Peacock Bindery

Traditional bookbinding, Wellington, New Zealand

Episodes of Insect Life

This is a lovely cloth binding from 1849 that had seen better days.

Both boards were detached; the spine was damaged with losses to head and tail; the headbands were frayed and damaged; the front yellow fly leaf was detached but needed to be saved because of the handwritten inscription; scotch tape needed to be removed; the corners of the boards were bumped and frayed.

The general treatment was to reback the book which means making a new spine. I used thin skiver leather that was a good colour match. Covers were cleaned; detached boards were tidied up along edges; damaged glassine guards were discarded; paper repairs were made where necessary; pastedowns lifted; detached pages re-attached with Japanese paper flanges; new hollow made; new case made using new spine and existing boards; book cased-in; original spine piece glued to new spine; finally gold lines were tooled on boards to reproduce the original.


Episodes of Insect Life: front board after repair.

Episodes of Insect Life: Front board before repair showing very damaged spine.


Episodes of Insect Life: Very damaged spine.


Episodes of Insect Life: Front flyleaf with original handwriting.


Episodes of Insect Life: spine after repair. The original gold spine was cut away from the original and re-attached to the new spine. The words “Episodes of Insect Life” are just visible within the design.


Susan Peacock

Phone: +64 (0)21 241 3000

32 Tinakori Road
Wellington 6011
New Zealand

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