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12
By Dagoth
Home away from home

WIP - Restoration of a 1961 10/8/8 LOTR set

16 Mar
2023/3/16 23:32:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Hello everyone,

I'm having a 1961 1st edition GAU set restored by a professional art archivist. I acquired it earlier this year after taking a chance on it even though it had several glaring issues. These are but not limited to:

-3 protective covers taped down to the dust jacket and end papers
-spine on fellowship is sagging slightly
-no idea what the boards underneath look like due to the dust jackets being stuck down to them
-the 6th state case was banged up quite a bit, taped on the left sides and separated at the top board.

But I saw potential, namely, (tape aside) the pristine condition of the dust jackets due to the protective covers seemingly being taped on there for god knows how long. I also suspected that the boards underneath were going to be great.

I'm documenting this here, so that others can see what one can and cannot do with a less intrusive archival restoration. The purpose of this restoration is to be as unintrusive as possible with the treatment, and to not introduce anything unnatural or new to the books themselves in order to maintain the most continuity possible with the original set. This is restoration primarily!

The first post will be the initial condition that I received the books in, and it will be updated over the next few months as work is being done on the books themselves.

I hope this is educational to anyone who may potentially be looking to do some work on their beloved books.

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16 Mar
2023/3/16 23:38:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
03/16/2023 update
------------------------
Tape has been removed on all books, revealing the boards underneath

As I suspected, the boards are very bright overall and gilt lettering very nice.

From archivist: "Quick update. Pre treatment documentation photos have been completed. Plastic adhesive tape supports have been lifted. Outer jackets have been removed. I’m including some images. Tapes removed, tear on paper jacket revealed after tape removal, and discoloration on book three cover hinge. I was pleased to find all three included maps are in excellent condition."

Things to note:
-Book one has a small raised spot that appears to be beneath the bookcloth
-Book 3 seems to have a dark line, or burn along the spine edge, which is very strange.

Here's what the archivist had to say about that: "I haven’t fully investigated but during the binding process boards with metal edging are used to create that defined hinge area between the spine and cover board. It looks as if that bit of metal may have either had a substance that caused discoloration or it was hot and caused a surface burn of the fabric."

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17 Mar
2023/3/17 6:39:25 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Wow!!! These look amazing!! 😍
21 Mar
2023/3/21 23:58:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
03/21/2023: First treatment application applied and tested.

------------------
From the Archivist: "The last photo is a before/after of book one’s paper jacket. After one session of gellan gum treatment the stains show significant lightening. This is great news! Surface cleaning also removed some discoloration. So things are going in the direction we had hoped for."

The surface of the jacket was also cleaned, noticeable on the hinges and spine. Hopefully with further treatment the stains will come out even more. There are videos of the treatment, but I don't know how to add them yet.

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22 Mar
2023/3/22 0:03:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Fun to follow along!

The site doesn’t support video natively (doesn’t have the storage and bandwidth needed) but if you put them on YouTube then post the link here, that works well. (You don’t have to if you don’t want to! Just giving that as an option)
22 Mar
2023/3/22 19:18:34 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

Fun to follow along!

The site doesn’t support video natively (doesn’t have the storage and bandwidth needed) but if you put them on YouTube then post the link here, that works well. (You don’t have to if you don’t want to! Just giving that as an option)
Glad you are enjoying it. I'm really interested to see how this turns out myself. As far as the videos, I'll get around to uploading them later.
30 May
2023/5/30 2:18:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Updating this because it just got finished. You can see some of the final results. All in all, the structural damage to the slip case and spine of volume 1 were repaired.

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30 May
2023/5/30 5:29:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Dagoths wrote:

Updating this because it just got finished. You can see some of the final results. All in all, the structural damage to the slip case and spine of volume 1 were repaired.

Do you think it was worth doing the repairs, in terms of time and cost?
30 May
2023/5/30 5:35:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Trotter wrote:

Dagoths wrote:

Updating this because it just got finished. You can see some of the final results. All in all, the structural damage to the slip case and spine of volume 1 were repaired.

Do you think it was worth doing the repairs, in terms of time and cost?

It's really hard to say. It actually turned out great, but I was hoping to see better improvement with the tape. About 60-70% of the stain was removed, making it far less clear and pronounced. The actual tape removal itself went very well, but the stains are clearly still there as over the years the tape kind of mixes into the paper on a cellular level so you can't raise it completely.

The integrity of the slip case and the spine repair was very much worth it. I really like the results there. Also, she did a general cleaning (you can see the results on the top of the spine) that was PHENOMINAL. All of this cost around $440 if you are interested. To some that might not seem worth it, but I purchased this set at a relatively low price earlier this year, and after these restorations it turned out quite alright!

I think this is pretty educational to people who have books with tape stains to see what can and can't be done.

TLDR: I think it was worth it. The general cleaning I highly recommend to others if you need that done to your books. The results speak for themselves.
30 May
2023/5/30 16:06:52 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
It looks awesome! Thanks for sharing this process with us! I'm actually quite thrilled to hear that it cost around $450. I was thinking much more in my head. Would you mind posting the info of the person or shop that you used?
12
Seller: priorys
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