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Methuen Silmarillion - Blue Leather or Leatherette?
Shirrif
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I have seen the 1977 Methuen presentation copy Silmarillion described as "being bound in dark blue leather" (p220 J.R.R. Tolkien - A Descriptive Bibliography) or "bound in dark blue leatherette" (http://www.tolkienbooks.net/php/details.php?reference=62110).

What is the definitive answer?

Posted on: 2010/12/19 23:14


Re: Methuen Silmarillion - Blue Leather or Leatherette?
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I don't have a definitive answer, but I do have a copy - and I can tell you that it's real leather, all right. A bookdealer I showed it to told me it's what's called 'publisher's leather'. I have a copy of 'Wuthering Heights' in the same material. It's soft, and quite thin (it smells lovely, too).


Posted on: 2010/12/20 2:59


Re: Methuen Silmarillion - Blue Leather or Leatherette?
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My copy is a little worn at the head of the spine revealing what looks like the weave of the cloth underneath. If this is leather backed onto cloth then it is incredibly thin. To me it looks like a plastic film backed onto cloth.

I'm no expert though, so would certainly bow to a more expert opinion.

Posted on: 2010/12/20 9:35


Re: Methuen Silmarillion - Blue Leather or Leatherette?
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Although I can't be absolutely certain, I believe the material to be genuine leather, mainly from the way it creases at the folds - at least on my and Christina's copy. Artificial leather creases more like cloth or heavy paper. Of course you can't tell from the 'grain', which was probably embossed on a smooth leather after it had been through a splitting machine to make it thin - and yes, this is very thin, nothing like best quality.

I've seen the term 'publisher's leather' once or twice, but can't find it in any of my glossaries of binding terms. The technical term here is probably 'skiver', i.e. thin split leather. 'Publisher's leather' is analogous to 'publisher's cloth', i.e. to indicate the material in which the book was issued by the publisher.

Wayne

Posted on: 2010/12/20 18:14


Re: Methuen Silmarillion - Blue Leather or Leatherette?
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I will bow to your greater knowledge!

Posted on: 2010/12/21 8:44



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