The Roman Empire All Stitched Up
Why buy an orphaned volume from an 1833 American four-volume edition of Gibbon's The History of the Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire? Especially one printed on such poor paper? Because of this map!
More precisely, because of the restoration done to the paper on the map's lower right corner (verso shown below)...
UNESCO's RAMP (Records & Archives Management Program?) site tells us, "The oldest method of repairing tears in parchment was by stitching, preferably using herring-bone stitch and twine, gut or in more modern times, nylon. However, this method is clearly not suitable as it involves perforating the original support and, despite the remarkable nature of some of the sewing, it is always an anti-aesthetic solution."
That last bit is much too dogmatic. For example, Sherwin Beach Press' edition of Ballet for Opening Day (2002) is one of the koolest books produced ever, in no small part because of the ingenious way they married the text sheets to the (different paper) etching sheets (I believe this was the idea of Trisha Hammer). Beautiful. One of the few remaining books on my Wish-I-Had list.
Labels: Cool stuff