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Subject: Montefiascone Project

Montefiascone Project

From: Maria Fredericks <mfredericks<-at->
Date: Sunday, January 20, 2013
The following course offerings have been announced for the
Montefiascone Conservation Project at the Barbarigo Seminary
Library, July-August 2013.  For more information about course
tutors, fees and registration, see


Summer 2013

29 July - 2 August 2013
Re-creating the Medieval Palette
Course Tutor: Cheryl Porter

    This class will study the colours (made from rocks, minerals,
    metals, insects and plants) that were processed to produce the
    colours used by artists throughout the medieval era.  The focus
    will mostly (though not exclusively) be on manuscript art
    (Islamic and European) and participants will re-create the
    colours using original recipes.  Illustrated lectures, will
    address the history, geography, chemistry, iconography and
    conservation issues.  Practical making and painting sessions
    will follow these lectures.

5-9 August 2013
The Syriac Book

    Course Tutors: Caroline Checkley-Scott and John Mumford

    Manuscript Syriac 27 from the John Rylands Library at Manchester
    University is known as Abu Halim, from the East Syrian
    Catholikos (Elia III Abu Halim and others).  Though it has an
    elaborate colophon, stating that the book was made in 1740, this
    style of binding has remained unchanged and can be found on
    books from the 7th century AD.  With link stitch sewing onto
    wooden boards, with elaborate end bands extending onto the
    boards, and with full-thickness leather covers, the books have a
    most distinctive appearance.  Using sample bindings and
    illustrated with Powerpoint, comparisons will be made with both
    Christian and Islamic style contemporary bindings.

    Some knowledge and experience of bookbinding or book history
    would be useful, but is not essential.  All materials can be
    supplied (at cost) and participants will need to bring basic
    bookbinding equipment and tools.  Handouts and a reading list
    will be provided in advance and during the class.

12-16 Aug 2013
Mamluk bindings

    Course Tutors: Kristine Rose and Alison Ohta

    Mamluk bindings represent the pinnacle of Islamic book design.
    Whilst their structure seems to differ little from the
    generalised type-II binding described by Deroche, their
    decoration is refined and complex--a true demonstration of the
    skill of the accomplished book artists working in Egypt and
    Syria during the reign of the Mamluk Sultanate between 1250 -

    During this course participants will make a simple model of an
    Islamic binding structure, before focusing on the decoration
    techniques which make these bindings so astounding.  This will
    include geometric design and cold tooling, printed leather
    doublures, and the application of gold.

19-23 Aug 2013
Early Gothic Binding (late 13th century)

    Course Tutors: Jim Bloxam and Shaun Thompson

    Manuscript CUL Add. 4080, Preces et Meditationes is a very small
    scale devotional manuscript.  It has been identified as coming
    from the Cistercian convent of Medingen, near Luneburg Heath,
    North Germany.  Its exceptional contemporary binding has
    interesting structural features, including a textile lining and
    a covering of alum-tawed skin, dyed red, over bevelled oak
    boards.  The binding has the addition of brass fittings and
    fixtures and intricate blind tooling.  The beautifully executed
    secondary braided endbands are an exquisite early example of a
    technique which was to continue and become widely used in
    Northern European bindings of the late 15th and early 16th
    centuries.  As part of this manuscript's binding they are an
    important element both structurally and aesthetically.

    The tutors will enable the course participants to recreate the
    binding.  Processes will include sewing the text-block, sewing
    primary and secondary endbands, shaping and attaching the boards
    and covering with alum-tawed skin.  The skins will be stained
    red prior to covering using the appropriate materials and
    techniques.  The covered books will be tooled and have brass
    fittings and fixtures applied. Complementing the practical
    aspect of the course the tutors will seek to set the binding
    into context The course will give an over-view of Gothic binding
    structures and examine previous influences on its evolution and
    how it, in turn, influenced later bindings, concentrating on
    Northern European bindings in particular.  The use of pigments
    for staining skins will be explored with pigment specialist
    Cheryl Porter.

Maria Fredericks
Drue Heinz Book Conservator
Thaw Conservation Center
The Morgan Library and Museum
225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016-3403
Fax: 212-768-5673

                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:35
                 Distributed: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-26-35-012
Received on Sunday, 20 January, 2013

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