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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
007. (Book and Paper) A Novel Conservation Treatment Developed for the Restoration of The Psalms of David Relievo Papier-mâché Binding Designed by Owen Jones

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On January 8 in 1903 Ryerson and Burnham Libraries received a gift from John Edward Woodhead, one of his most valuable books, the first edition of The Psalms of David (The Victoria Psalter). Designed by Owen Jones this oversize relievo papier-mâché binding was dedicated to Queen Victoria: "To Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria this illuminated Psalter is with permission dedicated." Owen Jones created both the interior ornamentation of the chromolithographed plates and the exterior aspect of the book. The binding was carried out by Leighton, Son & Hodge and printed at Remnant & Edmonds, London in 1861, where the covers were moulded in relief and embossed on calf leather after Frederick Leake's patented process. Upon request by J. E. Woodhead in the late eighteenth hundreds the book was reformatted to an album structure binding. New cloth hinges and paper stubs were added to plates. The binding was "rebound in old covers”, read the unknown binder's note uncovered under the front pastedown leaf during the book conservation. New endsheets and guilt to textblock edges were added. Over the years, this beautifully designed book had been on display exhibited standing on a pedestal as intended by Owen Jones. The heavy binding structure and oversewing of the textblock caused significant damages to the spine and plates of the binding. The book had been set apart from library collections for years awaiting conservation, and when it was received in the book conservation laboratory of the Art Institute of Chicago it was in a poor, unstable condition, falling apart after multiple repairs, with a missing leather spine, and plates detached. With losses and deterioration the endsheet marbled papers were brittle, textblock sewing and stubs collapsed. Covers were detached, with abraded edges and parts of corners missing. From this condition of the binding the restoration process began. The poster for the conservation treatment of The Psalm of David will include - Historical background, bibliographic information, provenance, and acquisition information about the book. Binding description before conservation and detailed description of the reconstruction of the binding from compositional information of the original binding materials, through making of a model for the new binding structure, to the finishing processes of the latest book conservation. In conclusion I will include information on the exhibition of the binding at the Art Institute of Chicago, and will discuss future directions and perspectives for The Psalms of David. Additional information on the conservation process of the binding at the Art Institute of Chicago website - http://www.artic.edu/aic/resources/resource/2346?search_id=1&index=0

avatar for Malina Belcheva

Malina Belcheva

Malina Belcheva is a book and paper conservator specializing in fine art conservation and restoration with specific interest in rare books, maps, manuscripts and conservation of artworks on leather and paper. Ms. Belcheva graduated in Conservation from the American Academy of Bookbinding... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  9. Poster, Book and Paper