Gallery: 1494 Psalms, Erhard Ratdolt Printing

Arriving in a 19th century German binding with pastepaper sides, this German/Latin book of Psalms had poorly repaired wormholes throughout. We disbound portions of it, soaked off earlier “repairs” (chunky, rectangular strips of paper glued over the holes), and made tissue repairs where needed. As remnants of the original double cords remained, we worked many new threads through the original sewing holes to make up cords for lacing on the boards. After new headbands were sewn (plain, over a single core), the book was rebound in dark brown calf over inward-beveled boards and blindtooled in 15th century style.

The 19th century binding it arrived in, with leather already deteriorated and spine missing.

The 19th century binding it arrived in, with leather already deteriorated and spine missing.

Soaking off earlier repairs.

Soaking off earlier repairs.

Drying after washing

Drying after washing

New cords being built up.

New cords being built up.

A hand-colored but printed initial, marking the transition from hand illumination to purely printed texts.

A hand-colored but printed initial, marking the transition from hand illumination to purely printed texts.

Newly rebound in dark calf.

Newly rebound in dark calf.

The inwardly beveled edges common to the period.

The inwardly beveled edges common to the period.

The decorative tooling over the double cords is a style that was much repeated in fine trade bindings of the 1800's.

The decorative tooling over the double cords is a style that was much repeated in fine trade bindings of the 1800’s.