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Subject: Persian manuscript binding

Persian manuscript binding

From: Rachel Alexandra Lapkin <rachel_alexandra_lapkin<-at->
Date: Monday, January 28, 2013
I am reattaching the upper board to a Riviere and Son binding of a
16th century Persian manuscript, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.  Each
leaf, 6 inches x 10.25 inches, has been hinged stably to a recessed
mat and the mats are hinged and bound together soundly.  It is a
straightforward board reattachment repair.

Initially, the curator asked about removing the leaves since they
were hinged in upside down.  But upon further inspection, they are
only upside down on one side.  These leaves are hinged in along the
long side, as one would access a typical Persian codex.  However, the
border decorations on each leaf and adhesive residue on two leaves
indicate that these leaves were held together along the short side
at some point in time.  Attachment along the short side makes sense
of the right side up/upside down, recto/verso orientation (like
reading a flip top notepad).  In order to view the verso, the leaf
would dangle outside the support of the mat if the hinge was changed
to the short side.  For this and other reasons, the leaves are
staying attached as is and the binding is getting a straightforward

A quick survey of the literature and images available online do not
show any contemporary manuscripts in this style.  Has anyone seen a
Persian manuscript with this orientation in its original or an early
binding? I would like to make a model to accompany this item in the

Rachel Lapkin
Library Materials Conservator
Brown University
John Hay Library, Box A
20 Prospect Street
Providence, RI 02912-9039

                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:37
                Distributed: Saturday, February 9, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-26-37-019
Received on Monday, 28 January, 2013

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