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Re: Book restoration

15 Oct. 1997, Vi Wilson wrote:

> The sum total of all this is - the client is disappointed!  He would
> like the tooling restored.  Without the same fonts etc. how could
> this be done? Should I have completely replaced the spine and paper
> covered boards, with something similar?I understand the current
> thinking on restoration is to save whatever can be saved.  Is this
> correct? Does anyone know what the value of this particular
> publication?

I think you did a good job (as far as I can judge it right here from
my monitor....). Apart from the technical difficulties (and time, thus
money-consuming aspects) to restore gold-toolings to it's original
condition, the question wether this should be done or not is all a
matter of basic principles concerning restoration-ethics. When I'm
asked to do a restoration I always try to figure out how my client is
informed about these principles and the way modern conservators (want
to) work nowadays. With most of my clients (which are curators of
university-libraries and museums) this is not necessary: they are
(most of the times) aware of how a completed restoration should look
and how it should be documented. With private customers it's a
different story. Most of the times they think that their "old" book is
worth a lot of money (which is quite rare) and mostly they want it to
be restored in the way most laymen think what restoration is about:
make it brandnew and shiny as if the book walked out of a 17th century
bindingshop. When I suspect my customer thinks this way I try to
explain to him that is "not done". What remains of the original
binding will be used and missing parts will be replaced by accurate
materials and will be matched in coulour and texture. Some clients
except this on behalf of my authority as a professional, others need
more time and arguments to convince them, and a few others pack there
things and I never see them again (often these are traders in

To prevent the situation in what Vi has arrived I also give to my new
clients a copy of the general terms of delivery which have been set up
by our association of restorers here in Holland (VeRes). A big lot of
troubles can be avoided when a customer is aware of the conditions of
the contract between him and a restorer. It also refers to the ethical
code which restores associated to VeRes subscribe to. Following these
principles (which can be viewed at
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/veres/vereseth.html ) I must
stress that Vi did the right thing.....

Cor Knops.

-----------------------------end message----------------

Knops Boekrestauratie
Conservation & Restoration of Books and Paper
Groenstraat 8
6151 CS Munstergeleen
phone/fax 00 31 46 4200024
e-mail    knops@xs4all.nl
URL       http://www.xs4all.nl/~knops/knops.htm

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