Exposed sewing.
From The Book of trades, or Library of the useful arts. Part I.  Published by Jacob Johnson, and for sale at his book-store in Philadelphia, and in Richmond Virginia.  1807

A Few of Our Favorite Things, Part Two: The Book of Trades

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One of my favorite books in the Library Company’s collection is The Book of Trades (Philadelphia: George S. Appleton, 1851). Produced in many English-language editions in the 19th century, the book of trades reflects a trend in early childhood…
“Inlaid Papier-mache” on The Iris: An Illuminated Souvenir for 1851. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1851.(Gift of Michael Zinman.)

LCP Conservator Publishes Landmark Essay on Papier-Mâché Bindings

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Little scholarly attention was given to papier-mâché bindings before Chief of Conservation Jennifer Rosner began researching the topic in May 2011. Largely through generous donations from Michael Zinman, the Library Company has amassed arguably…
Back covers of Leavitt & Allen gift books with papier-mâché medallions.

Medallions on 19th-Century Bindings

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I have written previously about book bindings with papier-mâché elements.  (click here to read that post.) Now, I’d like to present a particularly interesting group of books that have papier-mâché medallions attached to the leather…
Full calf, “sunk panel” on The Iris: An Illuminated Souvenir for 1851. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1851.

Binding Books with Ingenuity and Efficiency

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Lippincott, Grambo & Co. offered The Iris, An Illuminated Annual for 1851 in six different binding styles, two of which are shown above. At the top is what they advertised as “Turkey Morocco beveled, inlaid with Papier Maché”…
Detail of gilt birds from book cover.

Angry Birds

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This book cover has such interesting gold stamping. The unusual design of the four corner brasses incorporates images of animals in the swirls and curlicues. The birds look so determined as they fly under the ornaments!   I…
Four rare books in need of boxing.

The Ubiquitous Corrugated Clamshell Box – An Anniversary

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Not many people realize that the corrugated clamshell box (as shown above) was actually developed here at the Library Company. As many of you know, these boxes are very useful in rare book libraries because they are an efficient way to protect…
Two examples of papier-mâché bindings laid out in an exhibition case, 2010. Jennifer Rosner, Chief of Conservation.

The Art of the Library Company

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The inspiring talents of a number of Library Company staff members are on display at the entrance to the Reading Room through mid-February.  The "Art of the Library Company" exhibition presents a sample of recent work by six current staff…
Sampler book laid out to show unique folding pattern.

Large Pages into Small Spaces

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The three conservators in the McLean Conservation Department (Jennifer Rosner, Andrea Krupp, and Alice Austin) are all active members of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers.  On November 5 and 6, 2011, they hosted a…