Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Cockerell, Douglas Bennett ( 1870-1945 )

An English bookbinder, first apprentice toTHOMAS J. COBDEN-SANDERSON . Many of Cockerell's bindings are elaborately tooled with symmetrical arrangements of conventionalized flowers and leaves, sometimes within compartments formed by interlaced lines which often flow from the raised bands. This style, which he apparently originated, gives spine and covers unity, and shows that the designs were conceived essentially in terms of a book cover. His interlacing patterns usually have no loose ends, and his plant forms appear to expand. Small spaces are filled in with gold dots, and butting lines are strengthened by a thorn, often with a dot at each side.

Cockerell was not only a fine bookbinder but also performed a service in his teaching and writing, pointing out some of the destructive methods then being used by binders, such as excessive paring of leather and thinning of slips, headbanding with inadequate tying down, the use of acids on leather to create decorative effects, etc. He also called for sound principles in construction and the use of chemically and mechanically sound materials. He encouraged the use of native-dyed goatskins for covering, and did much to establish the use of the ZIG-ZAG ENDPAPER , which until recently was used extensively by craft binders. He also was aware of the merits of alum-tawed skin, and his use of it in rebinding manuscripts, and particularly his use of tawed goatskin on the Codex Sinaiticus, helped establish the reputation of durability which this type of skin enjoys today. He also promoted the use of rough edge gilding (See: ROUGH GILT ).

Cockerell's publications included Bookbinding and the care of books, Some notes on bookbinding, and Bookbinding as a school subject. (94 , 217 , 236 , 347 )

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