previous attempt to
repair the book.  I need to separate these two, in order that I can
resew the book.  (The flyleaf, frontispiece, and t.p. and last page
of text have levered off the textblock and need to be reattached.)

Does anyone have any ideas on how to separate the pastedown from the
flyleaf without staining the leather cover?  In addition, the last
page of text is partially adhered to the back "cover"--that is, the
leather cover. What would be the best way to try and separate the
page of text from the leather without staining the leather?  What is
the best way to separate the pastedown from the flyleaf without
splitting the copper coating from the paper underneath?

Susan Lunas
Proprietor: Many Moons Book Conservation Book Conservation and
Bookbinding by Hand
Editor: Binders' Guild Newsletter

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:2
                  Distributed: Thursday, June 20, 2002
                        Message Id: cdl-16-2-017
Received on Friday, 14 June, 2002

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